Ever wish someone would have mentioned while you were learning your craft that being a health and wellness practitioner means going into business for yourself? That’s right! Attracting new clients, managing schedules and appointments, generating repeat business and long-term relationships – it’s all part of the gig.
Here are four tips to boost productivity and strengthen your scheduling practices so you have more time to focus on your clients.
1. Offer Online Booking Directly on Your Website or Facebook Page
Many practices are still using paper books or a calendar tool that does not connect directly with their clients. Allowing appointments to be booked online will fill your calendar even when your business is closed or you are serving other clients. Online booking is both practical and convenient because it significantly cuts down on the volume of calls, emails and telephone tag while being very easy for clients to use.
Many applications exist that make online appointment booking possible, but it is wise to steer clear of public calendars that display your appointment information to all.
You don’t need to be a tech guru to integrate online booking into your website, Facebook page, and advertising or social media campaigns. In other words, it’s easy to increase your online presence, making it simple for individuals to find you online and become new clients.
2. Boost Your Client’s Experience by Collecting Information in Advance
You ask clients to arrive 15 minutes in advance to their appointment, but how many actually do? So many health professionals feel rushed between clients. Why not integrate an online health questionnaire into your booking process? Clients can take the time they need in the comfort of their own home to reflect upon your questions and respond.
By identifying preferences, problem areas and other relevant information well before the appointment start time, you can spend less time diagnosing and more time addressing your client’s needs when face-to-face.
3. Cut Down on No-Shows with Notifications and Reminders
Your clients have busy lives and other priorities. Being proactive and reminding them of their upcoming appointments is proven to reduce no-shows.
Calling clients individually works well, but automating the process is a real time-saver. Automatic email and text message reminders are a simple and inexpensive way to prevent costly no-shows and last-minute cancellations that add up during the course of a year.
The cherry on top: Upon receiving the appointment reminder, clients can confirm or cancel in real-time with the simple click of a button. The appointment status automatically gets updated to your calendar, and you are never left hanging as to whether or not your client will be attending.
4. Maintain an Online Waiting List for Busy Periods
Once your practice starts taking off and your schedule is getting booked up well in advance, an automated waiting list is an effective way to retain the clients that you cannot immediately accommodate. No more scribbling names on a piece of paper – clients can simply add their names and appointment time preferences to your database, directly from your booking portal.
The beauty of an online waiting list is that it can be easily filtered and is fully integrated into your calendar. It’s also a great way to fill last-minute gaps caused by cancellations because clients on your waiting list are automatically notified when a time slot opens up.
By following these tips, you will soon find that you are dedicating more time to your actual craft, and that will naturally translate to more clients and revenue for your business.
About the Author
Dominic Iafigliola is the founder behind CalendarSpots.com, a hosted online appointment software for small- to medium-sized businesses. Since the launch of CalendarSpots.com in 2009, Dominic has worked with health and wellness professionals to help them collaboratively manage staff schedules, client appointments and room availability.