We’re now Qudini by Verint, the Customer Engagement Platform! Learn how to drive sales, increase customer loyalty and get the most out of your teams with our game-changing Retail Choreography software solutions.

 

We’re delighted to announced that Qudini has officially been acquired by Verint, the Customer Engagement Company!

Want to catch-up at NRF’s Big Show in New York City this January?

Do you know how you’re going to stay relevant and profitable during the recession?

Peak season is just around the corner!

Have you thought about how you’re going to manage peak season traffic this winter?

New best practice guide

Our new best practice guide explains how Appointment Booking Landing pages will drive traffic to your in-store and virtual appointment services.

Latest consumer survey report

Our latest consumer survey report shows which types of retail stores and banks customers want to be able to schedule appointments within…

Recent consumer survey report

Our recent consumer survey report shows how the pandemic has changed consumer shopping habits and which habits will be here to stay…

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The Advantages and Disadvantages of an Online Booking System

by Sam Osbourne

Appointment Booking Software has become a highly sought after Customer Experience Management (CEM) tool across retail and banking. It has the ability to drive traffic to stores and online channels, and to better manage customer footfall by staggering visits throughout the day.

According to Business Wire, the Scheduling Software market is forecast to grow at a CAGR of nearly 19% between 2021 and 2025. But what are the benefits of Online Scheduling Systems for retailers wanting to implement them across their store portfolio? Are there any disadvantages of computerized Appointment Systems?

Before we get into the nitty-gritty,  let’s take a look at what an Online Scheduling System is. 

 

What is an Online Booking System?

An Online Booking System is a software application that allows customers to easily schedule an appointment by selecting a convenient time-slot. Alternatively, customers can book appointments in-person through a customer representative or make a booking using a self-service kiosk. 

Common uses of Scheduling Software include bookings for: 

 

Benefits of Scheduling Software

There are multitude of benefits to using a computerized Appointment System, including:

1. Higher foot traffic

2. Increase in sales

3. Staggering customer visits

4. Strengthening customer relationships

5. Better preparation for customer visits

6. Removes the strain of phone booking systems

 

1. Driving more footfall traffic to stores

In today’s ecommerce environment, convincing customers to take a trip down to your store instead isn’t always easy. Fortunately, offering appointments via an Scheduling App for in-store services or events is a great way to drive more traffic to your stores. 

After all, shoppers spend more and are more engaged with your brand in-store than online – especially those with an appointment. You can also use a Booking system to promote your in-store services and create more customer demand. 

 

2. Increasing sales

An Online Scheduling System helps retailers to increase profitability by enabling customers to easily book appointments with sales associates. Instead of visiting a crowded store and trying to fight for the attention of a consultant, appointment customers enjoy guaranteed face time. This ensures they receive the advice or support they’re looking for, making them more likely to convert. 

Moreover, store managers can pair customers up with the most relevant sales associates based on the needs highlighted in the booking process. This further drives conversion because your customers are always speaking to the best associate at the right time. 

 

3. Staggering customer visits

One of the problems many retailers face is having customers visit for in-store services during peak times. Not only does this create a hectic store environment, it also means your store associates have little to do for the rest of the day. 

Essentially, a Scheduling System allows you to decrease store associate dwell time by staggering these visits throughout the day. In turn, this creates a more pleasant and relaxing store environment for both the customer and your staff.

 

4. Building stronger relationships

Instead of simply focusing on increasing sales figures, many retailers are trying to build stronger customer relationships. According to Deloitte’s 2022 survey, 44% of executives will be investing in omnichannel experiences to help customers feel more connected to their brand. 

Allowing customers to book appointments with store associates is a great way to connect with customers and establish long-lasting relationships. You can showcase your product expertise, provide an efficient, engaging, tech-driven experience and keep them informed throughout the process. 

 

5. Preparing for customer visits in advance

A Scheduling System also comes with the benefit of allowing stores to properly prepare for customer visits in advance. Store associates hosting in-store or online bookings can make preparations to ensure they have the relevant information to hand and can counter any questions the customer might have.

Store managers can also see how many customers with bookings are coming into the store on any given day and make arrangements for additional team members to come in if required. 

For Buy Online Pickup In-store (BOPIS) orders, store associates can even prepare orders in advance to ensure a speedy pickup process. 

 

6. Removes the strain of phone booking systems

Typically, Digital Appointment Systems are better than phone booking systems because customers don’t need to wait for your team to confirm their booking. Instead, they can see available time slots at your store, choose a service and complete their booking in a matter of seconds. 

By contrast, your store team has to put up with endless calls during office hours to organize customer bookings. If more than one customer calls at the same time, you’re creating a traffic jam that will deter customers from making an appointment. 

Ultimately, a Booking App can streamline your scheduling process, make your store team far more productive and create a better customer experience. 

 

 

Disadvantages of Scheduling Software

In all honesty, there aren’t many disadvantages per se of using an Online Booking system. 

However, you should be aware of the following things: 

1. You need digital expertise and internet access

2. Store associates need to get on board

3. Promotion is key

 

1. You need digital expertise and internet access

While the vast majority of consumers are tech-savvy and have internet access on their phones, a small percentage still don’t. Launching an Appointment Booking System across your store portfolio could therefore mean alienating some consumers.

The silver lining is that the best Appointment Scheduling Systems allow customers to sign up for appointments in a multitude of ways. For example, customers can book an appointment through your website, app and social media pages. Alternatively, customers who aren’t tech-savvy can book an appointment through one of your store associates or through your call center.

 

2. Store associates need to get on board

Another potential disadvantage of an Online Booking System is that your store associates need to actively use the platform. This may prove challenging if they are not properly onboarded, trained to use the system or convinced of its potential benefits.

A thorough, engaging and informative onboarding process across your store portfolio is therefore highly recommended. 

At Qudini, we take the time to train store associates on the benefits of using our software, and most become experts within half a day. This has a huge impact on the internal adoption of the technology and increases usage and sales figures as a result.

 

3. Promotion is key

We’ve already highlighted the perks of an Online Booking System, but these perks only come into fruition if you actively promote your booking service across a range of services.

We recommend promoting your new system across your online channels, inside your stores or shop fronts and using outdoor and print advertising.

 

Guide: How to promote your appointment booking service

 

How to choose the right provider

If you don’t know where to start to find the best Appointment Scheduling Software, make sure you: 

Fortunately, we’ve done most of the hard work for you. Check out our comprehensive list of the best Online Booking Systems for:

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A member of our team will be in touch.

We’re now Qudini by Verint, the Customer Engagement Platform! Learn how to drive sales, increase customer loyalty and get the most out of your teams with our game-changing Retail Choreography software solutions.

 

We’re delighted to announced that Qudini has officially been acquired by Verint, the Customer Engagement Company!

Want to catch-up at NRF’s Big Show in New York City this January?

Do you know how you’re going to stay relevant and profitable during the recession?

Peak season is just around the corner!

Have you thought about how you’re going to manage peak season traffic this winter?

New best practice guide

Our new best practice guide explains how Appointment Booking Landing pages will drive traffic to your in-store and virtual appointment services.

Latest consumer survey report

Our latest consumer survey report shows which types of retail stores and banks customers want to be able to schedule appointments within…

Recent consumer survey report

Our recent consumer survey report shows how the pandemic has changed consumer shopping habits and which habits will be here to stay…

Upcoming Webinar

Our Upcoming Webinar will present consumer insights on how the pandemic has changed consumer shopping habits. Sign-up below for Tuesday October 12th (2pm ET | 11am PT).