How I Selected a New Online Appointment Booking System

It happened. I broke down and finally got an online appointment booking system for my business (and I think you’ll want to learn why and how it went…)!

We all want to do whatever we can to stay organized and on track. Yet, for some reason, I have always avoided using an online calendar system. I’m talking for YEARS! As business continues to build, however, the increasing need for one has forced me to take action.

Why I have avoided a calendar system for 8 years:

  • On average, I have between 80-100+ calls a month with clients, colleagues, prospects and partners. I can only handle a certain number of calls a day because I still have “work” to do for all of those clients. I worried that a calendar system would book 10 calls a day, and I’d be in trouble.
  • Depending on the “type” of call I have (for example, a one-hour coaching call), I may need a small break before my next call to recharge and also sneak in a little work. I worried a calendar system would schedule back-to-back calls for 5 hours straight, and I’d be in trouble.
  • I try to schedule calls during my peak performance hours so I can offer lots of good energy and advice on all of my calls. Sometimes, a client needs to schedule outside of that window. I worried about being forced to expand my window of availability for everyone, because then I’d be in trouble.

Hmmm, notice a pattern here? Those are just a few of the BIG concerns I had.

BUT… oh man was I wasting a lot of time going back and forth with clients sharing availability. Then, if I got booked, I’d have to update the other potential callers that my schedule had been filled. It was not ideal, but I made it work.

Enter, my cry for “Help?!” one day on Facebook. I knew that I couldn’t keep up this old-school way of scheduling forever, so I asked around for the BEST systems and why.

Common answers for the best / most popular scheduling systems:

  • Time Trade
  • vCita
  • Acuity
  • Schedule Once
  • Doodle
  • MeetMe.So
  • Calendly
  • SimplyBook.me
  • Appointment Core
  • Square Appointments
  • Tungle
  • ChooseMyCoach.com

… yes, I was overwhelmed. LOL!

(See?? Even “I” wonder why technology has to be SO hard and time consuming!!)

Much research and testing later….

I signed up for (and now LOVE) Calendly.

Click here to take a walk-through my online calendar.

Why? Because now I can…..

  • Set multiple appointment types (to organize and segment my prospect calls from client calls from partner calls, etc).

 

online-appointment-booking-system

 

  • Create different time frames for those appointments (30, 45, 60 minutes, etc.)
  • Customize a form that callers fill out before they finish scheduling (for example, I can ask prospects for their website url, business ideas and more)
  • Have automated reminders emails sent before each call to myself and/or the caller.
  • Set the instruction for callers to call ME (this was previously a confusion point when emailing back and forth with callers – who was calling whom?)
  • Set how many of each ‘appointment type’ I want each day. So, for example, if I only want 2 coaching calls per day, I let Calendly know…. and I’ll never get more than 2 per day!

 

online-appointment-booking-system

 

  • Block off “busy” times in my Google Calendar so Calendly knows when NOT to schedule appointments during my normal open timeframes.

…and so much more.

I’ve been on this system for two weeks now, and I’m very happy. I had a few tweaks to do, but otherwise, it works very well (AND it’s cheaper than a lot of the other systems out there too!).

So, I’m officially converted, but I want to know what YOU think. What’s your experience with online appointment booking systems? Have you used any of the systems listed above? If you’re not a convert like me, what’s holding YOU back?

Please leave a comment below and let me – and everyone else – know!

xoxo
Amber Vilhauer

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