The benefits of scheduling appointments to increase business revenue

By Kelly Wilson - Jan 30, 2019

Credit unions and banks rely on generating revenue through their appointments, making it crucial that your organization maximizes these interactions to get the most value out of this customer touchpoint.

An appointment is an appointment, right? Actually, there is a big difference between a walk-in and a scheduled appointment in terms of revenue generation.  First of all, walk-in appointments are unpredictable, with unexpected influxes leaving your customers waiting, and your staff overwhelmed. Additionally, they leave little time for your customer-facing staff to adequately prepare in order to make the most out of the interaction.  

For appointments your organization schedules ahead of time, you might be missing out on valuable information during the booking process that you could use to optimize your customer interactions.

With integrated appointment scheduling, you will be able to get the most out of the appointment booking process.  This will enable you to increase revenue generation and reduce operational costs within your organization by enhancing your contact center processes, gaining additional insight into customer needs as well as optimizing staff time.

How integrated appointment scheduling reduces operational costs and increases revenue

Integrated appointment scheduling is a great implementation to consider when your organization is looking to reduce operational costs and increase revenue generation while enhancing one of the most critical touchpoints of the customer experience. Enterprise appointment scheduling will help you reduce headcount in your organization, optimize staff time and gain additional insight into customer needs, in order to stay ahead of the competition.

Reduce headcount in your contact center

The current problem

According to Forrester, there is an increase in call volume expected to occur over the next 12 months. To accommodate this increase, 46% of global contact center decision makers project their contact center will grow by 5% to 10%.

While some operations executives and call center managers are hiring more staff to manage call volume, this only solves one of their problems and is not an economically sustainable solution.

The solution

Implementing an integrated appointment scheduling solution gives you the ability to serve your customers more efficiently by speeding up the appointment booking process in your call center, reducing call handle time and the hold time associated with over the phone booking.

By speeding up the booking process, you can accommodate the heavy traffic coming into your call center without hiring more representatives. You’ll also drive more traffic into your organization’s branches while saving money on call center operations.

Optimize staff time

The current problem

Booking appointments is a time-consuming process for your customers, as well as your staff.  Typically, customers are left waiting over the phone or in person for one of your staff to sort through multiple applications, requiring them to go back and forth with the customer while coordinating staff-client availability.  Needless to say, this is an aggravating process for both parties.

This process consumes a lot of staff time that could be used to accomplish other revenue generating tasks.  Alternatively, walk-in appointments are also a nightmare when it comes to optimizing staff time, as your employees fluctuate between being overwhelmed and having too much idle time.  When your business provides walk-in appointment services, you need staff who are readily available to last-minute customers.  This means staff are either taken away from an alternate task when a customer walks in, or they are sitting idle, waiting for the possibility of a walk-in appointment.  Both scenarios are a poor use of employee time and cost your business money.

The solution

By transitioning your organization to function primarily off of scheduled appointments, you will be able to optimize your staff time in order to increase revenue generation.  With reduced walk-in appointments, your staff can use their time preparing for upcoming appointments instead of idly waiting for walk-ins.

Along with eliminating the tedious task of coordinating staff-client availability, it frees up your customer-facing staff to accomplish revenue generating tasks. With more time to prepare for scheduled meetings, it’s easier for your staff to up-sell clients based on their history with your organization.

Gain insight into customer history to increase revenue

The current problem

When customers schedule an appointment through a contact center, they provide basic information, including their name, status with your company and the appointment services they require.  From there, the contact center rep will schedule an appointment that works for the customer and an available rep at the desired location.

Your customer-facing advisor has almost no information about the customer. They can’t prepare for the interaction, missing out on opportunities to up-sell and generate revenue for your organization.

Collecting limited information at the time of appointment booking is problematic for two reasons.  

  1. For returning customers, it shows that your organization does not know much, if anything, about their history with your organization, making them feel undervalued.
  2. It leaves your organization missing out on key revenue generating information.

The solution

When additional customer information is captured at the appointment booking, you gain additional insight into the customer’s history with your organization so your reps can provide a more personalized appointment experience.

If you want to gain insight into their banking history, you can ask:

  • How long have you been banking with us?
  • When was the last time you scheduled an appointment with us?
  • Do you do most of your banking online?

These pre-appointment questions provide advisors with additional insight into customer banking behavior, allowing them to make more informed decisions about what other services they can offer during their upcoming customer interaction.  Additionally, when a customer comes in for their appointment and is recognized by their financial institution, it makes them feel valued and reduces the chance of them seeking out a competitor who offers a better experience.

With integrated appointment scheduling, you can address multiple processes in your organization that are costing you money or causing you to miss out on potential revenue generating opportunities.  For more information about how you can reduce costs and increase the value of your customer interactions, schedule a consultation today!