Turn interest into action across every channel
Make it easy for your prospects and customers to connect with you at their point of peak interest. With Engageware’s user-friendly, intuitive scheduler, customers can connect to the resources they need at the time and location that suits them. By adding conversational AI, you can seamlessly serve up appointment options for users with complex or high value inquiries.
✓ Book appointments across multiple channels
✓ Get more high-value appointments
✓ Increase the efficiency of your operations
Match your resources with customer expectations
Ensure the unique requirements of every appointment request are routed to the team members and resources that can best help your customer.
✓ Answer questions and solve problems faster
✓ Compile locations, skills and availability on one calendar
✓ Improve every stage of the customer journey
Increase show rates and engage customers
Engageware’s text and email notifications increase the chances that your prospects and customers will show for their appointments and makes it easy for them to reschedule if necessary. Your team members are properly prepared, availability times are accounted for and moved automatically – and you connect with as many prospects and customers as possible without wasting a minute.
Stay Connected, wherever you are.
Engageware’s Scheduler platform makes it easy for your users to connect virtually with customers, prospects, and colleagues. With support for personal meeting links and integrations with providers such as Vidyo, Zoom, WebEx, GoToMeeting, POP I/O, Join.me, Google Hangouts, Invo Video Banking and Microsoft Teams. Engageware Scheduler allows administrators to create virtual appointment types, independent of locations, that allow staff from call centers or remote locations host virtual meetings by phone or video conference.
Intelligent appointment scheduling that
drives measurable growth for your business
Engageware’s online scheduling solutions help you create personalized, high-value interactions that connect prospects and customers with the right person in your organization at the peak of their interest.
Engageware Appointment Scheduling has enabled Logix to better meet the needs of our growing member base, provide a higher level of service to them, and produce more new accounts and loans, through our existing cost structure.
Senior Vice President Sales & Retail Banking
How do you schedule appointments with clients? How do you manage client appointments throughout the entire process? There is probably room for improvement, but especially for enterprise and large businesses with a high volume of appointments, it’s easy to get stuck with a solution that’s just okay. But okay doesn’t cut it anymore—the events of 2020 have shifted customer expectations and highlighted the importance of a streamlined, efficient digital experience. It’s time to take a closer look at your appointment scheduling solution to ensure that your digital tools meet (and hopefully exceed) your customers’ expectations.
Why Is Online Appointment Scheduling Important?
First and foremost, the ability to schedule an appointment online has become a default from the customer’s point of view. Nearly everyone is connected to the internet during their daily life, via mobile, a tablet, or a laptop, and being able to book appointments online is seen as a fundamental requirement for all types of businesses in the new appointment economy.
However, giving customers the ability to schedule appointments online is more than just a practical function. It’s about connecting and communicating with your customers efficiently while delivering a great customer experience across every channel. A great online appointment scheduling experience supports customers before, during, and after the appointment, engaging them effectively and fostering a strong relationship.
In general, having a positive appointment scheduling experience has two major benefits:
- You’ll have happier customers who can get connected to the right resource they need at a time and location that best suit them.
- You’ll have happier employees who can fully prepare and access the information they need to assist.
When using the right appointment scheduling tool for your business, you’ll discover specific benefits like:
1. Better customer experience and satisfaction
When customers book an appointment to visit your location, they’ll be matched with the employee best qualified to serve them. This ensures a great customer experience and the personalized attention your customers demand.
2. 24/7 omnichannel coverage
There are many ways that your customers can come to you, and the best tools cover them all. You’ll be able to connect with customers across every channel by driving conversations and converting interest into action. For example, Engageware includes a simple, intuitive appointment booking link via mobile devices, search, email, web, and even customer-facing apps.
3. Increased employee productivity
Imagine trying to schedule an afternoon of appointments without an interactive tool. Remember how many back-and-forth emails and phone calls it takes? Appointment scheduling software like Engageware eliminates those pain points, freeing up employee time to focus on what really matters—serving your customers.
For the managerial level, appointment scheduling tools can help identify trends with customer scheduling preferences, including preferred days and times to ensure that locations are properly staffed to meet expected customer demand.
4. Improved insights on next best actions
Gain valuable insights to help you and your team optimize your marketing spending, plan resources, achieve positive experiences for your customers, and profitable outcomes for your business.
5. Reduced no-shows
Text and email notifications increase the chances that your prospects and customers will show up for their appointments and makes it easy for them to reschedule if necessary.
6. Revenue growth
Ultimately, your customer appointments create conversations that drive growth and profitability. With the right tool, you’ll convert more web and mobile searches to scheduled appointments and capture more high-value appointments. Engageware drives personalized, high-value interactions that connect prospects and customers with the right person in your organization at the peak of their interest.
What Software Do Companies Use for Scheduling?
There are many different software solutions to help companies schedule appointments. Scheduling software can range from a simple spreadsheet to a sophisticated appointment booking system. With a multitude of options, rather than listing each one individually, it’s more valuable to look at how to evaluate a solution.
When looking for appointment scheduling software, there are the top ten questions to consider:
- How sophisticated of a solution do you need?
Odds are, if you are at the point where you’re investing in or upgrading your appointment scheduling software, you’ll want one that can scale with your business. Be sure to think about what capabilities are a must-have and which are nice-to-have. It’s also appropriate to consider if the solution is highly configurable and secure in addition to your budget.
- How easy is it to use?
Ease of use isn’t just on the employee’s side. Whichever solution you select should be intuitive for the customer as well. Look for an appointment scheduling system that is simple to use without sacrificing functionality.
- How does the system handle roles, permissions, and employee profiles?
Every employee needs to have their own unique settings to make sure that customers are booking with the right person. It’s vital to be able to define each employee’s location, availability, and other business rules, as well as having the ability to set how appointments should be assigned when more than one employee is available.
- How are appointment types defined?
Every industry has different needs, and some use specific methods of scheduling or have a variety of appointment types to suit their clients. Look for a solution that allows you to define appointment type attributes flexibly.
- How does the solution help with customer flow and queue management?
Consider what types of capabilities are available to help staff assist customers at your locations? For example, you may want to ask about functions like:
- The ability to accommodate walk-in customers
- Status settings for appointments and if they can be actively managed (like “check-in, start, in-progress, complete”)
- Estimated wait times that are automatically calculated based on historical data
- Customer self-service capabilities like being able to check in at an on-location kiosk
- Functionality to easily book future appointments for customers at different departments and locations
These are just a few examples of how a scheduling system can help with customer flow and queue management, and a great solution will include all of these and more.
- How much monitoring and reporting is built in?
Consider the analytics that are offered. It’s important to have comprehensive monitoring and reporting tools included in the solution. This gives management the ability to collect vital metrics, analyze operational efficiencies, generate real-time information, and access the reports they need, when they need them.
- How can customers interact with the system?
In today’s world, there are so many different channels that a customer can come to you from. Whether they are booking on their mobile device, clicking a button on social media, scheduling from Google search results, or using a chatbot on your website, your appointment scheduler needs to handle self-service booking across every channel. In addition, having capabilities like adding appointments to a personal calendar, being able to log-in to reschedule or cancel, having a variety of field types to be able to enter all the required and optional information…these tools help customers have a smooth, positive experience.
- How are customers supported throughout the appointment process?
Does the solution provide options like email and text reminders before the appointment? A great system will even include the ability to customize messages and send follow ups to help customers feel supported from start to finish.
- How will this solution integrate with your existing tech stack?
It’s important to make sure that your appointment scheduling software will “play nice” with your CRM and calendar solutions like Microsoft Exchange and Google Calendar. Be sure to ask if there are packaged integrations available and, if so, what solutions are supported.
- How secure is the appointment scheduling system?
Your appointment scheduler will inevitably contain a lot of sensitive information about your customers. With that in mind, it’s necessary to ask about end-user access controls like user authentication or password security controls. In addition, be sure to inquire about how they host and secure information (including disaster recovery policies). Do they conduct regular SOC II type 2 audits on their hosting service? How often do they take backups, where do they store them, and are they encrypted prior to transmission? These are just a few of the important questions to ask.
As you can see, there’s a lot to consider when selecting the right scheduling software for your business, and this list of ten questions barely scratches the surface. For additional questions, you can download our eBook that will help you evaluate your options so you can make an informed decision about your appointment scheduling vendor.
The last thing to consider when selecting software for your appointment scheduling needs is simple—is the vendor a true partner and a company that you want to work with? Are they providing you with great support and customer service? Are they engaged in the process, listening to your needs and responding to your concerns? Will they be there to support you through the implementation process? You’re making a significant investment, and you deserve a vendor who has exceptional customer service.
The three most common types of scheduling methods are time slot scheduling, wave scheduling, and open booking.
1. Time Slot Scheduling
Also known as stream scheduling, this is the most common scheduling method that most people are familiar with. Clients are able to view a list of available time slots, pick the time that works best for them, fill out details for the appointment, and receive a confirmation by email or text message. Double scheduling is a modification to this method where the business can choose to schedule two appointments into the same time slot. This allows the ability to accommodate customers with urgent needs, especially when a schedule is full.
The benefits of time slot scheduling are clear—the business can easily set the appointment availability and clients can simply select a convenient time. However, if clients arrive late or an appointment runs over, this can impact the following appointments in a negative way.
2. Wave Scheduling
This type of scheduling method gives a group of customers the same arrival time, usually at the top or bottom of the hour, and then accommodates them in the order they arrive. Another version is the modified wave scheduling, where a group of appointments is scheduled at the top of the hour with single appointments every 10 to 20 minutes throughout the rest of the hour. Wave scheduling is very flexible and adaptable but could lead to customers leaving if there aren’t enough consultants available at the time they arrive.
3. Open Booking
Also called tidal wave scheduling, open booking is a method where clients are given a window of time to come in. For example, there may be a time range like 10 am to 12 pm where clients can arrive at any time and will be helped in the order of their arrival.
This type of booking doesn’t require much administrative work and is highly flexible. The downside is that it can be difficult to forecast traffic, leading to difficulties with appropriate staffing. Additionally, it is possible for clients to arrive close together, leading to long wait times.
While there are a few other methods, these 3 types of appointments are the most common strategies when booking clients.
What Is the Best Appointment Scheduling Type by Industry?
As you can see, business appointment scheduling type can vary quite a bit. Depending on your industry, you may find one method or a combination of methods that suits your business best.
For example, for financial appointment scheduling, it probably wouldn’t work well to use wave scheduling or modified wave scheduling. As a financial advisor, you want to make sure each client is given individual attention and can easily book times with their advisor (rather than being randomly assigned to a resource pool of available employees). On the other hand, in the consumer retail industry, wave scheduling and modified wave scheduling often work well.
No matter what method you select, it’s vital to find the software that can work with your industry and tailor the solution to suit it. Here at Engageware, we work closely with retail banks, credit unions, financial advisors, and specialty retailers to help them become more efficient, improve customer experience, and grow faster. In fact, we’ve seen such positive results that we wanted to share some insights about appointment scheduling in each of these industries:
We’ve seen it repeatedly—using Engageware for appointment scheduling helps create personalized, high-value customer experiences. With the ability to deliver intuitive, customizable, and convenient pathways for both customers and employees, Engageware’s appointment scheduling is a powerful tool to drive meaningful conversations. Our retail bank partners have seen great results, like Regions Bank, which experienced a 30% increase in booked appointments with Engageware.
At Engageware, we bring technology and your members together, creating a complete ecosystem to help improve member engagement and experience. For over 20 years, we’ve partnered with 200+ leading credit unions to help them to reach their goals. With functions like booking appointments directly from Google Search and Google Maps or matching member appointments to the right employees, our comprehensive appointment scheduling solution is fully customizable to suit your unique requirements.
Financial services is all about harnessing the power of personalized conversations. With Engageware, you’ll have the tools you need to cultivate happy clients and provide a superior client experience. Seamless CRM integration, improved advisor productivity, increased meetings and show rates, and the ability to scale and grow—are just a few of the benefits we’ve seen with our financial services partners.
With Engageware, you’ll be able to capture untapped sales through virtual and in-store appointment scheduling. We work with some of the world’s largest retail brands, navigating through unique and complex requirements to provide superior appointment scheduling and queue management. With smart scheduling options that help improve efficiency and create a seamless customer journey, you’ll have access to a powerful and flexible solution that can easily be customized. In short, we help retail brands get groundbreaking results—our retail partners have seen 150% ROI from increased appointments scheduled, appointment show rates, and revenue per appointment.
The best way to keep track of your business appointments is to use a solution with comprehensive measuring and reporting tools. It’s easy to forget about the analytical side of appointment scheduling, but this is one of the most important parts of the entire process. Keeping track of your appointments allows you to identify areas for improvement as well as positive trends that you can encourage at every location.
Metrics that are important to examine include:
This metric helps you understand the flow of clients through each location. Understanding appointment volume can help with need-based scheduling of staff.
Customer Show Rates
Tracking show rates can help highlight opportunities for improvement, like sending a customized appointment reminder.
Customer Wait Times
It’s important to understand the customer experience and minimize pain points.
Scheduled vs. Actual Interaction Time
This metric helps you adjust appointment timing and keep clients flowing smoothly.
Appointment Lead Time
Looking at how far in advance appointments are scheduled can help you understand your customer’s journey better.
Appointment Completion Rates
With this metric, you can set appropriate goals for your team.
Understanding the percentage of employees who are occupied and free to help at any given time can help with appropriate staffing so that you’re not under- or over-staffing a location.
Popular locations can point to issues with resource allocation.
Examining the most common types of appointments can help you understand your customers and tailor their experiences to their individual needs.
Looking at team members who have excellent numbers provides a great opportunity for employee recognition and provides an outstanding example for other employees to model.
Appointment Origination Channel
This metric can help you finetune your marketing efforts.
All of these metrics and more help teams make decisions that are rooted in data—from measuring the effectiveness of marketing campaigns to analyzing the quality of customer interactions.
At Engageware, we know that the best online booking system is one that helps you create high value interactions that connect the customer to the right person at the right time. Our appointment scheduling solution is focused on building stronger relationships through customizable features and core capabilities like:
- Omnichannel scheduling to connect customers at their moment of peak interest wherever they may be.
- Smart resource matching and appointment routing that ensure each appointment request is sent to the appropriate team member and includes the best resources.
- Pooled resource management that maximizes appointment availability by dynamically publishing employee availability in one easy-to-read calendar.
- 1-on-1 and team meeting capabilities for simple team scheduling and personal calendar sync to stay up-to-date with your teams’ personal calendars.
- Custom availability with offerings like fully open availability, rolling availability, a set date range, or choosing specific dates and times.
- Configurable rules like easy to implement business rules, timeframes, and appointment limits that give you the control you need.
- Automated reminders that help reduce no-show rates and ensure customer satisfaction with customized post-appointment follow-ups.
- Web/video conferencing with unique, private web conference meetings created automatically for each appointment type from integrations such as Vidyo, Zoom, WebEx, GoToMeeting, POP I/O, Join.me, Google Hangouts, Invo Video Banking and Microsoft Teams.
- Reporting and analytics that provide clear insights for making data-informed decisions to help you and your team optimize your marketing efforts, plan resources, achieve positive experiences for your customers, and profitable outcomes for your business.
- CRM connector that captures all of the data during the booking process so you can see the impact your appointments have on your sales funnel into your CRM.
Ready to start enabling, empowering, and engaging your customers and employees? Schedule a time to learn more about Engageware appointment scheduling.