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.

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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
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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)

 

Schedulista Business Spotlight – an Interview with Gerald Wu

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One of Gerald’s favorite quotes …

–”Lead with your heart follow with your head”

Gerald Wu has been cutting hair since he was a teenager. He studied in Paris where he earned a Certificat d’Aptitude Professionel Coiffure. Gerald opened his own solo Seattle salon in 2009. He has been featured in several publications including Seattle City Arts and Seattle Met.

My mission is to simplify and beautify hair through good design and craft.

I decided I was destined to start gerald_logomy own business when I realized I wanted to take apart and rebuild every job I ever had because I thought everyone I worked with was stupid and being martyrs.

My special sauce is I don’t focus on or try to force growth. I want to just keep getting better at what I do and experience many great humans. The business grows naturally if my work is good and sincere. I also take a lot of time off like French people and think about food and the possible futility of life. Then I’m all fresh for another work week!

The biggest challenge in my first year of business was trying to convince people to come to a lone hairdresser with no large salon behind me. People like flash in the hair world. It was hard to convince people to trust me without some established brand to stand in front of. But I think craft will always prevail. It took me years and hundreds of haircuts to prove myself, but I think I’ve got some good street cred now.

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My biggest challenge now is handling increasing volume without overpricing.

If I had more time I would arrange Schubert’s “Death and the Maiden” for four electric guitars.

The one piece of advice I’d give to someone just starting out in this field is your eyes and your hands are your best tools, rely on those and not expensive scissors or products or the sheen of salon world. Think outside the hair and expand your visual palate. Let your self get obsessed and work intuitively not intellectually.

The impact of Schedulista on my business is… It’s changed everything for me. It freed up almost 100 percent of my admin (scheduling) time and allowed me to redistribute that time for more service hours and more days off. That’s extra revenue and extra relaxation. Clients tell me it became easier for them too, thus increasing the quality of their experience. Schedulista has contributed in keeping my overhead low and making operations graceful and efficient: Two things that I think are keys to operating a small business.

Find out more about Gerald Wu at…

geraldwuhairdesign.com

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Schedulista Business Spotlight — an Interview with Mantis Massage

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Austin based Massage therapist Kyra Gerhard founded her own practice Mantis Massage in 2010. She now has 4 employees and is still growing.  Kyra was kind enough to take some time out of her busy schedule to answer a few interview questions about her business and the impact that online scheduling has had on it.

Our mission is to provide clinical, deep tissue, therapeutic massage in a professional, health-centered environment.

I decided I was destined to start my own business when a restaurant in town bought their entire staff gift certificates to see me and I had no choice but to quit my full-time job.

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Our special sauce is… we are the strongest, deepest, and most anatomy focused massage studio in the city!

The biggest challenge in my first year of business was getting used to all the technology! I was so used to only needing my hands and knowledge of anatomy! I never thought I would need to have too much knowledge of the interwebs.

My biggest challenge now is keeping up with business! We’re fortunate enough to always have a full schedule thanks too Schedulista. I’m trying to get more space and fill it with more therapists so we can meet our demand.

If I had more time I would open up a walk-in specific practice. We would always have therapists available and the clients could pay for whatever amount of time they want to devote to feeling better.

The one piece of advice I’d give to someone just starting out in this field is the internet will run your business for you. Piece together your own system and let it go!

The impact of Schedulista on my business is huge. I went from being a sole practitioner in a single office to having multiple therapists in a 2000 sf space! And we’re still growing!

Most inspirational quote:

“If life gives you lemons you should make lemonade. Then find someone who’s life has given them vodka and have a party.”

–unknown.

Find out more about Mantis Massage at…

 

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.