As the world is getting used to the new normal due to the COVID-19 pandemic, product and service providers are slowly opening up their businesses as and when the restrictions are being relaxed. Once the restrictions start to ease, every business can expect a good footfall, and some might see a sudden spike as the demands of the consumers have been on hold for quite some time.

While businesses will be glad to reopen to good footfalls, they need to maintain social distancing and follow safety standards as suggested by the government. This is why advance planning and adjustments play an important role, and efficient appointment scheduling software can help your business get adjusted to the new normal.

So, what is appointment scheduling software? Let us learn about it, its functions, and the benefits it offers briefly.

Appointment scheduling software- What is it

As the name suggests, the key role of appointment scheduling software is to schedule customer appointments and keep good control over the arrival flow. Service providers can easily manage their appointments and keep a track of future schedules using this software. Some of the common features of appointment scheduling software are as follows.

– Booking online via internet/browser
– Booking via a mobile application
– Easy to use user interface
– An option to make online payments
– Accept, cancel or change the scheduled appointments
– Provide gift cards or discounts
– Communicate with the customers/clients using the chat option provided in the dashboard

Large organizations or hospitals can seamlessly integrate the appointment scheduling software with their internal queue management system to provide in-person visits without any waiting.

How does it work?

While there are various ways in which the software can work, the most common appointment booking systems work in the same way. Some of the common steps are mentioned below.

– The client or the customer makes an appointment online or via the mobile application. The customer can easily choose the service required, a branch or a staff/doctor, and the timings. Once it is all available, the booking of the customer gets confirmed.

– Once the appointment date gets closer, the customer receives an SMS as a reminder, with the details.

– The customer can accept and confirm, cancel, or even change the schedule or the staff, etc.

– Once confirmed, the customer visits the location (if it is in-person) or logs online (for virtual appointments/classes) using the link provided.

– During an in-person appointment, the customer need not visit the premises until their appointment time.

– Once it is time, the customer is called in, and he/she receives the service

The benefits of appointment scheduling software

Using appointment scheduling software can provide your organizations or businesses and their clients/customers with many advantages. A few of them are listed below.

– Reduces the overall wait time of the customer
– Seamless integrations to a website or social media platforms for bookings
– Offers flexibility and provides a great experience to customers.
– A good customer experience helps retain old clients and brings in new ones
– Provides good control over the footfall and arrival flow
– The service requests from the customers can be easily matched with the staff availability and their competency

Appointment scheduling software and social distancing

If you are one of those who have reopened your business and are experiencing a good footfall, you need to make good use of appointment scheduling software to ensure social distancing.

This is one of the simplest ways to reduce the wait time of the customers, and they can only enter the premises once it is their turn. Businesses can brief their customers to arrive a few minutes before their appointment time, which in turn prevents crowding at the store/office and even in the parking area.

By using appointment scheduling software, a business can control the flow of customers, and reduce the risk of unexpected crowding.

The sectors that benefit from appointment scheduling software

During an environment like Covid-19, many sectors can benefit from using the appointment scheduling software. Mentioned below are a few examples of the same.

Healthcare sector

Healthcare sectors are experiencing a major increase due to the pandemic, and the use of patient scheduling software can relieve some stress. Regular patient appointments can be scheduled in advance, which enables proper resource allocation, and reduces the wait time.

Most of the hospitals/doctors are also making use of appointment scheduling software to schedule online appointments, in-person visits, vaccinations, etc.

In government offices

The appointment scheduling software can also be used in various government organizations like immigration offices, pension offices, road transport offices, etc. As most of the services were put on hold for a long duration, they can expect a sudden increase in demand once they start operating with a full staff.

Appointment schedule softwares can be used to organize the appointments and prioritize those that are important. The appointment slots can be opened or blocked at any given point in time, giving an option to control the number of people present on the premises.

Retail

Malls, supermarkets, and other retail stores can limit the number of people entering the store at a given point of time with the use of appointment scheduling softwares. This enables the stores to adhere to the social distancing norms as well.

Banks and financial institutions

Providing an option to book a schedule online to complete a financial task at a bank or any other financial institution, not only saves time but reduces crowds as well. Limiting the number of people in an indoor location keeps the premises safe, and is good for both the employees and the customers.

Now that you know what appointment, scheduling software is and the benefits it provides, it is time you find an efficient one and start using it for your business. Well, your customers will for sure love the experience!