For this next post, I’m going to get a little personal. Here at PFC, I develop and manage our various integration and automations, but that isn’t really where my expertise lies. I went to school for photography and also work as a professor at a few different colleges. I bounce around A LOT, so managing my time and schedule can be a bit of a juggling act. For a long time, I’ve used the credo “If it’s not in my calendar, it doesn’t exist!”
As my institutions quickly moved online this past Spring, I had to figure out how to manage my time with my students while working remotely. Often, I have to have one-on-one sessions to make sure that students are on the right track. To do this effectively, I added Calendly – an online scheduling tool – to my life. This platform lets me link multiple calendars to check for availability and allows my students (and co-workers) to schedule meetings with me that fit into everyone’s schedules. Once a student picks a time, I have it set up to automatically schedule a Zoom Meeting (I know, it’s a dirty word these days); then, my student and I each receive an email notification with the link to our video meeting, and it puts the event right into my calendar, which already send reminders to my phone and computer regularly.
To take it even further, I created separate calendars for each class so that when a meeting gets scheduled, I can easily figure out who each person is, what class they’re in, and what they might want to meet about. Calendly also provides a widget I can embed into my classroom management pages to make scheduling even easier. It’s as easy as copy/pasting a bit of code onto my management pages.
You might be wondering: “What about payment?” If I wanted to charge for consulting, tutoring, or any other meeting service, Calendly already integrates with services like Stripe and PayPal to allow clients to pay while scheduling. On top of payment options, you can also sync meetings with your CRM, which we’ve touched on previously; syncing meetings with your CRM can allow you to have more meaningful interactions with clients by making notes about previous meetings or phone calls, tracking previous orders to learn buying behaviors and preferences, etc.
Other than Calendly, there are plenty of platforms that offer similar integrated scheduling services like youcanbook.me and Vocus.io. Using a scheduling platform can save you a lot of time bouncing from calendar to calendar and back and forth emails with customers, trainers, and vendors. Letting your clients select the time that works best for them, at their convenience also helps with a reduction in “No Shows” – no one likes being stood up! Letting an automated scheduler do the work for you frees you up to focus on continuing to build relationships with your customers.