Hmm, calendar solution? This seems interesting, and I need to discuss something for sales and marketing today … How fortuitous!
So let’s lay down the idea for using skedgeme. Your client, prospect, customer (whatever you call those you want to meet with, or have them meet with someone in your organization) receives a link to schedule activity with you.
I rather like this idea so far. They come to the website, find my calendars (your company might have multiple calendars to select from, for example a hair salon has multiple hairstylists’ when a certain person might or might not be relevant) and choose a time.
The selection process allows them to review their calendar (in the skedgeme system) and have highlighted the available times where both are available. They pick a time on their calendar, it emails me that someone wants me to confirm availability and voila’ we have a scheduled meeting! When I confirm on my calendar their appointment, it will email them back to let them know.
Ok, I hate it when “voila'” is used… smacks too much like magic and I get curious what the issues will be.
I found a couple.
First, my customer has to create their own calendar (one more item for them to keep up with?). If they have NO calendar system, maybe they would like the opportunity. However; by now there is a substantive chance they will have some sort of solution and will be perturbed that they have to sign-in again. I hope skedgeme plans on integrating with Outlook and Google Calendar as a minimum.
Second, you have to setup the calendars for every person and resource they can select from. When you have a larger groups of available resources, this can be tedious if they change weekly.
Like all computer options, garbage in – garbage out. If you do not spend the time to setup the system, it will avail you very little with increased opportunities.
I am intrigued how this concept could change the future of interacting with each other. If I hand off responsibility to others to create my schedule, how do I feel about that? Will the other person feel empowered and commit to the appointment since they set it up and completed the process? Will they feel like they are in a position I don’t care to encourage by doing so?
What about travel time? Do I only setup my calendar to include Skype meetings or phone calls? Maybe I ‘give away’ as a perk a couple of hours a week of free consulting and allow it to be first come – first served? Would I start filling up my schedule with relevant meetings afterwards? What if I ‘released’ the free availability within a certain timeframe before the opportunity?
When you stop to think about this, it feels like (once again) the Internet is creating services which totally turn upside-down our existing processes. In this case, where each person is responsible for their own schedule (unless they have a helper) and can adjust accordingly. Now, you open up areas in your schedule where others can schedule their time with you.
Something to consider, and now all options are on the table with this new application service. What will change with your marketing and sales if skedgeme and the (I’m sure) competitors get enough traction and buzz?