There are so many things we need to schedule in our life as a business owner, and this differs depending on the type of business you have. For us, it is scheduling appointments. For many of the clients, I talk to especially that are in the service industry, scheduling of appointments is a time-consuming task. For this reason, I thought I would share some thoughts about 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 consultations with the client, and I found that booking appointments whether an initial conversation, our free consultation, or an actual meeting 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 as well as my partner, but I have not been able to get him to relinquish control of his calendar to a piece of software 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 on my search.
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 make a decision on a product. For me, this decision was fairly easy as the criteria I looked for was the following:
After a few week process of trying different products, I ended up using vCita. Many of its competitors had similar functionality, but when I gave each a score based on my rating chart, this product won hands down. Here are the reasons why and how it has helped our business.
Return on Investment
There are a lot of tools on the market that fall into the scheduling category. Before choosing a product, you want to define the requirements you are looking for along with what issue in your business you are looking for the product to solve. Primarily for us, I was looking to just improve my productivity but found other benefits which made purchasing the subscription service for our business a no-brainer. The features far exceeded just reducing scheduling time and has made me more efficient in this area as well.
If you are looking for a scheduling tool, my advice based on this recent experience is to make a list of the most important features and benefits that you are looking for this tool to provide and though it takes a little time - try at least 2 and find out what works best for you and your business. I am an advocate for any product that has a subscription license / monthly option for businesses as this is always a benefit for your cash flow and you always get the most up to date solution.
RK Fischer & Associates
Our offices are located now in Sarnia, Ontario but are able to provide services across Canada . Our local service area is Sarnia, London, and Chatham-Kent and surrounding areas. We will offer some onsite services in Windsor, Kitchener, Woodstock, Waterloo, Cambridge, Guelph, and Hamilton that require onsite work, such as facilitations or business assessments. We will also provide services onsite outside these areas for a travel fee across Southern Ontario.
For services outside our local service area within Canada who require onsite services, please contact us to determine how we may best service your requirements.
SUBSCRIBE TO OUR
SMALL BUSINESS INSIGHTS NEWSLETTER