Survey Highlights Consumer Lack of Patience in Waiting for Services

Boston, MA, August 19, 2009 — TimeTrade Systems, the leader in customer self-service appointment scheduling solutions, today announced the results of a consumer survey conducted by Beagle Research Group. The findings revealed that consumers typically have a maximum 10 to 20 minute tolerance when waiting for services – depending on the service offered – and they value services that are set by appointments more highly and consider them more professional. The complete findings are available in a Beagle Research White Paper, “Improving Service Businesses with Appointment Scheduling.”

“Consumers do not like to wait,” said Denis Pombriant, managing principal, Beagle Research Group. “In this challenging economy, service organizations should be more aware than ever that keeping consumers waiting can have a very negative impact on their business. Our survey showed that people are generally more patient waiting for professional services than consumer services, and that shorter wait times improve their impression of the quality of the service. Even so, long waits are not tolerated for any service other than medical.”

The survey response was strong with more than 300 consumers completing the survey – reflecting a representative sample of the U.S. population. The goal was to determine attitudes, expectations and preferences toward making appointments in advance or just walking in and hoping to get someone’s attention.

Some of the key findings included:

  • More than 30 percent of the people who visit a business for service expect instant attention — in some cases even if they do not have an appointment.
  • People will wait a limited amount of time — typically 10 to 20 minutes depending on the service.
  • Consumers value convenience. More than 80 percent responded that they would be willing to set up an online account to make subsequent appointment scheduling easier.
  • Consumers feel appointments could be offered much more than they are today. Fifty-seven percent said it was a great idea; 63 percent said it would save time and effort and 56 percent said they would get more things accomplished.
  • Consumers rated walk-in services as impersonal, crowded and rushed — overall a poorer experience.

“The findings of this survey confirm what our customers tell us, that appointment-setting helps their business by boosting customer satisfaction and loyalty, and ultimately drives sales,” said Ed Mallen, TimeTrade’s President and CEO. “Consumers are pressured with many demands on their time. The survey highlights the fact that most consumers would welcome the option of scheduling an appointment for services. And appointments help businesses control and management utilization of resources. Self-service scheduling is a win for businesses and their customers.”

TimeTrade has been providing on-demand, appointment scheduling solutions to large enterprises since 2000. Customers include government agencies, retail, healthcare, financial services and other organizations that depend on scheduled appointments for services and products to drive revenue and/or serve the public sector efficiently. TimeTrade customers include PETCO, David’s Bridal, HQ/Regus, Blue Cross Blue Shield and the Department of Homeland Security.

TimeTrade offers the industry’s most proven, extensible and scalable Web-based software to solve complex scheduling issues with high-performance and highly configurable products.

TimeTrade’s personal appointment scheduling solution TimeDriver® lets users add a self-service scheduling link to Web pages and emails so their customers and colleagues can schedule time with them. Rather than a shared calendar or simple meeting scheduler, TimeDriver is an appointment automation system that drives a steady flow of appointments into a user’s Outlook or Google calendar, without email or phone tag. TimeDriver offers times that fall inside user-defined “availability windows” and do not conflict with other commitments in their calendar.

About TimeTrade Systems
TimeTrade Systems is the leader in customer self-service appointment scheduling solutions for enterprises and individuals. More than 250 million appointments have been scheduled through TimeTrade. Headquartered in Bedford, MA, TimeTrade offers Web-based solutions that enable customers to streamline operations, improve workflow and increase marketing and sales outreach. The company’s customers include some of the largest government agencies, retailers, and healthcare, financial services and educational organizations as well as small-to-medium sized businesses. TimeTrade solves complex scheduling issues with high-performance, highly configurable solutions that are scalable to handle hundreds of thousands of appointments across multiple locations.

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