Quickly and easily booking an appointment with the businesses they use most is becoming a customer expectation. You want your business to be ready to meet this need with efficient appointment scheduling tools. Having the right tools in place means your company can connect and communicate with your customers when they need it most. Happy customers getting the experience they want from your business means you can scale faster and more profitably.
Meeting scheduling tools should make it easy for businesses to connect with customers and prospects throughout their entire journey. However, not all scheduling platforms are created equal and often are missing core features as they are used differently across industries. As you consider meeting scheduling for large and enterprise-level businesses there are many features to keep in mind. For this group, the free meeting scheduler options just aren’t the right fit. A more advanced scheduling tool is needed for the mission critical positive customer experience needed. This is especially true when dealing with a large volume of meetings across several locations and different departments.
What Are Scheduling Tools?
Scheduling tools are anything you use to put a meeting on the calendar. The most basic scheduling tool would be manually inputting meetings from email or call center communication. But this kind of time-intensive scheduling breaks down quickly when you try to scale it for a large business. Enterprises need to schedule many appointments for a vast number of clients, all of whom need to speak to different employees about their specific needs.
A basic meeting scheduler is a solution that many businesses start with to allow their clients to book appointments. However, as a business grows, the limited functionality of these basic calendaring tools breaks down. Part of the reason basic schedulers break down is because businesses need a solution that meets the complex needs of a large business, and functions for all the ways they will be used.
How Do You Use Scheduling Tools?
At the enterprise level, scheduling tools need to be used strategically to make sure customers stay happy and staff is able to use their time most effectively. Some examples of how large companies use tools to schedule meetings include:
- A consumer bank’s website has multiple “Book Now” buttons on various pages, one for help with mortgages, one for opening a new account, and one for business banking. They use their scheduling tools to book a meeting with the right team member, depending on each appointment type the customer selects.
- A financial services provider puts a single “Book Now” button on their website, and directs all interested clients to schedule a time to talk about their needs. Once a client clicks, they are prompted to fill out a short form about what they want to discuss. They need a scheduling tool that can use the selected responses to make an appointment with the correct team member to address their individual needs.
- An electronics retail store has “Book Now” options on their website and social media channels so customers can schedule time with an in-store expert to answer their questions and help with higher-value products and services when they arrive at a physical store location. They need a tool that will geo-locate the consumer and give them locations near them to make an appointment with the appropriate staff member in the right store.
What Is the Best Scheduling Tool?
Deciding which scheduling tool is best depends on your organization’s unique needs. For large businesses or growing businesses that need scalable tools, a full-service scheduling management platform, like Engageware, will provide the best long-term solution. Many small companies start with a free online scheduling tool and need to upgrade to a professional solution, wasting valuable time and energy trying to make an inferior product do something it wasn’t intended to.
To make sure you have a scheduling tool that will provide real value, you should look for one that offers:
- Advanced Calendar Integration – Seamlessly integrate with many different virtual calendars, time-zones and online meeting platforms. Two-way integration with employees personal calendars means much less chance of double booking and missed appointments.
- Security – Protect the highly sensitive information that’s provided during the booking process. A data breach is dangerous to your customers and to your business reputation, so investing in a meeting scheduling tool that puts security as a top priority is a must.
- Scalability – Customize options as your business grows. A meeting scheduling tool that directs clients to the staff member that is best equipped to assist is crucial when businesses reach a certain size. Options for integrated queue and lobby management are also needed to ensure in-person customers receive quick and effective assistance.
- CRM Integration – Schedule meetings with existing or prospective customers in a way that integrates with your CRM platform. This lets you seamlessly manage personalized high touch relationships easily. Better CRM drives more qualified leads, expedites sales, increases your pipeline, and keeps existing customers happier.
- Reporting and Analytics – Visualize your company’s performance trends using meeting data. A meeting scheduler that offers advanced and customizable data filtering can highlight revenue opportunities and help increase effectiveness. Understanding which meeting types correlate with closed sales allows you to make the best use of staff time and company budget.
- Multi Person Meeting Scheduling – Simplify booking group meetings by showing attendees a calendar with only times that everyone is available. This offers the best way to schedule a meeting with multiple attendees that is a more streamlined version of a scheduling poll.
Which Tool Is Used to Schedule Meetings?
Whichever of the meeting scheduling tool options you choose, it’s important to consider your customer and the type of meeting being set up. Let’s explore a few examples of how customers have successfully used the complete scheduling platform offered by Engageware to solve their scheduling pain points.
3Rivers Credit Union
This community oriented, popular credit union operates 16 branches with over 340 employees serving more than 80,000 members. Before they began using a dedicated meeting scheduler, their members did not have the option of booking an appointment to discuss their finances. They would simply come into a branch and wait for a staff member to become available. This system was causing frustration for members, who sometimes had wait times over an hour. It also made it difficult for 3Rivers to best staff each branch, since they weren’t able to effectively track which services were most needed at individual branches.
Engageware allowed the credit union members to easily schedule appointments for business accounts, commercial loans, personal savings, and more. It also automatically paired the member with a team member best able to help, at the location most convenient for the customer. The Reserve with Google feature meant members could even schedule a meeting straight from a Google Search or Google Maps, reducing conversion steps and increasing client satisfaction.
South Carolina Federal Credit Union
This full range, non-profit credit union has 20 locations and has been serving their community for over 85 years. They were getting member feedback that waiting times to speak with representatives were too long. SCFCU was also hearing that their traveling specialist representatives weren’t easy to meet with, as they weren’t available at specific branches at predictable times.
Engageware’s Intelligent Appointment Scheduling system was implemented and able to solve both problems. Members were directed to book specific appointment times with representatives, so there was no waiting when they arrived. And scheduling a meeting with an expert in the area of a particular financial need meant there were no more members struggling to find the right representative to help at their preferred branch.
Engageware: The Only Meeting Scheduling Tool You Need
When you’re a successful business, you need a powerful tool to schedule meetings with your existing clients and attract new ones. This isn’t the time to try and piece together a barely good enough solution. It’s a chance to invest in a top-of-the-line appointment scheduling platform that will scale with your business and fully support your customers.
Book a call now to talk about how Engageware can help you reach your goals.