Your retail business may offer great products and services, be staffed by knowledgeable, friendly employees, and provide competitive prices, but it will go nowhere without one crucial element: customers. So what’s the best way to attract new customers and retain existing ones? By keeping them happy. Often, that’s through a mobile appointment scheduling app.
Offer them an enjoyable, hassle-free retail experience, one that anticipates their wants and needs, and that adapts to their ever-changing preferences. One of the things retail customers want today is the ability to connect with your business using the tools and methods they’re most familiar with and use every day.
When it comes to interacting with retailers, the tools customers turn to are the ones that go wherever they go and that they have in hand nearly from the time they wake up to the time they go to sleep: their mobile devices. If your retail operation doesn’t offer your customers a mobile appointment scheduling app, there’s a good chance you’re losing some business.
The Importance of Mobile to Attract and Retain Customers
Customer experience management (CXM) is more than just the latest industry buzzword—for a retail business, CXM can mean the difference between success and failure. Consider these statistics on the benefits of keeping customers happy:
- According to market research firm Gartner, 80 percent of businesses state that customer experience (CX) will be their main competitive focus in 2019.
- Research indicates that companies labeling themselves as “very advanced” in offering great customer experiences were nearly three times more likely than their peers to have exceeded their business goals for 2018.
- The Edelman Trust Barometer found that loyal customers spend 67 percent more than new customers, yet it costs five times as much to attract new customers than to retain existing ones, according to Invesp.
- Forbes reports on a McKinsey & Co. survey that determined 61 percent of users are unlikely to return to a mobile site that they had difficulty accessing, and 40 percent choose a competitor’s site instead.
These numbers highlight the importance of customer retention and customer experience for retail businesses of all types and sizes. When you combine the growing importance of keeping your customers happy with their increased reliance on mobile devices and trends, it becomes clear that any retail shop that hasn’t adopted a mobile appointment scheduling app is losing business to the competition.
Features to Look for in a Mobile Appointment Scheduling App
The ability to book appointments via a mobile app opens your business to a wider audience of potential customers. For example, many people prefer making appointments through an app or web site rather than over the phone, whether because of language difficulties, a hearing impairment, or simply a dislike of phone conversations. However, the best reason for offering your customers access to a mobile appointment scheduling app is simply because that’s their preferred method of interacting with retailers.
PCMag.com points out that mobile appointment scheduling apps are within the budgets of every business, yet choosing the wrong program can cause your company to lose business rather than increase it. Be sure the mobile appointment scheduling app you choose offers all the features your customers and your business will require. The best appointment scheduling programs allow you to see at a glance the pending appointments for all employees, as well as the ability to create, confirm, change, or cancel appointments with a single click.
Customers want to be able to customize their appointments from their homes or while on the road, including the ability to book appointments with the staff member of their choice or to have the employee chosen for them. They also want to be able to book multiple appointments and group appointments, to view staff profiles and pictures, and to receive automatic booking confirmations via text or email.
From the business manager’s perspective, important features offered by a mobile appointment scheduling app include automatic and manual appointment confirmations via text and email, the ability to reserve time slots for walk-ins or other purposes, and automatic reminders sent to clients at set intervals prior to their appointments. Other useful features in an appointment scheduler are the ability to sync with the cloud in real-time, to base staff assignments on the roles and experience of individual staff members, and to adjust the length of service times, including automatic “padding” to accommodate times between appointments.
How Mobile Appointment Scheduling Apps Deliver Business Insight
Just as enterprises are able to extract business intelligence from their collection and analysis of customer data and market trends, their small and midsize counterparts can learn a lot about their customers from the data generated by appointment schedulers and other components of POS systems. For example, by viewing the history of all appointments, retailers are able to identify patterns in no-shows and cancellations that will help them reduce their occurrence in the future. The appointment history also provides businesses with insight into how efficiently they are using staff resources.
The benefits of a mobile appointment scheduling app integrated with POS functions include enhanced inventory tracking, the ability to offer loyalty discounts and other benefits, and more accurate employee timekeeping. You’re also able to track revenue and appointments for each marketing channel and staff member, create staff schedules that meet the needs of employees and the business and offer customers a one-click booking button embedded on your web site.
Keeping your customers happy is job one for any business, but it’s especially so for retailers, who rely on repeat business and word-of-mouth recommendations for the success of their business. One simple way to bring smiles to your customers’ faces is by making it as quick and easy as possible for them to access your products and services. A mobile appointment scheduling app has become one of the must-have offerings for retailers who strive to offer the highest quality of customer service possible.
Find out how the talech POS system delivers the mobile appointment scheduling and the other exact functions and features your small and midsize business requires. We work with you to determine the best ways to meet the needs of your customers and employees so your business can thrive. We take the time to learn your business so we can balance your specific needs with your budget and comfort level in a custom POS system implementation. The result is a valued investment that will pay for itself in short order. Reach out to us today to sign up for a free demo and learn more about how talech can be your valued partner in the POS world.