Recently, I was trying to figure out how to capture leads who may be visiting my law firm website, but may not be calling my office phone number to schedule a consultation. I realize nowadays most people prefer to research businesses online first and call second (if necessary) so it only seemed natural to try to bridge that gap by using a scheduling system on my website.
After researching what seemed like hundreds of options, I decided upon a service called Acuity Scheduling and I’ll tell you why I did.
Price is Right
Acuity has a forever free plan that works for a solo on a shoestring budget or if you’re just trying it out to see if it works for you before making a commitment.
The features available on the free plan are more limited of course, but for only $10 per month you can get some additional features, like adding your logo and sending email reminders so your prospective clients don’t miss their appointment with you. For $19 per month you can add on text reminders and calendars for up to 6 staff members or locations. If you run a larger law firm, you can add calendars for up to 36 staff members or locations for $34 per month. And, if you’re skittish about the paid plans, there’s a 14 day free trial available for each plan and you can always cancel at any time.
Usually when I sign up for a new online tool, I’m dropped into a stark application with no instruction and no clue what to do. I’m happy to report you don’t have to worry about that here. Like a good host, Acuity guides you by the hand in setting up your account.
- Enter your business name and your own name. Check.
- Set the hours and days you’re available for appointments. Check.
- Create appointment type (i.e., attorney consultation). Check.
- Customize the look of your scheduling page. Check.
- Sync with your calendar. Check.
Now, all you have to do is put the link to your scheduling page (or embed it) on your website and you’re in business! (If you need some help on this step, Acuity will even connect you with its developers who will help you integrate the scheduler into your website.)
Great Customer Experience
Acuity really has a lock on effective scheduling: the features are laser focused on getting prospects to make and keep appointments. Picture this:
A prospective client visits your website, researches your credentials and wants to see if you’re available for a consultation.
(If you didn’t have an online scheduler like Acuity, you would likely lose this prospect because they may not want to phone your office for availability or it may be after hours.)
The prospect clicks on the link and is taken to your scheduling page. On this page, they can learn if your consultations are free or paid and when you’re available.
(If you offer paid consultations, you can set up to take credit card payments using your favorite credit card processor, such as Stripe, Square, Paypal or Authorize.net.)
The prospect then enters their contact information and is taken to a confirmation page.
(You can even have the prospect fill out an intake questionnaire so you can review the answers before your appointment and impress the prospect with your familiarity with their situation.)
The confirmation page allows the prospect to add the appointment to their calendar with the touch of a button. Then, the day before the appointment, the prospect will receive an email and text reminder to keep them on track.
You can’t beat the value of Acuity Scheduling, especially when you consider two things:
1) How many prospects do you lose by not having a scheduling tool like Acuity on your website? Just one lost client could equal hundreds if not thousands of dollars. And, all the online marketing in the world won’t grow your business if you’re not capturing the leads it produces.
2) How much time are you saving by not having to schedule the appointments yourself or hire a full time receptionist to do the same thing? Even if you have a staff member currently scheduling for you, just think of all the time he or she could be spending on other more pressing matters.
I’ve recommended Acuity Scheduling to a few friends and they’ve found the experience of getting started pretty painless. But, don’t take my word for it, give it a shot yourself. You literally have nothing to lose.
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