The Difference Between Requesting And Booking An Appointment Online

4 min read

Since the introduction of automated bookings on online scheduling software, requesting and booking an appointment online have often been misconstrued as the same thing. The key to understanding the difference between the two is that booking an appointment online happens in real time and grants pet owners immediate confirmation, whereas appointment requests are submitted online through a form on a website or an app and typically takes a while for front-desk staff to manually confirm the appointment, degrading a pet owner’s customer experience.

Below are two scenarios that describe the difference between requesting and booking appointments.

Scenario 1: With appointment requests

Imagine front-desk tasks without automated bookings:

  1. You walk into work on a Monday morning.
  2. You spend hours listening to voicemails, checking forms, and filtering through emails received over the weekend.
  3. After completing those tasks, you spend more time following up by phone to confirm appointments.

But hold on a minute! All those people are at work or otherwise unreachable. Instead of confirming the appointment, you are forwarded to their voicemail, and it could be hours, days, or even weeks before they return your calls or respond to your emails. Sounds frustrating, doesn’t it?

Scenario 2: With online booking

Now, imagine front-desk tasks with automated online booking:

  1. You walk into work on a Monday morning.
  2. You’re relieved to find that all appointments have already been booked with the relevant parties and no callbacks are necessary. You now have more time to spend with in-house customers and pets.

Congratulations! You and the front-desk team have just regained hours of lost time which can be used to tackle other admin related work — or even grab yourself a coffee to start the day!

Online scheduling softwares like Vetstoria takes automated bookings in real-time.

Here’s a concise breakdown of the differences between requesting and booking appointments online:

Requesting an Appointment Online Booking an Appointment Online (e.g. with Vetstoria)
Front desk must confirm manually Automated confirmation
Time-consuming Saves time
Does not sync with calendar in real time Syncs with calendar in real time
Pet owners must wait for confirmation No waiting time for confirmation
No customizations for appointments Enable customizations for appointments, such as:
  • Clinician availability
  • Appointment type configuration
  • Automated triaging
Can only be facilitated during business hours. Real-time online booking can be facilitated outside of business hours, including evenings and weekends

In a world where automation is the forerunner in almost every type of business, why not use it to make everyday life at the practice easier? Automating workflows allows you to focus on the most important ingredient of your business — providing quality pet care.

Veterinary practices can use an online scheduling software to offer their clients the option to book appointments themselves, saving their employees time and helping clients and veterinarians balance their busy schedules.

Why streamline the process?

We conducted a survey to understand the impact of online booking on clinics and collected 104 responses from independent and corporate-owned practices based in the U.S., the U.K., Australia, the Netherlands, Germany, and South Africa. Here’s what we found out!

53% said online bookings saved their team 5 to 30 minutes of admin time per day.

61% said automating the booking process has given them more time to engage with clients in-house and over the phone.

47% said online bookings have had an extremely positive impact on the level of service their team was able to provide pet owners.

Not sure how to streamline the appointment-booking process at your veterinary practice? Vetstoria is here to help!

“Vetstoria has had a huge impact on the way we work at Calder Vets. The booking system has reduced the pressure on our phone lines and associates. We have seen an increase in positive comments via our feedback service since introducing Vetstoria, mainly in relation to ease of booking and response rates.”

— Danielle Cooper, Practice Manager at Calder Vets

Want to learn more about appointment scheduling with Vetstoria? Click here.