Automation is a part of business, and will only become more prominent for businesses in 2020. While in some ways, the prospect of losing a job, business or entire industry to A.I. is terrifying, new technology and software will make running a business not only easier, but will enable you to do things never before possible.

Scheduling is a frequently overlooked part of running a business, but is a key way to automate processes and become more effective and efficient at what you do. It’s often misunderstood and its nuances not recognised as being as complicated as they often are.  

Most people see scheduling in one of four ways. They can be characterised as: 

  • People who don’t think of scheduling as a concept, primarily using their phones and questionable memories to book in occasional meetings and events
  • Those who rely on others to manage their schedules, like personal assistants or very patient spouses
  • Those who understand how tricky scheduling can be but put up with average services, assuming it’s a process that is always going to be painful
  • People who fully appreciate the complexities of scheduling and recognise the power of the right app, which can make them money, generate and convert leads and save their precious time

Not yet convinced? Read on for four of the many reasons you need to focus on scheduling.

Employee Management

If you’re overseeing a workforce, you’re dealing with cancellations, conflicts and a range of clashing calendars on a daily basis. A scheduling app enables you to:

  • Add employees to specific services you offer
  • Let customers book appointments with specific staff, only when they’re available
  • Allow staff to sync their personal calendars to their business accounts
  • Create staff profiles, giving customers and employees important information, and allowing them to customise their profiles with images
  • Adjust staff availability, breaks and holiday periods in real time
  • Send reminders and updates 
  • Account for relevant time zones

This effect is two fold: you’ll have full transparency and control over your employees’ hours, and your customers will be empowered to personalise their bookings with the staff member of their choice. 

Managing Appointments

Managing appointments is always more difficult than it sounds. Think about the percentage of customers who make a simple booking and make no adjustments prior to the day. If you’re lucky, these customers make up the majority of your business, but it’s more likely a much sadder picture. Let’s not even get started on the added complication of your employee time conflicts. 

Managing appointments means:

  • Being able to make changes, reschedule and cancel appointments with ease
  • Having a clear view of all employee availabilities and movements
  • Being able to easily search and update appointments from the backend
  • Creating a visual system with colour codes and a range of view options

Adapting to Changes

As aforementioned, sudden and unforeseeable changes are a part of doing business in the service industry. Adapting to changes quickly and rapidly is essential, and only possible with a system that accounts for these factors. Consider the difference between coming up with a solution and manually managing every customer change, or having a system that does all the heavy lifting for you. It’s a no-brainer. 

For Managing Privacy

Staying compliant and up to date with privacy standards is not just best practice; it’s a legal obligation. If GDPR compliant, your scheduling software will ensure you correctly store and manage customer details, saving you hours of research time and confusion over whether you’re putting your customers at risk. 

Stay tuned for Part 2, where we’ll explore the other ways scheduling can change the way you run your business.