No one likes to be left on hold, especially when they’re trying to schedule an appointment. Your customers are busy, and they won’t waste much time waiting on the phone before hanging up and trying somewhere else.

In fact, an increasing number of customers refuses to give you a chance to put them on hold. More than 70% of customers surveyed prefer online appointment booking over-scheduling on the phone. That means you’ll never hear from most of your customer base unless you provide the convenient scheduling experience they expect.

Creating a More Streamlined Booking Process

Learning how to schedule appointments effectively is key to running a successful service-based business. The most obvious advantage is that your customers — and you — no longer have to wait on the phone, which saves you time and saves them a headache. However, scheduling software for small businesses should be more than just a digital calendar.

For instance, when you choose online appointment booking software that integrates seamlessly with different payment processing systems, you can also get paid right away! You can collect deposits upon scheduling, which significantly cuts down on cancellations and no-shows when combined with automated appointment reminders.

Schedulicity includes these and many other features, such as our Marketplace that makes it easier for customers to find you. Being part of our service-based Marketplace automatically gives you an advantage over your competitors, but you can gain an even bigger one by streamlining your scheduling experience with these few tips:

1. Keep your payment processing rates low.

Convenience is a big part of what makes scheduling software for small businesses necessary. Convenience combined with the lowest card processing fees in the industry make your Schedulicity app indispensable. For every appointment, Schedulicity processes payments at a flat rate of 1.99% + 10¢ for card dip, swipe, or tap and 2.85% + 25¢ for e-commerce or keyed-in transactions.

2. Set-and-forget your appointment reminders.

The simple act of reminding customers about their appointments eliminates one of the main causes of no-shows: forgetfulness. However, if you have to manually remind every customer of every appointment, you might forget about them yourself. With our automated text reminder templates, our salon businesses have reduced their rates of no-shows by an average of 66%.

3. Let customers book from anywhere.

In our quest to help small businesses, we’ve found a way to help you meet your clients where they are: social media. In addition to access to our Marketplace, our online appointment booking app also allows you to advertise virtually anywhere. For example, the “book now” button for Instagram lets customers reserve their appointments from any post, story, or video you share on Instagram.

4. Reward customers who schedule again.

The initial scheduling experience you provide your customers is an important first impression. Nail it, and every customer you see is more likely to become a recurring one. Beyond that first impression, you can build up your roster of regulars even faster by incentivizing recurring appointments. Studies show that even when you discount their appointments, recurring customers earn you up to 51% more revenue.

Online scheduling for small businesses is the new norm. But to streamline your booking process, you’ll need a solution that you can tailor to create a unique scheduling experience for your clients. For more tips on how to optimize Schedulicity’s app for your customers, speak with one of our experts by contacting us today!