Finding success in today’s “convenience economy,” you must make the customer experience as quick and easy as possible. Empowering customers to book and manage their own appointments is a good start.
For years, one of our property management clients looked for a self-service appointment scheduling system for their tenant prospects. The client needed a solution that integrated with a backend property management solution while managing agent schedules, travel times and site properties. We felt this type of solution could apply to other industry segments as well –so, we built it in the Azure Cloud on Microsoft Dynamics 365 CE.
Our self-service scheduling solution leverages D365’s portal technology, a proprietary algorithm for GIS-based site and agent scheduling, and a built-out integration with Office 365 for analytics through Microsoft’s Common Data Service (CDS).
Why does my company need a self-scheduling solution?
Glad you asked! We believe your business should use a self-scheduling solution for a couple of notable reasons: staff productivity and customer loyalty.
If you could free up resources dedicated to fielding appointment-related phone calls (booking, rescheduling, canceling appointments), your employees would have more time to work on high priority activities that drive top–line business performance. By leveraging a self-scheduling tool, you can improve process efficiency and optimize staffing through automation. Not only does a systematic approach to scheduling make a real financial impact, but it also allows for better tracking and analytics capabilities.
Using a self-scheduling tool will enable you to:
- Know where your demand is and staff accordingly.
- Integrate with other key systems to provide seamless information exchange.
In addition to improving staff productivity and financials, you can drive loyalty by offering customers an easy–to–use self-service booking tool. People demand convenience – they expect their goods and services how they want them, when they want them. In this “convenience economy,” businesses that simplify the customer experience create happier, more loyal customers. By offering your customers a self-scheduling option, you give them 24/7 access to view available appointment times, then book and manage their own appointments on their own time, not just during standard business hours.
How does Centric’s Self-Service Scheduling Solution work?
Our Dynamics-based Software as a Solution (SaaS) innovation seamlessly integrates with your company’s website to provide customers a portal from which to schedule appointments.
You can capture customer contact information as they enter the portal while leveraging D365 duplicate detection to ensure each lead is unique. The highly configurable appointment scheduling form interfaces with D365 to pull only available days and times from the Dynamics Resource Calendar. Because D365 dynamically populates the date fields based on the Resource Calendar, it is impossible to double-book a resource.
When a customer submits the appointment form, D365 creates a new appointment record and adds it to the Resource Calendar, making the resource unavailable for more appointments at that time. You can easily configure any number of additional automated activities to occur at this time, such as sending confirmation emails or creating follow-up phone call activity tied to the lead record.
Depending on your business, you may also need to factor in travel time to and from appointments. Our custom-built “smart scheduling” workflow automatically schedules appointments for the correct duration by calculating travel time to and from each appointment.
Because D365 CE manages this solution, you can configure these automated activities and workflows with no custom code, so your resources increase productivity and stay up to date on all customer touchpoints. You can also use dynamic templates and e-sign capabilities to electronically send out applications, contracts and notices with no manual intervention.
Would this solution work in my industry?
Chances are, yes! The potential community for this type of product is wide and vast. We believe this solution can work in any industry in which there is an opportunity to create a more “frictionless” experience for your customers!
- Cable and internet providers can schedule maintenance or installation appointments.
- Real estate companies can let potential buyers or renters self-schedule their tours.
- Healthcare companies can let patients schedule their own appointments.
- Insurance companies can schedule appointments for claims adjusters.
- Industry contractors, such as roofers, plumbers and others can make appointment scheduling easier.
The days of scheduling appointments over the phone are numbered. By adopting a self-service scheduling tool, your company can expect to see several benefits – increased staff productivity, positive financial impacts, and higher customer loyalty.