Scheduling appointments is one of the things I found most annoying when I worked in the corporate world.
You know what I mean. You get an email asking for an appointment. You suggest a date and time. That doesn’t work for the other person, so they offer a different date and time. That doesn’t work for you.
The endless back-and-forth email chains.
What a waste of time!
And that’s not the end of the manual scheduling process. Once you finally have the date and time hammered out, you have to add the appointment to your calendar. Then you might need to send a follow-up email to confirm and give the other person additional details or documents.
Now, as a busy solo entrepreneur who is also trying to maintain a healthy work-life balance, manual scheduling is not a task that I want on my plate. I don’t have that kind of time to waste. And I bet you don’t either.
Scheduling automation software can help you avoid all this hassle.
It’s a much easier way to allow other people to schedule appointments with you at your convenience. And theirs.
Scheduling automation tools make it easy for people to book appointments with you by using a simple link or booking form. In addition, they send out automatic reminders and email confirmations, so there are no back and forth emails between you two trying to coordinate schedules.
You’ll save hours every week because you don’t need to spend time responding back and forth with leads and clients about scheduling over email anymore!
In this post, I’ll share some of the ways scheduling automation tools can save you time.
What are the benefits of automated scheduling?
Scheduling tools can help you manage your schedule better by automating tasks for you. Think of the scheduling app as a virtual assistant who handles your calendar.
Save time by scheduling appointments for you
I talked about this above, but I think it bears repeating.
Time is your most precious resource. As an entrepreneur, you have to wear so many different hats—marketing, accounting, outreach, etc. I know it feels like there’s never enough time in the day to get everything done!
Use these time blocking techniques to ramp up your productivity and make sure you get it all done.
Every day is packed full of stuff to do, so the last thing you want to be doing is spending hours in your inbox trying to schedule appointments with leads and clients.
Let a scheduling app handle that task for you!
When you set up the app, you’ll give it instructions for the days and times you want to make available for appointments. You can also block out times to avoid appointments and set up a buffer zone in between appointments.
Then, all you have to do is share a link to your booking app with leads and clients.
Leads and clients can set up meetings that fit their own schedules
Every client or lead wants to find the best time for a meeting that works with their schedule. When you use appointment scheduling software, not only are you making the best of use of your own time, you are also being respectful of their time as well.
They have the control and flexibility to choose the time slot that works best for them. And they don’t enjoy the back and forth “appointment dance” any more than you do, so they’ll appreciate how convenient it is to work with you.
Confirm meetings automatically
Many appointment scheduling tools offer an automated confirmation feature after someone books time with you.
Instead of following up manually, you can set up the app to send an automated confirmation email immediately after they book with you. You can also include any next steps that the other party needs to know about.
Use scheduling automation to keep your calendar up to date
Scheduling software can also sync with your online calendar, like Google Calendar, Office 365, iCloud, etc.
When someone schedules a meeting with you, it will automatically be added to your calendar so that you don’t have to do that manually.
What’s more, scheduling automation software will block out times when there is already an appointment on your calendar so that you won’t accidentally get double-booked.
Encourage prospects to book a discovery call now
You want to make it as easy as possible for prospects to move forward in your sales process.
Sure, you could have them fill out a contact form on your website with a message that you’ll get back to them about scheduling an appointment. But then, they are left hanging while they wait to hear back from you. And they may get tired of waiting and move on to someone else.
A better way is to add a link to your scheduling form right on your website (or embed the form). Let them schedule their first appointment with you right away. Now you’re on their calendar.
Side note: This is easier for you, too, because you don’t have to remember or take the time to follow up to set the appointment.
Easily capture key information from prospects
Of course, you’ll want to capture basic information, such as name, email address, other contact info, etc.
But why not take it a step further?
You can add custom fields to your scheduling form so that prospects provide information about themselves and their preferences before booking.
For example, you could ask what industry they’re in or what the purpose of the meeting is.
If you offer service packages, you could ask them which package they are interested in.
Or you might ask one or two qualifying questions to ensure that they are a good fit for your business.
This allows you to customize your messaging so that it’s relevant to them.
What is the best software for scheduling?
Honestly, these are both good. And both have free versions and free trials. So my advice is to sign up for both and take them for a spin. That way, you’ll be able to figure out which interface you prefer and if any features are deal-breakers for you.
The pricing of both automation platforms is similar IF you only want to connect one calendar to your account.
Calendly’s lowest-priced plan is $10 a month, and it allows you to connect two calendar apps. On the other hand, YouCanBookMe costs $10 per calendar connection. So that’s a significant price difference if you want to connect more than one calendar.
Calendly also offers a bigger discount for annual payment (20% vs. 10% for YouCanBookMe).
Frequently Asked Questions
Automated scheduling is when an appointment scheduling app will automatically book an appointment and confirm the time with a prospect or customer. It will then automatically add the meeting to your calendar. It may even send an automated reminder before your meeting.
A booking page is designed to capture as much information about a prospect as possible. A scheduling form, on the other hand, is mainly intended just to gather contact information.
I suggest using a booking page for prospects and leads, with the caveat that you don’t overwhelm them by trying to capture too much information.
A scheduling form will likely be sufficient for booking appointments with clients.
You’ll need to use an app such as Calendly, YouCanBookMe, Acuity, etc.
Then you have to connect your online calendar to the scheduling tool. Most software integrates with Google Calendar. You’ll need to check the integrations available if you use a different calendar program.
You’ll set up the appointment slots that you want to make available by day of the week.
Then, you’ll configure the settings for your scheduling form according to how you want it to work. Most appointment scheduling software is straightforward to set up.
The bottom line is that scheduling automation can save you time and help you take control of your calendar. It’s easy to use, affordable, and it will allow you to manage your time a lot better with fewer distractions.
You’ll be able to schedule appointments with prospects and clients without any manual input or follow-up.
If you’re looking for a way to save time and take control of your calendar, I recommend giving automated scheduling a try! You’ll be able to spend more time focused on what matters most–growing your business.
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