Omnichannel Retail

4 Reasons You Need to Offer Online Appointment Booking

By Megan Slinn Aug 10, 2018
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In today’s increasingly technical world, the “if you’re not mobile, you’re not first” mantra rings true.  With 1.66 billion people purchasing goods online on 2017, and global e-retail sales at a whopping 2.3 trillion US dollars, you need an e-commerce presence, regardless of what kind of retailer you are.

E-commerce is especially necessary in the wireless industry.  With the constant climb in the number of smartphone owners and the continued and persistent cost of devices, wireless sales and repairs will continue to grow.  Research says the number of unique smartphone subscribers will surpass 3 billion in 2018. As for device repair, it was a $4.0 billion dollar industry in 2017.  Because it is such a high revenue industry, competition can be fierce.  As a retailer you need to think of ways to stand out, and what add on’s are available to you to do so.

One way to stand out in the wireless sector is to have the option for customers to book online appointments. An online booking software is designed to facilitate appointments for customers online, as opposed to the old paper and pen options.  According to finance online, 60% of online bookings are done through a mobile phone.  So, having options to book appointments as a wireless dealer or repair store is really a no-brainer.  

Let’s look at 4 areas you need to make sure you’re offering when using an online appointment scheduling software for wireless and repair dealers:

1. Let the Customer Take Control

Give shoppers the option to pre-book appointments online themselves with an easily-accessible and highly-visible button on your website for customers to book. With a time scheduled, customers can be sure that when they arrive at the store, they are being taken care of immediately—even if the store is at peak hours. When given the option to pre-book appointments online customers can choose a time based on the rep’s availability to that they can quickly be assisted with their upgrade, purchase, or repair. No longer will shoppers have to wait for a salesperson when a store is busy! They get to take control of their time and book an appointment when it suits their life.  

2. Let Your Staff be the Guide

If by chance a customer does come into the store, and there are no reps available to offer a service immediately, your employee needs the ability to easily book an appointment right then, onsite, for the customer to come back in when a rep is available to help them. This ensures the customer knows your business is important to them, and they will come back to your location as opposed to resorting to a competitor. Creating a better customer experience will help to create a loyal shopper, which we all know created good reviews.

3. Planning Ahead Makes the Dream Work

Having appointments booked ahead of time and having software that allows employees to set the max amount of appointments allowed at one time, helps to staff locations appropriately. You can see which appointments are needed for the day and be the judge if more or less staff scheduled for those times is needed at different locations.  It also gives you data to see which devices are requested for upgrades or which devices get repairs more often than not. Not only will this save your hard-working staff a headache, but it will ensure you have the appropriate inventory available for those customer needs.

4. Simple, Streamlined, Smooth

It’s key to have integration directly from your website flow into your POS you can eliminate the swivel chair problem with having to work in 2 different systems.  This is a very important aspect to seek out when looking at an appointments scheduling system.  Not having an integration into your POS means you and your store's reps need to be constantly checking another system to see if there are updated appointments.  With iQmetrix’s Appointments tool, there is a direct integration from when you customer books an appointment through your website, to the appointment then showing up in the POS. This way your staff is up to date without having to log into a second system. 

Overall, if you haven’t considered online, in-store, and over the phone appointment booking, you are likely missing a huge opportunity. Not only does booking appointments ensure shoppers enter your store, it generates new revenue opportunities, and a chance to create a great customer experience. Did we mention it will also give you a leg up on the competition? We don’t hate that!

Want to learn more about how you can leverage appointment booking to optimize operations? See how the RQ retail management solution can make it happen.

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