How to Effectively Schedule & Manage Appointments

Making an appointment, in many cases, is the first contact your customers or patients have with you and your company. It is the opportunity for you to show them that you are organized and professional, that you value their time, and also that your time is important and the appointment should be taken seriously.

Moreover, when someone is making an appointment to see a doctor, there is a good chance that they are worried or anxious. We don’t usually see a doctor when everything is going smoothly. And even if that is the case, making an appointment might still cause some stress.

Effectively scheduling and managing appointments goes a long way toward easing your customers’ or patients’ anxiety. By making the process smooth and professional, you are demonstrating to them that there is no need to worry, they are in good hands.

With Weave’s Smart Confirmation, your customers or patients receive timely, personal, and professional attention. You make a good first impression, you help put them at ease and reduce the chances of canceled or missed appointments.

Effective Bookings

An effective booking is one that is clear and confirmed. It is accompanied with all the relevant information the client or patient needs:

  • Day, date, time, purpose of the appointment, name of the doctor, patient, or company rep
  • Confirmation
  • Cancellation policy
  • Heads up concerning reminders that will be sent

An effective booking is effective customer engagement. It will help you:

  • Make a good impression
  • Gather relevant data about the client
  • Reduce the number of cancellations or missed appointments

Automated Scheduling Software

Effectively scheduling and managing appointments might seem like an overwhelming task – especially, given all the other tasks you are meant to carry out. But, you don’t need to go it alone – nor should you.

With effective automated scheduling software, you can rest assured that the import task of scheduling and managing your clients’ bookings is taken care of. Then, you are free to focus your resources and attention on other matters. 


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Reduce Your Cancellation Rate

There are many reasons customers or patients cancel or miss an appointment. By understanding the habits and trends of the people you interact with, you are able to predict, with a large amount of accuracy, what they are going to do.

This same reasoning is applicable to scheduling appointments. With Weave Customer Insights, all relevant customer information is centralized, giving you immediate and actionable information every time you interact with a particular customer.

Knowing and tracking your customers’ behavior will inform you of how to act so you can take the necessary preventative measure to greatly reduce your customers’ cancellation rate. 

Increase Customer Engagement

Scheduling an appointment is an opportunity to communicate vital messages that can be the foundation for customer loyalty.

With Weave Automated Messaging, you will eliminate the frustration of phone tag and missed calls. Plus Weave’s Automated Messaging allows you to send personal reminders and follow-ups, increasing customer engagement which can only lead to a greater customer retention rate and loyalty.

Associate the appointment with a name

Whenever possible, attach the appointment with a specific name. If your patient makes an appointment to see a dentist, make sure that you communicate the name of the dentist. This serves to personalize the appointment. Patients or customers are less likely to cancel or miss an appointment when it is associated with a name.

The name associated with the appointment should figure in all subsequent messages or reminders.

When scheduling appointments, show that your time is important 

A relaxed, overly informal approach to scheduling appointments conveys to the customer that your time is not that important. The inference may be that perhaps the service you provide is not that valuable, or you have not done what you need to do in order to gain a large base of satisfied and loyal customers. 

Conversely, by implementing a clean, efficient, and professional approach to scheduling appointments, you are conveying to your customer that your time is important. The inference is that most likely your service has value and you are so good at what you do that you have gained a large base of satisfied and loyal customers.

While it is important to be friendly, polite, and personable when scheduling an appointment, it is equally important to be precise and meticulous. This will convey to your customers or patients that your time is important (because the service you provide has value). This will go a long way toward instilling confidence in your service while decreasing the chance of canceled or missed appointments.

When scheduling appointments, show that you respect your customers’ time

A relaxed, overly informal approach to scheduling appointments conveys to your customer that you don’t perceive their time as being of utmost importance. 

It is important you convey to your customers that you value their time. Scheduling appointments with great attention to detail will go a long way toward conveying that message.

What Makes an Appointment Binding?

To a large extent, the cancellation policy you implement is up to you, provided it is clearly communicated from the outset.

Inform your customer from the outset of your cancellation policy

It is not enough to attach your cancellation policy in fine print at the bottom of a message. With Weave Automated Messaging, you will never miss the opportunity to clearly communicate your cancellation policy and the appropriate times. And you will give your customer or patient the opportunity to confirm, thus eliminating surprises and removing the possibility of excuses that they were not made aware or they did not understand.

Appointment Scheduling Checklist

To summarize how to effectively schedule your customers’ appointments:

  • Ideally, you will give them an option of days and hours (though, not too many. You don’t want to give the impression that your services are not highly sought after).
  • Give them the opportunity to confirm. Their confirmation is an agreement of their commitment. It highlights the seriousness of their appointment and, should they cancel or miss the appointment, it eliminates any excuse of misunderstanding or miscommunication.
  • Inform your customers of any cancellation policy. By being clear and upfront, you convey to your customers that you are organized and professional. Additionally, you eliminate any surprises, which are generally not well received by customers.
  • Inform your customers of the reminders you intend to send. Weave can send automated personal reminders to each of your customers, either to the customer’s phone or to their email, or both. Some people may find these reminders intrusive or even annoying. Make sure that you tell the customer or patient at the outset that they will receive reminders. This serves many functions, some are not as evident as others:
    • This mitigates or avoids instances where the customer or patient may find the reminders intrusive.
    • This lets the customer or patient know that by scheduling the appointment they have begun a process (one that is not easily undone).
    • This emphasizes the fact that the appointment is important and keeping it should be a priority.
    • When they do receive the reminders, they have received proof that you do what you say you will do. This will give them further confidence in you.
    • It also serves as a reminder for those who are likely to otherwise let the appointment slip their mind.
  • Thank them for scheduling their appointment. Weave provides automated messaging. But automated doesn’t have to mean impersonal or impolite. With Weave, you will never miss the opportunity to thank your customer or patient. Weave will help you ensure comprehensive, personal, and polite interactions.

Ready to take your business’s appointment management to the next level? Schedule a demo of Weave today and see the improvements for yourself.

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