The New Normal in Appointment Scheduling
We've previously discussed the outlook for queue management, and outlined some of the likely characteristics of "the new normal of queuing for customer service". We've mentioned that this will become inseparable from appointment scheduling. Now let's focus on this latter topic.
We're looking at two types of scheduling:
- There's scheduling in the narrow sense, in which one is planning an onsite appointment.
- And, there's scheduling in the broader sense, where every B2C interaction would be booked in advance.
Scheduling everything makes sense. Because when something is planned, and has a particular time slot assigned to it, it takes away the uncertainty. When work is certain, it becomes easier to manage, to allocate staff and resources, to meet KPI goals, and maximize efficiency.
The reality of a world where congestion has to be avoided and exposure time minimized, today forces service providers to use slot reservations, even where once it was unthinkable: we book slots to go to the mall, to buy train tickets, or to enter shops.
As this becomes a habit, it gets easier to also accept booking appointments for online interactions: we would schedule a video appointment, a phone call, perhaps even a chat. And as we learn the benefits of better time management not just to the business, but also to the consumer side, the habit will stay.
It's also likely that many businesses will learn that better control over store visitors isn't just efficient, but also increases sales. By switching from a high-traffic strategy to a strategy of personalized approach and paying greater attention to a smaller number of identified customers, visitor value may rise.
So, The New Normal in appointment scheduling is very likely to include:
- Reserving time slots to enter locations where once, entrance would be unlimited.
- Booking online meetings and interaction of all sorts.
- Supporting the above, businesses would encourage and enable scheduling through any channel available: web, social media, mobile apps etc.
- Helping people navigate a world where everything is scheduled, personal automated assistants or bots would manage your calendar for you, moving things around if necessary based on your personal requests and constraints.
- Over time, your devices would help you stick to your schedule. Your phone would remind you of your video call and connect you to it on time, and if you need to get somewhere, it will instruct your autonomous vehicle to take you there.
Is your appointment scheduling system ready for these new challenges?
Contact us to learn more about how Q-nomy's omnichannel queuing solutions can help your prepare for the future of customer service.