How to improve your appointment booking

Private clinics can grow their business by streamlining appointment booking and filling unbooked appointment slots. Tim Morris offers three ideas.

1 Use live chat technology to schedule appointments there and then

Installing live chat technology onto your website is a great way to convert browsing people into inquiries and prompt them into booking appointments with your practice.

When done properly, trained operators will be on hand to help field clients’ questions about services on offer. Previously, independent health practitioners had to wait for clients to phone or fill in online forms. 

Nowadays, you can reach your customers at the source with a trained, proactive live-chat operator to message your vistors to your website and massively boost their engagement with your business. 

Using live chat also enables you to take preliminary information about the client ahead of time, asking specific questions to better prepare for appointments, reassure them if needed and book introductory meetings. 

If your client wants further information, your web-chat operator can book them in for a call or consultation with one of the clinicians at your practice. This means your website visitor has now become a fully engaged potential new client. 

2Offer a 24/7 omnichannel appointment booking experience

Appointment booking has changed significantly over the past decade with clients now wanting to reach businesses on the channel of their choice at a time to suit them. 

Ensuring your practice has multiple channels for interacting with customers and booking appointments outside of traditional 9 to 5 working hours is now a necessity in 2023. 

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Increase sales

By offering the opportunity to book an appointment on all your channels – live chat, social media, website, over the phone or visiting your clinic – you can improve your business’s interaction and increase sales by capturing your customers at the peak of their interest. 

Not only does giving your clients access to your practice across all touchpoints help capture more appointments, but I believe it will also help to exceed their expectations. 

Why? Because they have an easy way to interact with you on their terms – whenever and wherever it is convenient for them. No more frustrations for them having to wait until morning to ring your reception or only being able to call at certain times to get something scheduled. 

With this seamless blend of online and offline channels, your customers can schedule appointments as they please and get the tailored experiences they crave.

3Save time and generate leads through outsourcing 

Anyone who owns a clinic understands that time is money. Often – especially as an independent practitioner – your focus needs to be on the business-critical activities rather than administration. 

So, to perfect your appointment booking services, I suggest outsourcing your communications to a team of trained experts with access to your diary. 

Then, in response to customer inquiries, appointments can be scheduled on your behalf, eliminating the time wasted playing phone ping-pong with customers.

 Another benefit to outsourcing appointment booking is that your client benefits from an immediate sense of satisfaction having achieved their desired level of commitment from you, first time.

Outsourcing diary management, reception and customer service also allows you to turn what would once have been a missed call or opportunity into a confirmed appointment, which massively benefits lead conversion.

Tim Morris (right) is managing director of customer communications specialist, Cymphony