Category Archives: Tips and answers
Google has recently introduced a new feature in their favorite Google Calendar app. Originally, you could only use Google Calendar as your personal journal of what is coming. Google than added features allowing you to share calendars, so you could, for example, let your family or colleagues know what are your plans.
Now Google introduced new (so far experimental feature) I stumbled upon just the other day. It is called Appointment slots and at the first look it seems like a simple booking system.
How to create an appointment slot
In Google Calendar, you have now two options when creating new appointment: event and appointment slots.
By selecting appointment slots, you are directed to further options. Here you can set how long the appointment will be, whether it is one session or session consisting of many parts, bookable separately.
You can also set Repeat for repeating bookings, like consultation hours or office hours, perhaps.
How can people book your appointment?
You are given an (incredibly long) link that leads to your booking page. Unfortunately, only people who are using Google Calendar can book your appointment slots. Others will be shown a log-in/sign-up screen.
Appointment slots are really just a basic feature, and while useful for infrequent users, it is far, far from ready for business use. The largest limitation being the dependency on users being signed in Google Calendar.
Since my credit card got falsely charged by a vendor in Texas last week, I am much more cautious as to where do I share my credit card number. And this is a common sense – we don’t want to say the number of our credit card out loud over the phone, or send in some e-mail.
That is yet another reason for businesses to employ an online booking system that allows for secure online payments. The customers are happy because they know that the payment will be as secure as the web allows. And you will be happy, because you don’t need to worry about the details of the payment, you just need to know it arrived.
Many businesses around the world are managed by people who do not yet speak the language of the country they live in. That is not to say that they can’t do their job well. They usually do a great job! But they can have trouble receiving calls and scheduling appointments over the phone.
A good scheduling software, preferably an online scheduling software, will help you tremendously. Your customers will easily go online to see when they can come to you, and they can simply book the time they prefer. You don’t need to speak to them over the phone, and they appreciate the quick overview and multiple choice of time.
For you, this means less time on the phone, more time with the customer and happier customers.
Welcome, Microsoft Outlook users. This little article is just for you. You are used to have all your appointments in one place, and are distressed by the prospect of having to check two or more apps for your daily schedule. But don’t worry. Some of the best on-line scheduling systems keep that in mind and allow you to synchronize the appointments customers input on-line with your personal Outlook Calendar.
- Sester – on-line appointment scheduling allows synchronization with Outlook and iCal
- TimeTrade – seems they are offering the same, have not tried yet
The synchronization with Microsoft Outlook calendar can be done through MS Exchange, or iCalendar open standard. Note that the price of Outlook is (obviously) not included in the price of the online booking system. Some systems will force you to download their desktop software (or software from other company) to watch for new appointments and keep you up to date. New Outlook (2010) has options to subscribe to on-line calendars, too. Last but not least, you can simplify things through Google Calendar.