Missed appointments are frustrating. Whether you’re prepared for an appointment and are waiting for a client who doesn’t arrive, or you receive an unexpected phone call for a client who’s waiting for you, it’s always stressful when that happens. Once an appointment has been missed, the consequences can linger for a long time. First of all, it could be difficult to schedule another appointment. People have tight schedules nowadays, so once you’ve missed your chance, you might have to wait for several weeks or even months. It could also affect the perception people have of your brand. Finally, a missed appointment could contribute to losing potential customers.
Yet, more often than not, failing to turn up to an appointment is not a choice. It is the result of human error. So how can you minimize human error in everyday business appointments?
The client or yourself forgot
Sometimes, appointments are arranged a long time in advance. You and your clients could agree to arrange a catch-up meeting for several months in the future. While it can make sense of a variety of reasons to plan that much ahead, it can have a dramatic impact on your calendar. Imagine you’ve penciled a date in the calendar to get back in touch with a potential customer because they’ve explicitly told you they wouldn’t be able to discuss anything before that date. If you’ve got too much going on, the penciled appointment could easily fall into oblivion. Your mind can’t stay focused on day-to-day activity churn while keeping track of long-term events. Stress can make you less attentive, so you end up forgetting the appointment. That’s precisely where automated appointment reminders for you or your client can be a game-changer. Reminders can be scheduled one week before the appointment or 24 hours before so that you can arrange your day accordingly. And you can also receive reminders on the day to keep you on your toes.
They don’t know your location
The client didn’t forget the appointment. But they couldn’t find your office. Typically, this can happen for two reasons:
- The address has changed, and the client was not updated
- The address is difficult to find for GPS navigation
Keeping your website up to date with the most relevant office address will ensure your client can prepare for the appointment. Many companies can forget to update their contact data on the site, confusing customers. Additionally, if you’re working with relocatable buildings, you want to keep your clients in the loop. Relocatables can be moved to new locations when needed, so it’s important always to share all the information with your clients.
When it comes to GPS navigation, most people can find their way using Google Maps and similar tools. However, there are some situations where companies should send a map and travel guide to their clients. If Google Maps has not yet verified your address or the surrounding roads or transport infrastructures are changing, people might struggle to get to the right destination.
They’re in the wrong time zone
Your 4PM phone call was expected at 10AM. How did that happen?
Getting your time zones mixed up can be very frustrating. If you work with partners or customers across different time zones, in the United States or elsewhere in the world, you need to keep track of time differences. For international teams, for instance, Spacetime.am is a great addition to the collaborative platform Slack, ensuring you can schedule meetings with the right person at the right time. A tool such as Every Time Zone helps you visualize local time all around the world, ensuring you can schedule appointments that are practical for everyone. It can be a good idea to add a time zone converter to your calendar tools. While most calendars will automatically translate time zones according to the organizer’s time, things can get confusing when participants have winter or summer time changes.
They had a bad tech day
Neither you nor your client wanted to miss the appointment. But one of you experienced technical issues that forced them to call it a day. Virtual meetings are prone to tech problems. Problems can be so frequent that it’s a good idea to send a guide on how to troubleshoot common issues. If you organize a job interview or invite a professional to a video call using a platform they are unfamiliar with, it’s best to share informative content first. It can help them get ready and install the platform before the meeting. They can also refer to your guide for simple issues such as fixing a mic connection or removing unpleasant echos.
Missing an appointment is frustrating. But unfortunately, in a fast-paced business world, it is sometimes unavoidable. However, you can cancel most human mistakes that will ruin the appointment for you. Unfortunately, there’s nothing you can do about being double-booked to important events you can’t afford to miss. But, this is a problem for another time.