5 Ways Service Scheduler Software Can Optimize Your Time

February 16, 2021

Table of Contents

We’re going to begin this article with a bold, yet painfully true statement:

As a business owner, there is no resource more valuable to you than time.

Think about it. Yes, you need to generate profit. That’s a given. After all, if your business isn’t profitable, what exactly are you doing?

Here’s the thing though. In order to run an effective, profitable business, you need to invest time into several different areas and aspects of your business, regardless of the industry you find yourself in. These areas include:

  • Customer service
  • Employee management
  • Accounting
  • General upkeep (cleanliness, etc.)
  • Marketing

service scheduler software

With all of these different business fields to manage, there’s often little time left over to devote to anything else. While it’s true that you can hire other people to manage these different areas, many small business owners don’t have this option. They’re forced to handle many of these tasks themselves.

And what about appointment scheduling? After all of these areas are covered, there’s still appointment scheduling to worry about. For many businesses, this means playing phone tag with customers and devoting even more time that simply isn’t available.

So, the question remains: How can business owners reclaim some of this time for themselves?

Three words: Service scheduler software.

Now, before we dive headfirst into how service scheduler software helps you optimize your time and gives you an additional platform to provide exceptional service to your customers, let’s have a look at traditional scheduling methods and their history.

A Brief History Of Appointment Scheduling

With all of these new service scheduler software options on the market, many are likely wondering how we got to this point.

Appointment scheduling methods have been evolving at the same pace as communication methods. As the telephone broke into the mainstream years ago, phone calls became the go-to channel for appointment scheduling. Clients simply call ahead of time, speak to a receptionist, and agree on an appointment time.

When email came into the picture, the premise is much of the same: Back and forth email communication regarding an appointment time.

What is it that both of these primitive scheduling methods have in common?

That’s right. They both require a significant time investment from both staff and customers alike.

For appointments to be recorded using these methods, a staff member needs to be delegated to answering phone calls or emails. While this alone brings with it a plethora of different issues, the main problem here is that you’re dedicating staff hours to appointment scheduling when there’s a far better solution on the market. This is time you’ll never get back, and likely won’t even notice until you’ve spent time with the alternative.

So, on that note…

The Importance of Allowing Customers to Book Their Own Appointments

With those issues on the table, we find ourselves wondering exactly how service scheduler software can solve them.

It all boils down to the fact that service scheduler software allows customers to book their own appointments. No staff input needed.

The benefits of this revelation will be covered up ahead, but the main point here is that service scheduler software provides an extreme level of automation that simply cannot be replicated by any of the traditional scheduling methods that we’ve become accustomed to.

Customers booking their own appointments may seem like cheating when it comes to customer service on the surface, but trust us when we tell you: All of the time-saving benefits for both staff and customers come together to provide a top-notch appointment booking process.

How Service Scheduler Software Can Optimize Your Time

Enough about those outdated appointment scheduling methods. Let’s move onto the reasons you need to implement service scheduler software ASAP.

Keep in mind: This isn’t a comprehensive list of every single benefit associated with service scheduler software. These benefits are simply focused on two things:

  1. Saving time
  2. Providing excellent customer service

Reason 1: 24/7 Appointment Scheduling

This is one of our favorite points to bring up when we’re discussing service scheduler software.

Basically, what we’re talking about here is the fact that service scheduler software allows customers and clients to book appointments at any time and at any place. Whether it’s lunchtime or sundown, there are zero restrictions on service scheduler software.

With more traditional appointment scheduling methods, customers need to book appointments during more restrictive hours of operation. Depending on your specific service hours, this can definitely be a detriment to those who work odd hours or unpredictable schedules.

So, how exactly is this helping you optimize your time?

Well, as a business owner, you could utilize email scheduling to combat restrictive service hours. This would allow customers to continue booking appointments after hours since you could check your email from home.

However, taking work home with you isn’t always a good idea. If service scheduler software can help remedy this issue without piling more work onto your plate, why would you pass it up? With customers able to book their own appointments at any given time, you can easily reclaim this time for yourself, or invest it into other, more pressing areas of your business.

24/7 scheduling is not only beneficial to customers but also helps you reclaim lost time. This is exactly why it’s one of our favorite points to bring up with service scheduler software.

Traditional Scheduling Methods

Service Scheduler Software

Restrictive due to mandatory staff input, meaning customers are forced to book during hours of operation

Automated scheduling means that no staff input is required beyond checking calendars

Increasing accessibility means taking additional work home with you

Accessibility improved by allowing customers to book from any place, at any time

Reason 2: Task Elimination

better-customer-service

Appointment scheduling is a task that needs to be handled. Whether it’s you handling it or a staff member you’ve delegated to manning the phones, it doesn’t matter. You’re still spending valuable time on appointment scheduling.

Have you ever thought of just how much time is being spent on answering phone calls and recording appointment information? What other tasks could be completed if all of your appointment scheduling was automated?

This is exactly the kind of scenario that service scheduler software can provide.

Picture an automotive service garage. There are likely tons of different general housekeeping tasks around the garage that need to be completed in order to maintain a safe work environment.

Well, with service scheduler software in place, all of the time spent on the phone with customers and recording appointments could be spent on ensuring that every station is properly cleaned and up to standard.

This is just one example, too. There are many different tasks that often get ignored completely thanks to more pressing issues at hand. With service scheduler software, you’ll be able to reclaim loads of lost time and be able to invest this time into the often neglected tasks of the day.

Traditional Scheduling Methods

Service Scheduler Software

Force staff members to spend an indefinite amount of time on the phone and recording customer appointments

Automated scheduling service means that no staff input is necessary for appointment scheduling and staff are free to perform other tasks

Reason 3: Reduction of No-Shows Through Notifications

No-shows are awful. In fact, in the US medical industry alone, no-shows can cost up to 150 billion dollars annually.

Obviously, other industries likely aren’t nearly as affected financially by no-shows as healthcare is.

However, no-shows aren’t only detrimental to your bottom line. They cost you loads of valuable time as well.

Think about the time you spend preparing for an appointment. You gather all of the necessary materials and documents, only to reach the appointment time and have the client not show up. Now, depending on the industry, this employee is now left with additional unprepared idle time. Not exactly a great look.

This is where service scheduler software comes in. With its implementation, not only are you able to send SMS and email notifications to remind clients of upcoming appointments, but they’re sent automatically with no input necessary from you. Convenient, isn’t it?

It’s important to note here that, while most service scheduler software on the market comes with this feature, some providers have lower pricing tiers that don’t offer this capability. Make sure that the provider you choose gives you notification functionality at the price point of your choosing.

Traditional Scheduling Methods

Service Scheduler Software

Lack of appointment notifications can cause headaches when no-shows happen

SMS and email notifications keep detrimental no-shows to a minimum

In order to send notifications, more time must be spent manually calling or emailing each individual client or customer

Notifications are sent automatically with little to no human input necessary

Reason 4: Walk-In Reduction

walk in reduction

Walk-ins are a given throughout many industries. All businesses from DMVs to hair salons routinely have to deal with walk-in customers. Obviously, you don’t ever want to straight-up turn away walk-ins, but reducing the amount by promoting self-booking through your service scheduler software would be beneficial.

Walk-ins can cause a slew of different issues, including:

  • No time to prepare - With walk-ins, depending on the industry you’re in, you won’t have much time to prepare and handle customer or client issues in the most efficient way
  • Staff won’t know their schedules ahead of time - Not only will staff not be able to efficiently serve customers, but they also won’t be able to effectively plan their own days if walk-ins are prevalent
  • Dealing with unsure customers - Obviously, it’s okay for customers or clients to have questions. However, encouraging customers to book appointments online will reduce the amount of time spent on customers who may not be completely serious and increase engagement with serious customers

All three of these issues are centered around forcing you to give up your time to deal with them. By promoting your service scheduler software, you can cut down on walk-ins and reclaim much of that lost time.

Traditional Scheduling Methods

Service Scheduler Software

Do very little to discourage walk-ins, which can cause various time-related issues

Encourage more appointment scheduling and help you remain prepared throughout the day

Reason 5: Automated Reporting and Analytics

Analytics and reporting are two different features that often get overlooked in the grand scheme of things. When you think of service scheduler software, they aren’t usually the first features that come to mind.

However, both automated reporting and analytics can go a long way towards helping you reclaim lost time in many different ways.

Reporting and analytics features can help you track various different stats and data, such as:

  • Staff performance
  • Customer demographics
  • Customer appointment history
  • Specific location data (for businesses operating in more than one location)
  • Customer satisfaction (through surveys)

At the end of the day, all of these data points are important and should be tracked if you want to run your business as efficiently and effectively as possible. Without service scheduler software, you’re left to handle all of this manually, which eats up a lot more time than necessary.

So, while analytics and automated reporting are features that are often skimmed over and forgotten about, they’re more crucial to saving time than you might realize. Make sure that the provider you choose has in-depth analytics and reporting features to give you the best possible insight into your business.

Traditional Scheduling Methods

Service Scheduler Software

Offer no additional functionality to help save time and assist in other areas of your business

Automated reporting and analytics help save time within other areas of your business, such as marketing

Examples of Great Service Scheduler Software

Now that you’re well-versed in exactly how service scheduler software can help you regain some of your lost time, why not look into a few different providers?

Here’s the problem though. One quick glance at the Google results for “service scheduler software” will likely give you anxiety and have you up at night wondering which one you should go with. With so many different options to choose from, how could you possibly figure out which one is the best for you?

We’ve actually covered some of the best service scheduler software options in a few of our previous posts, but we’re still here with a few solid options to help you get started.

Skiplino’s Appointments Product

We know it’s a bit of a cop-out to start our list with our own service, but hear us out.

We’re fully behind our service and truly believe it stands toe-to-toe with many of the other service scheduler options on the market.

As far as features go, Skiplino offers many of the core features you’ll want in service scheduler software, including:

  • Remote, 24/7 booking
  • A clear and concise calendar to manage appointments
  • SMS and email reminders
  • Instant feedback through customer surveys
  • In-depth analytics and reporting

One other key aspect of Skiplino that truly sets it apart from the competition is how easy it is to set up. Not only is the pricing model simplified, with one tier of service being offered for one price, but the software itself can be set up for use in just 5 minutes. When it comes to helping you save time, it doesn’t get much better than that.

*Prices are accurate as of January 2021.

When you’re evaluating different service scheduler software options, make sure to keep Skiplino in mind. You won’t be disappointed.

Acuity Scheduling

Acuity is certainly another option worth considering when it comes to service scheduler software. They even have a feature where you can test their software straight from their website using one of the pre-made templates on display:

Aside from that, Acuity has all the standard benefits, including:

  • Client self-scheduling
  • Appointment reminders (texts only available with higher pricing tiers)
  • Custom branding features
  • Time-zone conversion for clients
  • Advanced appointment reporting

One important thing to note with Acuity is that some of the more advanced features may be locked behind higher price points. Make sure to study their pricing page thoroughly to determine which tier is appropriate for your business.

*Prices are accurate as of January/2021.

SimplyBook

SimplyBook is all about service-based businesses.

With SimplyBook, there are two ways you have customers book their own appointments:

  1. By integrating the software into your current website
  2. By creating an entirely new and separate booking page

Either way, you’ll gain access to a host of beneficial features, including:

  • Remote booking through various different channels
  • Customized forms for client information
  • Solutions for businesses operating multiple locations
  • Integrations using the SimplyBook API
  • An in-depth, categorized help centre

For those in service-based industries, it makes sense to consider a service scheduler software specializing in these types of businesses.

Service Scheduler Software Summary

service-scheduling-app

The implementation of service scheduler software is centered around one main point: It can save you more time than you’ll ever realize. When you’re already crunched for time as it is, what could be more valuable than this?

We’ve talked about the ways that service scheduler software can save you time, and we even provided a few examples of providers to consider.

So, what’s the hold-up? It’s time to join the future of scheduling and grab yourself some service scheduler software. Future you will be thankful for it.

Looking For More Answers?

For those who are curious about how Skiplino can help you save additional time, or for general questions about service scheduler software, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. After all, we’re always here to answer the call.

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