Let’s get one thing out of the way quickly.
Waiting at the MVA sucks.
Think about it. You take a look at your license and notice that it needs to be renewed soon. Suddenly, a feeling of dread takes over. You’re going to have to wait in the oh-so-painful MVA line.
How long is the wait going to be? 20 minutes? 30 minutes? Over an hour?
Regardless of how long you’ll be forced to wait in line, one thing is for sure—there are a million different things you’d rather be doing than waiting in line with several other impatient customers with the same sentiment as you.
The worst part is that the waits seem to be getting even longer. For example, at the California MVA, the average wait times from one year to the next went from 48 minutes to 69 minutes.
Normally, extended wait times are enough to drive customers to a competitor. However, the unique aspect of the MVA is that there really isn’t any competition. If you want your license renewed, the line is part of the price you’ll be required to pay.
The biggest contributor to these wait times is traditional MVA scheduling methods. If MVA branches want to step their customer service game up to the next level, switching to MVA online appointment scheduling is an absolute must.
So, before we get into the reasons why MVA scheduling should be taken online, let’s dive a little into traditional MVA scheduling.
Traditional MVA Appointments
The public dislike for waiting isn’t exactly a modern thing. Since cars became more affordable around the 1940s, the public’s distaste for waiting in the MVA line has existed. MVA scheduling methods back then simply wouldn’t allow for everyone in line to be served in a timely manner,
But what exactly is meant by “traditional MVA scheduling”?
For most MVA branches, you walk through the door, wait in line to see an attendant who then hands you a ticket. With this ticket in hand, you’ll then wait for your ticket number to be called to see another attendant who will then take care of business.
Sounds like a ton of waiting, doesn’t it?
The truth is, while this method may have been the most efficient way to handle MVA appointments in years passed, there are far better appointment methods to consider in 2020.
The Importance of Allowing Customers to Book Their Own Appointments
One thing to note is that customers booking their own appointments isn’t only beneficial to MVA scheduling practices. From hair salons to the health industry, online appointment booking helps improve customer service and solve common problems associated with traditional MVA scheduling.
For example, many MVA branches have limiting hours. Traditional MVA scheduling means that customers are forced to book appointments during these hours of operation, which can become a problem for those who work the typical 9-5 job. When we look deeper and discover that 40% of people are booking appointments outside of business hours with businesses that offer online scheduling, you quickly see the need for 24/7 scheduling.
Even those who work odd hours will certainly appreciate being able to book appointments from anywhere at any time.
Tips and Strategies to Get Customers to Book MVA Appointments Online
Of course, with the change from traditional scheduling to online scheduling, you’ll always have those people who are stuck in the old ways and have trouble switching.
Thankfully, there are a few channels you can leverage in order to inform and educate them about online scheduling methods.
One of the easier ways to help switch customers over to online scheduling is to actually let them know about in-person. This way, if they have any questions about the process or anything in that realm, you can easily explain it to them.
It also helps to create a pamphlet with visuals in order to hand them out to customers. This is a bit above and beyond but will go a long way to helping convert them from the old method to the new method.
Posting a mini how-to guide to your MVA website can be a huge help for customers. If they’re going to search your website for other information, as many customers do, it’s likely that they’ll spot this guide and be more likely to book their next appointment online.
If you’ve already got an email list made up of past MVA customers, why not leverage that to help promote online scheduling?
Creating a short email describing the steps to take and maybe even outlining some of the benefits of online scheduling could go a long way towards increasing the percentage of online bookings.
6 Reasons MVA’s and DMV’s Are Switching to Online Scheduling
So why exactly are so many MVAs making the jump from the old fashioned scheduling system to online?
Obviously, there are numerous upsides to online MVA scheduling. However, we’re going to talk about 6 of the core benefits that should help push you over the edge when trying to decide whether or not you want to upgrade your scheduling system.
Another thing to note before you dive too far into the benefits is that not all online scheduling solutions are equal. Many MVA’s have already implemented online scheduling, but at differing levels of success. Implementing online scheduling solutions that are clunky, outdated, or just simply aren’t meeting customer expectations won’t get you very far in the long run.
That’s why it’s more important than ever to make sure that you’re going with one of the best scheduling apps on the market.
1. Cut Down On Physical Lines
Since the biggest issue with traditional MVA scheduling is actually waiting in line, it makes sense that one of the top benefits of online MVA scheduling is drastically reducing these lines.
Think about it. What are the top deficiencies that come to mind with a physical queue?
- No flow
- Increased line jumpers
- Indefinite wait times
Because of these problems, MVA’s around the world are forced to implement physical barriers, such as red tape, in order to keep customers in an orderly queue. In turn, customer stress levels are increased. Spotting a red tape labyrinth filled with people on your way into the MVA doesn’t exactly make you want to wait in line.
So how does online MVA scheduling remedy this?
Well, the main thing to note here is that your customers no longer have to physically wait in line. With online scheduling, they simply book their appointment from anywhere they want, and as the appointment time approaches, they approach the counter in order to be served. So while your customers are technically waiting for their appointment time, they aren’t forced to stand in one place for minutes, or even hours at a time.
Another important takeaway here is that your customers will appreciate the fact that you value their time. No one in their right mind wants to stand in a painfully long line for anything, including getting their license renewed. By allowing them to essentially wait for the appointment anywhere they choose, you’re giving them the freedom that they otherwise wouldn’t have.
Of all the benefits that online MVA scheduling provides, this is likely the most important one.
2. 24/7 Scheduling
We’ve already discussed how typical MVA scheduling means that customers are only able to book appointments during your hours of operation. We’ve also talked about how this is detrimental to those who work the classic 9-5 shift, which lines up pretty well with MVA hours.
On top of work, people have loads of other commitments throughout the day. Having to step out in the middle of their busy days in order to book an MVA appointment is simply inefficient.
Thing is, it doesn’t have to be that way.
MVA online scheduling operates outside of your business hours. 24/7. If customers decide at 2 in the morning that they want to book an appointment, they can do so. People often forget about needing to make these appointments, so if they suddenly remember at a time outside of MVA business hours, it’s no problem. They can hop on their laptop or phone and book their appointment. No stress.
Canceling and rescheduling are just as easy, providing you choose an MVA scheduling system that offers fantastic calendar functionality.
Never underestimate the power of 24/7 appointment scheduling. It’s safe to say customers will thank you for giving them the means to book appointments at their leisure, and not feel trapped by your hours of operation.
3. Cut Down On Large Crowds
If 2020 and the entire COVID-19 situation has taught us anything, it’s that large crowds tend to be the norm in all different kinds of settings. From retail to hospitals, congregations of people seem to assemble themselves.
So it’s no surprise that the social distancing order seemed to leave all industries dumbfounded in how to handle business moving forward.
The MVA is no different. Traditional MVA scheduling has long lines of people all waiting for a ticket to see an attendant. Oftentimes, these people are shoulder to shoulder and invading each other’s personal bubble.
Pandemic aside, large crowds are often not fun for the public in general. Many customers start to feel anxious or stressed once crowds begin to form and they’ll often leave in response. With online MVA scheduling, there’s no need for the public to crowd themselves into a waiting area. They can simply wait until it’s their appointment time before even entering the building.
While this certainly provides MVAs with a way to keep up on social distancing requirements, don’t forget that reducing crowds is equally beneficial on the other side of this crisis. Customers will be happy to not have their personal bubble invaded at all times.
4. Increase Staff Efficiency and Morale
MVA online scheduling is all about improving customer service and satisfaction for the most part. That’s no secret.
However, you need to be aware of all the benefits to your staff as well.
For starters, setting up online scheduling helps improve staff efficiency. At its most extreme, if all customers were to book their appointments online, you wouldn’t be required to delegate a staff member to take in-person or over the phone appointments whatsoever. This employee could be used in a number of different ways, from serving actual customers to cleaning the stockroom that hasn’t been touched in months.
Next, scheduling software can help staff stay on top of everything that’s going on around them. When the MVA gets busy, it can be a real mess. It’s hard to keep track of who’s been served, who needs to be served, and even which customers have simply walked out due to the frustration of waiting around.
With the right scheduling software, keeping track of this information is easier than ever. Staff won’t need to stress about manually tracking these statistics.
Another thing to note here is that since customers typically hate the entire queueing process, they’ll often lash out or disrespect employees. There’s absolutely no excuse for behaving in such a way, but the truth is that it’s a byproduct of an inefficient scheduling method.
When customers book appointments on their own, the need for waiting in line disappears. Customers are far less likely to disrespect employees. Happy customers, happy staff.
5. Mobile Booking
Isn’t it crazy just how much people can do with their phones these days?
From online shopping to taking high-resolution videos, it seems that mobile phone functionality knows no limits.
It appears that people have also figured out that the ability to book their appointments online using their phones is a huge convenience as well, with 76% of people already doing so.
Think about it this way. People usually have their phones on them at all times. When they suddenly remember that they need to renew their license or registration, they’ll want to be able to book that appointment right away. While they could place a phone call, it’s no secret that talking on the phone isn’t exactly a preferred method of scheduling appointments, especially for younger folk.
With an online MVA scheduling system in place, your customers can book appointments directly from their mobile device. However, it’s important that you choose a scheduling app with a focus on mobile functionality. There’s nothing worse than trying to book an appointment from your phone on a clunky, outdated web page with little to no mobile functionality.
With Skiplino Appointments, for example, your customers can download an app specifically for appointment booking. This app is designed with the highest mobile functionality in mind and makes sure your customers have a resistance-free booking experience.
6. Analytical Data At Your Fingertips
MVAs are likely already tracking loads of different analytical data. Depending on the system in place, this can add an extra arduous task to an already busy day.
Good news. With most MVA scheduling systems, you can track all kinds of data, including:
- Staff performance
- Customer satisfaction
- Customer demographics
- Customer appointment history
- Different branch statistics and performance
This data is stored automatically, meaning you won’t need to stress about delegating a staff member to manually tracking all of it.
With all of this data, you can more effectively improve your customer service efforts. For example, if you choose to run customer feedback surveys, you can directly ask your customers about their experience. From there, you can make changes to your processes and keep customers happy.
These are often overlooked features when it comes to MVA scheduling systems, but that doesn’t make them any less beneficial. Keep analytics and reporting in mind when deciding if you want to upgrade your old scheduling system.
Online MVA Scheduling Summary
By now, you’ve likely made one very important discovery.
Traditional MVA scheduling methods just don’t cut it anymore.
We’ve gone over 6 of the key reasons to make the switch to an online MVA scheduling system:
- Cut down on physical lines
- 24/7 scheduling
- Cut down on large crowds
- Increase staff efficiency and morale
- Mobile booking
- Analytical data at your fingertips
But more importantly, we’ve discussed exactly why you need to make the switch.
Your customers want efficiency. They want their time to be valued. Using outdated scheduling methods, you’ll never be able to give them what they want. They’re forced to wait extended periods of time in queues, thinking about all the other places they’d rather be.
Traditional MVA Scheduling
Online MVA Scheduling
Forces customers to book within business hours
Customers are free to book from anywhere, at any time
Customers must wait in long queues
Presents customers with the ability to wait for their appointment anywhere they want
Promotes large crowds which can be stressful for some customers
Eliminates crowding nearly altogether
There’s no easier way to put it. If you want to provide the best possible customer service, it’s time to scrap the old scheduling methods and switch to online MVA scheduling.
Having Trouble Choosing The Right Solution For You?
There are loads of companies out there promoting a solution for online MVA scheduling. There’s no doubt about that. Having to make a decision with all of these choices in your face can quickly lead to overwhelm and burnout.
Why not look into Skiplino Appointments? Our solution knocks it out of the park with all of the key features you’ll want out of a scheduling app, and it can be set up in as little as 5 minutes. Have more questions? Let us know. We’re glad to help out.