In the digital age, integrating technology into your practice while maintaining patient privacy is tough.
But it is possible to schedule sessions online safely and securely, and it’s not as hard as you think!
The Journal of Medical Internet Research published a 2017 review on the benefits and barriers of incorporating online scheduling, and the findings were interesting:
Practices that used online appointment scheduling often had more satisfied patients, and fewer patients who didn’t show up for appointments.
According to this review, more and more practices are beginning to thrive with online booking software.
What’s more, depending on the online booking system you use, your clients may also be able to fill out forms and pay for sessions online without any extra work or input from you!
Some people may even find that booking an appointment – which can be difficult or even stressful for some – is made that much easier when they can do it online.
But booking online isn’t just convenient for your clients.
As well as offering you a wealth of benefits, it can also help you grow your private practice!
Use our online booking benefits calculator to see how much you could gain:
Let’s take a look at 5 reasons why online booking could work perfectly for you, your practice, and your clients.
1. Using online booking will save you time!
If you use an online scheduling service, you won’t have to answer the phone or call people back to schedule appointments.
Despite the fact that phone-based bookings are more personal, they are reliant on two people to make the booking happen. This presents a problem for your potential clients, who have to adjust their schedule to accommodate yours.
You’re also limited to how many bookings you can take each day based on the number of calls you can actually make.
If you already use email for this, you may still find yourself exchanging emails back and forth trying to settle on a time that works for both of you.
How many hours a week are you spending on phoning or emailing clients to schedule appointments for them?
Online booking allows people to easily see your available sessions and schedule a time that works best for them.
It also helps you avoid overbooking: while mistakes aren’t likely to occur often, they do happen.
You could end up scheduling two clients for the same session if you write down a note during a phone call and then forget to transfer it to your appointment planner later.
Scheduling software will prevent this from happening.
2. Online booking provides a great return on investment
Quality online booking services aren’t free.
A complete practice management system with online booking included will cost around £25 per month for one clinician.
If cost is the only thing stopping you, consider how much you charge per session. There is a high chance that your fee will be higher than the monthly fee for the online scheduling service!
Let’s look at a working example:
If you see 10 clients a week, and typically spend 60 minutes with a client charging £30 per session, having online booking on your website will typically result in an extra 6 clients a month. This will generate an additional income of £180 per month.
The software’s paid for itself!
It provides such a great return because you’ll spend less time answering the phone, looking up appointments, and returning messages. Time you could schedule more therapy sessions each week, enrol in CPD classes, up your marketing game, or do anything else you want to!
3. Cancellations and no-shows are significantly reduced
Most people have a lot going on at any given time, and keeping track of everything can be tough.
In some cases, clients schedule their next appointment in person, but things get hectic and they forget about it by the end of the week.
Online scheduling software prevents this by sending reminders to clients a day or two in advance.
They’re also great for preventing last-minute cancellations. You can set up a payment option online so that before confirming the appointment in your diary, clients will need to pay for their session.
4. Give your clients an easier way to get in touch with you
Although it may seem counterintuitive, by making appointments online clients spend less time contacting you.
The average person dislikes talking on the phone, but people with emotional distress or mental health issues may have an even harder time making that call.
It may also be easier for some people to describe their health symptoms online rather than over the phone.
By removing the need for a telephone call, you will increase the likelihood of people seeking help choosing to meet with you.
Using online scheduling also makes it easier for people to reach you.
You can use online booking if you offer same-day or next-day appointments so that clients can make last-minute appointments if their schedules allow.
5. Stay on top of client expectations
Technology changes fast.
It might feel like you’re just getting used to email, and implementing cutting-edge technology such as online booking software may seem like a hassle; but a private practice is a business.
As a business owner, you want to provide your clients with the best service possible.
While some clients don’t mind making appointments by phone or email, most will expect to be able to book online, and typically prefer scheduling their appointments at a time that is convenient for them.
Some clients may find it easier to set up an appointment with a therapist who has easier scheduling options if they are having difficulty reaching you, so always bear this in mind.
When choosing your scheduling software, always take some time to review the data and security options and make sure the software is compliant with the data laws in your area.
Interested in using online booking in your practice?
If you’re keen to start automating your practice as soon as possible, then we highly recommend considering a free 30-day WriteUpp trial!
Private practice software like WriteUpp is easy to use and affordable, and it lets you take client bookings online, reduce admin time, and improve the overall client experience.
With just a few clicks, you can access many features, including:
- Take bookings from your clients online, 24/7
- Eradicate repetitive & time-consuming tasks
- Eliminate paper
- Improve your client’s experience
- Simplify your compliance with key regulations like GDPR
- Reduce the threat of virus transmission
Free up “wasted time” so that you can:
- spend more time with your existing clients or
- take on new clients and generate more income or
- enjoy more down-time away from your practice
You can grab us for a live chat if you have any questions or want to chat about what an integrated practice management solution can do for you and your practice.
The button is just there in the bottom right corner of your screen.