Beware of the assumptions that the convenience of online scheduling can blind you to.
In a tweet this week, Justin Ahrens of Rule 29 asked the question, “How do you feel when someone wants to meet with you and then sends you their calendar link. Is that convenient? Annoying? Other?”
This was a question that I was blind to. I have been a huge supporter of putting the effort back onto another to choose a date and time that works for them. It saves the back and forth in emails or god forbid, making a phone call. Hence I replied how the benefits can make life easier for both sides so no real harm.
But let’s be honest, in many ways though, all of our time matters, there should be a level of respect and understanding of whom and how the interaction is perceived. What can alleviate your time and effort can be perceived as passing the effort to another.
The bottom line is when someone asks you to connect for a meeting, the ball is in your court to respond with how to get onto your calendar.
Don’t just say yes you’ll meet. Include details on how to make the date. Whether it’s through an online calendar app, an assistant who manages your schedule, or if you are old school — give them what works for you in an email. This will avoid any confusion or annoying reactions to assumptions.
If you are the person reaching out to connect with someone, never assume your calendar app is the option. Ask the person their availability. Whether a scheduler, assistant or having them they tell you what works for them. You can offer your calendar link as an option but never lead with it.
What is the best online scheduling tool?
- Whether a personal connection, an established process, or perhaps you are agreeing to be part of a research study, where have a system for signing up? Then the blanket share of a calendar link is fine.
- If it’s a cold-call scenario, then no. If you are a vendor reaching out to a prospect, always put the ball in their court, it is called ‘courting’ after all.
Are you new to even the idea of an online calendar? There are so many to choose from: Calendly, Acuity, YouCanBookMe, Dubsado, Square, Squarespace! I have a brief review of 3 of these app companies and see which version can work for you:
- Calendly: This is the version I use. As a creative, I appreciate the clean design and simple UX. The free version can work fine, but if you need more control and follow-up with your meeting attendees, the cost is manageable.
- Squarespace: if you have a website with Squarespace, you can pay an extra monthly fee to use their scheduling app that integrates with your website.
- Square: if you use the financial service, they do offer appointment scheduling as part of the offering.
- And more… Google is always your best friend when it comes to searching out other options as well.
There are benefits to calendar schedulers, but they never trump the edict of professional discourse. Always check yourself when reaching out to a prospect, or a potential partner or customer. It’s simply the best customer service practice. If you want to be part of the conversation, join the Creatives Roundtable Slack Community (our accountability groups are closed at this time).
Written by Crystal Reynolds