Increase Your Productivity Using Scheduling Tools

Scheduling Products

There are so many things we need to schedule in our life as a business owner. The type of scheduling differs depending on the type of business you have. For us, it is scheduling of coaching sessions and free consultations. For our clients in the service industry, they tell us that scheduling of appointments is a time-consuming task. For this reason, I will share some thoughts about the tools we have used and how they have helped us.

Why I Looked For a Scheduling Tool

For our business, I am the one that does the majority of upfront or free consultations with the client. I found that booking appointments whether an initial conversation, our free consultation, or an actual coaching session became an onerous and time-consuming task. Since it is tough to talk to someone live with their calendar open, I would send the first email and suggest three dates and times. I would then get back an email saying Tues was great, but 10:00 versus 9:00 would be better. I then would let them know I was not available at 9:00 but was at 9:30. This exercise could end up taking almost an hour of the day with one or two people just trying to schedule an appointment.

I am a technology user, so I wanted an online product. My business partner is as well, but I have not been able to get him to relinquish control of his calendar as of yet. I decided I wasn't going to wait to convince him. I would at least look for something for myself and talked to other peers who were using software for scheduling to get their take and - so off I went to do my research.

Scheduling Tool Requirements

I am that person when looking for a tool, I sign up for 3-4 trials and try each one before I decide on a product. For me, this decision was relatively easy, as the criteria I looked for was the following:

  • Must integrate into Outlook 365 as we have invested in Microsoft 365 for Business

  • Must integrate with Zoom as we use it for Business Coaching or Advisory Services.

  • Must have a friendly user interface that does not look like a desktop product ported to the web

  • Must be easy for clients to use and book appointments

  • Must have the ability for clients to fill in a questionnaire, so we know something about the business prior to the consultation

  • Must end up saving me time versus jumping through hula hoops because of deficiencies in the product

  • Must have a return on investment for using it

  • Must have technical support that is easy to access, and that has a reasonable turnaround.