Are You Letting A Paper Calendar Limit Your Business’ Productivity?

I know MANY smart and highly successfully people use a paper calendar system and that’s fine (maybe). But what is surely not fine is the many small businesses who also use a manual calendaring system for their day to day appointments with clients. Think about the many salons, spas and other personal service industries who are being unproductive because their schedule books are filled with messy eraser marks and white out.

Instead it’s best to use an online calendar tool. One of many is by Genbook, their tagline is “more appointments. less hassles.”.

Features of their scheduling tool includes – a “book now” button so that when clients visit your web site they are prompted to schedule an appointment, ability for clients to schedule appointments online in real time.

Recent studies suggest that online scheduling increased customer loyalty while reducing missed appointments by more than 50%.

I asked Genbook VP Marc Woodward more about the online scheduling business. Here’s his answers:

There are many scheduling tools on the market – how should a business owner pick the one that’s best for them?

Be careful of  trusting your appointments and customer satisfaction to untested smaller companies, who may not be around this time next year – potentially causing a business to lose all of its appointment and customer data.

What differentiates Genbook?

Genbook is flexible and customizable to most businesses needs. We designed Genbook with a focus on maximizing appointments and revenue growth for our merchants by making it very quick and easy for customers to schedule appointments online in real-time 24×7 (whenever it’s convenient for them). Genbook differentiates itself through usability – it’s easy to configure and to use, and it just works! (ask our customers) – and through certain unique features: auto-collected customer reviews, credit card capture, and staff logins to name a few.

Genbook can also handle the high-volume of appointments and customer data capture requirements of Daily Deals. Some of our merchants have sold thousands of Groupons! Genbook automates all of the appointment scheduling and customer contact detail collection that enhance and help merchants truly “own” the Daily Deal experience.

Genbook offers all its scheduling features in two low-priced plans with no setup fees, hidden costs, or long term contracts.

Plus Genbook has ridiculously good customer support.

What are business owners using who are not using a tool to help with scheduling? Are some just using Excel? What challenges do they or do they not face?

The majority of small businesses are still using one of pen & paper, email lists, excel, a simple online calendar or some combination thereof. Genbook is a software platform that combines all scheduling features in one place. Online Appointment Scheduling is still in the very very early stages of adoption – many businesses aren’t even aware of its existence. We often get “Genbook, where have you been all my life?!” type feedback from new customers. Once a business adopts online scheduling, they are reaching a whole new level of sophistication, customer satisfaction & loyalty, and efficiency. In this challenging economy, business cannot afford to NOT have Genbook.

Pros: capture appointments from website or Faceboook page visitors 24/7, automated email confirmations and reminders, no more phone / email tag, build a customer database for future marketing, collect customer reviews and publish across the web. Your calendar and customer information is always available online or on your mobile.

Cons: there really aren’t any! Consumers are increasingly demanding online services and businesses that don’t offer online scheduling are at risk to their competitors that do.

What about businesses who want to have a programmer schedule their own tool?

That would be prohibitively expensive for any small business and take years to develop a fully-featured real-time scheduling platform like Genbook. (Genbook has invested millions of dollars in product development). There are no “pros” with the DIY approach, especially considering that you can get started on Genbook for $19.95/month with access to all features and our ongoing new product releases and upgrades.

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About Ramon Ray

Ramon Ray, Marketing & Technology Evangelist, Smallbiztechnology.com & Infusionsoft. Full bio at http://www.ramonray.com . Check him out on Google Plus, Twitter or Facebook

  • Eric MacArthur

    Making an appointment or scheduling a meeting is difficult in a paper calendar. Online calendars does this well but trusting an online product for scheduling with clients is risky. I found OfficeClip LLC (http://www.officeclip.com) which is pretty old in the industry and has good features like Extranet by which you can schedule clients appointment with full security. They provide free versions also.