September 1, 2022

Go Smart with an Online Booking System for Your Small Business

Almost all businesses look for large sales volumes. But, handling long queues of customers, whether online or in stores, can be frustrating. Bookings help you present your product to your clients. Whether online or offline, bookings help your clients experience the benefits first-hand. 

Appointments are necessary to identify your prospects. They help you meet them personally to discuss official business. 

You can always meet customers in your office. But, handling online customers is also important. They are directly connected to tremendous sales and a larger income.

Give your customers the best experience. Start using an online booking system for small business. These are robust tools for online appointment scheduling. They can go a long way in retaining more customers. They can set up and improve the appointment scheduling process. 

Here is all about taking smart steps with an online appointment booking system. You can use appointment scheduling software to save time and be more efficient. Thus, you can accommodate more people online using fewer resources. 

What is an Online Booking System for Small Business?

Appointment booking with calendar

A lot of businesses today are based on consultancy and advisory functions. Chief among them are doctors, medical practitioners, and financial or HR consultants. 

Even legal advisors and sales or investment consultants are switching to remote business. Scheduling appointments in an automated way can be liberating for them. 

Many other businesses rely heavily on appointments. These include health and wellness, interior design consultancy, retail, and commercial space design. Graphic and brand design consultancy and real estate staging are also in the line. 

An online booking system for small business can work efficiently. It streamlines how your organization handles its appointments. 

An Allied Market Research 2019 estimates that the appointment software scheduling market will be around $546.31M by 2026. 

Small businesses hold the promise of remarkable economic recovery and development. There is a primary way small business software differs from enterprise ones. It is that it may not have the comprehensive functionality of the latter. 

But, there is still a robust ability to automate bookings 24/7 globally. You can use this software to manage schedules, appointment history, and email correspondence. they provide an all-in-one system. 

A small business solution for appointment scheduling allows you to manage all your bookings. You get all customer data on one platform. 

It is designed for busy entrepreneurs. They can adjust their appointments according to their customer demand and staffing abilities.

This software offers a wide range of robust features. They can help your business automate appointment booking. You can also set reminders, take payments, and post reviews. This automated tool can provide your online customers with a better user experience.

How can Online Booking Software help your Small Business?

People using online appointment and booking app

As a business owner, the old adage “time is money” holds true in today's fast-paced environment. Customers today place a lot of value on convenience. It is one of the main factors that influence their decision-making. 

You can kick-start a great customer experience with a simple online booking solution. Your customers can access it and use it to find the right time to contact you.

An appointment scheduler offers your customers a single place for all appointment information. It enables individuals to book their appointments and requests online conveniently.

Running your business requires hard work. You may feel pressurized to do multiple things at one go on a daily basis. You would like to stay on top of your organization's functions. Start by using an appointment scheduler. 

For you as a business owner, an online booking system allows you to manage your team's schedule. It helps you run your business from anywhere, anytime, or device. 

It allows your customers to book their appointments from a single platform. For you, it is a powerful way to make a good impression on your customers from the start.

Benefits of an Online Booking System for Small Business

Flat woman with personal financial bill payment calendar

Here are the benefits you can achieve with a comprehensive appointment scheduling system:

Create a seamless customer journey 

As a business, you know how much customer experience matters. It becomes necessary for you to provide a noteworthy customer experience. An online scheduling system can help you set up remote and in-person appointments. 

It goes a step ahead in creating opportunities for your brand. There is a need to exceed its customer expectations. 

With an automated system, your customers can manage their appointments remotely. They find a convenient way to interact with you.

Online booking software for small business offers your customers a complete booking system. It offers a personalized experience to them. 

You can allow them to select when, where, and how they begin or end their journey with you. Customers can start their journey with you and continue it across various channels.

Your company can easily schedule and manage one-to-one experiences. This increases revenue and efficiency and builds stronger customer relationships. Moreover, this type of scheduling also does not depend on the platform. 

Customer satisfaction is high when they get self-service tools to solve problems. So, such a system improves customer satisfaction and loyalty. 

24/7 online scheduling availability

A big advantage of providing an online appointment system is to let your customers choose to book appointments. They can do that at any time of the day. 

Sometimes, people may work commitments during the day hours. They may not have the time to contact you. The same applies to schedule an appointment outside regular business hours. 

Online scheduling allows your customers to book appointments even outside your business hours. This gives your customers complete freedom to book their appointments. They can choose a time to meet you at a time that fits in their schedule.

Reduced cancellations and no-shows 

Online appointment software can also reduce cancellations and no-shows in a meaningful manner. This improves your customer experience and maintains your schedule. 

The software comes with an automated daily notification service. They are sent to customers to remind them about your upcoming appointments. 

This is a good idea, even if you are already making reminder phone calls. It provides an additional way to reach out to your appointees. It keeps your bases covered even if making reminder calls is not workable.

Automated reminders provide a clear path of communication between you and your customer. This minimizes missed appointments and last moment cancellations. Thus, it creates a favorable situation for both your customers as well as your business. 

Positive customer interactions 

Customers prefer engaging experiences that are positive. This is true for in-person interactions as well. 

Appointments provide creating a relationship between your potential customers and your company. The more reliable and smooth the process, the greater the customer satisfaction. 

The software's robust ability to set appointments allows for building quality customer relationships. This leads to positive interactions and improved experiences. All these point towards more organizational growth.

Speed up business growth 

Your business will be all set for growth when you optimize all its business operations. Appointment scheduling is no exception. 

Many online businesses deal with footfall management through advisory and consultation services. They must take special care of their customer experience.

Easy self-scheduling an appointment is convenient. It opens a gateway to enhance the customer experience for remote appointments. It offers a sure-shot strategy for business growth. 

Improved customer satisfaction leads to more repeat customers. More customers lead to more sales and hence more growth.

Features of an Efficient Online Booking System for Small Business

Appointment booking with calendar

So, you are ready to go ahead and invest in an online booking system for your small business? You first need to consider its features. 

Make sure you have all details of the various functions it provides. Also ensure whether they are according to your business needs.

Here are some factors to consider:

Interactive Booking Page

The appointment scheduling system's booking page is the first point of contact for your customers. It should be attractive as well as intuitive. 

You should be aware that 82% of clients use mobile devices to book appointments. 16% and 2% of appointments are made from desktops and tablets. 

Your software should let customers book their appointments easily. They should clearly find available dates and time slots. Also, they should be able to do that from various devices. This should include desktop computers, tablets, and even mobiles.

Some scheduling software allows you to customize the booking page. You can personalize elements of the booking page, such as the text, colors, or images, to suit your brand image. Your scheduling page can then match the digital presence of your brand.

Automatic notifications 

The online booking software should be able to send out an automatic confirmation. Customers can receive them by SMS or email. This feature keeps the customers up-to-date and saves time for businesses. It also reduces the chances of appointment no-shows.

Two-way calendar sync

The most crucial online appointment scheduling software feature is the calendar sync functionality. It should not just let your customers book an appointment but also allows your calendar to sync. 

This feature of being able to sync your calendar is an important one. It allows the appointment scheduling software to check for other appointments. It eliminates the possibility of any double bookings. 

Online meetings

Most businesses can make an effective appointment online via a voice or a video call. Your online scheduling software should provide easy integration for online meetings. It should integrate with various video conferencing apps to provide ease of use.

It should also send out the meeting URL to the customer after booking.

Work hours setting

40% of appointments are booked after business hours. You need to inform your customers about your work hours. Otherwise, they will have to call or email to confirm your team’s availability. 

With appointment scheduling software, you can fix your working hours for availability. At the same time, you can block days off when your services will not be available. 

Rescheduling and Cancelling 

An appointment scheduler should allow customers to reschedule or cancel an appointment. The customers should find it easy to reschedule or cancel appointments. 

It should be as convenient as booking appointments. Your booking software should be able to do this with ease.

Team scheduling

You should also be able to assign appointments automatically to your team members. Your online appointment scheduler should ensure the availability of slots. Also, it should ensure equal opportunities for all. 

Time Zones

Sometimes, customers belong to a different time zone. In such cases, you need to manually convert time in different zones to match the customer's time. With an efficient online appointment scheduler, there should be no such need. 

The appointment scheduling solution should provide the feature to automate time zones. The same should apply to the case of daylight saving norms in some countries. Then, it should also set the conversions for your customers.

Integration with other software

A business may use a variety of apps to make their work more efficient. These may include CRMs, communication, time tracking, and operations management. An efficient appointment scheduler should also connect easily to various other apps.

This way, a single customer booking can send notifications to other apps. They may then use that centralized customer information. This automates tasks that would otherwise need manual effort.

Explore Consolto’s Online Booking Software for Small Business

Digital business to do list app interface

Now you know the importance and functions of online scheduling software. So, you can proceed to include one in your customer service strategy.

Adapting your appointment scheduling strategy according to evolving customer requirements is also important.

Consolto provides an appointment scheduling solution for small businesses. It can help you to support your online customer and business appointments. 

Let your clients and customers set up meetings even when you are not available. Customers will always prefer businesses that offer online booking appointments.

Consolto offers a 2-way scheduling system to stay ahead of your appointments. What this practically means is that you can receive and send a meeting request from and to your customers at any time. Other solutions require two separate scheduling systems - one to receive requests (like Calendly) and one to send requests (Zoom's calendar invitation flow). With Consolto, you have both ways cleared which is why this is one of the only 2-way scheduling systems out there...

As a business owner, you can send these requests straight from the Consolto widget. You can also schedule follow-up meetings. You can even send meeting invites while on chat. 

Consolto can also easily integrate with external apps. These include Google apps, Zapier, your CRM, Zapier, and Webhooks. Consolto also offers a video chat tool for small businesses.

So, step ahead and deliver excellent service levels with your team. Grow your business in this ever-changing business scenario. 

Final Thoughts

An efficient appointment scheduling software is your business need. It can prove to be beneficial for your small business. It helps you keep your business organized and appointments on schedule.

Leap ahead with Consolto’s online booking system for small businesses!

Book a consultation today! 

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