Ok, so maybe Scheduling Stress isn’t currently listed in the DSM, but it’s real enough to anyone who’s ever had to come up with an answer to the question “when is a good time for you” while scheduling an appointment over the phone and on the go. Life is busy. Things come up and many, many things come down without notice, so anything you can do to make scheduling easier on your clients is bound to make things easier on your employees, as well.
This is why online appointment scheduling has become just not a helpful tool, but a time-saving, stress-reducing resources which can help your clients experience less stress and a greater sense of control over their appointments and calendar. We’ll describe scheduling stress and how easy-to-use booking apps can help alleviate and even eliminate it.
About Scheduling Stress
To paint a portrait of scheduling stress, let’s look at two common scenarios.
Scenario A: The Phone Call
Setting the Stage
As the customer, we must first find a quiet place to make our call. If we have no kids or a job with built-in down time, this might not be much of a task, but for many of us, the prospect of setting the stage for a phone call is enough to make us put off scheduling the appointment for a lot longer than we’d like to admit.
We ring the number listed, maybe get a live person at first, but will likely have to wade through a few touch-tone options before reaching the scheduling desk. Once we have a live person on the line, we explain our need for an appointment, wait while they access our records, wait while they pull up the calendar, and begin the process of selecting a date.
Setting a Time
If we’re lucky, we have enough flexibility to make the next available appointment work, or maybe we get to pick and our preferred time slot is available. Unfortunately, this is not the most common outcome — especially when we’re in need of a medical appointment during cold and flu season. In this case, we have a back and forth to find a time that works for both of us. As the customer, we’re likely feeling pressured to commit and don’t give ourselves proper time to review our own schedule before choosing.
As the scheduling specialist, we are likely fielding disgruntled looks from in-office patients waiting to be helped while the person on the phone gets the attention they themselves require. After several minutes on the phone, an appointment is scheduled, and we hang up feeling relieved that it’s over before setting about our after-call work of putting this appointment in our calendar and hoping that we didn’t miss something that will require us to start over again.
Scenario B: The Online Booking App
Setting the Stage
We grab our phone while on the go or waiting for our next meeting to start. Maybe we’re being jostled by the subway crowds or pushing a shopping cart through the supermarket. We’re tired, we’re busy, but we have a free hand and a couple minutes to spare.
We click on our provider’s online appointment booking app or website and pull up the scheduling tool.
Setting a Time
We check to see when the next available appointment is then click back to the calendar on our smartphone to see if we’re open at that time. We may have to do this several times, but because we’re doing it all from the convenience of one simple device, it only take a few tries to find what looks like a good time.
We have to reschedule! Which process would we like to repeat? Scenario A or Scenario B.
How to Fix It
The simple truth is that online booking apps and online scheduling tools like Apptoto are more convenient and efficient for both your customer and your scheduling team. They help reduce stress by allowing customers to control the scheduling process from start to finish, without having to engage a live person on the other end of the phone. This means appointment scheduling can be done at your customer’s convenience while your in-house staff uses their time to provide better service to your in-office clients.
Contact Apptoto today to help relieve scheduling stress for your clients and your team.