Setting appointments requires a great deal of organizational skill. While it can be a relatively straightforward process, even the most basic of appointment requests can be complicated by games of phone tag, last minute cancellations, and messy paper calendars. Given how important accurate appointment setting can be for a business, it’s important to meet these challenges head on. If your organization needs help transforming the way you schedule appointments for customers, patients, or clients, allow MAP Communications to guide you through a few best practices. After three decades of scheduling appointments for our partners, we’ve learned a thing or two about delivering on caller expectations.
Phone Script for Setting Appointments
A phone script can do wonders to transform your appointment scheduling procedures. While it may seem forced at first, working from a script can actually reduce awkwardness and ensure callers have their questions addressed as thoroughly as possible. A well-written script can also leave a positive impact on customers, making them more likely to dial up your organization again in the future.
Start by greeting the caller and introducing yourself. This might seem like common sense, but you’d be surprised at how often distracted employees forget to mention their name when speaking to customers. Appointment setting is a goal-oriented process, but that doesn’t mean it can’t also be an opportunity for engaging conversations. In fact, such conversations are excellent ways to connect with callers on a human level, encouraging them to return to your business time and time again.
After greeting the caller, ask how you can help them. Odds are likely that they’ll be eager to get an appointment on the books. Carefully and efficiently walk through the options that pertain to their requested appointment, making sure to spell details correctly and verify any conflicting information that you might have. The appointment setting process can be as complex or as stripped down as you’d like. Ultimately, your script should drive the conversation. While there’s nothing wrong with getting off topic here and there, the script should dictate where the call is heading.
Once you’ve collected important information pertaining to the caller and their requested appointment, work to confirm a date and time. Be specific – “how does 2:00 on January 9th work?” is more effective than “when would you like to come in?” While this more direct call appointment setting language might sound stilted or forced, it’s a far more efficient way to communicate. While there’s no need to rush callers off the phone, it’s important not to beat around the bush. By addressing the requests of callers quickly and effectively, you can help them move on with the rest of their day.
Other Phone Scripting Tips
As you develop a script for setting appointments, be sure to factor any important policies or procedures into the conversation. If you require 24 hours notice for cancellations, you’ll want to make mention of it in your script. Include any financial penalties they may incur for canceling. It’s far better to inform people ahead of time than surprise them with a fee at the last minute.
Be ready to handle objections to such policies. Appointment scheduling can be a frustrating process for callers with busy personal and professional lives. By learning about common objections to company policies, you’ll be better prepared to address them when someone complains. Be sure to research your competition and see how they’re handling common pain points. If your customer service offerings are not up to snuff, people will take their business elsewhere.
Leveraging Scheduling Technology and Tools
Many of the most common scheduling headaches can be resolved with the right piece of technology. While learning how to set appointments seems simple, the process can become quite complicated once you factor in challenges like language barriers and privacy concerns. At MAP Communications, we rely on scheduling tools like Google Calendar, Setmore, and Calendly to navigate such challenges. We can also create integration solutions for other scheduling tools you might prefer. No challenge is insurmountable with the right tools at your disposal.
Technology has indeed come a long way over the last few decades, but it’s no replacement for an answering service that makes appointments. Our virtual receptionists can capture inbound calls and convert them into paying customers. That’s something no scheduling tool is capable of! If you find your appointment scheduling challenges lie with staffing limitations, it may be time to outsource the job to virtual receptionists. Bilingual professionals are available to take calls 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Even if your business isn’t open all the time, you calendar can be – thanks to outsourced partners like MAP Communications.
Partner with MAP Communications Now
If you’re looking for help with appointment scheduling, allow MAP Communications to assist. For more than 30 years, we’ve helped organizations around the country deliver on caller expectations. That’s because we believe in the power of the customer experience. You never get a second chance at a first impression, which is why each of our virtual receptionists is highly trained to handle all sorts of administrative challenges. We work from customized scripts designed for each of our clients to ensure a seamless customer experience. In many instances, callers never even realize they’re speaking with a third-party call answering service. Our 24 hour availability also means your business never truly needs to close – there will always be a friendly, professional voice to burn the midnight oil and aid in the scheduling appointment process.
If you’re interested in our offerings, sign up for our free trial. For one week, you’ll be privy to all the benefits of a partnership with MAP Communications. Since there’s no obligation to continue using our services at the end of the week, there’s nothing to lose by giving MAP a try. Give us a chance and we know you’ll love our partnership!