Tired of trying to wrangle 10 people to agree on a time and date for a conference call? Do you have a lengthy, but necessary, intake form that makes scheduling an appointment with your business a seemingly onerous task? Or maybe, you’re so busy scheduling appointments that you’re actually getting in your own way, unavailable to meet because you’re actually trying to schedule a meeting. Or, perhaps, you set up a meeting time for Friday at 1 pm, only to find out five minutes later that your office assistant just scheduled a meeting with someone else for that exact time. Online scheduling can solve these issues and revolutionize the way you do business.
If you are a client-service based business or conduct several business meetings, conference calls and webinars in a given month, online scheduling can markedly improve your work life.
Below, we’ll detail a few wonderful tools we’ve discovered – and actually use! – and how to best leverage their capabilities.
Thrive schedules a lot of one-on-one meetings. Meet-and-greets, tutorials, discussion of proposals, troubleshooting client website issues, and simple client check-ins are all scheduled with Calendly. It’s a free tool, though an upgraded version is available for those with more than one type of one-on-one meeting. You set up the type of event, set the required fields they want, and choose times and dates that you’re available and then let it do the work for you. For instance, a construction contracting company could offer half-hour free consultations to new clients. They set up appointment times on the top of every hour (to allow for travel time), Mondays and Wednesdays. Potential clients fill out a quick online form with their name, phone number and address, and the type of work they’re looking for. Once booked, that date and time no longer show as available, so double-booking is impossible. Sign-up for Calendly here.
Meetings with Multiple Attendees
It’s hard, if not impossible, to schedule meetings for more than a couple of people where at least a simple majority can attend. Multiple people often mean multiple emails, phone calls, and in-person “Hey, can you tell me when you’re available next Wednesday” conversations at the water cooler. Eliminate all of this by using Doodle. Using the Doodle calendar, you select dates and times that you want to offer to meet. You can allow participants to choose several options that work for them, or require them to make a single choice. You can send polls for them when they would prefer the next meeting date to be and even make the results public to all or hidden. Doodle will out an email with a link to your calendar, and participants can make their choices. All without a flurry of emails to and from your inbox and/or a bunch of unsatisfying phone calls. Start using Doodle now.
For the Client-Based Business
If you offer classes, workshops, or multiple types of appointments (for example, an appointment type for each different service you offer) and have multiple service providers, Schedulicity is a great tool. Psychiatrists, Pet Groomers, Photographers, and Health Clubs have all used this online schedule and marketing service to great success. Schedulicity grants an unlimited number of class and workshop sign-ups, and up to 20 appointments per month. If you have more than 20 appointments each month, the fee for unlimited appointments is very reasonable and based on the number of providers you have. This service also offers several add-ons like online payment, auto-billing, client management, and client text reminders. Your business can be listed in the Schedulicity Marketplace, where current and potential clients can easily find you and book appointments or sign-up for a class or workshop. Schedulicity works with more than 50 different service industries. Learn more about Schedulity.
So there you have it – three terrific tools to simplify and streamline your work life. Have you used any of them? Do you love them or hate them? We’d love to hear your story. Tell us what worked and what didn’t. We might feature your success in a future blog post, or if it’s not full of sparkles and wonder, help you figure out how to get that happy ending you deserve.