Appointment scheduling software is an incredibly useful and versatile tool for retailers, and can power a number of engaging customer use cases.
As the pandemic has been quick to prove, customers like the option of being able to book appointments in advance, and with the right software in place, it is easy to keep these customers engaged throughout their journey.
Here are seven use cases for how an appointment booking system can work in-store:
1) In-store services
Many leading retailers have been quick to recognize just how powerful in-store experiences can be – beauty and make-up tutorials, personal styling sessions or one-to-one customer support services are incredibly effective at drawing customers into stores and build brand relationships.
For instance, prior to the pandemic, cosmetics and skincare retailer, L’Occitane, offered its customers the ability to book appointments at its Hand Care Bar or for beauty rituals, and the service was a huge hit.
Customers can sign up to these experiences online through the website by choosing a time and date that suits them, and are kept engaged throughout their customer journey with regular SMS and email notifications.
2) Premium shopping experiences
A similar approach can be used for in-store premium shopping experiences. An online appointment booking system can help customers wanting additional support can easily receive it – or you could roll out a special service to your VIP customers or those with a loyalty card.
Nike offer a great example of this in its NikeTown stores, where customers wanting to buy a specific product in-store can book an appointment at the store, and visit the NikeTown Express Shop desk to have a store associate quickly retrieve the items, saving customers time and keeping them safe during the pandemic.
3) Store visits
During Covid-19, where retailers are required to limit the number of customers in-store to allow for social distancing, appointment scheduling software has proved especially valuable.
Retailers can create safe and engaging customer journeys by allowing customers to book appointments to enter stores in advance.
After the pandemic, this experience may still prove useful for managing the number of customers allowed in stores or within sections of stores.
4) Curbside collection services
Curbside collection has skyrocketed as a direct result of the pandemic – but that’s not why customers are obsessed with it. They love it because it’s easy, efficient and convenient.
In fact, 68% of US shoppers say that they are going to make more use of drive-up curbside collection facilities at stores in the future, according to GlobalData, and almost 60% say they will make greater use of collect from inside store services.
Curbside collection can be powered by a virtual wait line system – where customers arrive any time they wish to collect their order and enter into a virtual line that updates them when it is time to collect their order. Another popular alternative is to allow customers to select a time in advance to collect their online orders from a store.
5) Online appointments for personal shopping
When the lockdown first took place, there was a wave of customers wanting virtual services while their stores were closed. According to a Qudini survey, 45% of customers would appreciate it from retail stores.
As a result, many brands started offering online one-to-one styling advice, or make-up tutorials, or live-streaming inside their stores. Soon afterwards many brands started to realize that there was not only a strong demand from customers – they found that they could connect with new audiences entirely.
6) Online appointments for technical support
Many retailers are also giving their customers the ability to connect with tech experts over video calls for online device repairs and support.
For instance, Samsung uses appointment scheduling services for virtual appointments with its technical experts for device, app features and support optimisation.
7) Webinars and events
Another great use case for appointment scheduling software is for events and webinars. Customers can sign up to an in-person event or a virtual event by simply clicking on the time-slot and completing some basic information. Retailers then have full visibility over the number of attendees and seamlessly sync those contacts into their post-event and after-sales processes. During Covid-19, virtual events have proven particular popular – that’s why Qudini has integrated with Zoom, creating a seamless customer journey.
A great example of this comes from retail bank NatWest, and its digital lessons. Using the Qudini Event Booking Software, the team have rolled out ‘digital lessons’ where customers can book a place in a fixed class event to learn how to use online and mobile banking channels in the absence of visiting branches during the pandemic.
NatWest’s ‘digital lessons’ proved particular popular during the pandemic.
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