Zippia determined that an impressive 67% of customers prefer to book services online. These customers book 40% of their appointments after business hours.
The same study also found that 26% of online appointments are same-day or next-day appointments.
It’s clear that if you want your service-based business to succeed, you need to have an eye-catching booking page to sell your services.
Yet, what type of appointment scheduling should you offer your customers? Which type of appointment will work best for your business?
At Book Like A Boss (BLAB), we’ll quickly help you master the art of offering the best appointment types to make more money!
The Five Types Of Appointment Scheduling You Should Have
Appointment scheduling is essential to any service-based business. You make more money and have happier clients when you do it right.
Unfortunately, scheduling is a very hands-on, time-consuming process. You have to negotiate the best times, manage logistics, and send out reminders to ensure that everybody meets at the correct time.
If you don’t do this well, you may miss important appointments, lose money, and upset your customers.
Most successful service-based businesses avoid this by automating bookings online. They use intelligent booking software such as our very own BLAB to stay in control of the booking process.
This software saves them time, letting them concentrate on other aspects of running their business.
While all businesses benefit from appointment scheduling software, they don’t all require the same kind of bookings.
Here are the five most essential types of bookings you should know about. We’ll even show you how you can manage them like a boss!
1. Time-Slot Scheduling
Time-slot scheduling or self-scheduling is the most popular type of booking available to service-based businesses. You can think of it as a “first come, first serve” scheduling model that’s conveniently available to everyone.
It’s also pretty straightforward to organize and stay on top of your bookings.
With time-slot scheduling, you’ll offer your customers a range of available time slots online. Your customer can then choose the time that suits them best.
An interested customer can select their preferred time, enter some basic information, and your booking software will set the appointment!
You, your staff, and the customer will get a reminder via SMS or email to ensure they don’t miss the upcoming appointment.
- Customers are in control of choosing a time slot that suits them.
- Businesses can limit or increase the available time-slots on certain days, weeks, or months depending on their capacity.
- When customers quickly book time slots, some may not get to book the spaces they would’ve preferred.
- If customers don’t show up on time, or the appointment goes on longer than planned, it can cause delays for other customers.
2. Open Bookings
Many massage parlors and health spas opt for open bookings. While open bookings are the most flexible booking type on our list, they come with plenty of disadvantages.
Open bookings or walk-in appointments let customers attend a booking at any time. Without any need to secure a time slot, they can simply show up to your business and expect to receive a service.
While there’s little need to organize anything with these types of bookings, it quickly becomes difficult to build and maintain a customer database.
When you have a customer database like the one that BLAB creates, you can improve your marketing efforts and analyze appointment behavior with NASA-level reports.
- Zero administrative work.
- Complete flexibility.
- No reporting or forecasting to plan your day.
- Your business can get too busy to service all of its customers at a particular time, resulting in upset customers.
- Zero control over your schedule.
3. Double Bookings
A typical double booking is exactly what it sounds like. You deal with two clients simultaneously.
In some cases, double bookings are incredibly efficient and can help you open up precious time slots for more customers. The more customers you can service, the more money your business makes.
Hairdressers and beauty parlors prefer this type of booking. For instance, it allows them to assist a client with a quick haircut while another client waits for hair dye to take effect.
- Customers are extremely pleased when you can accommodate them, even when fully booked.
- Your business will be able to take on more work, even with a full schedule.
- Can quickly clog up your schedule and overwork your staff.
- Staff needs specialized training to handle these situations.
4. Cluster Bookings
Cluster bookings are ideal for businesses with specialized employees. A cluster booking is when a company decides to group similar bookings to deal with them in one day.
For example, a health clinic may schedule flu shots on a particular day. At the same time, a spa may book their acupuncture on a Wednesday.
With cluster bookings, a business can quickly see a large volume of customers in a brief period.
This type of appointment allows employees to concentrate on performing a repetitive task, with no additional preparation that could hamper their productivity.
- Businesses can quickly and efficiently service a large number of customers.
- Improves productivity and lessens downtime.
- Customers have limited flexibility when it comes to scheduling specific services.
- Your schedule can clog up if you don’t limit the number of appointments.
5. Wave Scheduling
Online tutors and educators prefer using wave scheduling or group bookings to make appointments. Wave scheduling is when a tutor schedules several students to attend a class simultaneously.
Typically, the business will offer several time slots during the day, with a limited number of clients allowed to attend. For example, a college can offer online classes at 2 pm and 6 pm. They’ll also only allow 20 students per class.
Wave scheduling leaves extra time between classes or appointments so that teachers can make notes or prepare for the next lesson.
These class times are by appointment only, so staff is always in control of how many clients they’ll be dealing with and at what times.
- Fantastic for forecasting and planning popular services.
- Offers excellent flexibility to the business and the client.
- A limited number of seats may turn clients away.
Should I Use Different Types Of Appointment Scheduling?
Most small businesses use a straightforward scheduling type, such as self-scheduling or time-slot scheduling to book customer appointments.
This type of booking allows them to deal with one customer at a time, during a designated time slot. They’ll be able to give the customer their full attention and deliver an excellent service.
However, many larger businesses also include double bookings and cluster bookings to help optimize their efficiency.
By doing this, they can serve more clients and make more money. So, at Book Like A Boss, we recommend that you use different types of appointments to make more money.
Regardless of what type of appointment you offer online, you must keep your appointments and customer data organized.
Luckily the right scheduling software, such as BLAB, can help you keep track of your appointments, offer various booking types online, and run your business like a boss.
Let Customers Book You Like A Boss
Your booking platform should allow you to customize it entirely with various appointment types. The more you can offer, the easier it’ll be to improve the customer experience, deliver an excellent service and make more money.
You don’t want to miss out, so grab this free trial and set up your first booking page within 17-minutes. You’ll end up running your business like a boss!