If you run a small business based on client appointments, you know booking can be a hastle. Handling the phones and the emails, fiddling with tons of papers and registers, spread sheets or even software- in the end you do have to type every little detail in by hand. Should we even get into missed and cancled appintments? And to top it off, you’ve already got difefrent tools to manage your time like Google Calendar. Now, if there was only a way to connect the two.
Yes, I’m working my way towards introducing YouCanBook.Me, which does exactly what it says- it lets people book you or your services, connecting your booking system directly to your Google Calendar, so you have all your information in one place.
How Does It Work?
It basically takes the information from your Google Calendar about your free and busy times and displays it in an online bookable grid your customers can view and book either tentative or confirmed appointments that go straight into your diary.
Let’s face it, most of us have at least one Google address and hence access to a Google calendar, and for anyone who’s not yet a part of the great big Google family, setting it up is really simple to set up.
The setup takes about five minutes altogether, as you sync your Google and the setup wizard takes you through the whole process of the initial setup.
And just in case you were wondering- no, it does not let customers book a 3AM appointment or Sunday mornings when your kids have their soccer games. Everything is completely customizable and you set the grid to show the days you are normally available, including start and end time, lunch hours and whatever is your usual schedule.
The system includes a fully featured “form builder” so that you can build a booking form that asks exactly the questions you need. You can also book more people into one time slot, depending on your capacity. Every appointment becomes a Google Calendar event, making it easier to keep track of everything that is going on.
The system sends out notifications a few hours before each appointment, by text or Google Calendar notifications, to both you and your client, and it also allows everyone to timely cancel and reschedule appointments easily online 24-hours a day.
Do I Need It?
For starters, the standard package, containing all the perks stated above, is free. Try it on for size and see how your customers react and if it does you any good- I’m guessing it will. When you’ve gotten into the whole Google Cal booking thing, you can try out some of the other packages, depending on your needs and the size of your business.
Premium lets you link to multiple Google calendars, lets your users choose which of your employees/colleagues they would like to book (up to 10 of them) and book up to 10 services. If tehy are returning customers, there is the autofill option and you have complete control over the questions that get asked when people book you to get a rich set of data about your customers need. Big Data, yum!
Professional pack is the right choice for you when your team is bigger than ten people, or you need to offer a choice of more than 10 services. A handy perk is that you can make your bookings contingent upon payments and credit card details can be entered directly into your booking form so you know payment has been made before the booking takes place. It is also possible to get completely customized Enterprise solutions.