Every week on MyTime, thousands of appointments are booked for local services: from Acupuncture to Massage to Personal Training. We love analyzing data about appointments (in fact, some may say we’re slightly obsessed), and we’ve found some interesting trends in how people book appointments. It turns out 40% of MyTime bookings come in when the business is closed for the day. If customers can’t book you after-hours, you may be missing out.
Here is what we know about after-hours booking. Many people are accustomed to booking appointments during business hours but it’s not necessarily because they want to chat with their favorite receptionist! With MyTime, people have the freedom to book appointments whenever they want so a truer picture of actual customer preferences emerges. Given the opportunity to book whenever and wherever they want, what are people choosing?
We looked at tens of thousands of recent appointment bookings and found that 40% were made before 9am or after 7pm, when businesses are typically closed. Most after-hours bookings occur between 7pm and 10pm, with another cluster in the early morning (6am to 9am).
We wanted to probe a little deeper so we did some customer interviews. So, what’s going on here? Our customers told us that between busy jobs, family life, and other commitments like school, they don’t have time during traditional working hours to call for their appointment. They prefer to be able to use their computer or smartphone to book when it’s convenient for them, and avoid the messy appointment confirmation phone-tag game we’ve all played. Like a receptionist that never sleeps, MyTime provides that “always on” virtual storefront for millions of US businesses.
After-hours bookings are even more prevalent on mobile. When we separated out the appointment bookings made through our website versus our iPhone app, we found that the after-hours trend is even stronger on mobile. 43% of bookings through our app were made after hours, compared to 40% on our website.
This trend makes sense. With how busy our lives can get today, the ability to instantly take care of errands, personal care, and everything else from your mobile phone is becoming commonplace. The huge rise in convenient ‘service-on-demand’ apps like Airbnb and Uber are clear proof that customers are increasingly looking to apps to save them time and hassle. This lets them get back to what they really want to be doing (which probably isn’t waiting on hold with their hair salon to make an appointment. Just saying!).
So how can businesses take advantage of this trend? It’s clearly important to be available to your customers when they’re on their laptop or cell phone, and ready to book. But just having a website isn’t enough anymore: You may be missing out on the demand for ‘round the clock’ instantly confirmed appointments.
We say, give customers what they want: The ability to see your open appointment times and book themselves into your schedule anytime, day or night.
Interested in learning how MyTime and online booking can help your business? Learn more at mytime.com/merchants