Put Membership Presales Calls or Coaching Call Scheduling on Autopilot with Gavin Zuchlinski of Acuity Scheduling
Manage episode 204174164 series 2284198
Learn how to put membership presales calls or coaching call scheduling on autopilot with Gavin Zuchlinski of Acuity Scheduling in this episode of LMScast with Chris Badgett of LifterLMS. They discuss scheduling appointments, coaching, eCommerce, and how Acuity Scheduling helps you automate all of that.
Gavin is the founder of Acuity Scheduling, which is a software tool designed to help small businesses offer and manage appointments online. It is focused on people who have day-to-day operations revolving around appointments, such as therapists and doctors. It is for people who care about making money, and care about the professionalism of the product, too.
Gavin shares his story of how he came up with the idea of Acuity Scheduling and how it has evolved to what it is today. He has seen his business grow into many more subject niches than he ever expected at the start. Gavin also talks about how he has put a lot of emphasis on doing what he loves within his business. Chris and Gavin talk about how Acuity can also be perfect for a group coaching style business with setting up webinars and group calls.
A lot of people who have regular appointments as part of their business have accepted that appointments are difficult to keep track of from both the customer’s side and especially the business owner’s side. But Acuity Scheduling can take away all of the confusion and frustration with that. Acuity allows you to do basic functions like sending reminders to clients and giving them online forms to fill out so you know more about what the client will need when they come in. Acuity also gives you the ability to do more advanced things through it like payments, offering packages, and subscriptions as well.
Having clients and employees in different time zones can be very confusing and frustrating with trying to keep up with the business hours and even what day it is where they are. Acuity Scheduling has all of the timezone and daylight savings time issues worked into their system. You can see all of the information on what time your clients and employees are experiencing, so having to do the math in your head and figuring out what day it is faces no problem to your business interactions.
Chris and Gavin also talk about how Acuity helps you balance your work and personal life and prevent double booking by syncing up with your Google Calendar, iCloud, Office 365, and Exchange. There are also ways you can make appointments private. Acuity supports PayPal, Stripe, Square, Braintree, Authorize.net, and more payment methods so you can have people pay you through the system. The largest package also complies with HIPAA laws, which are laws that require a certain level of technical administrative and physical safeguards for appointment scheduling in the health field in the United States.
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Chris Badgett: Hello, and welcome back to another episode of LMScast. My name is Chris Badgett, and I’m joined today with a special guest, Gavin Zuchlinski from Acuity Scheduling. He’s the founder of Acuity Scheduling, which is a software tool for scheduling and making appointments, and we’re going to get into all that. But first, thanks for coming on the show, Gavin.
Gavin Zuchlinski: Yeah, thank you for having me on here.
Chris Badgett: This is a real treat for me to just you know kind of hang out and spend a little time with another software entrepreneur, and I know some of the things we face is just similar in that way, so we’ll get into some neat use cases and you know trying to serve the people to best of our ability and use technology to solve business problems and this kind of thing, so we’re going to have a lot of fun. We’re going to drop a lot of scenarios on you and just kind of go deep on a couple of topics around scheduling, appointments, coaching, eCommerce, and really get into how to automate all that. But before we get into all that, what is your elevator pitch about Acuity Scheduling? Where does it sit in the space? What do you say at a cocktail party?
Gavin Zuchlinski: That’s a great question, so Acuity Scheduling is an online tool to help small businesses offer and manage appointments online. So it’s really focused on people whose day to day revolves around appointments or who really intend to make money around appointments. It’s not just for making it easy once a month to chat with somebody over coffee, but really for people who care about their brand. Who care about making money, and who really care about the professionalism of the product too. So yeah there’s a lot of different things out there and it ranges from things from like glorified contact forms where it just lets you pick a date and time and pretty much nothing else, to crazy things to help you manage a staff of 50, 100 people. So we sort of sit in the sweet spot right between there for people who really do care about branding and everything and automating connecting with a lot of tools. Like I think we’re gonna probably dive into a bit more and to just want to add that professional touch and really make it to be something where they can you know step away a little bit from the logistics of their business and focus on what they really enjoy instead.
Chris Badgett: That’s really awesome, I know my first contact with the scheduling problem was just when I first started freelancing, you know building websites online, working with clients in different time zones. It was, I mean it’s just a problem that does not scale well at all. And it’s very inefficient. So what was the genesis for you? Like why, I just understand it, and the education entrepreneurs listening also understand it in that there’s an origin story for why they chose the business or the course or the membership that they chose. Why did you choose scheduling?
Gavin Zuchlinski: Yeah and it’s funny that you mention the problem too, because I talk to a lot of people who are just sort of accepting of all the difficulties with scheduling because it’s been something that they’ve been doing for so long with like a paper notebook or whatever. And it’s just something ingrained in them that they don’t really think about as a problem. And that’s where it began to, my mom is a massage therapist, so around 2007, I created Acuity Scheduling for her after seeing her just go back and forth with clients and whenever somebody needed to cancel an appointment, hearing them like complain about their kidney stones and blah blah blah and like way too much back and forth and it wasn’t the thing that made her happy. Like going back and forth to try to pick a time with somebody isn’t something that actually made her better at her job.
So that’s where Acuity came from, and it was something where just sort of put it online in 2007 it was a side business, and then around 2013 it had just grown slowly over that time where I was developing it as a passion and it eventually got big enough where I had to choose between that and my day job. And then chose Acuity and then since then it’s been amazing the amount of growth, it’s gone from just people like my mom massage therapists to tons of different businesses like you’re saying. Coaches, people teaching classes, like from large hospital networks doing classes there to individuals wanting to manage their one on one coaching calls and consulting calls as well. So it’s been really fun to see things progress over the years in ways that I had no idea that I would’ve ever expected when starting out.
Chris Badgett: I’m just curious, when you started did you focus on the massage niche specifically or did you immediately start with just small business in general kind of thing?
Gavin Zuchlinski: So I definitely did not anticipate it being as useful as it was because I started out in general thinking well, I could see this being useful for a lot of folks besides massage therapists, so I don’t want to just focus, like narrow it down onto them because I see a lot of overlap but I didn’t think that there would be as many different types of businesses, like going into it I expected maybe counselors and things. And then after lawyers signed up, I was like oh yeah lawyers make sense. Honestly I had no idea what life coaches, business coaches and those types of folks were that existed as a profession before I started Acuity and then saw those types of folks come on in droves too, so it’s been unexpected and then we still have random ones that surprise me every day too. There was one that signed up the other day, it was one where you can get helicopter rides over a hog farm and shoot a machine gun. I was like this is not something that I expected. And like cupcake delivery and cat cafes and everything else. So yeah it turned out to be a really surprising thing.
Maybe if I were to do it again, I might just focus on a specific vertical, because after you don’t and you start hearing all these different requests, there’s a lot of commonalities, but there’s also a lot of differences and then thankfully over the many years that we’ve been doing it we’ve had enough time to sort of like hone in and find all the overlaps to make it something like really useful. But it has taken a lot of years and a lot of experience and a lot of talking to people to try to get to be to that point.
Chris Badgett: Yeah that makes a lot of sense and we’ve come across online course subject matters that I never would’ve thought people teach about, but that’s …
Gavin Zuchlinski: What’s been the most surprising one for you?
Chris Badgett: There’s just so many, stuff about just tech, how to use different types of technology, lots of interesting relationship related courses, I’m trying to think, I’ll come back to you when one of the real exotic ones pops into my head, but …
Gavin Zuchlinski: Okay. I’m really wondering what the commonalities are between our users and yours. I know we have a bunch and I’m sure there’s some interesting ones in there too.
Chris Badgett: Absolutely. And it’s the same too in the sense that there’s like the, more of the small business solo operator or someones trying to build and already has built an online kind of university, so the software has to be able to help that solo operator, but then also help the larger school deliver courses and it’s pretty cool as I’m sure you see with your software with Acuity Scheduling that you know sometimes, you know it’s really nice to see an entrepreneur come in. They start with one, and then as they grow, they start using more of your features, you know maybe they have to upgrade their plan and what not. But you’re like, you’ve anticipated what they’ve needed and you’re just there with them as a technology partner on the journey, which is, it’s a great feeling when you just really fit well with a customer so.
Gavin Zuchlinski: Yeah and I love seeing that too where somebody comes and they really like, they start out just wanting to make scheduling a little bit easier or just like send reminders to clients. And then you know they start to dive in, they start to customize things for their brand and like, they start like having them fill out forms in advance just so they can get a better idea for what the client is going to need whenever they come in. And then they’ll get out and then we’ll start to see them doing more advanced things with payments, offering packages and subscriptions and all of that.
And then start to get into the different integrations and then slowly it goes from something that was just like just, forms to like something where it helps to automate a lot more of their business and then especially, so that’s like growing on the technology side and then also growing on the business side too where they, we’ve definitely seen network people start out with just themselves. Their business is successful and then they start hiring a couple of people on staff, upgrading their plans to go along with it. And then all of a sudden like different features that they didn’t think they would need at first, like reporting, breaking down between different staff and all that, you don’t really need when it’s just you, but once you get a couple more folks, then all of a sudden they’re real interested in that. Like how to divvy out tips between people, and how to manage staff in different time zones and all of that too. So it really, it is really fun to see that change over time too.
Chris Badgett: Well let’s come back to that time zone problem. I think it was really around 2008 when the whole online coaching and information product industry really started to rev up and continues to grow quite a bit since then. But those were kind of the early days I think. And business in general with the internet, with you know tools like skype, go to meeting, zoom, these, whether you’re doing coaching and things of that nature or just communication overseas about whatever your business is, or you have vendors, suppliers, all kind of different time zones and we live in a globalized world. And as I see more and more people running into the time zone problem, I feel like it’s taken me a decade, I’m pretty good at it now, like okay I’m talking to somebody in Sydney, that means we’re going to have these issues on Friday, these issues on Monday. If we’re actually going to want to meet with each other, it’s going to be in my late afternoon, whatever, like I know how to do the math.
But man it was painful and you know having tools like Acuity Scheduling for time zone management is just so key. It just, it relieves so much bandwidth, and depending upon your personality type, some people just cannot calculate time zones. So how did …
Gavin Zuchlinski: I’m with you, I personally can’t do time zones.
Chris Badgett: Yeah. How did that come into play? Because massage therapist, a brick and mortar business they’re usually operating in the same time zone, but when did the time zone come into the picture for Acuity?
Gavin Zuchlinski: Yeah exactly, and going into it like you were staying with the origin of it, you don’t expect everything that’s going to come about, time zones was totally one of those where I didn’t really anticipate the number of businesses that just operated out of different time zones and that’s really increased. We’re about a 50/50 split right now between brick and mortar, you know everybody in the same time zone and people distributed all over from like multiple people on staff in different time zones handling clients all over the world in different time zones. So yeah it was really early on that we started doing time zone support, it was probably about 2008 or 2009 where we got to the point where you could have clients in different time zones all throughout the world. And that has been amazing because like I said, I cannot do that in my head time zone thing. I definitely rely on something like Acuity because when it comes down to like day light savings time and everything else to know the quirks that go along with that it gets real confusing real fast.
So like the way that Acuity works is that we’ll actually do a bunch of technical things to try to ask the persons [inaudible 00:11:49] or what time zone are you set to automatically detect that. You know they can verify and change it too. And then just show everything to the client in their time zone. They don’t even have to think that the business is in a different one and you as like the business owner, you see everything in your time zone. You don’t have to think that the client is in another one. Like we’ll show you and everything just that you know, but really all your notifications, everything synced up to your calendar is all in your time zone, so just, it completely eliminates that type of like confusion and back and forth.
And we definitely see that still around daylight savings time where say Europe and the Unites States, which like you’re usually at roughly the same offset except for a couple weeks a year when daylight savings, we switch at different times and then we’re, we see people sort of question it. And we’re like nope totally makes sense, you can double check this on timeanddate.com or whatever. Or even just different countries around the world that change their daylight savings like there was Egypt just kept going back and forth for a while about. Yep we’re gonna do it, no we’re not with only a couple days notice, yeah there’s, it’s, it’s fun and it turned out to be a much bigger problem, but one that I feel like with a technical solution it just completely eliminates it from your head so you don’t even have to think about that and you can focus on the more important parts of your business instead of adding and subtracting hours.
Chris Badgett: Yeah that’s huge. And I just want to add Arizona in there on top of all that because they have, I think they don’t honor one of them. Daylight savings or something.
Gavin Zuchlinski: Oh yeah. It gets more complex than that too because there’s Arizona that does not do daylight savings, and there’s a lot of confusion between that and people outside of there but then there’s an Indian reservation inside of there that does. And then there’s a subset of there that does not observe daylight savings time on that reservation. So …
Chris Badgett: Oh wow.
Gavin Zuchlinski: It’s confusing.
Chris Badgett: But hey you’ve handled that, that’s great. Well I want to get in just some scenarios that the people listening, if they’re building courses and membership sites, when they think about their business model or what their offer is, how that might look if they use Acuity.
So let’s say I sell an online course, which means I have some protected pages or lesson content that’s protected that the public can’t see unless they buy the course. And let’s say inside lesson one I say to people like as part of the offer before they bought it I said, okay if you buy my course you can schedule an unlimited number of calls with me over the next eight weeks. And so I have, I’m inside, I’m designing my course, what do I, how do I make that happen with Acuity from inside the lesson one content? What can I do?
Gavin Zuchlinski: Yeah so there’s a bunch of different ways we see people do it. From the basic side of that is inside of Acuity you’ll sort of set the hours you want to accept appointments, you’ll set your different types of appointments and one of the things that you can do as you’re setting it up is just mark it as private inside of Acuity that means from our side people on the general inter webs, they can’t see it at all. And then you could, the easiest thing just, we’ll give you a link to that thing, a secret link that only people with that link can use to schedule. You’ll post it into there and then people can click that, see all of the times that are available. We keep things nice and private, you know de-conflict it with your google calendar and any other events that you have going on too so you never get double booked. And they can just schedule from there, pretty simple.
So that gets to be really fun too especially if you’re say a coach and you have, I don’t know, you do like free initial consults, then you do some paid ones, then you want to give people say like in the class that are enrolled free access to those one on one consults that are normally paid something like that. You can totally hook that up the same way as well too.
Chris Badgett: Wow that’s awesome.
Gavin Zuchlinski: Or yeah, or even if you wanted to beyond just putting a link, like I said I’m really big on you know [inaudible 00:15:57] forwarding it and making it look professional too. You can embed the entire scheduler if you’re able to add some a little bit of html you can embed that whole thing into your own website or into the course private area too that way people can book directly from inside of your site without going anywhere else and then we’ll take care of still all of the availability reminders, and everything else that goes into it.
Chris Badgett: Which is really incredible because Lifter LMS is a WordPress based learning management system, so it’s easy to just flip the content over to the text view and you can just copy and paste and whatever your embed code is, and it’s really that simple. Or like you said, sometimes it may, you would just prefer to have a link out to your Acuity site. Secret link that they can schedule with, that’s awesome.
Let’s talk about, let’s say I have a different business model, let’s say I have a free course, so and you know a lot of people are joining it and my business model is built around just having an up sell inside the course where people can buy coaching sessions and it’s an unlimited amount they can buy. What are my options in that case? And I want to use Acuity to sell the coaching sessions, what would I do?
Gavin Zuchlinski: Mm-hmm (affirmative) yeah. So you could do it the same way inside of Acuity. You can set a price onto your sessions, you can set Acuity to hook up to your payment processor of choice. Right now we support PayPal, Stripes, Square, Brain tree, Authorize. Net, so a bunch of different options and anyway when someone goes to book their appointment, you can again if you wanted to give a discounted price, you could say like create a coupon code inside of Acuity that gives them a percent or dollar or whatever type of discount and share that just with your students and that way they could go and book or charge them full price if you want to, who cares. And yeah then when they go to book their appointment, you can have them pay directly within Acuity as part of the booking process, they’re required to pay to be able to book and reserve their time. Or if you wanted to get a little bit fancier too, you can start to upsell in different ways, just have, like charge them a deposit or I think like we chatted about it a little bit, start to do packages of appointments too, and have other ways to try and upsell them inside of Acuity also.
Chris Badgett: That’s amazing, that’s amazing. Well lets, let’s go, I know there’s some power users out there, some people who are going really big, so I’m going to lay out a more complicated business model that people build with Lifter LMS and let’s talk about how to make that, make the magic happen by combining it with Acuity scheduling.
Let’s say I offer a course and then I have various up sells but eventually I get it to a course, plus private coaching, plus group coaching and I’m gonna take care of the selling with Lifter LMS, which basically means I’m gonna create an access plan for the course that comes with all these other benefits. So I’ve taken care of the selling part, I have private areas where I can put in the one on one coaching scheduling links and I can leave that unlimited or I can do packages. But this group coaching thing. I don’t know how to figure that out. What have you seen people do in terms of group coaching and I know you have a zoom and go to the webinar, and join. Me integration. Like how can they make that group call happen in this whole scheduling part of that?
Gavin Zuchlinski: Yeah so we definitely see that from our side, where you want people to have a certain, get even more complex, like you can have five one on one sessions but I offer them every day of the week so there’s a ton of times available and I want you, like I might offer like 15 different times for group sessions over the next month but I only want to let you be able to schedule that at most three of them. So anyway to start out on the basic side, you can for the one on one sessions, we sort of covered that where you set your availability, create the type, then people can just schedule within there too. Similarly, for group sessions we have classes and group events that you can offer. Where you can set up that type of appointment and then choose exactly when it’s offered, how many people can go into that one appointment time and then we integrate with a whole bunch of different say video conferencing things to automatically set up meetings, or what we see a lot of times too is you can customize the emails so if you wanted to [crosstalk 00:20:34].
Chris Badgett: Like the reminder emails? Is that what you mean?
Gavin Zuchlinski: Yeah exactly. Exactly. So as soon as somebody books an appointment, you could tell them you know like hey make sure you prepare for these three things for the group call because we’ll be going around in a circle and like making everyone talk about their challenges over the next year or something. And then you could set up reminders too, like hey make sure you’ve prepared about all those things and like have a webcam too and like this is the link to our zoom that we’re going to have and you can have that generated in that as well. And yeah, and then all of this leading up to the appointment too, and just that people could book into their book class. We’ll manage all the reminders and everything and we’ll also make sure that people can’t over enroll in the class. If you only wanted five people or if you wanted 500 people allowed in the class at once, you can enforce that through Acuity to make sure that people schedule.
And then getting on to the more complex side too for packages, if you wanted to say offer 15 different times that group sessions were available, but only be able to book three, you can do that through packages where you can give each person a special unique code that they can use to be able to book and then they’ll still need that code to be able to book their appointment. And then that will limit them for the number of times they’ll be able to redeem also. So that, that’s a great way where you can sort of enforce all of these things automatically without having to police what all of your people are, all of your students are doing as well.
Chris Badgett: Wow that’s absolutely amazing. I just remember in our Facebook group yesterday somebody was asking for that exact solution and I had, and I did not know the exact place to send them. But now I know I’m gonna, after we finish this episode I’m gonna email him about Acuity because he was having some package issues and wanted these certain constraints and it’s exactly what you offer, so.
Gavin Zuchlinski: Oh yeah we hear these types of things a lot. And it definitely is not the most common case, so our support is fantastic too. Especially for some things that start to get a little bit more complex. You’ve got all these extra business rules and things going on like, we find every business is totally different. It’s hard to you know create the, create help docs and create the UI for everybody when everybody is so different so that’s why we have an awesome support team of folks all around the world to quickly be able to respond to all of your questions too, so yeah if they want, even before they try to commit to just send them over to our support end and we can make sure we can actually do what they’re looking for also before they invest too much time. Pretty sure we can, it sounds like it’s a pretty good fit, but I always like to save folks more time if we can.
Chris Badgett: That’s awesome, yeah so for any of you listening, that’s acuityscheduling.com. What does Acuity mean?
Gavin Zuchlinski: Geez yeah.
Chris Badgett: Or where does that name come from?
Gavin Zuchlinski: Oh man yeah, so Acuity, I really, I liked the word that vision, clarity type of thing. I forget the exact definition, but like clarity, with that and honestly I just really liked how the word sounded. [crosstalk 00:23:50]
Chris Badgett: You know the first time I heard it, I remembered it. Like I never had to hear it again.
Gavin Zuchlinski: Really?
Chris Badgett: Yeah, it’s a good name.
Gavin Zuchlinski: Well thank you, we find some people have a hard time spelling it. So that’s A-C-U-I-T-Y scheduling.com and actually before this I had a web development company that was called Acuity Innovation and that’s where it came from then created a scheduling product so obviously it was Acuity Scheduling. Yeah and then it sort of just stuck from there, but also after this I’ll set up a link for your listeners also that they can go to acuityscheduling.com/lmscast. So that’s A-C-U-I-T-Y scheduling.com/lmscast for a couple of extra links and how to get in touch with myself or our support too. And extend a trial offer also.
Chris Badgett: Awesome, well we really appreciate that. Thank you.
I want to get into some more of your interesting use cases. Because this, the audience here, they get into interesting use cases. I think we’ve kind of covered the join.me, the GoToMeeting, and the zoom integration, which is great. But you have this other kind of power feature where in one of your higher level plans where you have the BAA for HIPAA compliance. What is that all about?
Gavin Zuchlinski: Oh yeah and this one too as you start to get into the medical space is extremely important, so and [crosstalk 00:25:22]
Chris Badgett: We do have a lot of people teaching or coaching in medical or areas. So that’s why I bring it up.
Gavin Zuchlinski: Yeah, yeah, yeah, so this is in the United States there’s the HIPAA laws, which require certain levels of technical administrative and physical safe guards around how you’re staff is trained, security of like physical premises. Be able to offer promises and be able to sign agreements that you’ll be able to do certain things for businesses too and it just falls under this. It’s a ginormous area that we’ve had to go through a lot of effort with third party auditors to make sure that we comply with like the high standards of security and compliance with this too. So in general in the United States if you’re a medical practitioner, you’re accepting insurance, you’re probably pretty familiar with this already. And it’s something that we offer because of that all the rigorous audits and everything that we’ve had to go through for it, and a lot of the technical safe guards and a lot of the administrative overhead that’s why it’s offered only on our highest level plan. But we’re one of the few schedulers that do offer something like that too, so you can start to schedule and manage your clients if you have to in that sort of sensitive HIPAA environment.
Chris Badgett: Wow very cool, very cool. What about Fresh books? Like if you have the ability to sell, why do you integrate, or how does the invoicing system integration work?
Gavin Zuchlinski: Yeah so, yeah for invoicing we do Fresh books, Xero, QuickBooks, and we see these in a couple of different cases, sometimes you’ll have say like an intro call where you maybe it’s free or maybe you have a base price and then things can go on from there and people will invoice outside of there. Or you’ll just use it for your internal accounting practices too, where you’re using Fresh books and you want to keep track of you know people who you invoice manually who are maybe you’re doing some sort of project work for and those that you’re also accepting appointments for. So that’s just a great way where we’ll start to, we’ll start all the invoices for you and try to manage them too depending on what the person purchased inside of Acuity, what they paid inside of Acuity, we’ll apply those payments to your invoices also. Yeah and it’s a great way, sort of along the vein of, I’m trying to make Acuity something to help automate those logistical things that go into appointments for you.
It’s one of those things that we see a lot from people is that every time somebody schedules an appointment, they’ll like automatically want to draft up an invoice and put in the payment on there and send it to them so that they have it for their records, or if they don’t want to accept payment through Acuity and they want to give people more flexible payment terms it’s like that. They would be doing this really repetitive process so we’re there to try to help automate it and either do everything automatically for that or just kick it off so you can just take it away on your own and add all of those extras that you’ve chatted about during your call that you had scheduled with them.
Chris Badgett: Wow that’s a beautiful thing. Well lets, let’s dial it back, I don’t know if it’s the same with you, but sometimes I spend a lot of time talking to people, advising them on how to simplify the direction they’re heading. Like when it comes to scheduling, what are some, or setting up you know, you’ve got to put in the work up front to set up, you know these are the days I want to be available, these are the, I have clients all over the world, so I’m gonna put some stuff here and here. I’m gonna do an upsell here to packages or whatever, but what are some general just if some bodies designing their scheduling system and using Acuity for that, like what are some best practices, how do you help people get clear on things, or avoid mistakes, like not blocking off the weekends or something like that? Like what are some of the, some key tips for people?
Gavin Zuchlinski: Yeah, yeah, and it sounds like your listeners are generally a little bit more tech forward too, so usually if you have an online calendar already, I Cloud, Office 365, Exchange, Google, any of that, you can sync that all into Acuity so that way we’ll be able to de-conflict your schedule so anything that you have blocked off inside of there during your available hours, we’ll make sure is blocked off from appointments too. So that really helps with double booking and then we’ll also send appointments over there too so it can act like a pretty seamless way and you can keep managing your schedule the same way, through your calendar and just have people automatically entered in there when they schedule.
So then inside of Acuity, we spent a lot of time trying to be able to let you model your availability any way you want, but on the basic way you can either set sort of the same hours every week if you know roughly what your schedule is, you can set up those hours, so Monday you’re only available from like one pm to five pm your local time. Tuesday, blah blah blah, keep going forward with that. Or what we see a lot too is that people have lives outside of maybe what they’re using Acuity for. Maybe you’ve got a day job, something else, you don’t know what kids are always coming and going and you don’t know what your schedules gonna be, so if you want you can just change it and we make it pretty easy that you can just click on a day to set the hours within there too and you can change that all the time. But I think those two things together, I definitely recommend if you have an online calendar, number one sync that up that way everything is de-conflicted.
And then two, figure out the best way to represent the hours you’re available, if you’ve got a regular weekly schedule, just put that in there. If you don’t, then set it a couple of days at a time, we do set a lot of limits too, like when I use it personally for appointments, I don’t really know what my schedule is going to be, more than two weeks in advance, so I’ll say no more than two weeks in advance you can’t schedule with me online. And that way I can get a majority of the times scheduled and I can make it exceptions for people as I need to.
But yeah putting in those types of limits, and the other thing too is I’ll say I personally don’t like when people cancel or reschedule at the last minute so I’ll prevent that say less than 12 hours in advance too, that way you can have a little bit more certainty with your schedule going forward. And setting those types of limits is really good when you start out so you have things synced up, we’re already blocking off when you’re already having events in there. You set the hours, times when you’re pretty confident that you’re available too and on top of that you’re setting the range, sort of how far in advance and how close to the future to people are allowed to schedule or change things. That way you can prevent a lot of the last minute things or having somebody book you on Christmas because you forgot, because it’s only July. So that helps eliminate that potential confusion as well.
Chris Badgett: That is awesome. That is really cool. That is a gold mine of tips a lot of those lessons I learned personally the hard way. I remember doing a client project on Thanksgiving because I didn’t have the scheduling software dialed in. I totally, I can totally relate, so if you’re listening and you’re setting this stuff up, you know it’s all about you. It’s all about what you need. It’s all about your boundaries, how you want your work days to go. When you want to be available, when you don’t. And just outsourcing that heavy lifting of calendar management, scheduling management, it’s I feel like what your software does, if you’re a very busy person, it saves so much time, money, effort, if you have an assistant, your assistants going to be doing more meaningful things than back and forth’s and just manually doing the things your software does automatically. So I’d encourage everyone to head over to Acuity Scheduling and check that out.
Last question of the interview, I understand that Acuity Scheduling has over 50,000 people on it, and you said it started in 2007, which means you’ve been around for a while. You know it’s a healthy business and you know you’ve stood the test of time. What do you think is the secret sauce of the success of Acuity? And I can tell your passionate about it, you enjoy it, you love what you do. What, but what is the secret behind the company or what is the brand all about?
Gavin Zuchlinski: Yeah so honestly it was a side project, so it had to be something that I enjoyed doing and especially when I left the day job that I really loved to be able to do Acuity in 2013. I wanted it to always be something that I could enjoy doing, and have fun doing, so that’s been it because to be able to stay with something for 10 years, that initial excitement, anything is going to wear off so you have to be really, you have to enjoy the day to day in the business, so I’ve had to do an extra effort to try to make sure that I spend every day working on something that I love. Creating something for people who are really going to appreciate it and just having fun in the company too. And that has been what has kept me going.
Chris Badgett: That’s awesome, that’s awesome, well what was that link again if people want to go check out Acuity?
Gavin Zuchlinski: Yeah absolutely, acuityscheduling.com/lmscast. That’s A-C-U-I-T-Y scheduling.com/lmscast and that will, I’ll put in a couple of notes about appointment scheduling on there and then also a special offer so that you can get an extended 45 day trial instead of our normal 14 day one if you use, if you sign up through there also.
Chris Badgett: Awesome, well Gavin I want to thank you for coming on the show, I really appreciate your time and sharing your experience and it’s also just a lot of fun for me to geek out about some situations of what our customers, our shared audience are trying to do. Cause we care about their problems and it’s fun to get into like solving business problems with technology. So thanks for coming on the show and I hope you have a great rest of the day.
Gavin Zuchlinski: Excellent, thank you for having me on here again.
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