Some businesses and professionals live or die by the number of appointments they have each day. For them, an appointment is a billable moment. A full schedule results in a full day of billing. A schedule with holes means fewer billable hours and less revenue. Downtime equals disappointment.
The Goal is Maximum Productivity
The objective of service workers and professional people is to work steadily throughout the day. They may have tried maximizing their schedule themselves, calling for appointments between appointments or playing phone tag to respond to messages left on a voicemail, but these solutions don’t really solve the problem and often cause more problems of their own.
Hire an Assistant
Instead of doing it themselves they bring on a helper to work on their behalf to keep them booked solid and revenue flowing. But what if the assistant isn’t working when clients call? Then the callers leave a message—maybe. The phone tag follows. And the appointment is delayed—if it happens at all.
Many Won’t Leave a Message
But too often callers desire instant results and won’t leave a message. They will call the next name on their list, and go with the first person who answers the phone and sets an appointment.
Online Programs Fail
As an alternative, many have tried web-based scheduling solutions that allow people to schedule an appointment online whenever they want, 24/7. This works for some people in some situations, but it’s not for everyone. What happens if customers can’t figure out how to use the program? What if they use it wrong, perhaps double-booking, overbooking, or under-booking? What if they have a question and give up in frustration? The results are missed opportunities that cannot be reclaimed.
The Personal Solution is Best
To address all these concerns, simply have your telephone answering service schedule your appointments for you. Here are the benefits:
Available 24/7: Your answering service is staffed around the clock to set appointments whenever your customers or clients want to call.
Integrated Solution: Your answering service can access your online schedule to set your appointments. And if you don’t have a web-based solution, they can provide one for you. Regardless it’s a single solution for you and for them.
Answer Questions: Your answering service can handle inquiries from the self-serve crowd. Don’t lose an appointment due to an unanswered question or a hard-to-use online solution. Let your answering service capture those missed opportunities.
Take Cancelations: Wait, you don’t want cancellations. But they do happen. And when they do, the sooner you’re aware of them, the sooner these openings can be filled. Your answering service can take the cancelation fast and then work to fill it.
Verify Appointments: Some people set appointments too far in advance and then forget about them. An appropriately timed phone call, email, or text to remind them of an upcoming meeting will reduce no-shows and minimize unforeseen openings. Your answering service can do this for you.
When it comes to setting appointments, your answering service is your one sure solution to keep your schedule full without you needing to deal with all the usual headaches.
Janet Livingston is the president of Call Center Sales Pro, a premier sales and marketing service provider and consultancy for the call center and telephone answering service industry. Contact Janet at email@example.com or 800-901-7706 to arrange a private consultation about buying or selling an answering service.
Peter Lyle DeHaan is a freelance writer from Southwest Michigan.