Here are all posts by the author Frank Cort: Page 5 of 7

Entries by Frank Cort

Google’s My Business Appointment Links: Everything You Need to Know

It seems like every few months, the way people discover and interact with businesses online undergoes a new shift. From changes to search and social channels to new technology, evolving devices, and consumer habits, things are always in flux. Search engines play a huge role in these changes. Google continues to roll out new features aimed at helping small and local businesses bring more customers through the door. Their aim seems to be to establish themselves as a one-stop shop for finding and learning about SMBs anywhere in the world. One relatively new feature that has gotten an overhaul is the addition of appointment booking links right into Google My Business listings. Depending on the type of business you run, you can add customized links that allow users to take specific actions, like view a restaurant’s menu or book an appointment with a lawyer or doctor. For appointment-based businesses, this is a great marketing opportunity that makes the process of booking an appointment seamless for customers and clients. If used properly, someone could do a search and then book an appointment right away — after making just one click. This […]

Accountability vs. Responsibility in Business

Most business schools dive into existential topics that surround business but may seem superfluous to actual day-to-day operations. Two ideas often covered are accountability vs responsibility. In the business world, we often see these terms used in connection with things like meeting quarterly goals or undertaking major projects. And they’re often thought to essentially mean the same thing. To be accountable is also to be responsible — right? By unpacking these two terms, we can see that they’re not simply vapid buzzwords meant to spice up your PowerPoint. Knowing and understanding the difference between accountability and responsibility is actually quite useful for understanding how businesses should think about what these terms mean and what effect it has on the performance of individuals and teams. The first thing to know is that some level of accountability is often a driving force for success. Without someone being an accountable party for the outcome, projects often fall apart and goals get thrown out the window. Let’s explore what accountability vs responsibility really means in more detail. What Does It Mean to Be Accountable? Accountability is a way of understanding outcomes of a particular scenario. […]

Expect the Unexpected: A Playbook for Handling Unpredictable Schedule Changes

No matter where you live, you’ve probably experienced unpredictable weather patterns over the last few years. In the U.S., changing weather patterns have brought floods, storms, and huge snowfalls to new areas and at different times of the year. Weather — and life in general — is often unpredictable. Things change. For businesses, this can present logistical problems, especially when it comes to managing appointment schedules. It can create delays and cancellations that throw the entire schedule into disarray, causing confusion and frustration for both your team and your clients or customers. Whether it’s unprecedented extreme weather or a last-minute schedule change, no appointment is truly set in stone. The best way to deal with unpredictable schedule changes is to be proactive. Have a gameplan for each scenario that may be relevant to your business. That way, you’ll have an actionable way to deal with the unexpected on short notice. Here’s a short playbook to easily handle these situations using a service like Apptoto. This method offers minimal disruption to your business and the lives of your customers, no matter what the circumstance. Late start If there’s a delayed start to […]

Case Study: Wayne Metro Community Action Agency

When we profile businesses that use Apptoto, we tend to focus on the most common: healthcare clinics, dental offices, and lawyers. But these aren’t the only kinds of organizations that need help managing their schedules and keeping their constituents up to date and informed. We discovered Wayne Metro Community Action Agency and the amazing work that they’re doing to help those in Wayne County, Michigan. By connecting citizens with community programs and assistance, they have the opportunity to change lives every single day. Of course, that’s only if those who need the assistance show up for their scheduled appointments with Wayne Metro staff. We spoke with Jeremy Biddle at Wayne Metro to learn that they’re using Apptoto as a tool to keep them organized so they can focus on the important work of impacting and bettering lives. Knowing that Apptoto has helped them in their mission is inspiring, and we’re happy to share their story. Can you briefly describe your business? Founded in 1971, Wayne Metro Community Action Agency provides essential services, diversified programming, and community resources to low- and moderate income individuals and families throughout all of Wayne County. […]

Understanding CAN-SPAM: U.S. Commercial Message Regulation

Now going on its 15th year as law, the 2003 CAN-SPAM act was originally signed by George W. Bush. As the internet, online businesses, and online marketing were growing, the law was meant to reign in some of the more insidious marketing practices that had become commonplace online. While there is much debate about overall effectiveness of the CAN-SPAM act, its main regulations are fairly straightforward. The intent of the law was largely a mechanism by which to define commercial messages and to enforce basic rules about how these messages are sent to consumers online. Let’s dig into the specifics. CAN-SPAM: The Basics At the core, this legislation comprises a few basic components: Definition of “commercial message” — Outlines specifics of which messages should be considered “commercial” and which should not. This is then used to define which messages are subject to the requirements laid out afterward. Requirements for commercial messages — Sets a number of standard requirements that all commercial messages must meet in order to be in compliance with CAN-SPAM. Penalties and punishment for noncompliance — Spells out specific punishments and penalties for companies that run afoul of […]

How to Turn Complex Calendars into a Sleek Patient Scheduling Process

Whether your practice books 20-minute, 30-minute, or 90-minute appointments, there are common challenges and hurdles that come with booking, managing, and coordinating time between your business, its providers, and each and every one of your patients. No matter how you look at it, the patient scheduling process can be a daunting one. We’ve written before about the many drawbacks and pitfalls that come with scheduling. No-shows, late arrivals, mix-ups, and overbooking are just a few of the most prominent issues. The room for error is also enormous. But most importantly, each of these small mistakes can mean major consequences for your business — and your patients. There’s no one-size-fits-all scheduling process that will take away all the stress and uncertainty that comes with running a practice. Instead, there’s a process you can use to re-engineer how you manage appointments to create a more streamlined, reliable, and predictable system that works better for everyone involved. Deconstructing the scheduling process Of the four stages in problem solving, generally the most difficult is the first step: identifying the problem you are trying to solve. In the case of the patient-scheduling process, this is […]

Survey Results: View Our Clients’ Success Using Apptoto!

We recently conducted a survey of nearly 200 businesses using Apptoto to get feedback on how well we’re doing and to get insight that will drive our future priorities. We were very pleased with the results! Reviewing the data, it’s clear that we have made an enormous impact on many businesses. We’ve been able to deliver a great experience that has transformed the appointment process from one that requires a huge investment or time and money into one that’s nearly seamless and automated. And in fact, 90% of the respondents were very or somewhat likely to recommend Apptoto to a colleague. We learn a lot by listening to our clients, and this survey has helped us understand our impact and where we can improve. Thanks to everyone who took the time to fill it out! No-shows no more One of the biggest challenges for any appointment-based business is having no-shows. People miss their appointments for a litany of reasons, but one of our company’s main hypotheses has always been that with the right combination of reminders and nudges, business could dramatically reduce the number of appointees who don’t appear. The data […]

From Auto Replies to Custom Fields, Get the Most from Apptoto with These Functions!

We spoke with Tyler, one of our customer support specialists, about the needs and pain points our customers seek help with. Luckily, Apptoto has an arsenal of tools that can make life a lot easier for businesses – and they’re easy to use. Check out Tyler’s advice below! Q: We have multiple offices; how can I easily include those addresses in my reminders? A: Location keywords Apptoto’s keyword utility allows you to trigger not only specific messages, but it can also be employed to include variable address information in your reminders. In your “Settings” > “Locations” tab, you’ll be able to specify your default location, as well as generate new locations to be used if an appointment includes that location’s keyword. For example, your default location can be used for any and all appointments, and you can set up a second location (e.g. Downtown Office) that will be used when including the word “Downtown” in that appointment. Once your locations are created, ensure that your Auto Messages contain an address field (see user guide), and then simply schedule your appointments with the correct keywords, and voila! Your clients will now […]

Canada’s Anti-Spam Law (CASL): Stay Compliant & Avoid Costly Fines

On  July 1, 2014, a sweeping piece of legislation called Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) went into effect. After a three-year grace period, it’s now time to comply. Canadian businesses — or any business that sends electronic messages to Canadian residents — need to understand this law and how it works. Fines for running afoul of the CASL can range from $1 million to 10 million per instance. Note: If you’re simply using Apptoto to remind your clients of their appointments you are perfectly compliant and safe! We still encourage you to read these guidelines, especially if you do any type of marketing, sales or other commercial messaging. We’ll go over how to do it safely in this article. The scope and impact of CASL are far-reaching, restricting businesses from sending commercial messages without specific forms of consent. And although there’s been a recent suspension on the provision that would have allowed private citizens a right to action against offending businesses, the impacts of the law are no less serious. We dug into the available information online and called the Canadian governing bodies in order to learn as much as possible […]

Apptoto + Hair Salons: A Case Study with M. Scott Salon

Scott M is a world-renowned hairdresser and makeup artist. Throughout the years, he has worked with a host of celebrities, including Danica Patrick, Sandra Bullock, and Liza Minelli. In Salt Lake City, M. Scott Salon is known as a destination for both locals and out-of-towners looking for world-class service and style. His salon is in high demand, with clients signing up for appointments well in advance. Over the past several years, Scott has been using Apptoto to manage appointments, reminders, and promotions for his business. He says it’s been just the solution he needed. We spoke with Scott to learn how Apptoto has helped his business grow and serve their clients’ needs as he’s continued to find success. Can you briefly describe your business? I own a small, intimate hairdressing studio in Salt Lake City. It’s unique, the first of its kind, and very popular. I opened eight years ago without a sole client or employees. We’ve grown steadily since then. We have over 90 five-star reviews on Yelp/Google. What were some common challenges your business used to face that have been reduced or eliminated by Apptoto? At first, Apptoto […]