My name’s Paula Burgess and I’m from Beyond the Maze. We are a Virtual Assistant Business based in Brisbane, Australia and we have a team of both Australian VA’s primarily, but we also have offshore VA’s as well, making this an affordable way of getting admin assistance.
Today I’m going to be talking about appointment setting.
What is appointment setting?
Appointment management – what it really is – is an essential aspect of many industries including people like healthcare, legal, financial and businesses.
Here at Beyond the Maze, we generally work in the allied health and financial planning space. We do have other clients that we also book appointments for.
Appointment management can increase productivity, reduce those wait times and improve customer satisfaction.
We will talk about today 7 key strategies for effective appointment management.
1. Use appointment scheduling software.
First of all, what we do here at Beyond the Maze is we use an appropriate appointment scheduling software. An appointment scheduling software can help you streamline the scheduling process and manage your appointments more efficiently.
These software programs could automate your appointment booking process, send reminders to customers and even allow customers to book your appointments online. It could also help us, as VA’s, to be able to reschedule easily. If somebody is ringing up rescheduling an appointment, then we can easily move that appointment to something else.
We can also charge out cancellation fees. It’s something else that you don’t have to be involved in and just get things moving in a more structural way we can.
2. Prioritize urgent appointments.
When we’re scheduling appointments, it might be crucial to prioritize those urgent cases. You might have somebody who’s sick or needs urgent attention or something. You might be able to have appointments in your diary that just cater for those people and that ensures that urgent cases are seen as quickly as possible, which reduces the risk of delays and negative outcomes.
3. Schedule buffer time.
We can schedule buffer time between appointments to allow for any delays that may happen or emergencies that might come up.
It also gives you a chance to actually just have a bit of a breather in between those appointments rather than just going from one appointment quickly to the next. Allowing this buffer time can also ensure that appointments stay on schedule, and it reduces your wait times for your clients.
4. Communicate with customers.
Clients communicating effectively is an essential part of effective appointment management. Ensure that your customers are aware of any changes to their appointment, such as rescheduling or cancellations.
Generally, an appointment management software will send out an email – an automated email or a text – if any changes are made to your client’s appointment, which helps keep them on track as well. It can avoid frustration and ensure that the appointments for you are utilized effectively.
When your diary is maxed out as much as it can be, this then obviously creates a better cash flow for you because its consistent funds coming in for you.
5. Use appointment confirmation.
Confirming appointments with customers in advance can reduce those risks of no shows. This can be done by email, text message or phone call depending on the customer’s preference.
Most of these programs have automatic reminders where you can set up a reminder 24 hours beforehand or 48 hours beforehand. You can add in that message that there’ll be a cancellation policy if they cancel after that time. It helps to set the precedent for what you expect.
6. Keep track of appointments.
It helps you keep track of your appointments which is a crucial and effective part of appointment management. Ensure that appointments are recorded accurately and stored in a central location that is easily accessible to all staff members. You have access to all your prior appointments for any reporting or Medicare claims and things like that. When you come to an auditing process, you’ve got all that information there for you.
7. Evaluate appointment management regularly.
Regular evaluation of appointment management practices can I help to identify areas for improvement. Review appointment scheduling processes, customer satisfaction and wait times to determine if changes can be made.
This is another benefit of having a virtual assistant in the business doing this appointment scheduling for you because we’re seeing things that are happening all the time and we can tweak those things as we move on.
In a nutshell, effective appointment management is essential for many industries. By using appointment scheduling software, you can be prioritizing urgent cases, scheduling buffer time, communicating with clients, using appointment confirmation, and keeping track of appointments.
This can improve your productivity in business and reduce your wait times and also it makes your clients happy.
If you wanted to talk to us about appointment setting and how you can bring that into your business and make that more effective for you, then book your obligation-free call here: https://beyondthemaze.com.au/contact/book-a-free-consultation/ . We’ll be happy to chat with you.
Bye for now.
Read our Blog about How a VA can Help with Customer Service