Written by Ken Quigley
November 01 2022
When Link2calendar was released a couple of years ago, it did so with one simple premise - "turn your time into money". This mantra was appealing, but ultimately misleading because you were required to give away your time for free when people booked appointments with you using our service.
The presumption was that it facilitated more efficient appointment scheduling, thereby closing sales cycles faster. But what if your time really was your currency, and couldn't be given away for free? What if you were a consultant, dog groomer, plumber, therapist, or any type of service trade person that literally charged for their time, every time? How could you run your business if people were able to book your time free of charge, without commitment? The answer is you couldn't, until now.
Link2calendar Team Edition now supports you in charging for your time while appointments are being booked, or limiting appointments to people who already have support contracts in place. In other words, really turning your time into money! The process will be as follows:
- customers can visit your site, review your rates, and then book a time & duration to suit their needs. Once this booking is completed, the time is then temporarily locked for them to complete an online checkout, which we facilitate through PayPal. If the checkout is not completed, the time slot is released.
- customers can visit your site, and if they're amongst a group of contacts in Act! that you've designated to have either prepaid time or a support contract, they'll be permitted to book an appointment with a time & duration of their choosing. The thinking here is you can limit appointments to those that have already prepaid, or shepherd others to your website where they can sign-up for such pre-paid plans.
The release date is scheduled for November 7th, and the cost will be only $10/month (billed annually). If you're an existing Link2calendar customer, the transition to a Team account is easy as we've built a migration wizard to do the work for you.
New features and changes to Link2Calendar:
Standard Edition / All tiers
- General and appointment settings are moved to "Personal Calendar" menu
- Added option to enable/disable calendar
- Meeting duration and time slot are split into separate options, for example, it is now possible to divide a day in 30 minute increments with meeting duration set to 1 hour. This way people can book a 1-hour meeting at 9am, 9.30am, 10am and so on
- Max slots for multiple slot booking is now adjustable rather than fixed to 1,2,3 slots
- When the user selects multi-slot booking, time slots remain sliced in 30-minute increments (or as configured) allowing more choices for the appointment time
- Added option to set a fixed priority rather than fillable in booking form
- Renamed "Calendar" menu to "My Availability"
- It is now possible to configure different hours per day
- "Allow booking in the same day" is now replaced with Earliest Availability, with default value remains the same (1 day / next day).
- For consistency "Number of months in future" is renamed to "Latest Availability"
- Buffer time and alarm time settings are moved here
- Updates to the booking page
- Temporary blocking on slots that are being selected by others; blocked slots are released after 30 minutes. Slot blocking works across personal and group calendars
- On the booking form, contact info and appointment detail positions are swapped, with meeting date/time displayed in block format
- Added Time Format option in addition to date format in General Settings
- Team member invitations are now managed on the organizational level
- New Group Calendars menu
- Under group calendar listing it also lists all members' personal calendars when enabled
- Slot and appointment settings are configured separately per calendar (rather than copying from the admin's calendar settings)
- Custom URL option for group calendar
- Multiple activity settings per calendar
- Member profile settings in calendar are reduced to Title and Description only, as other profile data can be derived from the organization level
- Settings to limit booking only for contacts in a group (activity level)
- An appointment fee can be set per activity. When set this will be displayed on the booking page. There is a deposit option but currently hidden until online payment is done.
- Option to multiply fee if a user books an extended meeting duration
- Team member can join or leave any calendar using Join toggle in Group Calendar listing
VISUAL STEPS FOR BOOKING AN APPOINTMENT AND CHECKING OUT
| Book the meeting
||Select the team member
||See the appt details & rates
||Pay the rate during checkout