How to Train Your Customers to Use Online Scheduling

 
simplified scheduling

It’s a bird! It’s a plane! No—it’s a more efficient way of working with your clients!

Allowing clients to self-schedule frees up buckets of administrative time on your end. As an added bonus, it also equips your people with a little more agency, as they’re able to schedule, reschedule, and cancel appointments with you on their own.

So, how do you make the shift from clients calling you for appointments—to them booking at your Acuity link, every time?

All it takes are 5 simple shifts to your process. 

1 | Make sure self-scheduling is an option.

When you want your clients to book an appointment, class, or workshop with you online, it’s essential that you’ve enabled the right settings in your Acuity account.

It takes about 45 seconds to double-check that clients have the power to self-schedule with your link. In your Acuity account, go to Business Settings > Availability. Find the calendar or appointment group you want and click Edit Availability/Limits.

Look for the Appointments per Time Slot setting. If you've set this to 0, all client scheduling is prevented. By changing the number to 1, you can allow scheduling for one client at a time. (And if you change it to 4, four people are allowed to book during that time slot at once—which is useful for group classes.)

2 | Embed your scheduler everywhere you exist. Everywhere.

Posting the link to your scheduling page in multiple places reminds clients that online scheduling is an option, and makes it easier for them to find you, book you, and pay you.

Embedding your scheduler is a great way to get eyes on your services, but don’t forget about the other places potential clients find you. Integrate your scheduler on your or as another way to eliminate booking hurdles.

For bonus points, you can even put a physical sign in your office that tells them they can book online, and include a reminder in your phone’s voicemail greeting. Opt for something simple, like: “Hey! You’ve reached <your name or your superhero alias>. If you’d like to schedule an appointment, head to <insert your scheduler link>!”

The easier it is for them to schedule with you online, the more likely they are to do it.

3 | Be clear about your preferred booking methods.

If you want them to book online—and only online—let them know! Once your scheduling link is posted wherever you have a presence, it’s time to clue your audience in directly.

By sending a quick email, you can update your clients about your preferences for online scheduling and link them to your scheduling page. After that, consider updating your email signature with the same link to your scheduler.

4 | Let them know the benefits of online scheduling.

At the end of the day, online scheduling saves everyone a metric ton of time, but old scheduling habits can be hard to break for some clients. Make the switch to online scheduling a no-brainer for them by directly laying out the benefits. 

A few points you might want to touch on look like:

  • They’re able to book with you at your scheduling link, even outside of your normal business hours.

  • They can see your full availability at a glance, instead of listening to a list of times.

  • They can cancel and reschedule when life events pop up, without needing to play phone tag.

  • It puts them in control of the ways they want to work with you.

Want to see what clients experience when they self-schedule online through your link?

 

5 | Set up coupon codes for online scheduling.

Whenever you create a new customizable coupon code, you’re generating a discount that can only be redeemed online.  You’re in full control of the discount details, from when the codes expire to how many times they can be used.

For example, you might want to offer $10 off their next session to the first 10 people who email you. By setting your code’s limit to 10, the code will be invalid after the 10 winners have redeemed their discount.

It’s a great way to encourage people to schedule with you online, because you can deliver the coupon code with a little note: “Enter this code when you book online to save X% off your next session.” It’s the perfect incentive to help your clients transition to your new preferred way of scheduling.

 

Your clients are on your team, just like you’re on theirs.

Team members want to help each other succeed, especially when all it takes is scheduling their appointments online. 

Switching up the way clients book services isn’t a scary journey into the unknown. It’s actually an effortless way to streamline the way you show up for yourself and the people you serve.

Ready to save everyone some time?

 
 
time-saving tips, acuity 101, small business automation