I believe that most people will agree with the following statement – “If you make something easy for people, they are more likely to do it.”
However, it is amazing how difficult some businesses make it for customers to book their services. The following scenarios are still commonplace across a lot of industries:
The Dreaded Phone Call
You call to book an appointment and one of the following happens:
1. Nobody answers and you have to call back;
2. You are put on hold for what seems like an age (let’s not even talk about the waiting music!);
3. After waiting and explaining the time you want, you are told the slot you want is not free.
The whole thing is a complete waste of time and leaves you feeling really unsatisfied.
The Web Booking System
We all love these! First, you have to remember your username and password. Can’t remember? Time to do the old reset password email. Next step, navigate your way like Magellan through 8 pages of options and forms to select the time and service your want. You get so irritated that you stop half way through and pick up the phone to dial (Oh no, is that waiting music??).
So What’s the Alternative?
It is clear that businesses with a convenient App booking solution are winning the booking wars. I believe this is for the following reasons:
1.Customers Expect It!
Customers today expect appointment based services to have a convenient booking app. Customers are more savy today than ever, they have seen and used your competitors Apps or similar apps in other industries. They are frustrated that you do not have an App and will eventually leave you.
For people leading busy lives, it is so much easier to just take out their phone, do a quick search on an App and book a slot in a couple of clicks. Plus you are always logged into an App. A good App should always store your customer’s details and payment information so it removes the pain point of logins, reset passwords etc.
If you are on a waiting or cancellation list, an App can provide an instant notification to a smart phone which a customer is more likely to see. Not an email sitting in your customer’s inbox that they may not see until after the appointment has taken place. This results in less lost revenue!
4. Mobile Payments
A Mobile App allows your customers to pay for your services in advance or to purchase a series of appointments all from the convenience of their phone. A recent worldwide study found that 83% of respondents intend to carry out mobile commerce in the next 12 months.
A good idea is to score yourself out of ten based on how easy it is for your customers to book and pay for your services. If you don’t score yourself at least a 9, you are in trouble because a lot of your competitors are 9s and even 10s (and they almost certainly have an App!)