Our busy lives require schedules, and schedules function better when they’re organized efficiently. When running a business, your schedule has to make time for clients. By using customer relationship management (CRM) tools and features, you have the ability to create, customize, automate, and streamline client scheduling. Here, I show you five ways your CRM solution can help you streamline client scheduling:
- Create an online calendar.
- Integrate and sync calendars.
- Add links for payment options.
- Promote your calendar on social media.
The solution to many scheduling issues begins with how scheduling is done. Online appointment scheduling software eliminates the need for the “back-and-forth” correspondence attempting to correlate times, dates, and locations. By using your CRM software, you can solve many problems and streamline client scheduling. Let’s dive into those tips.
Create and Share Your Online Calendar
You have a great calendar app, and you’re diligent about adding appointments. At a glance, you can see your appointments and which time slots are free. Too bad your clients can’t. By sharing your calendar online, clients can schedule appointments with you themselves, saving time and effort. You can even send clients a link to your calendar. When a client schedules an appointment in an available time slot, that slot is no longer available to others. You then receive a notification of the new appointment.
Prevent wasted time slots by reminding clients of their appointment with you. You can automatically send reminders by email and SMS up to 48 hours in advance. In addition, you can customize messages to allow clients to confirm by replying “yes.” As an added bonus, you can use the auto-message option to send clients a “thank you” message after the appointment, which helps improve client satisfaction.
Integrate and Sync Calendars
It’s not uncommon to use more than one type of computer or mobile device. If you’re like many of us, you have several devices possibly running different platforms, so you may have more than one calendar app. CRM tools and features integrate with various calendar apps, including Microsoft Office 365, Google Calendar, and Microsoft Outlook. As you schedule and sync new meetings, you receive email notifications.
Add Links for Payment Options
Make it easier for your customers to make payments by adding payment options. By including a payment link through the calendar app, your clients get a quick and easy way to make payment for services. In addition, offering a payment option directly from your calendar aids you in tracking invoices because they’re linked directly to the client appointment.
Promote Your Calendar on Social Media
Options are available to allow clients to link to your calendar directly from your website and social media pages. Adding a “Book Now” or “Schedule Appointment” button to your Facebook page is a free marketing option that lets you target visitors to your company’s social media page. Posting a link to your online calendar on all other social media pages offers potential clients a time-saving option for scheduling an appointment.
In addition to the tips above, several other tips can help you streamline client scheduling:
• “Buffer time” between meetings. Prevent surprise appointments, and avoid the need to hurry from one client to the next by scheduling buffer time between meetings.
• Message from appointment scheduler. Customize a message that your clients will receive when they visit your online appointment scheduler explaining the calendar’s purpose and how it works.
• Meeting types. Define various durations for meetings. You can also classify meeting types by using customized labels such as “demo,” “consultation,” and “follow-up.”
• Meeting locations. Offer clients various options for meeting locations. Default settings typically include in person, phone, or Skype options, but you can customize these settings to add other options, such as Facebook Messenger.
Use of a streamlined scheduling system can help increase both revenue and customer satisfaction. By using the tools and features available in your CRM software as well as the tips in this article, you’ll be able to create a productive and efficient client scheduling process.
About the Author
Carma Haley Shoemaker is a long-time magazine writer and novelist. She has written for various online and print publications, including Women’s Health and Fitness and Parenting, and she writes fiction in multiple genres, including romance, fantasy, and paranormal. Carma prides herself in being “a nurse by trade and a writer by nature.” To find out more about her, visit her at Facebook.com/writercarma or at her website, carmicwords.com. Carma is an analyst for Studio B.
Source: SANS ISC SecNewsFeed @ February 22, 2017 at 07:18PM