Is it time to find a new customer booking system?

It’s human nature to try to get the best value for money. Often when companies think about investing in a customer meetings booking system they choose something that promises the earth, at a low price that seems almost too good to be true. Sometimes that’s because it really is too good to be true.

So what happens when you’re a few years down the line and realise that your appointment booking provider just isn’t giving you the functionality you need, it’s not integrating with other technologies and, quite frankly, you might have made the wrong choice in the first place?

Don’t worry! In this blog post we explain, using several examples, that it’s actually easy to get the right solution the second time around, without negatively impacting your customer experience.

The less than good, the bad, and the ugly

We’ve seen some pretty bad booking systems out there. Some of them work intermittently: they’re great on some days and illogical on others. Some seem to randomly assign appointments with almost no workflow. Some have a terrible user experience. Some time-out while you’re booking them and others live in their own little world, unable to connect to your CRM, a management information system or any business intelligence.

If you’re dealing with a solution like this: we feel for you. We’ve had a few customers who have turned away from their existing meeting booking system providers and come to us instead. So if you’re thinking it might be time to change, we can help. But rather than make promises (like other providers may have done to you, in the past), we want to talk a bit about what you should be looking for to make the change process easier.

8 things to think about when choosing (your next) appointment booking solution:

Firstly, think about whether you’re choosing the right technology.
  1. Are you procuring this technology for the short or the long-term?
  2. Will the technology scale as you grow?
  3. Is it an agile platform that is moving with industry drivers?
  4. How advanced is the technology? For example: can it integrate with other IT systems? Does it have advanced API functionalities? Does it have a fully touch-responsive design and does it offer omni-channel appointment booking in-person, on the phone, online and using chatbots? (We can).
Then, take a look at the people in the business – are they the right partner for you?
  1. If your business evolves, can you guarantee that the supplier will be able to evolve with you?
  2. Does the solution align to where your business wants to be 5 years from now?
Lastly, do they have the right vision that aligns with where you see yourselves now, and in the future?
  1. Where does appointment booking fit into your wider vision of customer experience?
  2. Where is appointment booking going in terms of industry trends?

These are a few of the questions that we encourage our customers to ask because it helps us make sure they’re using the right elements of our solution. We have more than 15 years’ experience in customer experience and appointment booking solutions, more than 130 staff, and we believe in long term customer relationships. We’re not just a technology supplier – we’re a technology partner because ACF owners are industry experts who speak with customers every single day. We don’t just give advice and expertise to help our customers avoid making the mistakes that we’ve learned to avoid, we also take ideas on board for improvement: our roadmap is led by our customers and we constantly collaborate with them to explore innovation opportunities.

Migrating to new software is painful, isn’t it?

Let’s assume you’re thinking about moving to a new provider. You might be worried that it’s going to be a painful experience. Actually, you don’t need to worry about that either.

How do we make it easy to migrate from your old booking management software to ACF?

We’ve done this many, many times, so we know that it’s not just about a new system – it’s actually about helping your staff, your company and your customers during the process. We help your staff adapt to the change successfully. Rather than thinking ‘Oh no! Not another new system!’ we actually help your users be re-invigorated to start using the technology again. And when it comes to data and project management you don’t need to worry either: data will be retained and migrated and minimal project resources are required on your end. So, at the end of the day, we can give your customers the same user experience (if that’s what you’d prefer) with an overnight switchover and they don’t even need to know that anything has changed behind the scenes. They will simply notice that things are working better than they were before.

Moving to ACF will put you in good company

At the end of the day, if you want to be in the company of one of our UK customers who books more than 2 million appointments per month, or another one of our customers with 10,000 users at more than 3,000 locations around the UK, we’d be happy to help.

At ACF, our mission is to help organisations like yours improve your customer experience. Sometimes this means letting go of old technology that isn’t meeting your needs, or your customers’ needs.

We’d love to talk to you about the possibilities that technologies like rota systems, reporting suites, email or text messaging notifications, room management, calendar systems and content management (to name just a few) can offer to improve the way you deal with your customers – and to make your employees’ lives easier.

To find out more, get in touch by calling +44 (0) 333 600 8090.