Appointments can be a major struggle for any busy professional. Doctors, dentists, and accountants all demand time that breaks up the normal work day and wreaks havoc on the daily routine.
But what about when the appointment is for personal enrichment? It’s even easier to forget or push the time aside in favor of work, family, or other life obligations.
Spanish55 has to deal with this reality on a daily basis. Their on-demand Skype Spanish lessons are primarily taken by busy business professionals who are often juggling full schedules and may have trouble finding the time to fit in their regular Skype sessions to learn a new language.
We had a chance to meet with Spanish55 co-founder Abraham Arechiga, who shared lessons their business has learned. He told us about how Apptoto reduced their no-shows for online/Skype lessons by one-third by automating appointment reminders.
Can you briefly describe your business?
We are a team of highly qualified instructors — all native Spanish speakers — who are passionate about teaching conversational Spanish. Our specialty is working with English-speaking professionals to provide efficient, convenient, and customized Spanish language learning over Skype.
What were some common challenges Spanish55 used to face that have been reduced or eliminated by Apptoto?
Our clients experienced frustration constantly due to missed lessons, and we felt responsible for refunding those missed lessons because we didn’t have a good system in place. This was not a good situation for anyone!
Learning Spanish over Skype can sound a bit intimidating for older folks, but the personalized text messages that Apptoto sends out makes it all feel more personal. They even reply to messages, thanking us for the kind reminder.
How did you discover and decide to use Apptoto? Was there something that set it apart?
I googled “text message reminders for business,” and Apptoto was one of the options.
I signed up for a few accounts with different providers in the space; Apptoto was more aligned with my needs, since I’ve used Google Calendar for many years. Other providers also offered integration with Google Calendar, but after a couple days of testing, I noticed Apptoto had it down with absolutely no synchronization issues.
The level of customization was unrivaled. I loved the fact that I was able to speak with someone over the phone who answered all my questions and helped me get everything set up. There is really nothing I can’t do with Apptoto in terms of text message reminders, email reminders, and phone call reminders.
How easy was it to implement and get going? Any features you enjoy most?
Implementing the level of customization I have now was a process, but it was worth every minute; the guys over at Apptoto made it stress-free and provided many suggestions I loved.
If I wanted to set up simple email and text message reminders with Apptoto, I could probably do it in five minutes.
I like that I can set up rules that trigger different reminders for different “types” of clients. I love that clients have the ability to opt out of receiving reminders (they very rarely do, but it’s there!).
A huge one for me was the ability to easily create booking pages for each Google Calendar I have in my organization. This made online scheduling of free consultations totally painless. I can get very specific, but I can probably summarize it by saying there’s nothing I can’t do with Apptoto.
I’ve recommended the service to many close friends who handle appointments.
Do you use both the reminder feature and the online booking feature? How are they working out for you?
I use both. I’ll start with reminders: I have email reminders set up one day prior to the appointment; the email includes the name of the Spanish tutor the student will be working with, a friendly photo of their tutor, and the time of the appointment. The second reminder is a text message that shoots out two hours prior to the actual Spanish lesson.
When it comes to the booking pages, I couldn’t be happier.
They work perfectly and can be embedded directly on my website, which makes everything look professional. Booking pages are easy to set up and can be tied to one or multiple Google Calendars. Students can adjust the time zone and schedule an appointment in seconds — not a single complaint there!
Overall, how has Apptoto helped your business?
I don’t have an exact metric, but I feel confident saying Apptoto lowered no-shows by at least 30%.
Not only did it reduce no-shows, it also improved our client retention over time, which is good for everyone!
Students reach their goals and my business thrives.
What is your customer feedback like with Apptoto?
My clients are happy and I’m happy.
For the most part, my clients are busy professionals looking to learn Spanish for personal interest. They don’t need more stress; getting reminders on time, every time, is huge for them. I set very high expectations for my business, and I only partner with companies that do the same. I truly wish I had found Apptoto earlier.
Any advice for others in your field that may be considering reminder software?
I spent weeks looking at providers, so you don’t have to. Go with Apptoto.
Learning how Apptoto has helped so many different kinds of businesses provide better service and grow is one of the most rewarding parts of doing these interviews with our customers.
Combating a busy professional and personal schedule can be a difficult challenge. But, Apptoto makes it extremely simple to set up automated reminders that help everyone stay in sync.
If you need simple-to-use, effective appointment reminders for online lessons (or any appointment-based business) and service, Apptoto can help. Es la verdad.