Online Scheduling Tools are an amazing addition to your website. While you may not initially think you could need them, as your business grows they can have a huge amount of benefits.
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Does this sound familiar to you?
Prospective Client: Hi, I’d like to book a call to discuss your services, when are you free?
You: I’m free at 3pm on Thursday.
C: 3pm, what time is that in the US?
Y: It’s 11am in the US, is that good for you?
C: No, not really can we do Monday instead?
And so it continues…
What is an Online Scheduling Tool?
An online scheduling tool is a service that allows your people to book themselves in for a call with you directly through your website. Different tools have different features, but overall they all serve the same purpose – they save you time and hassle. They let you automate your booking systems, so you don’t have to spend time going back and forth to find a time that works for both you and your prospective or current clients. Many tools also handle timezones really well, which is great if you work internationally like me.
Which services are out there?
There are many companies out there that offer scheduling services for example Calendly, Appointy, vCita* and Acuity Scheduling*. While they all offer the same thing, the way it’s executed can vary hugely. vCita for example is more than just a scheduling tool it’s a full on Customer Relationship Management System and handles appointment booking, client records as well as online payments and the sharing of documents. The services also vary hugely in usability. While vCita is really pretty on your site (and has a pop up function) and easy to use for clients, setting it up can be a bit of a headache (do not despair I can help you if need be). I ended up sticking with Acuity as it did everything I needed it to do and it was reliable too.
How does it work?
The systems all work in pretty much the same way. A potential client or customer heads to your website and looks around. They like what they see and would love to know more about you and what you can offer them. They use your scheduling tool to book themselves in. They can choose a time that suits them and you, because your calendar is synced to the system, it knows when you are available and when you are not. You both get an email confirmation and hop on the call at the scheduled time. No need for emailing back and forth and it’s all a smooth experience.