Imagine arriving at your practice, and overnight someone’s organised your calendar to perfection. All of your appointments are scheduled, there are fewer emails clogging your inbox, and the voicemail’s not showing any messages to sift through. Confirmation emails, reminder emails and texts have all been sent to improve your no-show rates and, you even have time to have a cup of tea and a chat before your first appointment. Even better, you didn’t have to pay anyone to work the evening shift.
What is this witchcraft you speak of?
It’s called an online booking system. Simply put, it’s software that allows a potential customer to book and pay for an activity or service directly through your website–seen one of these before? Of course, you have. That’s because everyone – from airlines to Uber – is using them and the benefits are endless.
What are the benefits of online booking?
Don’t get me wrong, when done well, operating a traditional phone-based booking system can be highly effective. However, as your practice grows, this method isn’t always enough and can result in increased demands on staff, longer waiting times and more room for errors.
On top of that, you’re spending a lot of time manually recording each booking and trying to match your availability with the patients’. This can get messy, resulting in double bookings, missed appointments and a lot of needless telephone tag.
By implementing online bookings, you can sit back and let the software do all of the work for you so you can accomplish more. Your patients will love it too. Not everyone can make a call between 9 and 5, and some people don’t want to call at all. Giving your patients the option to book during their night shift, in the supermarket queue, or even while they’re on the toilet, is the kind of flexibility everyone can appreciate in today’s manic, 24-hour society.
That’s the beauty of online booking systems – they work all the time. You can maximise your sales because you’re not limited to your working hours, and the customer can select a timeslot and make a reservation based on real-time information.
(P.S. To take the next step towards a more flexible and functional practice, get an online appointment. We would love to have a quick chat about your practice, website and booking requirements so that we can get your Calendly online booking set-up for you!)
How do I know which system to choose?
After carefully assessing and comparing the top online booking system software, we chose Calendly. Calendly is a powerful yet straightforward automated scheduling tool which can be embedded directly into your website, launched from any social media platform or work entirely on its own.
Calendly integrates with Google, Office 365 and Outlook, and checks all calendars for conflicts to avoid double-booking. It also adds new events to your calendars automatically.
The software is fully optimised for desktops, phones and tablets, ensuring invitees have no compatibility issues while running the software on their devices.
Want to see how easy it is, check out Laura Livesey’s online booking system, directly connected to her real-time diary, right here.
As you can see, we’ve also embedded all of her events in the sidebar of this blog post (look at the right-hand corner).