For all appointment-based businesses and services, the abandonment of appointments can be a particular pain point. Customers who fail to keep their appointment cost the business large sums of money in lost revenue and waste funds on staff waiting for the client to arrive.
Whether it's retail, services, or healthcare, businesses need to maintain a full day to make a business (or section of a business) profitable. This even extends to the NHS, where wasted appointment hours directly impact the funding available for other services.
To remedy this, many businesses are attempting a range of methods to remind customers that they have an appointment coming up. This can take the form of texts, emails, or even having staff on the shop floor or a call centre reach out and try to speak to the consumer.
However, texts and emails do not have the benefit of providing the business with confirmation that the appointment will be going ahead. For human-based outbound calls, there are costs involved. With missed calls and subsequent follow-up inbound calls that may land with the wrong colleagues, it can be an expensive proposition.
This is where voice automation can step in and take the burden off the shoulders of staff. Studies suggest that individuals often prefer to speak with automated technologies when it comes to sensitive issues, including when they are embarrassed about missing an appointment.
Luckily, voice automation doesn't judge! Whether it's making an initial booking, rebooking missed appointments, or amending upcoming appointments; voice automation bots can improve efficiency and reduce costs by 70%.
The overriding theme of voice automation is that a business's people are valuable, particularly when they have other vital skills that the business requires. Companies seeking to deploy their staff as appropriately as possible can step away from mundane tasks such as appointment setting and instead get back to the true tasks they have been hired to do.
Voice automation is also more efficient overall. It can be set to intercept incoming calls as well as make the initial outbound calls. This means that if customers receive a missed call and need to phone back, there is no confusion about who the client is or what service they require. The bot is plugged into the company CRM or appointment system and knows who is calling and why.
Customer service call centres are often generalists, covering a wide range of issues that occur across many sections of the business. Pushing appointment calls to call centres can result in slow and frustrating service. Filtering these incoming calls via intelligent voice automation can channel callers into the right teams, much of which can be further handled by the voice automation bot.
Reducing the abandonment of appointments protects a company's bottom line. Given the efficiency and ease with which bots can be deployed, it is likely that in the future smaller appointment-based business will be connecting their calendars to generic voice automation, while larger organisations will use their own branded flavour of bot. The need for cheaper generic implementations is no bad thing for these smaller businesses, as customers become increasingly familiar with the product available from such automated service, while larger businesses can take the opportunity to express themselves and truly shine within their sector.
We have our podcast about a variety of subjects including chatbots, voicebots as well as customer service or self service automation, we discuss how these impact business and some specific challenges or sector stories to help anyone looking to engage with this technology.