6 Feb 2023
Let’s start with something we can certainly all agree on.
Running a successful business leaves you with little to no time to yourself.
Think about it. The onus is on you to ensure your employees have everything they need to succeed in their positions. And if you’re a solopreneur, the stress levels can be even higher. You can’t count on anyone but yourself.
You have finances to worry about. Administrative work to take care of. Even employee scheduling tends to eat up a good chunk of your time.
The question is: What are you using to handle your scheduling efforts? Emails? Maybe a traditional schedule book?
If you find yourself constrained by these outdated scheduling methods, what if we informed you about a superior and more effective approach? A method you can use to save both time and effort?
However, before we dive into the numerous benefits of scheduling software for businesses, let’s dive into the history of traditional schedule books.
Before the advent of email and live messaging tools for scheduling, people had to resort to the trusty schedule book to track their business’ appointments.
As businesses began to see more and more customers and clients, the need to keep track of appointments aside from walk-ins became necessary. Just look at the DMV industry. As cars began to slide into the mainstream, a system for registering cars and testing people for licenses became necessary. Even back then, schedule books were seen as inadequate and the entire in-person booking system was hated.
That must mean that email, phone, and other appointment scheduling methods must be favored over traditional schedule books, right?
Well, sort of.
While these methods are certainly a step up, each has its own set of drawbacks as well.
|Traditional In-Person Schedule Book
|Restrictive and forces people to schedule during business hours Can quickly become disorganized and lead to crucial errors such as double-bookings
|Many studies have shown that people, especially younger folk, despise talking on the phone Often combined with a schedule book of some sort, again leading to disorganization
|Back and forth emails with customers and clients requires staff presence at all times While more organized with a trail to follow, process for booking appointments still isn’t as streamlined as it could be
The question is, where do we go from here? If traditional schedule books, email scheduling, and other forms of technology aren’t the answer to business scheduling problems, then what is?
Well, with 61% of small businesses reporting easier and more accurate scheduling with the use of scheduling software, it seems that the answer is clear.
There’s no doubt that scheduling software is the future. Traditional schedule books have far too many problems, including:
By now, we bet that many of you are looking at your old, beat-up schedule book and thinking: “Well I haven’t experienced any issues yet. What’s the big deal?”
Just because what you’ve been doing is working okay so far doesn’t mean there isn’t a more efficient method.
In order to better illustrate this point, let’s dive into some of the key benefits of scheduling software and how they help your business run more efficiently.
One of the best parts about effective scheduling software is the degree of automation they bring with them. Instead of having to manually record appointments in a book and having far too many hands in the jar, clients can schedule appointments and they automatically get recorded for all staff to view.
Because of this, your appointment management becomes far more streamlined. Since your staff can check on all appointments that are booked from the calendar, there’s no question about what’s going on and your staff can keep themselves informed.
We touched on this one a little bit above, but this is such an important aspect of scheduling software that it deserves its own section.
Allowing clients to book their own appointments is going to be vital, moving forward. With so many people working odd hours, clients will appreciate the ability to book their own appointments at their leisure. Whether it’s 10 am or 10 pm, it doesn’t matter. If they decide that they want to get their hair done, they’re able to pencil themselves in and not have to worry about any potential restrictive hours of operation.
It’s not like this is guesswork, either. Considering a significant amount of people are booking appointments from their mobile devices, it’s safe to say that the ability to self-book is a sought after feature when customers are scoping out businesses. If they’re unable to, there’s a good chance you’ll find them cozying up with your competition.
The medical industry has reported no-show rates of up to 23% when clients aren’t given some sort of reminder.
While you might not be in this industry, it’s a pretty eye-opening statistic. Medical appointments are just about the highest-stakes appointment type there is. What happens if the stakes are far lower?
For most scheduling software on the market, SMS and email reminders come as an industry standard. Before a client appointment, the client will get a reminder sent to their phone or email at a certain time (usually 24 hours before). This is crucial in getting them to actually show up, considering many clients simply forget about their appointment.
If your goal is to reduce walk-ins in favor of having more appointments booked, you’re in luck. Scheduling software is a great way to go about this.
The key here is choosing a scheduling software with a focus on ease of use. If your scheduling software is clunky and difficult to navigate, chances are you won’t be able to convince clients to use it instead of simply walking in.
For example, Skiplino Appointments can be set up in 5 minutes or less, and even offers a simplistic mobile application for your clients to easily book their appointments on a dedicated client booking page. Two factors that go a long way towards increasing the number of appointments booked.
So how does scheduling software really stack up to a scheduling book?
In order to really grasp just how beneficial switching to scheduling software is for your business, why don’t we make a few direct comparisons to illustrate the differences? That should compel you to join the future with scheduling software.
Accessibility is a crucial aspect of any scheduling method regardless of industry. After all, if it’s a hassle for clients to book appointments in advance, why would they?
People are often creatures of habit, which makes the traditional schedule book a nice touch. When clients have been calling in for years to book appointments, it’s sometimes difficult to get them to switch over to scheduling software.
However, it’s not overly difficult to show clients just how easy scheduling software is to use, provided you choose an effective scheduling solution.
The main problem with a traditional scheduling book is one we’ve mentioned already: The fact that you’re restricting your customers with your hours of operation.
This can be a huge problem for people these days, considering the busy lives they lead. The public’s patience for things like appointment scheduling is only getting smaller.
However, you remove this problem entirely with scheduling software. Clients are free to book appointments whenever they want. If a client remembers they should make an appointment at 1 am, but they fear that they may forget to do so the next day, no problem. They can hop on their laptop or mobile phone and book the appointment right then and there. This scenario happens more often than you might think, too, with 34% of people scheduling appointments after-hours, according to one survey.
The more you research it, the more you’ll discover that 24/7 booking is going to be a must-have feature for appointment-based businesses moving forward. Without scheduling software to help you with this, chances are your competition will leave you behind.
|Time-restrictive and inconvenient for clients
|Allows for 24/7 booking, regardless of location
In the world of business, efficiency is the name of the game. It’s every business owner’s dream to have the business running as smoothly as possible.
As simply as we can put it, using a traditional scheduling book is as inefficient as it can get.
Scheduling books are inefficient in two significant areas:
Let’s start with time management. There’s a significant time investment that goes into manual scheduling. When you require someone to constantly man the phones or the help desk in order to manually schedule appointments into a scheduling book, you’re wasting precious time that could be devoted to other tasks.
Next, there’s the fact that you actually need a staff member for this task. Even with slightly more time-saving scheduling methods, such as email, you’re still devoting manpower to something that could be automated.
Think about all the work that’s been piling up and untended to because all your staff members have been busy with other tasks. How much more could get done if you eliminated this task entirely?
Since scheduling software is largely automated, you’ll get to find out.
While your calendar will still need to be monitored, and there’s certainly a bit of setup to be done in the beginning, the time and manpower investment is microscopic compared to a traditional scheduling book. There’s no doubt that making the switch to scheduling software will help improve your business efficiency levels by a landslide margin.
|Requires a significant time investment
|Requires minimal time to set up and then very little time to monitor
|Requires a staff member to be delegated to recording appointments
|Automation means that staff are freed up for other tasks
Mistakes and errors happen. No matter what system you’re using, it’s nearly impossible to eliminate all mistakes.
However, when it comes down to it, traditional scheduling methods often invite more mistakes than scheduling software.
This is because a scheduling book leaves plenty of room for human error. Since everything needs to be recorded manually, there’s always a chance for the staff member to make a mistake.
These crucial mistakes include:
Any of these mistakes can be disastrous and even financially detrimental when they lead to missed appointments.
Thankfully, with the automation that comes with scheduling software, mistakes aren’t something you’ll need to worry about too often.
While software can malfunction, it’s not a common occurrence. Since clients will be booking their own appointments, the onus is on them to select a time that works for them.
There’s also the fact that most scheduling software won’t allow for double-bookings unless you specify that you want to allow them. This can be huge in making sure that you aren’t leaking revenue due to missed appointments, and even worse: angry clients.
In fact, a recent case study done by a scheduling software company showed that their scheduling software managed to dramatically reduce no-shows and late cancellations for their hair salon client. If that’s not reason enough to switch from your outdated scheduling book, we’re not sure what is.
|Mistakes can become common, especially during busier times
|Leaves little room for human error
“How exactly does switching to scheduling software help with my business growth?”
Well, there are two main reasons:
With a traditional appointment scheduling book, you might be giving your customers a great scheduling experience. Or you might not be. Either way, by switching to scheduling software, you can drastically improve your client’s opinion on your booking process and company as a whole. Happy customers can lead to not only become repeat customers, but also glowing reviews of your company. And since social proof is one of the most genuine ways to market your business, you’ll be raking in new clients in no time.
There’s also increased profit. Since you’re eliminating an entire task and not having to delegate an employee to scheduling appointments, your bottom line will improve. It’s that simple. Whether it’s through eliminating the task itself or just being able to focus on other aspects of your business, your money will be spent more wisely.
|Customer service and experience is often lackluster due to inefficient scheduling methods
|Customer booking experience is far more streamlined, leading to repeat customers and glowing reviews
|Time and staff commitment means that money is being devoted to appointment scheduling
|Eliminating the scheduling task can significantly improve bottom line
A traditional scheduling book is just that: A book. It doesn’t really serve any other purpose besides recording and tracking appointments. And it honestly doesn’t even do that very well.
“But what else do I really need? I just need to be able to effectively schedule appointments…”
While that’s a fair statement, it manages to ignore many of the additional beneficial features that come with different scheduling software.
Features such as:
Those are just some of the key features that scheduling book users are missing out on. There are plenty more.
The point is that scheduling software offers some outside-the-box features that aren’t always thought of. For example, access to customer analytics and demographics can help you streamline your marketing efforts. Meanwhile, customer surveys allow you to directly ask your customers what they think and adjust your processes accordingly.
It’s safe to say that a scheduling book can’t do all of that.
|Offers nothing other than a means to track and scheduling appointments
|Can offer loads of additional features, depending on the software chosen
At the end of the day, it’s easy to sit back and decide that your current methods are working fine. No one is complaining. Mistakes aren’t happening consistently.
And maybe that’s the truth. Maybe your business is running fine.
The question is, do you want to settle for fine? Or do you want to take it to the next level?
Now that you’re fully aware of what scheduling software brings to the table, how can you say no?
Your competition is likely already making the switch. It’s time for your business to join the future as well.
We get it. Switching an entire process is tough.
What if we could make it a little easier? Skiplino Appointments can be painlessly set up in under 5 minutes and offers you all of the features you’ll need to schedule appointments effectively and have your business running more efficiently than ever.
So why not reach out to us? Whether you’re inquiring about our software, or simply have some broad questions about scheduling software, we’re here for you.
All Rights Reserved @2024 Skiplino Technologies WLL.