There are dozens of appointment solutions on the market – with more cropping up every day.
But not all appointment scheduling systems are created equal.
While the most basic systems handle appointment scheduling, more complex systems help automate the entire appointment management process and even facilitate online consultations.
Top-of-the-line software also lets your organization collect and analyze appointment data. You can use this data to pinpoint the parts of the customer journey that could be improved.
This helps you quickly identify opportunities to improve operations, reduce costs, and create a better customer experience.
Here are just some of the benefits the appointment analytics that come with a system like Q-Flow can bring to your organization – as well our tips for where to start leveraging this data to streamline your services and improve the customer journey.
Identify trends and busy periods
You’ll quickly start to spot trends once appointment analytics are running across your organization.
Certain times of the year, month, week, and day are busier than others for every organization. You’ll be able to quickly pinpoint your busiest periods with appointment analytics and plan staff schedules around them.
Demand for your service might even rise and fall in line with the weather, depending on what your organization does and where it’s located. Q-Flow’s appointment analytics incorporates weather data so you analyze the impact a rainy day has on your appointments and plan around that.
And you can view all this data at both a top-level and granular level. That empowers you to roll out specific initiatives for each site and service rather than taking a one-size-fits-all approach.
Plan resources in advance
Appointment analytics take the guesswork out of managing staff, equipment, and resources across your organization.
They arm you with the data you need to take a detailed look at the demands your organization needs to meet, allowing you to plan schedules in advance.
This helps prevent your sites ever being short-staffed or overwhelmed during busy periods. It also ensures you’re not left with an unengaged and uninspired workforce that are sitting around without much to do during quiet periods, as you can reduce staff (and save on your wage bill in the process).
Identify demands for specific services
If you offer several different services, appointment analytics can be invaluable in allowing you to allocate specialist skills and equipment across your organization exactly where they’re needed.
It also empowers you to evaluate demand for each of your services, which can be instrumental when you’re deciding whether to increase or wind down a service.
Identify gaps in your operations
Your appointment analytics dashboard shows you the average wait times and service times across your organization at a glance.
This empowers you to track these crucial customer satisfaction metrics at the service, site, department, and staff level.
You can use this data to benchmark how efficient your organization is and map improvements you make to customer satisfaction levels.
Q-Flow also benchmarks these key metrics against industry standards. This allows you to see where you stand against the competition – and which specific areas you might be falling short on.
Real-time feedback on new initiatives
Without access to customer feedback, measuring the impact of a change to the way you run a service or a tweak to the customer journey is largely guesswork. The next quarterly earnings report might be the first time you find out how the change has impacted customer satisfaction.
Appointment analytics incorporates responses to automated customer surveys you can send to your customers through Q-Flow. You can send these surveys to customers as SMS messages or push notifications while they’re accessing your service to get real-time feedback about specific aspects of your service.
You can then track trends in these real-time survey responses against the changes you’ve made to your services to get immediate feedback on whether the initiatives you introduce have the desired effect.
Appointment analytics will also reveal patterns among the appointments that don’t happen – the no-shows and cancellations.
It will allow you to drill down into the details to keep these to a minimum. If customers often don’t show up to appointments for a certain service, on a certain day, or at a certain time, you can segment those customers and craft automatic communications and reminders to go out to them.
You can even trigger automated messages and reminders based on the weather, which can prove effective at reducing no-shows when the weather takes a turn for the worse.
This data can also help you identify areas that might deserve further investigation in the form of customer surveys or market research. For example, looking into a no-show issue at one of your sites might reveal a deeper issue that needs your attention that would have gone unnoticed if you didn’t have access to that data.
A virtual queuing system saves all your customers’ data onto your system, making for a seamless check-in process for returning customers.
And while this can save your staff countless hours each week, first-time customers are likely to take a bit longer in comparison at reception while they get uploaded onto your system.
Your appointment analytics can help you identify which tend to be the busiest times for your frontline staff and funnel new appointments away from those hectic periods or to quieter site during those times.
You can also set up alerts for if appointments overtake staff availability so you can adjust staff schedules accordingly.
Where to start with appointment analytics
There are a few places we’d recommend you start with if you’d like to start realizing the benefits of appointment analytics across your organization:
Booking data – such as the types of services being booked, the number of appointments in a day, and the number of expected visitors – will help you get a 10,000ft view of your organization's appointments. This is the perfect place to unearth clear trends and discover quick wins in your efforts to improve the customer journey.
Check-in data is the next thing we’d recommend you take a look at:
- How often do customers arrive late or early?
- How many no-shows are you getting?
- What are the wait times between check-ins and appointments – across your organization and at the service, site, and department level?
Next, we’d recommend you dive into the service data:
- How long does it take for your customers to get an appointment?
- How long are they on-site during an appointment?
- And how does this all stack up against industry benchmarks and your competitors?
Finally, review the real-time customer feedback you’ve gathered through your virtual queuing system. What are your customers saying about wait times, service levels, and customer satisfaction – and how does that tally up against your appointment analytics?
You can unearth invaluable insights into how to improve your service offering by combining feedback from real customers with the appointment data a system like Q-Flow puts at your fingertips.
Appointment analytics empower you to collect data along the customer journey and transform it into actionable insights that fuels continuous improvement.
It arms you with intuitive dashboards that help you quickly identify the right levers to pull to reduce wait times, boost staff satisfaction, and improve the customer experience.
You can then use these as jumping-off points for deep dives into granular data. This can help you pinpoint changes that can have a significant impact on customer satisfaction across your organization.
To learn more about ACF’s appointment analytics solutions, get in touch with our team.