At your agency, how do you currently schedule meetings with prospects, clients, and contacts? If you're still sending times back and forth via email or struggling to get a streamlined system in place, it's time to fix that problem. It's time to answer the question:
What's the Best Calendar Scheduling Tool?
Here in Episode #2 of Agency Toolbox, I want to help you understand why you should be using a calendar scheduling application, what some of the best calendar scheduling apps are, and why my agency, GuavaBox, chose Acuity Scheduling.
Why use a calendar scheduling app?
I'm betting that this is pretty self-explanatory. You use it to avoid the painful back-and-forth email exchange where you propose a time, but your lead can't make it...then they propose a time and you have to move another meeting to make it work. Or the time where you scheduled a 9AM meeting, but didn't specify the time zone and your prospect showed up an hour late.
Those experiences are way too painful for life in the modern world. That's why you should be using a calendar scheduling app. Here are a couple of the ways we use Acuity Scheduling at GuavaBox and at DoInbound:
- When a prospect requests a marketing assessment, the automated follow-up email gives them a link to schedule the meeting directly with a member of our sales team.
- When we invite an agency owner to appear on Inbound Agency Journey, we include a link to schedule their interview automatically.
What are the best calendar scheduling tools?
There are a number of awesome tools out there for scheduling calendar appointments. I've used quite a few and could easily recommend Calendly, or suggest alternatives like ScheduleOnce, YouCanBookMe, Doodle, SetMore, or Assistant.to.
They all have pros and cons, but none of those tools fit our needs as a marketing agency as well as Acuity Scheduling.
Why use Acuity Scheduling for my agency?
First, every quality tool should have the ability to set appointments in several clicks, send notification emails to both parties, and bi-directionally sync with your calendar. That's basic functionality that I'm assuming exists in the tools you're considering (if it doesn't, stop looking at those tools).
In a nut-shell, here's why we chose Acuity Scheduling:
1) Acuity allows you to configure and manage multiple calendars.
This way, you can have your entire team set up inside a single, integrated account and you can allow your contacts to schedule appointments based on the aggregate availability of your team.
Sticking with my previous example of a prospect booking their consultation automatically, this allows us to give that prospect the combined availability of our entire sales team. That way, if Ryan is taking a day off on a Thursday, our prospective client can still book an appointment with someone else on the sales staff.
2) Acuity allows you to set up paid meetings.
The Acuity Scheduling platform can take payments directly through your payment gateway (Stripe, PayPal, or Authorize.net) prior to the meeting being scheduled. It also has coupon and essential eCommerce store functionality.
This allows you to sell blocks of time as a consulting package or offer a lead a "free" consultation by providing a coupon code - one possible way to try to convey the value of your time.
3) Acuity provides a high level of customization for design and functionality.
This is head and shoulders above the competition right now as Acuity makes it easy to customize the appointment types and calendars, the front-end design, the payment settings, and embed your events on your website.
In future episodes of Agency Toolbox, I will be sharing how to configure the appointment types for your agency, how to customize the front-end design (with a pre-made CSS template), and how to embed events into your HubSpot pages (I'll share a pre-built HubL template). Be sure to subscribe or keep reading to access those episodes.
Want to get started with Acuity Scheduling?
Want to learn more about Acuity?
To get early access to the next 10 episodes of Agency Toolbox, including 3 more episodes on exactly how to set up Acuity Scheduling for your agency, just fill out the form below and follow the instructions.
Leave a comment with your questions or tips on how you use Acuity Scheduling.