I’m sure it’s fair to say we’ve all been caught up in the time consuming and frustrating task of organizing appointments. All that emailing back and forth checking times and dates, waiting for responses, not knowing whether to cancel one person to open up a slot for another who’s been more responsive.
Surely there must be an easier way.
Good news: there is! Using technology to automate meeting time organization.
The benefits of having an online appointment tool
- Reduce the back and forth of “what time’s good for you?” “no that doesn’t work for me, how about this?”
- Your prospects won’t lose interest before booking
- Automated email reminders decrease no-shows
- Embed the calendar on your web site
- Send people direct links to book
- Allocate different time slot lengths based on appointment type
- Automatically updates your availability as your schedule changes
Choosing the one that suits your business best
There are many online scheduling applications out there to choose from, but to get you started I’ve selected two of the more popular ones and compared some of their features.
Calendly allows you to create simple rules and share your Calendly calendar through links via email or embedded in your website. Calendly will work with your Outlook, Google, iCloud, or Office 365 calendars, so you never double booked yourself.
Acuity adapts to any business as clients can quickly view your real-time availability and book their own appointments. You only show your clients the calendar that you want them to see. You’ll receive notifications anytime a new appointment is booked and can check your schedule from your phone. Acuity can be integrated with the calendar you already use, like Google, Outlook, iCloud or Office 365, and will update your availability automatically. [Full disclosure… I use Acuity and like it a lot!]
|Clients can self-book||✔||✔|
|Integrate with other apps||42 total||72 total|
|Cost||From $8||From $15|
|Mobile app available||⨯||✔|
|Support||Email + Live Chat|
Here’s what Calendly’s availability setting screen looks like:
Here’s what Acuity’s availability setting screen looks like:
I encourage you to do some further research into what each option can offer you and compare it to what you actually need. Acuity clearly has more features than Calendly but it also has a higher monthly cost. Use the MVP technique to make your decision! Signing up for a free trial is a great way to make sure an app will work well for you before upgrading to a paid version.
If you haven’t used an online calendar yet, get ready for appointment-setting to get a whole lot easier and save you a whole lot of time!
Don’t forget to join us in the Facebook group and let us know which one you went for, or if you use a different one altogether.