Digital appointments, more commonly known as virtual appointments, are all the rage right now.
They’re allowing businesses across the UK to continue doing business, even whilst physical showrooms aren’t open in their usual manner.
But digital appointments are more than just a tool to get through the current pandemic.
There are groups of people, particularly the younger generation, that prefer to be able to perform most tasks online. There might also be those people who cannot travel to a showroom to view a particular product.
That’s why digital appointments can be important for a business, not just in a crisis, but as the world continues to develop and move forward.
How to offer digital appointments
With many businesses having no prior experience in video conferencing or virtual appointments, it can appear quite daunting to suddenly find yourself in a position where you need to rely on such technology.
But it’s not as tricky as it sounds.
There are multiple options available, from simple to complex. It’s important to understand the easiest way for your customers to join in.
One of the simplest tools to offer a digital appointment through is FaceTime, Apple’s built-in audio and video calling on iPhone and Mac. But it’s important to be aware that not everyone has a device that supports FaceTime, and thus, it may be wise to look at a more universal solution.
More universal solutions may include Google Meet, Zoom, or even Skype.
Google Meet has taken a number of steps to improve its service over recent months.
It’s now free for everyone to use, and is included for businesses who use Google’s G Suite service.
It integrates neatly with Google Calendar which makes it easy to send out appointment details and manage them all in one central location.
At the same time, there are a number of options for joining a conference call, either via a website, an app, or even just dialling in via a phone number. This can make it a great option for connecting with customers in an easy-to-use manner.
Zoom is probably the one service that has received the most press attention this year.
Being a more dedicated service for video conferencing, Zoom is very versatile in its feature.
Like Google Meet, Zoom offers a number of ways of sending out an invite to a conference call. It has extensions for some calendar services, such as Google Calendar, and also supports the sending of links to join a call.
Again similar to Google Meet, Zoom offers a few options for joining a call, either via a website, an app, or dialing in through a phone number.
But what makes Zoom different is its customisability. Where Google Meet tries to go for simplicity by having very few options to customise the experience, Zoom is a bit more versatile. For example, it has built-in reporting, which can be useful for seeing on which days your digital appointments are most popular, and brings a number of administrative features, including the ability to record calls, tighter management of who can join a call, and more.
But each solution will suit each business differently…
Once you’ve chosen the solution that works best for you and your customers, you’re then ready to begin offering digital appointments.
Make sure you get to grips with the tools by running a few test calls with colleagues or friends, so that you can make best use out of all of the features.
Promoting digital appointments
Now you have the tools to offer digital appointments, it’s time to start promoting it.
This is the most crucial element. Without promoting it properly, your customers won’t know you offer it, and therefore the benefits are significantly reduced.
Your website is the primary port of call. Here you should have call-to-actions (CTAs) that point people in the direction of a form they can complete to book a virtual appointment.
Throughout your website, it should promote the benefits of virtual appointments, but equally as important is getting across how a virtual appointment is just as good as a physical one. This can be done by displaying key messages, such as being able to view products as if you were there, being able to take measurements over the phone, and providing quotes virtually.
All of this will help to increase the number of digital appointments that get booked.
Picking up more sales
Digital appointments aren’t for everyone. But neither are physical appointments or showroom visits.
As noted at the beginning of this article, digital appointments offer an opportunity to tap into existing or emerging customer groups that you may not have tapped into previously.
Focus promoting your digital appointment offering towards younger people, such as first-time home buyers. As well as recommending them to those who may be unable to drive to a showroom, or be unable to accept visitors into the home due medical reasons.
Whatever the reason may be, digital appointments offer a true advancement for the double glazing industry that can help to keep up with an ever-more connected world.
If you’re looking to offer online quotes as well as digital appointments, TruFrame offers an online quoting system to its customers, allowing homeowners to design their windows or doors online and receive a quotation – no physical visits necessary. Contact us to find out more.