Sunday, October 21, 2007

Late Appointment Thoughts

Again, Service Untitled with some thoughts on how to manage the late appointments issue. As a customer of many services I have to admit that the thing I hate most is turning up and waiting an hour or two because a service provider "stuffed the waiting list" in expectation of cancelled appointment times. Perhaps I am crazy, but a little analysis of common underlying trends in who is late, what time slots tend to be late, and time of year effects might yield further insights into why people are late. Such measures as "distance from the office/hospital", "previous arrival history", or "transportation mode" might act as predictors. Either way, I really appreciate it when people phone me and tell me "sorry, the office is running late your 4.00 appointment is likely to occur closer to 4.30, if you'd like to speak to our office receptionist please press one". When I get the update I can take more time to find a car parking space, grab a coffee, perhaps bring my book with me. If you don't call me it just feels like "yeah, we've loads of business, we really don't care if we waste your time, because its not as valuable as our time". Harsh?

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1 comment:

Douglas said...

A lot of companies and professionals overbook. The airline and hotel industries depend on it. It is part of the reason why their cancellation policies are somewhat (instead of not at all) flexible.

Analyzing some trends is certainly a better idea. It doesn't work with all customers and is hard to do with repeat customers, but certainly a good idea to help predict what will go on.

Thanks for the link and the interesting suggestions.

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