Losing Customers Due to a Manual Appointment Scheduling Process?

Losing Customers Due to a Manual Appointment Scheduling Process?

Are friction points in your manual appointment scheduling process turning away potential customers? As an appointment-driven business, in order to drive revenue into your branch locations, you rely on customers to reach out and schedule appointments with you. When this process includes too many steps, customers can be discouraged from completing their scheduling, and you may end up with the appointment equivalent of abandoned cart syndrome.

When calling in to schedule an appointment, long hold times or inefficient call handling processes in your contact center could be creating friction for customers. Or, they could be frustrated from receiving no response after filling out a generic contact us form that goes to an internal mailbox that no one ever checks. Customers have come to expect it to be easy to get in touch with their bank or credit union, and scheduling an appointment is no exception. Here are some of the reasons why customers may be turning away from completing your manual appointment scheduling process and how you can remedy them.

Ready to discover what areas of your customer journey are damaging your customer effort score? Schedule a customer effort assessment.

Lengthy Hold Time

Did you know that 80% of the calls that are left on hold for over one minute drop off the line?  Many appointment-driven businesses field the majority of their appointment scheduling through their contact center. If you are dealing with high call volumes at your contact center and your appointment scheduling process is not streamlined, your reps will be accumulating a lengthy call queue. Leaving customers waiting on hold for long periods of time risks losing those customers, and especially if they are new.  Poor customer service is the main reason why customers switch to a competitor, and as an appointment-driven business, you do not want your organization’s poor contact center customer experience to be the reason why your customers are retreating to your competitors.  Are you aware of how many potential appointments drop off the line in your organization’s contact center due to the frustration of being left on hold?

Implementing a solution such as enterprise appointment scheduling can change your manual appointment scheduling process to an efficient, more automated process.

Inefficient Call Handling Process

According to the International Financial Corporation, the global average talk time in financial services contact centers is 4 minutes.  Are the current processes in your organization allowing you to competitively offer an efficient contact center customer experience that compares to the global standard?

When a customer calls into your contact center and finally gets through to the representative after waiting in the lengthy call queue, they are typically asked for their basic personal information, and what service they require. The customer is then placed on hold for the second time while the contact center representative searches through multiple platforms to find the necessary information to schedule the appointment. The advisor has to

  • Check branch locations: The first application is typically a geolocator to find the nearest branch to the customer.
  • Search available, qualified staff: Then the representative has to search through an extensive list of employees who work at that desired branch location, to try and find an advisor who is qualified to conduct the service that the customer requires.
  • Check staff availability: The contact center representative reviews the calendars for the available and qualified advisors at the desired branch.

During this time the customer may be growing impatient, as they have already been left on hold for a lengthy amount of time at the beginning of the process, and have now been placed on hold again! Unsure as to how long this hold will take, some customers will impatiently abandon the call at this point, instead of waiting for the advisor.

The appointment scheduling process should not be so difficult. And if this simple process is so time-consuming, what does that mean for the experience they will have when they show up for their appointment?  Your scheduling process should provide a positive experience to customers and start their journey with your organization off on the right foot.

If this is the situation your contact center reps find themselves in, we bet your customers would greatly benefit from our integrated back-end appointment management system. Our solution will take your representatives on a more efficient appointment scheduling journey, eliminating the second hold time previously spent toggling between multiple applications. With all applications integrated into one platform, both your contact center reps and your customers will enjoy a more streamlined appointment scheduling process.

Limited Communication Channels

According to Parature’s 2015 Global State of Multichannel Customer Service Report, 90% of consumers expect their service providers to offer self-service portals.  As more industries begin their transformation into the digital age, customer expectations will continue to rise.  One thing that customers are starting to expect is convenient, 24/7 accessibility to your organization. If your organization cannot keep up with new self-service trends, then you are running the risk of your customers going elsewhere in search of the customer experience that they desire.

A study run by Accenture found that 49% of customers switched a service provider in the past year due to poor customer service.  As the scheduling process is the first touchpoint for your customers with your organization, you want to ensure that you are providing them with the channels that they desire, and that provide them with a positive experience.

More organizations are beginning to adopt new self-service trends, which provide their customers with a faster and more convenient experience.  Implementing a solution such as enterprise appointment scheduling allows your customers the option to interact independently with your company on a convenient and easy to navigate platform.  Enterprise appointment scheduling can be integrated into your organization’s online, customer-facing channels, providing customers with a 24/7 appointment scheduling tool, that caters to their ever-increasing expectations around customer experience.

Increase Scheduled Appointment to Increase Revenue

How many different steps must customers go through in order to scheduling an appointment with you? Where are the biggest opportunities for improvement?

By implementing a solution that speeds up the appointment scheduling process in your contact center, you’ll reduce hold time and increase appointment scheduling efficiency. Providing customer-facing channels that are intuitive and easy for customers to access is key to the success of your business as it allows customers to seamlessly schedule the appointments that bring revenue into your organization’s branch locations.

What’s Next?

Ready to discover what areas of your customer journey are damaging your customer effort score? Schedule a customer effort assessment.

Interested in learning how appointment scheduling can help your entire organization engage more efficiently and effectively with customers? Download our Customer Experience Whitepaper.

Ready to get started? Schedule a consultation today.