Many businesses including those in healthcare, law, accountancy, finance, education, coaching, beauty therapy, and makeup artists are thriving on online appointment scheduling and reminder software. One of the emerging yet important issues is how such businesses can use online booking to improve customer experience, hence, customer satisfaction.
Customer experience is surpassing products and price as a primary differentiating factor among businesses. Moreover, in the face of rapid innovation, attention to customer service is a key ingredient to gain a competitive advantage as it determines the levels of customer satisfaction.
Digital trends report by Econsultancy and Adobe shows most businesses shifting their focus to customer experience as the most crucial element for their customer satisfaction success. All these efforts are geared towards enhancing customer loyalty, retention, and engagement.
Although some businesses use customer experience and customer satisfaction interchangeably, these two dimensions are different.
Harvard Business Review defines customer experience as customers’ internal and subjective responses regarding direct or indirect interaction with your business.
Direct interactions result from customer prompts in the process of seeking your services. Indirect interactions are inadvertent contact with your business services. These could be online reviews, news reports, advertisements, criticisms, or recommendations.
Customer satisfaction (CSAT) is the extent to which customers are happy with your business service in their overall experience.
Primarily, businesses use customer satisfaction surveys to find out how customers feel about their businesses. It could involve asking customers where the business did well, where it failed to meet their expectations, and point out areas of improvement.
A customer’s feeling from services offered coupled with their overall experience from both internal and external contact with your business presence matter.
The crux: Customer experience does not rely on customer satisfaction, but customer satisfaction relies on customer experience.
It isn’t worth serving a yummy customer satisfaction one day then a lemon cuisine another day. All you need is to strike a balance between the two to maintain consistent and sustainable customer satisfaction.
Here’s the data, be the judge.
32% of customers will shy away from your services if they encounter one bad experience. 60 % could quit services citing unfriendly service – PwC
54% of U.S customers note that businesses should refine their customer experiences and satisfaction. – PwC
Unsatisfactory customer experience accounts for more than $75 billion annual business losses. – Forbes
86% of customers are ready to pay more for a satisfying customer experience. – Forbes
50% of customers will shift to a competitor following a single bad experience and the number can escalate to 80% for recurring bad experiences. – Zendesk
Customer satisfaction is so important that companies with higher customer satisfaction rates like Amazon can raise the price of their premium service, Amazon Prime, and still have influx purchases. It is the same reason Walmart launched Walmart Plus to curb competition.
IBM customer experience index (CEI) study says businesses must work their fingers to the bone to attain meaningful customer satisfaction.
Positive customer satisfaction grows customer loyalty for your services. Content customers can leave great reviews and refer new leads to your business. Since 92% of customers trust referrals from someone they know, you are on the verge of more conversions.
Customer satisfaction = More referral leads = More conversions = Revenue growth
Customers acquired via referrals spend 2x as your average customers. For appointment booking clients this means they are two times more likely to seek your services again compared to your average customers.
CSAT is a business success metric that will help you make business projections via the determination of the wellness of your customer base. Ultimately, you’ll be better placed to serve your customers exceptionally and be abreast with your objectives.
“If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there.” – Lewis Carroll
Customer retention is directly proportional to customers’ happiness. As long as you competently and proactively meet the needs of your customers they’ll likely stick in. A higher customer retention rate will keep your revenues on track, boost your business growth, and help you gain a competitive advantage.
Customer satisfaction = Customer retention = Competitive advantage = Business growth
The rate of customer retention rate for customers referred by other customers is 37% higher.
What more could you long for your business service from online booking and appointment management?
Only great customer satisfaction can earn your business unrivalled reviews. As service providers flood the web, customers are narrowing down the cloud of offers by turning to customer reviews.
“A customer talking about their experience with you is worth ten times that which you write or say about yourself.” – David J. Greer, Wind In Your Sails
Customer satisfaction triggers positive reviews and this grows the trust of your business.
Need more proof?
In 2021, 75% of customers trust a local business more if it has positive reviews. – ReputationX
97% of customers search online for local businesses; 12% do so daily. – BrightLocal
The writing is on the wall.
“Always keep in mind the old retail adage: Customers remember the service a lot longer than they remember the price.” – Lauren Freedman, President of the E-tailing Group
Customer satisfaction is everything to your business. Here is how to get it right with online scheduling and reminder software.
Customer satisfaction starts long before they finally step into your premise for a service. Even if it’s a referral, your prospective customers may meet your customer on the web pages, social media, and other lead generation avenues.
The overall look of your website and social media will contribute to your customer experience, thus, customer satisfaction. This is where they will meet your appointment booking button or link.
Online appointment booking lets you place the scheduling link wherever you desire – where customers will access it effortlessly.
Assume your customer’s shoes and imagine the hassle and tussle of booking an appointment via a generic contact form. You then wait for the recipient to reach out (probably during business hours) then try to fix a date for you from their messy calendar.
Even if you were to use a phone call (available during business hours), you could still wait in line before someone can attend to you. Furthermore, your call can even be missed and you might have to wait until the next business day for a response.
If your first impression flops, customer satisfaction will become steep for your business.
Here is the real deal.
Scheduling appointments online is the answer to a great first impression. No clumsy or crummy bookings. Clients will access your booking link via social media or website links anytime, anywhere – as you have your peace and mind your business.
It’s a win-win. Online appointment booking with shoulder a load of booking allowing your customers the convenience they yearn for. You only feed in your availability hours, set buffer times, and voila, appointment scheduling software will do its magic.
If you’re still stuck in the ancient booking cabin, be aware 75% of customers expect you to adopt new technologies to serve them better.
Automated appointment booking confirmations as soon as customers book an appointment will add icing on the cake. It maps professionalism in your business niche putting you a step ahead in creating a helpful professional first impression, a requisite for happy and satisfied customers.
You’ll spark confidence in your customers at the same time encourage them to commit to their appointment reducing no-shows. One stone taking care of two birds.
a. Create value in preparation for service
Before you convert that flour into tasty cookies, you knead it before slicing and pushing it into the oven. Likewise, first impressions sharpen your sales pitch. They knead customers preparing them for a great service. The customer experience from easy-peasy booking navigation will safely land your customers on your shores.
b. Are a one-shot, one-kill opportunity
One-shot, one-kill is not an exclusive reservation of Army Ranger snipers. It is also for you and even much better.
One impression, one conversion, and more leads.
No luxury time to pamper users. The competitor’s bait is dripping. Be the first to arrive at your customers, impress, win, and retain them. Online appointment reminder gives the margin to make it happen.
c. Create a positive momentum
Once you activate a positive mindset in your customers harder to reverse their decision to settle for your services. This earlier power initiates positive thoughts about your business, and, subconsciously, your service.
No doubt, first impressions last beyond the immediate moment. It’s just the beginning of the interaction with you and the primacy effect can work to your advantage. People remember the first contact more in an array of other things. Give them the right idea with online appointment booking.
Uncertainty is a thorn in the flesh, for everyone. Waiting for a response from that contact form can make customers anxious. They don’t know when they’ll receive a response and whether it will be positive. It’s even exasperating when their mail is lost in the spam folder and they have to send a follow-up mail and may never see the light of day.
Customers may be bored and utterly discontent staying longer on call as an agent, with their poor sight (on a light note) try going through a dusty diary buried in the bottom office drawer to find them a date. Even if the agent is using a computer, sometimes, it may malfunction, freeze and the customer has to wait for a fix. Sometimes customers may not even get a callback.
All these sums up to poor customer experience, consequently, diminished satisfaction.
Abolish poor communication by implementing online scheduling and reminder software.
Solutions like Appointment Reminder will let you automate the booking process. Clients will book services at your allocated time blocks. No more waiting for email responses and long phone queues. They’ll book your services at their convenience and get email, voice, or text reminders. Text reminders allow a two-way communication channel allowing you to address your customers’ concerns without breaking your neck.
Effective communication will:
a. Allow you to understand your customer’s concerns
After customers book and receive reminder prompts, they can express their concerns so you can address them accordingly before they show up for an appointment.
b. Motivate customers to turn up for their appointments
Show commitment to your customers and you’ll trigger them to commit to you. Passing information to remind customers about their upcoming appointments will not only motivate them but prove your commitment to serve. The more clients show up, the lesser the no shows.
c. Help customers show up with the required documentation
For tax professionals, financial advisors, and other service providers requiring clients to show up with some forms or documents, effective communication will allow you to pass the message in time to get customers to do adequate preparations. You can’t afford to make up for silly mistakes that could be avoided only if you were to communicate requirements.
No one takes pleasure in waiting especially when they know it avoidable. It wastes their time and could even make them miss opportunities.
Online appointment scheduling and reminder software is the king of customer flow management. It tells you the who (customer), the what (service), the when (time), and help you decide the how (means) of meeting the customer’s needs.
When customers book appointments online, it helps you plan their service since you know the kind of service they have booked. Customers can show up minutes to their appointment with the confidence that they’ll be served at their booked time.
Overall customer flow improves as there is no schedule confusion. Even if customers reschedule or cancel their appointments, the slots of other customers stay intact. If you send reminders in time, you can even have a window to allocate the reschedule and canceled time blocks to other customers without interfering with customer flow.
Remind your customers about their upcoming appointments, let them check-in in time, and you would have settled their anxiety and earned a plus in customer satisfaction.
Grouping customers is particularly important when your business offers a diverse service. It may be a bit tricky allocating resources and staff to your customers if you are in the dark concerning their exact needs and you’ll run the risk of low customer satisfaction.
Online appointment scheduling enables you to get the exact services customers are looking for and in advance. You can then determine the resources required and apportion your staff accordingly. You can ensure customers seeking a similar service don’t show up at the same without adequate staff.
We didn’t want to include canceling, but it happens in appointment booking. Customer satisfaction increase with convenience in booking your service online coupled with the ability to reschedule or cancel.
Customer satisfaction is built when customers have booking flexibility. Appointment reminder software allows you to allocate the time you are available to attend to your customers. They can then book a suitable time without interfering with their personal routines. Moreover, if an issue arises, they enjoy the ease of rescheduling, and when unavoidable they can also cancel effortlessness.
Appointment reminder software, for instance, is accessible across different devices. Your customers can book on their personal computer and catch up with reminders on their phones.
Online scheduling and reminder software help optimize appointment booking, plan resource and staff allocation, keep customers informed, and group them on their appointment booking.
Managing customer flow becomes seamless and the whole process becomes convenient for your customers improving customer satisfaction.
Customers will feel belonging. They will know your business cares and is committed to excellent service. They can even overlook some small issues, their love and loyalty for your business will grow.
In the end, your customers win and you win – you gain a competitive advantage, business thrives and revenues grow.
Try out Appointment Reminder today and let your customers access you on any device. Set your availability and let them fit in at their convenience. Personalize reminders and send them text reminders so you can reduce no shows.
Give customers the flexibility to reschedule appointments if they face an issue. Address their concerns by responding to their direct messages and get them ready for their appointments by communicating required documentation (if your business requires them).