I recently had an email from Diane, thank you Diane, and she asked me how she could coordinate calendars and book appointments between herself and 2 of her sub-contractors. Diane wanted to be able to do this ‘live’ while on the phone to a client, and would like to know the best way of going about it.
You could simply use a Google Calendar and then share it between yourself and the sub-contractors, this is the most cost effective (even free) way of doing it, and is functional providing you use colour coding, but if you want to add a bit of ‘sexy’ to this setup, and jazz it up, you can integrate an online booking system, and get everything functioning really quickly and easily.
I would ideally choose an Online Booking System which looked awesome, was very functional, and had the facility to import Google Calendar. For this, I use Setster, because it’s simple, slick and sexy.
When you set up your Setster account you will need to customise your account with the various different appointments and consultations you have available, these are classed as “Services.” You may want to just set up a 1 hour consultation, or you may want to specify the provider in each one, such as “1 Hour Consultation with Mary.” However you do it, make sure you keep it fairly simple.
You can then add your providers, this could be you and your sub-contractors. By entering the service providers’ details, they will automatically be notified of the appointment, as well as the client, so you have a nice bit of automation in there, which will save you a couple of emails notifying people. The thing I love about these types of systems, is that they automate a lot of the process.
You can turn your providers on and off, so if they are going away on holiday, you can simply disable them until they return.
So this is where our Google Calendar comes in. You will need a calendar that each provider can update their information on, and block out time. Make sure that they mark the time they block out as “Busy” — sometimes it can look like you’re blocked out because there is a calendar entry, but in actual fact, you are still set to available, and then it doesn’t block out the time.
So providing you follow the instructions and import the calendar correctly, whenever you have blocked out time to “Busy,” it will update the system, and hey presto, when you go to book an appointment, those slots will not be available.
So to summarise, this system of appointment scheduling for teams is effective because:
- It has a Jazzy interface which is nice to work in.
- It provides you with widgets and badges to make it really easy to market your appointment calendar.
- It allows multiple people to work in one system.
- Confirmation email and reminders are all automated, to the team and the client so it’s less hassle than having to update a Google Calendar and try to inform people.
- As a virtual assistant, if you are on the phone to a client and you need to quickly schedule an appointment, this is a super-fast solution, just set up a booking page on your site, or bookmark the link to your appointment scheduling page online, and in a short 3 step process, you can professionally schedule an appointment.
My call answering service also uses this system to schedule in the folk I receive calls and enquiries from, so it has plenty of uses!
Don’t like Setster? Here are some other popular Appointment booking systems: