The average time between booking and service fulfillment is 45 hours, meaning every second counts when securing client bookings. Finding ways to reduce scheduling delays will make your business more productive, keep clients happier, and improve sales figures, so here’s how to do it.
Introducing online booking options is the easiest way to minimize scheduling delays for customer appointments. 40% of bookings are now made after office hours, and no one wants to submit an inquiry form and wait 3-5 business days to hear back.
Allowing customers to book online means they can schedule appointments in their own time, easily see the times and dates available and pick the best one for their schedule. (Incidentally, online booking can also help reduce last-minute cancellations and no-shows too.)
With online booking software, your customers can get instant appointment confirmations meaning the entire booking process takes only a few minutes.
For in-home service businesses, look for appointment management software, like MarketBox, designed to handle the complexity of scheduling appointments in multiple locations.
In addition to using online booking software, optimizing your employee scheduling process will help reduce delays when organizing customer appointments. MarketBox filters providers by skills, location, and availability, so customers only see providers who fit their criteria. Once they’ve made their choice, the relevant provider's schedule is automatically updated with the new booking.
But if you’re not ready to use software, or your chosen scheduling software doesn’t have the SmartMatching features that MarketBox has, you’ll need a way to do this manually. Tracking employee skills, locations, and availability on a spreadsheet like this one, is an excellent first step.
In addition, if you offer mobile appointments, you must factor in travel time when creating employee schedules.
Another easy way to reduce scheduling delays is to eliminate needing to contact your business with questions before booking. This can be achieved by clearly stating your prices, hours of operation, service area/location, and any other frequently asked questions on your website so customers can self-serve.
Having employees you can count on is essential if you want to reduce scheduling delays and last-minute changes to appointments. You should be confident that you can assign an employee a job — or have scheduling software assign it automatically — and know that they will show up on time (or at all!).
In addition to improving your hiring process, you should carefully monitor provider performance, cancellation rates, and response times to ensure your workforce is reliable and your customers are satisfied.
To avoid scheduling delays and last-minute cancellations, customers should be able to reschedule appointments if necessary easily. Ideally, they should be able to do this themselves online, but if they need to contact your business to reschedule, make sure your response times are fast, and your customer service team is helpful.
Finally, to avoid confusion around schedules and further delays, make sure you communicate clearly with your customers and your team.
Customers should receive booking confirmation emails and appointment reminders, while your providers should receive schedule updates and daily round-ups of their upcoming bookings.
Reducing scheduling delays starts with implementing online booking software that takes the hard work out of scheduling appointments and employees. It’s about simplifying the process from customer inquiry to order confirmation and communicating clearly with all parties involved.
If you’re looking for online booking software for your mobile service business, book a call to learn how MarketBox can handle your bookings, scheduling, and payments today.
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