Personalized Service for Appointment-Driven Businesses (2019 Update)

By Kelly Wilson - Jul 25, 2018

Think back to the last time you interacted with your bank, or credit union; was there personalized service involved. Was it easy to get in touch? Did the organization recognize who you were–online or over the phone–and make you feel like a valued customer? How fast and easy was it to do business? These are all potential points of friction that can (and frequently do) create frustration for customers when trying to connect with their financial services organization.

87% of people think brands need to work harder to create a seamless experience for customers and for many forward-thinking organizations, this has become a corporate priority for 2018. While the motivation to change often arises from a combination of empathy for a poor customer experience, and a mandate to digitally transform customer-facing touchpoints, the business case arises when you begin to lose customers to competitors who make it easier to do business, online or in-person.

Financial services organizations who are seeking to differentiate themselves can do so through the power of personalization.  Why is this important? As a customer, you can probably empathize with the desire to be recognized, valued and respected as an individual, by the organization from which you’ve decided to buy a product or service. This can help inspire loyalty, reduce churn, and increase customer retention.

While striving to deliver an exceptional customer experience is not a new concept, creating an ‘omnichannel experience’ is a relatively new buzzword circulating in the industry to describe how organizations go about providing a personalized service, at scale. For appointment-driven businesses, enterprise scheduling can play an integral role in the customer’s omnichannel experience.

What is an Omni-Channel Experience?

An omnichannel is an experience that is created by integrating multiple channels to provide customers with a seamless, personalized service.  For example, whether a customer calls in with a support inquiry, is looking to book an appointment with you online, or visits a physical location, they will be recognized as the same person.

Why is a Non-Omni-Channel Experience Frustrating to Customers?

It’s terribly annoying to be treated as a different person on every channel that you use and every interaction you have with an organization. For example:

  • Contacting an organization through their contact center for customer support means you’ll have to to recap all details with every new representative.
  • Logging into the website, you’ll have to provide the same information again because it is treated as a separate channel.
  • Walking into a retail location for an appointment, you’ll have to provide the same information you’ve already entered online and over the phone.

Without integrations and information sharing between channels, it’s very challenging to offer a streamlined customer experience.

Reducing Customer Churn with an Omni-Channel Experience

How do you start to shift your appointment-driven organization towards offering an omnichannel experience? Base your strategy around customer experience trends that are sweeping your industry. Below, we’ve identified some of the key customer experience trends we’ve noted for 2018, and how implementing an integrated scheduling solution can help deliver a competitive edge.

Customer Experience Trend #1: Build experiences that tie together online, contact center, physical locations

64% of customers expect to receive real-time assistance regardless of the customer service channel they use.  Offering the same experience across channels, gives people the luxury of choosing the scheduling method that best suits them, which results in feeling valued and respected as an individual.

How an integrated scheduling solution helps

Implementing a scheduling solution can help your organization offer a differentiated customer experience, by providing easy access for customers to book appointments regardless of the channel that they prefer to use.   Customers will be able to book appointments online, through your organization’s contact center, as well as in branch, and the integrated platform offers the same data and appointment availability, all in real time.

Customer Experience Trend #2: Revamp the underperforming areas of the customer experience using collected customer data.

Offering a personalized service is becoming a requirement to ensure the success of your business and 69% of people believe customer service expectations are increasing year-on-year.  The financial services industry is competitive and customers have many options to choose from, making it imperative that your business offers a premium customer experience. The challenge that organizations face is that it is difficult to create a personalized service without accurate customer data.

How an integrated scheduling solution helps

Coconut Software enables organizations to capture appointment analytics which track the customer journey across channels, from the time the appointment is booked, through to the appointments completion.  By tracking metrics across the appointment lifecycle, you can begin see which areas in the scheduling process have room for improvement, while gaining additional insights into your customers’ appointment needs.

Here are just some of the analytics that we enable you to start tracking …

  • Appointment cancellations, no-shows and completion rates
  • Drop-off rates in online appointment scheduling process
  • Weekly, monthly and yearly trends in appointment scheduling
  • Customer appointment satisfaction
  • Top performing locations and staff

Customer Experience Trend #3:  Evaluate your brand vision and redefine your customer service promise

78% of people say a company’s reputation for customer service is important to them when choosing a particular brand.  Creating an omnichannel experience that makes your customers feel valued will make a lasting impression, which, over time, will reduce churn.  Revamping parts of the customer experience to deliver a premium service doesn’t always require a huge time and resources investment. Making a simple change like implementing online appointment scheduling can have a remarkable impact on increasing customer satisfaction.

How an Integrated Appointment Management Solutions Helps

Making it as easy as possible to book an appointment with your organization will build your brand and help attract new business, as well as improve accessibility for existing customers. Coconut Software can help you streamline your organization’s scheduling applications and increase the efficiency and consistency of the appointment scheduling process through every channel.

Parting Thoughts

Offering an omnichannel journey to your customers is becoming less of a luxury and more of a necessity. For appointment-driven businesses, implementing a scheduling software is an integral component of creating this white-glove, personalized experience.

If you’re recognizing the need to transform how customers connect with your enterprise throughout of the appointment lifecycle, you should consider scheduling a short consultation with one of our enterprise appointment advisors. After hearing the specifics of your unique appointment scheduling challenges, they can discuss with you how Coconut Software can help you offer a more personalized, streamlined customer scheduling process, and how this can contribute to a stronger omnichannel experience.