Research indicates online scheduling aids business growth.
Acuity Scheduling has helped millions of clients book appointments with tens of thousands of companies. In July 2014 they surveyed roughly 19,000 users to learn how they use online appointment scheduling. They also analysed the times of appointments and when they were booked of a subset of around 350,000 appointments to gain additional insights.
The insights make interesting reading in particular for small businesses who are thinking about levelling-up online and need some hard numbers to help make the decision to jump into online scheduling. The results support other research that confirms the increasing use of smart devices outside normal working hours and that people are planning their weeks ahead of time. I suspect the uptick in business growth was largely attributable to being able to better use time previously spent on the phone with clients doing more income generating work.
- The most popular day to book appointments isn’t the same as the most popular day appointments are booked for.
- Monday appointments are more likely to be booked on a Saturday than on a Sunday.
- Clients schedule when it is most convenient for them, not necessarily when a business is open.
- On average, businesses saved 2.5 weeks per year.
- Nearly all businesses prefer clients to schedule online. Those who didn’t most mentioned reasons about needing to talk with each person before booking.
- Even though the focus is on empowering clients to schedule themselves, 11% of businesses choose not to offer that to clients.
- Starting to offer online scheduling correlated with business growth — offer scheduling online assists with growth by helping to manage larger numbers of clients booking their own appointments.
- Automatic reminders significantly decreased no-shows. That amount of time saved is not included in the 2.5 weeks.