As promised, this month I’m focusing on workflow tips that are going to save you time and make you more money in 2020. Calendar apps are literally my favorite workflow management tool. Instead of going back and forth on email trying to pick a meeting time, you send them a link to your available times, and they pick an available time for them from that. Genius.
Here are four ways to get the most of them:
#1: My Way
I use Calendly, which pulls my availability according to my business google calendar. So, I put all of my appointments, personal and professional, in that calendar. I also set up Calendly to put a 30-minute buffer around each unavailable period, because generally speaking if I’m out, I can’t get at my phone or a screen easily. Calendly also reflects when I want to be available – no one gets to call me on Thursday at 10pm or Sunday at 8am! My method does mean that I have to be pretty vigilant about updating my calendar.
But Calendly also gives me the freedom to update each day or time period at will. If I need to set an appointment with someone who works 9-5 and can only talk after that or on the weekends, I can open up times for them according to my schedule. I can even select certain dates and put a link to them in an email. You can do this with other appointment apps, too, not just calendly. Once appointees are also given a short questionnaire confirming how they want to be contacted – phone or video chat? And then reminders are sent to both of you before the appointment. I love this.
#2. Block Outs
You only want to talk with people during certain days and times, say, Mondays and Wednesdays between 1pm – 4pm. You set that up in the app and the link will only show those times.
#3. Reverse Engineering
When the one on one conversation goes like this – Them: I’m open on Wednesday. You: I’m open on Wednesday, too, at 1:30pm/OR let me send you some potential times. You can schedule them inside your app so they get a confirmation and reminder alerts, or send them a calendar link to your availability so they can choose a time on that day. This might increase the number of steps you’re taking to make the appointment, but if your schedule can get a little floopy (Mompreneurs I’m looking at you) this could be the best solution for you.
#4. Best Practices and Complications
Keep your calendar updated, whichever one you’re pulling your availability from.
REMEMBER that you can change days and times in the application whenever you want.
Put a time buffer around your calendar events. 15 minutes between appointments, 30 minutes? What’s realistic for you according to how your online and offline appointments usually go?
A popular objection to calendar apps is this: What if someone books an appointment and something comes up you have to cancel? The same thing that would happen pre-app – you tell them you have to cancel and you pick another time. Pre-app you waste time and stress trying to pick another date. Post-app you send them an apology and a link FTW.
Second most popular objection: what if you don’t have an online calendar to keep updated? You don’t use google calendar, ical or outlook? First, you probably should use of them, it puts your calendar in your pocket or on your screen. But short term, start using method #2 or #3, or get good about updating your app availability on a weekly or monthly basis.
Calendar applications are one of the easiest ways to save time in communicating with your clients so you can get to work and serve them – and more of them – faster. If you have any questions on the best ways to apply any of these methods to your business, contact me, or schedule a call with me here.
Have the happiest of Holidays and I’ll talk to you soon,