How to choose the best appointment scheduling software

Imogen Wethered
by Imogen Wethered

Appointment scheduling software is a digital software that allows organizations such as retailers and banks to let customers make appointments for in-store or online services with store associates in advance. Customers can book an appointment through your website, app or over the phone, and receive regular notifications and reminder messages before their appointment takes place.

Appointment booking software not only helps retail brands and other organizations to create a faster and more enjoyable customer experience, it also increases store footfall and customer conversion rates, and improves staff productivity. 

We have pulled together a comprehensive guide retailers and other organizations can use to select the best online appointment software for their business needs.

How appointment booking software can help during Covid-19

As a result of Covid-19, many retailers and other organizations are using booking software to manage customers coming into stores, and to reduce the time customers spend in-store. Instead of asking customers to line up in queues or take appointments over the phone, retailers and other organizations can use a booking app to allow customers to make appointments in advance.

This means customers can make an appointment through your website, app or over the phone, and arrive at your store at the time-slot they selected without waiting to enter.

Many retailers are currently using appointment scheduling software alongside queue management systems to manage walk-in customers wanting to enter the store or to sign up for in-store services.

Find out how Brown Thomas use time-slot scheduling.

Brown Thomas allow customers to book time-slots to enter stores during Covid-19.

Key benefits of appointment scheduling software 

There are a number of benefits to incorporating a booking system into your store or business, including:

And, during Covid-19, additional benefits include:

Find out more benefits of appointment booking software

5 things to consider before choosing an appointment booking software provider

1) Understand your customer journey

When implementing a booking system, a high-quality software provider will take the time to understand your business needs and your customer needs, and will take a consultative approach towards finding a solution. However, it’s a good idea to have a firm understanding of the customer journey you are trying to achieve first.

Here are some of the most common use cases for appointment scheduling software:

Click here for more appointment scheduling use cases.

Qudini’s appointment booking software allows customers to easily select available time-slots and receive regular notifications.

2) Identify what functionalities are important to your brand

Modern appointment booking systems come with a range of innovative functionalities. Here are some of the basic requirements:

3) Prioritize security and experience

When choosing the best appointment scheduling software for your business, finding a partner with a proven track-record working with organizations on the same scale and industry as your own is vital.

As a result of Covid-19, there are a number of new booking apps appearing on the market that have been built within a matter of weeks – and these solutions are lacking the level of flexibility and durability businesses need. These solutions can also come with a number of security risks, often lacking effective network design, vulnerability scanning penetration testing, ISO27001 and GDPR compliance processes and the accreditation necessary to manage customers’ personal data.

You can read more on how Qudini ensure maximum security, high availability and prioritization of privacy at our security page here.

4) Look for flexibility and adaptability

While the solution you’re looking for might sound simple – the ability to allow your customers to book appointments – things can quickly get complex. For instance, does it need to be branded? Are there multiple customer journeys you need to cater to? What other systems do you need to integrate with?

It’s important you find a partner that not only understands your needs, but is willing to be flexible when working with you to find an approach that suits your business – and do so quickly.

Another useful point to bear in mind is that it’s worth finding a SaaS provider with a range of solutions as well as appointment booking software. Alongside appointment scheduling software, Qudini offers queue management software, event management software and task management software to a range of retail and retail banking enterprises, and as a result, we have been able to quickly step in and help our clients in a multitude of ways during Covid-19, such as creating virtual queues outside of stores, allowing customers to book time-slot appointments to visit stores, and eliminating in-store queues by enabling customers to virtually queue or book appointments for in-person or online services.

5) Manage walk-in customers alongside those with fixed appointments

Allowing your customers to book appointments for in-store services has proven to be very popular with consumers, but it’s important that you have the resources to be able to intelligently manage walk-in customers alongside fixed appointments. Your store teams should have full visibility of all scheduled appointments in order of their booked time within a single intuitive list, and as customers walk in to your venue requesting the next available appointment, you can then seamlessly add the walk-in customers into the queue.

Qudini’s virtual queuing system is being used by many high-profile brands during Covid-19.

Qudini will intelligently calculate customer wait times based on your advisors’ availability and upcoming bookings. Upon calculating a walk-in customer’s wait time, Qudini will display customers in the queue before and after your upcoming appointments in the order that they are likely to be seen based on their requirements.

Why use Qudini’s appointment scheduling software?

Qudini is the market leading appointment booking system – it’s highly centralized, flexible, customizable, robust and secure, and it works on any device. The system is used by retailers such as Samsung, Brown Thomas and NatWest.

Having operated in the queue management and appointment booking space for eight years, Qudini has developed highly intelligent and complex algorithms presented in perfectly refined interfaces that are simple for your teams to use and manage.

During Covid-19, this also means you can:

  • Provide a safe and engaging service by allowing customers to book appointments and join queues on mobile interfaces with customizable weblinks.
  • Better manage staff and your shop floor thanks to appointment calendars.
  • See how many customers are in-store at any one given time with our new occupancy tracking feature that supports brands during Covid-19.

To view more of our features and get in touch, click here.

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