How do clients schedule appointments with you?

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by NedM, Oct 19, 2016.

  1. NedM

    NedM No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Recently, I've been thinking about the different ways clients can schedule appointments for a session. I'm sure the majority here, myself included, schedule their appointments via phone/e-mail. But is there a more effective way? I came across a few automated scheduling applications and one of them really stood out to me. It's called Setmore. I like the idea of my clients being able to go to my website and easily scheduled an appointment via this application -- but I'm very apprehensive.

    Do you any of you have any experience using a website plug-in software that allows your clients to schedule an session through your website? I'm curious to see if something like this would prove to be effective and more efficient than traditional methods. I can see how this sort of application can work with a photographer with a lot of demand and this type of method can easily help manage bookings.

    As a photographer, I receive about an average of 5-6 bookings a month, so I'm wondering if this kind of booking method would be worth it. I schedule all of my appointments though e-mail/phone and sometimes text. I use Google Calendars to keep track of my appointments and I usually go back-and-forth a few times with a client to find a time that works for the both of us. So far, I haven't had any issues scheduling a client but I'd like to see if I can make improvements.


     
  2. Advanced Photo

    Advanced Photo No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    It would make setting aside times for you and your family more difficult perhaps than the way you do it now. Especially last minute things, you'd need to go into the app and change your availability a lot.
    But, if you have a very regular schedule and keep to it all the time without any improvisation it might work well for you. If you like the idea give it a try for a couple months and see how it fits.
     
  3. NedM

    NedM No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I thought about this too -- I was always more keen of letting my clients know when I was available as opposed to working with their availability. I like the idea of being in control of my own hours and flexibility, but I'm still wondering if setting up an appointment system would benefit my business' overall performance.

    My schedule is irregular and always changing. I'm in contract with a few fashion bloggers, so there always changing dates/times last minute and it's just tedious to go back-and-forth trying to find another date/time that will work.
     
  4. robbins.photo

    robbins.photo Yup, It's The Zoo Guy Supporting Member

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    First, they must strip down to their boxer shorts, anoint themselves with peanut butter and climb the holy mountain....

    Not sure what the second step is, nobody has survived the first one yet. But I promise to keep you posted.
     
  5. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Not a fan of this idea at all. I like the idea of talking to my clients and discussing what they want initially; this allows me to get a feel for them and what they want. As far as my time/their time. The client is paying the bills, my time IS their time.
     
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  6. NedM

    NedM No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    That's understandable and I totally agree with you but what if I already had the initial discussion with my clients, and now they're looking for a way to take a look at my availability as a whole. I.e. A client who wants to book in the month of November and wants to see my schedule to make an appt. -- would an automated scheduler work or is it better to go for more traditional methods?
     
  7. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I suppose in that instance an automated system would work, BUT... my concern would be potential clients coming to my 'site and looking at the calendar and leaving because their first choice of time wasn't available. I'd like the option of talking to them about other dates and hopefully keeping that session.
     
  8. Advanced Photo

    Advanced Photo No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Good point, also it's nice to know what they are looking for as you said, and then letting them have enough time to accomplish the goal so you don't have to schedule a reshoot because they though it could be done in thirty minutes but it really takes 2 1/2 hours for what they want...resetting lights, restaging and moving props, makeup, hair, wardrobe changes etc. A lot of folks don't know what is involved in doing a shoot.
     

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