Clients can choose their own time zone

We’ve added a new feature that allows clients to see appointment times in their own time zone.

In the screenshots below, you can see what this looks like in the client scheduler.

online scheduling time-zone #1 choose-time-zone-2 choose-time-zone-3

Once a client chooses a time zone,  emails and text messages will also show the preferred time zone.

The client record will be updated. And client time zone preferences can be viewed and modified by the business owner (screenshot below).

scheduling software - edit time zone

Private Services Improved

Many of you already know about Schedulista’s private services feature. In short, a private service lets you create a separate landing page for an individual service that requires a secret link to access.

Example:
https://www.schedulista.com/schedule/massage/vi846-f4f65

We just made this feature more flexible. Services now have a new option where you can hide the “change service” link on the private service landing page and also hide the “schedule your next appointment online” link in the client confirmation and reminder emails.

Just uncheck the ”Show change services link to clients” on the edit service page.

Online scheduling - private servicesThis option is perfect for businesses that might not offer any general services, or might have a specific private offering that they want to have completely isolated from their standard services.

We also improved the URL structure. The old format looks like this:
https://www.schedulista.com/schedule/massage/offer/vi846-f4f65

The new format is more concise:
https://www.schedulista.com/schedule/massage/vi846-f4f65

(Note, we will continue to support the old format for backwards compatibility)

New Embeddable Scheduling Widget

You can now embed Schedulista as a “widget” directly into your website.

The widget is smart enough to resize vertically (no ugly scrollbars within your page). The widget is also responsive (it automatically adjusts for mobile).

We’ve tested the widget in a number of website builders including Squarespace, Weebly, and Yola.

You can see an example of the new widget embedded in Squarespace. This demo website works equally well on mobile.

Want to try it out yourself? We have detailed instructions on adding a widget to your website.

Scheduler Widget

More ways to send SMS reminders to your clients.

Do you wish that you had more control over when SMS reminders were sent? Do you wish that clients would receive SMS reminders regardless of whether you schedule them or they scheduled themselves? These two were the most requested features on our recent survey.

We listened. You’ll be happy to learn that we’ve made some improvements to text messaging within Schedulista.

(1) Clients can now receive SMS reminders when service providers (e.g. you) schedule them.

(2) Clients will now receive two SMS reminders — a regular reminder, and a last-minute reminder.

Client Opt-in

There is a new field on the client record so that you can set whether individual clients receive SMS reminders. The default is to not receive SMS.

text reminders for online scheduling

Note: it is important that you received express consent from the client before opting them in to receive SMS reminders.

SMS Reminder + SMS Last-Minute Reminder

Clients will now receive a regular SMS reminder along with their standard email reminder. These will be sent at the same time, and will follow the same logic. Note: You can  set your reminder policy on the Communications Settings page.

Additionally, clients will receive a “last-minute” SMS reminder either one, two or three hours before the appointment.  The number of hours  before the appointment that the client will receive the reminder can be customized per client.

Schedulista Business Spotlight — an Interview with Light Family Acupuncture

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Melissa Light is the owner of Austin based Light Family Acupuncture. She has spent over a decade empowering women and children through education, counseling, nutrition, movement and Traditional Chinese Medicine. We’re happy she could take the time from her practice to answer a few questions for our latest Schedulista Business Spotlight.

Our mission is Nurturing family health with acupuncture, nutrition, herbal medicine and Asian bodywork since 2003.

mel headshot

I decided I was destined to start my own because I have always been the boss – just ask my sisters, husband and kids!

But really, Chinese Medicine was everything I had been tinkering with; medical anthropology, movement, herbs, nutrition, counseling, and education; combined into one amazing practice. I wanted to yell from the mountain tops and tell the whole world how this 2500 year old philosophy could change their entire lives in small, simple steps.  I had a million different ideas on how I could teach them, and I knew that the most important way was to show them through amazing treatments, service and education.

Austin is a hub of healthy living and wellness professionals, but it never crossed my mind to work for someone else, I can set my own hours and spend time with my family.  It’s a dream come true!

Our special sauce is… our work with expecting mothers and pediatrics, everything from pre-conception to labor induction to early childhood ear infections.  We are here to educate, explain and empower entire families to take their health into their own hands.  We even have whole family clients, they all come in together in a big block and we treat mama, papa and kiddos one right after the other.  It’s so neat to see families taking care of themselves like that.

The biggest challenge in my first year of business was balancing being a new mama of twins: my daughters, Ava, Grace and my other baby, Light Family Acupuncture. They both turned 10 this year.

Our biggest challenge now is spreading the Light Family Acupuncture mission beyond our loyal Austin home base. We have so much knowledge to offer, we want to share with the world.

light fam promo zen, theo, melissa

If I had more time I would travel all over the world empowering families through nutrition, acupressure, movement and Chinese herbs!  If I could I’d tour everywhere with my family on our bicycles!  We would bike, camp, hike, dance, read, cook with locals, learn the language, surf and do yoga at the top of all the mountains and on all the sandy beaches.

The one piece of advice I’d give to someone just starting out in this field is have fun and enjoy it all!  You have the best job ever – appreciate your clients and treat them like you would want to be treated – every single day.

The impact of Schedulista on my business is Massive! Crazy efficiency!  Less time playing phone and email tag trying to set up appointments and freedom for my clients to set up their own appointments whether it’s at 12-noon or 12-midnight. That way I can focus my time dedicated to treating the whole person.

Most inspirational quote  is: 

“In between goals is a thing called life, that has to be lived and enjoyed”

- Sid Caesar

Find out more about Light Family Acupuncture below…

www.lightfamilyacupuncture.com
Facebook
Yelp

 

Classes

We have a new feature that will let you create classes, group appointments (appointments with multiple clients), and workshops.

Here’s a quick preview:

Services now have a new option to make them a class.

create-class

Once you have a class, you can schedule them on your calendar just like you would a regular appointment.

You can add clients. (They will get automatically notified of their reservation.)

And you can remove clients. (They will automatically get notified of the cancellation.)

add-class-to-calendar

Clients can also schedule themselves in any upcoming classes that have openings.

Schedule Class

Finally, we have an advanced feature, where you can let clients schedule new classes themselves. This way they can join an existing class, or create a new class when there is available time on the calendar.

create class (advanced)

 

A Better Scheduler

A few weeks ago we announced  that we were working on a new scheduler, and invited some customers to take part in a beta test.

Today we are announcing a wider release where any customer can switch themselves over to the new scheduler. (Try it out with our demo business)

new online scheduler

Goals

We had the following goals for the new scheduler:

  1. Easier for clients to schedule on a mobile phone
  2. Simpler and more modern design
  3. Solid foundation for new features

During the last few weeks we have been measuring performance. We wanted to  measure whether the new scheduler was actually better than the old one.

Simply put —  were more people scheduling appointments? Were they  getting through the process faster?  Especially on mobile.

The short answer is yes.

Does design matter?

We know that great design is important to our customers. But do clients, who just want to schedule a haircut, a massage, or a session with their personal trainer, care?

We had a hunch that clients do care, but we weren’t entirely sure if it would translate into more appointments and less time wasted. In order to answer this question, we measured two things: (1) percent of visitors who ended up scheduling an appointment, and (2) average time to schedule an appointment.

The biggest improvement was for mobile customers. Mobile customers account for 29% of scheduler visits (that number has been steadily rising).

7.5% more appointments on mobile

Visitors using a mobile phone scheduled 7.5% more appointments with the new scheduler than with the old during the same time period.

35 seconds saved on mobile

Visitors using a mobile phone (who successfully scheduled an appointment) saved an average of 35 seconds with the new scheduler compared with the old.

Design matters.

Select which calendars to view side-by-side in the Scheduilsta calendar

Are you a hair salon with more than 10 stylists? Or are you a busy massage therapy practice and would you just like to  limit how many service providers you see side-by-side in the Schedulista calendar?

We just added a new feature that lets you do just this. Visit the day-view in the calendar, and click on the provider’s name to toggle on and off.

multiple-stylists