Friday, October 1, 2010

Same-Day Bookings

I have known this doctor for about 25 years. Tried to help him with a non-standard hard disk drive 25 years ago before either of us knew about IDE drives (don’t ask!).

Lost touch.

I don’t like my new doctor, so I called Martin’s office to book an appointment. He was open-minded about computer technology; he might listen to my symptoms instead of reaching for a prescription pad.

So this afternoon at 4 p.m. I called to make an appointment for next week, or the week after.

No go.

His office policy is that one calls first thing in the morning for a same-day appointment.



No issuing little cards, no need for me to remember. No need to have staff dialing people to remind them, very few cancelled appointments (“Something came up ...”).


My guess is that Martin does his hospital rounds early morning, hits the office at, say 10 a.m. and has a full slate until it is time to go home.

If he is successful (and I suspect he is VERY successful), a cancellation probably means he can read a research paper in the office instead of taking it home.

Of Course, this Model Won’t Work for Me

Or will it?

What would my business be like If I took only same-day half-day appointments?

A client would have to call me first thing in the morning and ask me to attend from 1pm onwards.

That would give me until noon to make my prospect/contact/sales calls by telephone and in person.

It would put pressure on the client to hit the ground running and focus their time on the afternoon, instead of letting things drag out all day.

Before you dismiss this idea out of hand, spend two minutes (not three minutes, not one minute, but exactly 120 seconds) and follow through the line of thought.

Think of Your Last Ten Appointments

What would be so different about their outcome if you took the call in the morning and arrived on-site (or sat down to develop the computer application) at one p.m.?

I have been delivering training sessions, all-day sessions.

What would happen if I delivered ½ day sessions, and the training center staff took bookings that morning for the afternoon sessions?

I’d have to think about the financial side of it – how do I bill in advance for a class that doesn’t exist until 9am?

But let me wait until I’ve had a chat with Martin ...

Talk to Me !


Promod said...

Same day appointments may work for a doctor because patients come there. What if you like to plan (say a doctor visit with a scheduled meeting nearby)?

To avoid telephone or email tag, I put my availability online. This gives choices and saves time.

Under The Hood said...

What if you like to plan ...He told me that he takes booking for special cases e.g. elderly with scheduled transportation, lengthy examinations etc, but drop-ins tend to make things easier for all.

I was struck with the idea that my marketing efforts might improve if I devoted my mornings to looking after my business (telephoning, emailing etc.) and made MY house-calls only in the afternoons.

That is, separating my marketing/sales activities from my revenue-generating activities.