In 2020, Retail & Service industries relied heavily on appointments for a very simple objective – Regulate the flow of customers and make everyone feel safe. And it worked. Customers booked appointments, they showed up – if they could, and completed the objectives they came in for – a purchase or a service.
The whole prescheduled appointments phenomenon also brought together another dimension – A fashion retailer saw a 50% bump in sales from appointments, their customer satisfaction improved and employee morale naturally boosted by the customer response, the typical upward spiral. They had never accepted appointments before. But now, as we look towards the post-pandemic world, they don’t intend to stop. In fact, they intend to transform appointments into total customer engagement – queues, appointments, floor capacity management, and curbside pickup.
Reasons all retail and service industries ought to consider appointment booking:
Appointments represent disciplined businesses focussed on the customer.
For the longest period, the challenge with Appointments was that no-one would seriously consider booking them unless the business simply does not support walk-ins. Now, post pandemic, appointments represent an orderly, well structured business. A business that focuses on a few customers at a time, providing their full attention and ensuring that employees are not overwhelmed by having to support multiple customers simultaneously.
Appointments are a better experience for customers and employees.
If a customer has gone a certain length in filling out their information or logged into their customer profile to book an appointment, they most often intend to keep it. The customer knows the time, or reminders keep them well reminded, and your service providers know their part beforehand. The customer engagement is transparent, purposeful and efficient.
Appointment are a qualified revenue.
This is the biggie. The customer has already declared their intent to spend a certain amount of time and money. They have already booked an appointment with you declaring their intent to spend it at your place, if you don’t bungle it up by being out of stock, being short staffed, etc.
Appointments help upselling.
If you are like most retailers, you have a few unique products, that are truly your brand identity and key revenue generators. But then you have a large set of products that have enough comparable competitors on Amazon. Appointment based customer interactions tend to complete quicker, allowing you to upsell your secondary revenue generating products.
Appointments help you learn more about your customers.
Accepting appointments, and promoting appointments is helping retailers learn more about their customers than walk-in sales or services could ever do. The better the appointment booking software, the more powerful your learnings will be. Starting from late appointments to no-shows, you can build and understand trends by geography, timeline and plan your staffing with knowledge and confidence.
A good appointment booking product will fuel your growth, help you gain customer loyalty, give you an appearance of a well ordered business and make you ready for the future. However we think the post-pandemic world will evolve, Appointments and the culture of keeping the time-promise is here to stay.