Great Tips for Effective Online Appointment Scheduling

     Appointment scheduling is the lifeline for many businesses.  A potential client put on extended hold may not wait to schedule her appointment, and failure of your office to remind a patient about their upcoming appointment may result in lost revenue and bad feelings.  An online system that works for you 24/7 may be the best way to go.

What should you look for when selecting the best online system for your business?  Here are some of the most important details to keep in mind.

  • Flexibility: An online system that you can easily customize and edit to meet your needs and changes is critical.  Your list of services offered to the public for making appointments needs to be customizable.  Some services and activities that only you can make should be hidden from public view.


  • Instant Notification: Certain businesses require you to be notified immediately if a client schedules or cancels an appointment.  The best online programs have options that notify you instantly by text messaging and/or email.

  • Reminders: Sending appointment reminders by email and text messaging is very effective for reducing missed appointments.


  • Missed Appointments: How you keep track and handle missed appointments is very important.  Your online appointment scheduling system should be able to keep track of missed appointments.  Some online scheduling systems allow you to send a message to your client reminding them about their missed appointment.  At the same time your client is provided an opportunity to reschedule their appointment.


  • Message Reliability: Are your appointment confirmations and reminders really getting through?  Are your emails and text messages being bounced back?  The only way to know is with an automated bounceback report.  The better online scheduling systems have this feature.

  • Merge Accounts: Despite our best efforts, many offices will have multiple accounts for the same client.  This can be an appointment accounting nightmare and cause a great deal of confusion when it comes to scheduling and confirming appointments.  A merge utility function is an important feature for correcting multiple accounts.

  • Search Engine Optimization: Will new and existing clients be able to easily find you on the internet to schedule an appointment?   Online appointment scheduling systems with search engine capability may increase your visibility on the internet.


    Effective online appointment scheduling may be a beneficial component of your office routine.  Better service, increased client satisfaction, and enhanced communication lead to reduced financial overhead and greater success for your business.