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Many of you now have more experience than you ever wanted to operate as a virtual and remote organization. Being a virtual agency has a lot of benefits.
But, being virtual may mean fewer face-to-face meetings. With the current restrictions in place, you are likely spending much more time on telephone calls and video meetings. A big problem, however, is the time it takes to coordinate scheduling that works for both parties.
Trying to schedule a phone appointment with anyone (staff, a new prospect, or current client) all too often entails several emails back and forth as you try to find a time that works. This process is a waste of time and a drain on everyone’s productivity.
How to Automate Scheduling
To better manage this process, many appointment scheduling applications have been created over the last several years. I have been using web-based appointment scheduling services for several years. There are a growing number of options for you to choose from. While I am not going to provide you with detailed reviews on each option, I’ve included a list below to start your research.
Two services I have personally used include ScheduleOnce and TimeTrade. Both work in a similar manner. I currently use TimeTrade because of its integration with Outlook Exchange and my marketing platform. While each of the platforms listed above might have unique benefits, they all work the same – each helps you schedule calls and meetings.
To schedule a phone appointment, I simply add this line to an email message: “Please use this link to schedule a time for a phone call appointment: https://stevea.me/schedule-30-minute-call.”
After payment, the link leads the person to a page on my website (see fig 1) where I explain the process, and they can view my calendar with the times I have available displayed (see fig 2). As they can see the times I am open, they simply pick the time that works best for them. Once they confirm the time, a form is displayed for them to add their specific information. Once they confirm, they receive a confirmation email, and I receive a confirmation email.
One of the benefits of using TimeTrade is the direct integration with my Outlook calendar, so once the appointment is confirmed, it is automatically added to my calendar. ScheduleOnce is tightly integrated with Google calendar, but I had to create a process to move the appointment from the Google calendar to my Outlook calendar.
Using a scheduling platform significantly cuts down on the hassle of scheduling almost any type of appointment. I highly recommend your organization explore the possibilities.
If you use a scheduling process, what platform have you found to be best, and why? Leave a comment.