For those who have just turned 16 years of age, what could possibly be more exciting than getting your driver's license?
You take all the necessary courses. You put in the practice hours with mom and dad. Finally, you’re ready to take your road test. As you walk into the DMV, your excitement levels reach critical mass. Nothing could put a damper on your day.
Except the lineup of people from the counter nearly out the door, of course.
How long is the wait going to be? 30 minutes? 40 minutes? Over an hour?
We all know how detrimental wait times can be to traditional businesses. In fact, 75% of businesses have reported losing customers due to long wait times.
Thing is, the DMV is different. There’s not much in terms of another option or competition. If you want your license, whether a first-timer or a renewal, you’re going to have to suck it up and wait in line.
Just have a look at the top 5 populous states in the US and their average DMV wait times. Do these sound like lines you want to wait in?
Average DMV Wait Time
The solution? Booking DMV appointments online. In fact, with the current pandemic situation we’re facing, many different DMV’s throughout the world are starting to catch on and implement better online scheduling features. This is completely understandable, considering all of the closures as a result of COVID-19.
But what about moving forward? Traditional DMV appointment booking methods have shown time and time again to be inefficient and in extreme cases, rage-inducing. Because of this, it only makes sense to switch to booking DMV appointments online, even after the pandemic has dissipated.
In order to better understand the value of booking DMV appointments online, let’s dive a little deeper into traditional DMV scheduling methods.
Traditional DMV Appointments
The public hatred for trips to the DMV isn’t exactly a recent thing. This practice has been loathed for as long as the DMV has existed. Possibly even more so back then than now.
The DMV as we know it was created around 1915, but it wasn’t until the 1940’s that cars became more affordable and DMV offices were packed to the brim. Using the traditional scheduling system, the attendants were unable to serve the wave of people coming through their doors in a timely manner.
So what exactly is a traditional DMV appointment scheduling system?
Think about the last time you walked through the doors of the DMV. You queue up at the back of a long line of people. When you finally make it to the front, you collect your ticket. You sit down and wait for your ticket number to be called.
If this seems like a whole lot of waiting, that’s because it is. While this seems like a decent way to manage a long lineup of people and reduce line jumpers, there has to be a more efficient way to save time for the public.
The Importance of Allowing Customers to Book Their Own Appointments
Allowing customers to book appointments themselves certainly isn’t restricted to DMV use. This practice has been applied effectively across all different types of industries, from hair salons to auto garages. Online appointment booking solves certain critical problems associated with traditional appointment booking, such as restricting the time when a client can book an appointment. Considering 40% of people are booking appointments after-hours, this is a huge benefit.
The same logic applies to booking DMV appointments online. With many DMV’s having rather restricted hours of operation, allowing the public to book their own appointments would drastically reduce the resistance associated with traditional appointment booking. People are busier than ever these days, so the convenience of being able to book appointments at one’s leisure would be much appreciated.
When it comes to your customer’s time, there’s no better way to value it than by implementing online scheduling.
Tips and Strategies to Get Clients to Book Appointments Online
Now you’re probably thinking: “Everyone is used to the old way of scheduling appointments! How do I get the public to start scheduling appointments online?”
This is certainly a valid argument. Humans are creatures of habit. Even though we dread the long wait in line at the DMV, we continue to go through the same motions because it’s familiar to us. It’s not like this concept is exclusive to the DMV, either.
However, just because traditional scheduling is familiar doesn’t mean it’s the most effective route to take.
Thankfully, there are a few strategies and tips you can take into practice in order to help get your clientele comfortable with scheduling their own appointments online.
Well this one’s obvious, isn’t it?
After dealing with a customer, mention to them that in the future, they’re able to book their DMV appointments online. It would be wise to let them in on some of the benefits and the amount of time they can save as well.
If they have any questions about how to use your online booking system, you can show them right then and there.
Or, if you’ve got a little more time on your hands, you could create a pamphlet or brochure with information on it related to your online scheduling system. Another great way to help out those who may be slightly less computer-savvy.
If you’re collecting email addresses from customers, why not send them a link to your DMV online scheduling service?
A short blurb about the benefits of online scheduling would be great here as well. Or maybe even a guide on how to properly schedule appointments for those who might not be as tech-savvy.
People who are preparing for a trip to the DMV will often visit the website to make sure they’re aware of the necessary documentation for whichever process they need to be done.
If that’s the case, it makes sense to include a highly visible section on your home page regarding scheduling DMV appointments online. In this case, your website becomes a one-stop-shop for all of the information they need.
DMV’s aren’t often thought of when considering businesses that have a large digital presence, so it makes sense that the public would often overlook digital scheduling methods. Using these three methods, you can help change that stereotype.
6 Reasons DMV’s Are Using An Online Appointment System
As we’ve already mentioned, online appointment systems have begun to take the DMV world by storm. More and more DMV’s around the world have begun implementing online scheduling to great effect, whether because of the pandemic or not.
But why are they making the switch? What are the key benefits for DMV’s to switch to an online appointment scheduler?
Well, here are 6 of the biggest reasons why.
1. The Convenience of 24/7 Booking
As we’ve mentioned previously, DMV’s often operate on extremely limited hours. Those who work a typical 9-5 job get the short end of the stick in that regard.
Whether it’s work, family, or any other valid reason, people often have other important matters to attend to during the day. This means they’ll be unable to book an appointment without rescheduling their entire day around the DMV’s hours of operation.
This entire problem is easily solved with online scheduling.
With the ability to schedule online, instead of needing to restructure their day, the public can book an appointment when it’s convenient for them to do so. They can pick an available time and not endure the hassle of physically driving to the DMV and potentially having to wait in line for a day-disrupting amount of time.
Not only that but rescheduling and canceling is just as easy. No phone calls or in-person meetings needed.
Whether we’re talking about a DMV or a hair salon, it’s no secret that 24/7 booking is one of the biggest benefits of an online scheduling system.
2. No More Waiting in “Line”
Arguably the worst part about waiting at the DMV is actually having to physically stand in a lineup.
Think about it. Traditional queues in any industry have a plethora of problems associated with them, including:
- Line cutters
- Inefficient and lack of flow
- Wait times are indefinite
Above all else, however, is the fact that you’re forcing customers to stand in one specific place or else they lose their spot in line. This makes them feel as though they’ve lost an indeterminate amount of time that they can never get back.
Not to mention many of the “solutions” associated with policing physical lineups, such as stanchions, can induce stress in your customers. Labyrinths of red tape aren’t typically received in a positive light.
Thankfully, with the option to schedule DMV appointments online, these problems are eliminated entirely. Instead of waiting in line for a ticket to see a counter attendant, you’re free to schedule an appointment from wherever you please. Once your appointment time approaches, you walk up to the counter. Absolutely no need to wait in line. It’s really as simple as that. Your customers will thank you for respecting their time and not wasting it in the way that a physical lineup would.
If you’ve got the opportunity to eliminate one of the most dreadful aspects of trips to the DMV, why wouldn’t you? By using online DMV appointment scheduling, you can accomplish exactly that.
3. It Benefits DMV Employees As Well
When DMV’s are switching from traditional scheduling to online scheduling, it isn’t just the customers that benefit. Staff morale and efficiency are improved as well.
Since traditional DMV scheduling methods can leave customers frustrated with indefinite wait times, incidents involving customers disrespecting DMV employees tend to be much higher. While no one should be condoning this type of behavior, it’s an unfortunate consequence of an inefficient scheduling and queuing system. When you allow customers to schedule their own appointments, you essentially remove this point of contact altogether. Customers are left feeling far less stressed out about missing an important meeting or event.
Not only will customers be more likely to respect employees, but the overall level of organization improves as well. Imagine if every customer were to book their DMV appointment online. You likely wouldn’t even need an employee managing an appointment ticket booth! Using a scheduling software dashboard, staff will be able to monitor different stats in real-time, such as:
- Customers that need help
- Customers who have already been helped
Less stress for your staff, and increased task efficiency. 2-for-1. All the more reason to allow your customers to book their DMV appointments online.
4. It Keeps Crowding to a Minimum
This may sound like a benefit directly associated with the pandemic, what with the social distancing rules and all, but it’s a benefit that can certainly extend beyond our current situation.
When customers are forced to book appointments in person, the area can become crowded very quickly. While this can spell disaster when it comes to the social distancing requirements currently in place, it’s not an ideal situation outside of that scope either. Large crowds can cause a huge amount of stress with the public. Many people don’t enjoy larger crowds, even when they know they have to schedule an appointment with the DMV.
With DMV appointments being scheduled online, customers only need to show up shortly before their scheduled appointment. They’re free to wait anywhere they want. No need to take up space in the DMV building.
You could certainly look at this as a limited-time benefit, but remember that large crowds are never enjoyable. Switch to online appointment scheduling and keep the crowding to a minimum.
5. It Offers Extra Analytical Data
Scheduling software offers a plethora of different reporting and analytics features. Most of which would come in handy at the DMV.
Using scheduling software, you can collect loads of different relevant info, such as:
- Customer demographics
- Employee performance
- Appointment history
The best part? This info is all stored automatically. No need to manually input data or use several different programs to accomplish the same tasks that scheduling software can handle. Working at the DMV often means having your hands full at all times, so any little bit of relief is certainly a bonus.
Take Skiplino Appointments for example. Using our desktop dashboard or admin app, you can easily manage your services at multiple locations. In real-time no less. Using Skiplino, you can make sure that you’re putting your best foot forward in improving customer service. And when it comes to the DMV, customers will appreciate that above all else.
Another great aspect of using a scheduling software for the DMV is the ability to collect feedback directly from customers. There’s really no better way to improve your scheduling processes than by asking the customers exactly what they think.
Dealing with customers at the DMV is stressful enough. When you add to that having to manually input customer demographics and appointment history, the tasks can pile so high that they can seem unmanageable. Switching to an online appointment system can help ease the pain.
6. It Allows Mobile Appointment Booking
No, we’re not talking about a phone call here.
People are glued to their phones. This has a monumental effect on appointment booking as well, with the vast majority of customers booking appointments on a mobile device. It’s for this reason that the ability to book DMV appointments online becomes so important.
Out on a lunch date and just remembered you need to renew your license? Not a big deal. Pull out your phone and book the appointment. That’s the best part about the ability to book on mobile. People often remember they need to make DMV appointments at times when they can’t physically go in to book an appointment. With mobile, you avoid forgetting about it later.
Most DMV’s are harnessing the power of mobile bookings. You should too.
Online DMV Appointments Summary
When you stop and think about trips to the DMV, the thoughts are rarely positive ones.
It’s easy to see why as well. Long lines, big crowds, other frustrated customers, the list goes on and on.
If DMVs want to address these issues, allowing customers to book their DMV appointments online is easily the best solution.
We’ve gone over the 6 reasons why most DMV’s are making the switch:
- 24/7 booking
- Avoiding physical lineups
- Improving employee efficiency and morale
- Reducing crowding
- Analytics and reports
- Mobile appointment booking
And we’ve even provided some strategies you can use to turn customers who may be set in their old ways onto online appointment booking.
So what are you waiting for? Take a page out of the rest of the DMVs’ playbooks and get yourself set on the path to better customer service.
Still On The Fence About DMV Online Appointments?
Switching up your scheduling system is hard. There’s no doubt about that. There are a ton of different factors at play here. You’re probably wondering which scheduling software will work best for you.
Why not give Skiplino a try? Skiplino Appointments provides you with all of the online DMV scheduling features you’ll need. From 24/7 booking options to reporting and analytics features, we’ve got you covered.