Appointment Scheduling in 2021: What You Need to Know
September 10, 2021
Appointment Scheduling in 2021: What You Need to Know
Creating appointments and managing a schedule is a pivotal part of our journey through day-to-day life and helps businesses maximise their time and increase customer footfall to their store(s) and online channels.
The well-known phrase “time is money” is particularly apt when we come to think of the appointment scheduling process and its significance in a world now exemplified by social distancing measures that have changed and disrupted consumer habits.
From the need to rearrange an important work meeting to booking onto a fitness class, appointments allow us to be prompt, organised and ‘fill in the gaps’ to ensure we make the best use of our time.
The pandemic has elevated the aspirational (yet moving) target of achieving a healthy work-life balance to the forefront, with large segments of the population valuing their happiness and productivity to establish better lifestyles and prevent burnout.
The prevalence of guests booking online in-advance has been on the rise for a number of years, but COVID-19 proved to be the catalyst for a dramatic shift in the industry as people increased their use of virtual booking systems to stay connected in a society that was physically isolated.
Twelve months on, what have we learned and where do customers and service providers stand when it comes to adapting to the ‘new normal’ and the challenges that lay ahead? As a world leading booking platform, we here at BookingLive have given you an insight into the current status of online appointment scheduling in 2021.
Here are the top 5 things you need to know about appointment scheduling in 2021
Online Bookings Continue To Rise
Online Appointments Aid Social Distancing
Digital Platform Expectation
Online Appointments Keep Us All Connected
Emphasis On Convenience & Wellbeing
1. Online Bookings Continue To Rise
With the pandemic causing venues, workplaces and guest services to restrict capacities like never before, the ability to minimise face-to-face interactions resulted in online bookings skyrocketing. According to Roller Software, “the European and Asia-Pacific markets have both seen an overall 130% increase in the proportion of bookings made online.”
Despite an impressive rollout of the COVID vaccines in the UK, there is still a need to control levels of human traffic through buildings. Companies have been forced to adapt to protect the health of their employees and/or customers, which is why a flexible online booking system has become increasingly popular.
It allows businesses to be transparent ahead of time with regards to safety protocol and enables time slots to be easily located, reserved and paid for online, without any face to face contact.
This new pattern of behaviour has also introduced the convenience of online booking systems to both businesses and customers with positive outcomes including the improvement of staff productivity and reduction of queue times.
2. Online Appointments Aid Social Distancing
An online scheduling system is a simple way for businesses to manage customer flow and abide by social distancing guidelines to limit the spread of coronavirus. Customers can plan their arrival close to their appointment time to help prevent overcrowding in shops and waiting rooms.
Appointment scheduling software gives both the consumer and company adequate time to organise, prepare and where necessary allow time for increased cleaning and hygiene regimes.
At BookingLive, our appointment software can be used for businesses of all sizes, enabling you to easily limit the number of people in an indoor setting by staggering customer visits throughout the day. We are also recognised as an ideal small business solution.
3. Digital Platform Expectation
Customers now demand and in many ways are reliant on a top-class digital experience. From conferences and workshops to entertainment and eating out, the vast-majority of people are familiar with using a mobile device to make a booking.
Many different habits have emerged from the coronavirus outbreak such as the thorough washing of hands and wearing masks in confined spaces. The concept of online booking is no different – “all age groups have begun to embrace a “millennial mindset” in which they rely on friends and digital channels to learn and buy, rather than traditional information sources.”
Smartphones play a crucial role in our everyday lives by making different aspects simpler and more efficient. If an appointment-led business is unable to offer a mobile-friendly website and mobile booking system, they will get left behind by their competitors.
This is why empowering customers through a fast, simple and engaging system can help boost conversion rates and strengthen relationships with guests.
4. Online Appointments Keep Us All Connected
Can you imagine a world without appointments? Me neither. It’s impossible. Appointments are more important now than ever. They give us structure in everyday life and online booking systems allow us to interact from anywhere in the world, as well as enable businesses to “open” 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
People can update their schedule on-the-go and can even purchase service-related products during the client booking process. Customers are more likely to remain loyal if they receive a positive experience and with easily integrated tools such as Twitter, live chat and TripAdvisor widgets, online booking software enables all parties to be socially active on the biggest platforms.
Individuals from all walks of life (no matter what language they speak) can benefit from an online booking system. In just a few clicks, they can find out live availability and obtain the information they need about a particular service or activity.
5. Emphasis On Convenience & Wellbeing
Online booking systems remove the dreaded game of telephone tag. As the world continues to digitally evolve and the spotlight on consumer behaviour shifts towards convenience and wellbeing, online booking systems will continue to help businesses and workplaces operate smoothly in the current climate and beyond. Access to services has improved drastically through the digital transformation efforts of local government service providers and private sector businesses alike, this automated communication route of online booking and appointment scheduling is a key driving force in making more services more accessible on a global scale.
Get started today
Begin your online booking and appointment scheduling system journey today with this free system below. Automating needless administration frees up your time to work on the more important customer interactions. Customers prefer online booking and appointment scheduling because they get to decide where and when they choose to interact, they get to cancel, rebook, amend and update details themselves at any time of day long after your call centre hours are over. This access means a lot to busy parents, workers and those who need the autonomy and access online booking provides.
Get started on your online booking system journey today by claiming your free account below