What is an Appointment Scheduler and Why You Should Have It

2 min read

What is an appointment scheduler, how can it help your business and personal life, and how can you start using one? Read on to find out.

Appointment schedulers usually refer to apps that allow you to easily conduct meetings with your clients— online or offline— with less effort. These apps let you and your existing and potential clients book, reschedule, and cancel appointments through the internet.

It’s like having a personal secretary do the booking or reminding for you— except you wont have to pay it salary, allowances, and bonuses.

How does appointment scheduling work and why should you have it? Here are a few reasons:

1. Makes scheduling appointments fast, easy, and more efficient

If you’re in the business of engaging clients and booking appointments on a day-to-day basis, an appointment scheduler is right for you. The appointment scheduler lets you know when to engage someone and what to do.

This eliminates the process of remembering when to engage someone, especially when the lead has a high likelihood of converting.

Other things can be done as well such as adding notes (that can be critical in lead conversion) or sending emails or documents which are necessary in the process of lead conversion.

2. Helps establish your online presence

Many customers nowadays use online channels to book appointments— with more than half of them done on the go.

With an automated appointment scheduling system, you can establish your online presence and get back to customers who need the critical information that would push them to make a purchase and become long-term customers.

3. Improves client attendance

Automated schedulers are also known to reduce no-shows. The automated appointment reminders help remind customers what to do next to get value from your business.

It also allows for a frictionless meeting experience where customers don’t have to do anything except click on the link sent by your email or whatever notification you’re going to send them through the appointment scheduling app.

4. Enhances brand image

With a seamless communication experience, customers are likely to have a positive brand perception which leads to an improved brand image.

Better brand images are known to induce customer trust, which is necessary to improve lead conversion rates.

5. Reduces waste of resources

Traditionally, appointments are done through pen and paper, which are waste of office resources, manpower, and time, among other things.

With a tool that lets businesses know when to engage customers through meetings and appointments, the entire process of recording meetings becomes more efficient, which reduces the use of resources to book such meetings.

6. Helps you engage customers on various platforms and channels

Online scheduling tools also help you engage customers on various platforms and channels.

Whether the meeting is done personally, through video conferencing, or even by writing emails, the online appointment scheduler lets you know what to do and which time of the day.

Source: GetApp

7. Eliminates errors

Writing or manually recording your appointments makes the company prone to errors.

With an automated online scheduling appointment system, engaging your clients become more accurate and error-free, making you rest assured that everything’s scheduled by the system for the week.

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7 Tips to Stay Productive While Working at Home

2 min read

Staying productive has never been so great a challenge to many employees these days. Read on to find out how to bring your ‘A’ game at home.

It’s a challenge to many employees who have remote work arrangements to stay productive. It can be hard to juggle the daily demands of family, chores, and work. There are too many distractions, and it can get easy to get burnout and have reduced productivity. But fret not, here are seven tips to keep you going and bring your ‘A’ game even while at home.

1. Stay on Schedule

Working on nothing but free time can be tempting. But establishing a clear schedule can prove helpful not only to work-at-home employees, but also to their families. Find out which schedule works best for “family time” and which one works best for, well, work.

Remember, when setting a schedule, balance is key. And once your schedule has been jotted down, stick to it. It helps you establish a routine, which makes the transitions in between your responsibilities smooth and easy.

2. Have a designated workspace

Having a specific space for your home office helps you focus on work. It helps you personalize your desk to boost your productivity and get rid of the distractions at home. And studies support this. 

Add plants that require less maintenance to “green up” your office. This can reduce stress too. And avoid working in your bedroom— you don’t want to associate work with sleep and vice versa, as this can destroy the work-life balance that work-at-home employees struggle to achieve.

3. Wake up early

While this may be a luxury to some, it’s important to wake up early to get a faster accumulation of adenosine and help you sleep faster at night. Waking up early has also been observed to contribute to better mood, immune system, and basic brain functions.

4. Take breaks, go outside

It’s easy to get tempted to be immersed into work and other family duties just to get things done asap. But taking breaks and going outside (if permitted) can help you in the long haul.

Short breaks have been observed to help increase mental clarity and overall productivity to many employees— even those working at home. Going outside, enjoying a walk, or even appreciating nature can also give you benefits, physically and mentally.

5. Keep your gadget use in check

Distractions can take many forms but gadgets perhaps belong to the top of the list. It’s easy to form a habit of checking your phone to see who’s liking your post on social media or browsing videos to keep you entertained. But these can delay you from getting work done.

Keep your gadget use in check. If possible, remove all social media platforms from your work computer and log out of all your social media accounts. Putting your phone in the bedroom can also help while you’re at work.

6. Listen to music

Have a playlist dedicated for work. This helps you associate the playlist with work which not only helps improve your productivity, but also keeps you happy and entertained. But remember to only add music that helps you get in the groove and not those distracting ones.

7. Use tools built for collaboration

Communication is essential in work— especially when everybody is working at home. Tools like CRMs are built for collaboration. They help bridge distances and keep everyone, wherever they are, on the same page. They also reduce the need for employees to switch between platforms to get tasks done.

CRMs are also often built with features that automate manual, repetitive tasks which can bore employees and affect their productivity.

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5 Ways to Build a Learning Culture for Your Remote Workforce

2 min read

Learning is an important part of any organization to grow. Building a culture that fosters and facilitates one allows it to adapt to a fast-changing business environment.

A learning culture is a social behavior is fostered by an organization that supports open-mindedness, facilitates activities that enhance knowledge, and encourages learning that allows organizations to achieve their mission and goals.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, learning has undergone a transformation in the workforce and business environment. Employees are mostly working remotely and in-person learning sessions have become limited for employee safety. Organizations face a challenge in providing and sustaining learning opportunities to their employees.

Creating a system that allows remote employees to continue training online is a solution. It allows building skills and capabilities of employees that are required for the organization to adapt to the disruptions to the business environment created by the pandemic.

Engaging and relevant courses and content in digital learning format are in demand. The challenge for organizations now is to instill a learning culture even when employees are working remotely.

What you should know:

A learning culture is important for organizations to thrive during a crisis. It helps them prepare for the changes that will come, especially after the pandemic.

Training online is massively different than hosting face-to-face learning. Organizations must take into account employees’ working schedules, internet connection speeds, or even personal interests and preferences.

Providing blended learning— synchronous and asynchronous— is one of the best ways for employees to learn. Using Learning Management Systems or other software that provides tools ensures that the learning process is smooth and easy.

It’s also equally important to build communities that are centered around specific interests or topics. Actively campaigning for learning as well as management support can give an extra push to employees to motivate them to attend training and sessions. 

Five Ways to Build a Learning Culture for Remote Workforces

These are the ways organizations can foster a culture of learning to workers around the world stuck in their home offices:

1. Blended Learning

Blended learning means the type of learning organizations provide is a mix of synchronous and asynchronous learning.

Synchronous learning is training multiple learners at the same time on a given schedule. This means that employees have to attend a scheduled training session. Asynchronous learning is “self-paced,” where employees can choose when to access the provided content, when to make an assessment, and when to complete courses within given timelines.

Blended learning is one of the best ways to facilitate a good learning experience to employees.

2. Using Learning Management System and other tools

Technology is a game-changer in remote learning. Using a Learning Management System, a type of software that provides a centralized content library to employees, with a user-friendly interface, remote workers can learn systematically. It also makes it easier for organizations to smoothly facilitate training and assessments.

LMSs also provide accessibility from any device at any time. They can automate processes like inviting attendees, sending links to webinars or podcasts, providing specific courses, and assessing outcomes. 

3. Building communities

Shared learning is an important aspect of the learning culture. Groups, teams, or communities built online can foster collaboration among employees that have the same interests or hobbies and improve their pace of learning.

Subject matter experts can break down complex concepts, simplify the learning process, and make subjects more engaging through videos, posts, tips, or even counseling sessions. They can also motivate employees to invest more of their time and energy into the endeavor.

4. Learning campaigns

Organizations can actively campaign for employee learning and discussing the importance of learning even when working remotely. They can market why it’s important to fill the skills gaps so they won’t have to prioritize work over learning during the crisis.

Explaining the rationale behind learning for career advancement can also help, especially when the lessons are connected to the business environment post-pandemic. Videos, teasers, or email alerts can create hypes that would encourage employees to participate in the activities.

5. Management support

Learning is not just the responsibility of the employee, it’s also the management’s. Building a learning culture requires empathy on the part of the management, taking into account the current situation of employees.

The management must be open to new ideas, must allow room for experimentation, must encourage employees to ask questions, take risks, and spark moments of success or even failure so employees continue to value learning.

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5 Small Ways to Empower Your Team to Boost Their Productivity

2 min read

Experts agree that these are five simple, genuine things you can do to empower your team and boost their productivity.

Companies around the world look for ways to ensure their employees are working optimally and deliver results. Loss hours and productivity are a universal problem, especially in the business world.

In fact, according to a survey, around 75% of employers estimate that more than two hours of work are lost every day due to inefficiency. But with the way the work environment is rapidly changing these days, what can leaders do to empower their teams and help them grow and thrive?

5 Simple Ways To Empower Your Team

1. Listen

The first thing that business leaders need to do is to listen intently to what their employees are saying— especially during the pandemic. Many employees experience more inconvenience than ever. Some are affected mentally and emotionally. The last thing leaders should do is to push employees harder during the most stressful times.

Getting feedback from your employees would also work in your favor. It helps you determine the things that need to change to facilitate a better system. It also helps you establish trust among employees, which helps push them to perform to the best of their ability.

2. Define roles and provide spaces

Giving employees the space they need have been proven to empower them. Allow the employee to make his or her own decisions within set boundaries. Set attainable goals.  And communicate the priorities and expectations set on their roles.

Avoiding micromanagement allows leaders to focus on more important management issues. It also lets employees to work on their roles, without the need to consult leaders on many small and irrelevant issues.

3. Facilitate team-building exercises

One of the most challenging parts of working during the pandemic is that teams are unable to see each other physically— and bond emotionally.

Team-building exercises help bridge the gap created by the pandemic between teams. It helps them get along with each other, know each other more, and identify each other’s strengths and weaknesses.

Fun non-work-related activities make the workplace a happier one. And it doesn’t take a genius to know that happy workplaces boost productivity among employees.

4. Provide growth plans

Set goals not only for the company’s benefit but also for the employees. Make your team feel that working for you won’t make them stagnant, that there’s room for growth.

Remind employees that what they’re doing now will redound to their benefit in the future. Praise effort and encourage people to learn and grow. Reward loyalty.

5. Provide tools that eliminate manual effort

Working doesn’t have to be boring and monotonous. It can feel fulfilling and meaningful. To make this happen, using tools that automate tasks is the simplest thing to do.

Some tools can do things automatically for you like gather your customers’ information, send emails to target audiences, or even sort your leads for you so you’ll know who to prioritize first.

This is the biggest favor you can do to your employees and it’s also one of the simplest ways to boost their productivity.

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