Top 5 Reasons to Overhaul Your Request Process

27 November, 2019

“If it ain’t broke…” is often the rationale for leaving legacy scheduling processes in place. Unfortunately, when you’ve been doing something the same way for years (or decades), it can be hard to know if the process is truly working well or if, in fact, it’s “broke.”

For scheduling professionals, the process for managing space requests is one that’s often just accepted as “the way we do things.” There’s good reason for this, of course. Scheduling teams tend to be pulled in many directions—continually racing to meet deadlines while simultaneously trying to provide exceptional customer service. It’s that old duck analogy: calm and cool on the surface, but paddling furiously down below! Consequently, there’s little time or energy at the end of the day to review and revise the request process.

However, organizations that commit the necessary resources to a process overhaul find that the effort pays off in many ways. In our work with thousands of organizations over more than 20 years in the scheduling business, we’ve found that the top five benefits are:

1. Significant time savings

This is, hands-down, the biggest and most beneficial reason for revising your request process. After all, time is money! A more streamlined, web-based request process saves time for both your staff and your customers. The right information is collected, which means your staff isn’t constantly following up with customers to get needed details. Plus, customers can answer many of their questions (“Is the room I want available on the date that I need it?”) by themselves, leaving your team to focus on other tasks. And, customers can submit change requests electronically, here again not having to interrupt you.

For more ideas on how to save time taking event requests see 6 Ways to Streamline your Requests

2. Better documentation of requests

Receiving requests in digital form does a couple things. First, those requests have a date/time stamp so you know exactly when they came in, and that information may be useful at some point. And, because customers are entering the information themselves, there’s no risk of your team misinterpreting the request and no need to retype any details. Plus, customers can receive a confirmation that allows them to double-check their work. Eliminating human error can save your team countless hours in a year that might otherwise have been spent on trying to clear up confusion about an event.

3. More leads

Revising your request process also means reevaluating your request form for external events. This can result in more requests being submitted since fewer people “bail out” of the process due to frustration or reluctance to provide information. Improving your external request form means finding the right balance in terms of getting the information you need without having people view the submission process as overly detailed or time-consuming.

4. Happier customers

People today want 24/7 access to the organizations they interact with. Enhancing your process so that requesters can see what space is available whenever they have a chance to do some research will make them very happy, as will allowing them to change their requests themselves rather than having to call or email you. What’s more, if a person can connect with you as seamlessly from their smartphone as they can from their computer, they’ll be especially pleased. And happy customers tend to provide positive reviews, which can be good for your department’s reputation and for the careers of individual staff members.

5. Better policy enforcement

One of the bigger challenges for scheduling professionals is getting requesters to understand and abide by the department’s policies. With a fine-tuned request process supported by leading-edge technology, you can not only keep your policies “front and center” on documents like your confirmation, you can use your scheduling system to enforce rules regarding things like how far into the future a person can reserve space or how much lead time is required to book an event. Plus, you can manage the multiple approvals needed for a particular event all in one place and in an automated fashion.

A Strong Foundation for Your Ongoing Success

At the end of the day, there are many processes involved in executing flawless events. However, it’s safe to say that the request process is your foundation for success. Enabling customers to submit—and your team to receive—the necessary details about an event quickly and efficiently creates a positive trajectory for all the activities that follow. Your staff can get to work on the event and the organizer can turn their attention to other tasks confident that everything will go smoothly.

Do you need help making your request process more efficient? See our free online resource, The Ultimate Guide to Taking Online Room Scheduling Requests.

Dean Evans

Dean Evans is the Founder and CEO of Mazévo. Check out his articles about event scheduling software.