Running your own business means you need to wear a lot of different hats. Some times you are CEO, sometimes you are the filing clerk! This diversity can help to make life interesting but sometimes it can conspire against you.
Our client, Helen Burgess, runs On Point Coaching, a professional practice helping clients address both personal and business challenges. When working with individuals, making appointments for coaching sessions tends to be straightforward. Normally it was an integrated element of the coach/coachee relationship. A fairly ‘laissez-faire‘ approach worked well.
Helen secured a contract, working with senior members of staff in a large organisation. She quickly recognised that her normal approach to appointments was not appropriate. It blurred the boundary between professional coach and administrator. Equally important was the danger that setting (and changing) appointments would take up a lot of time for Helen and her clients.
Through her professional network, a contact introduced Helene to 10to8. This is a web-based appointment and diary management system. It looked like it might offer a solution. However, she needed to be sure that the system could address her needs. Furthermore, it had to be implemented in a way that was both timely and effective.
We were already hosting the On Point Coaching website and had done some marketing consultancy with Helen. She contacted us to see if we might be able to assist with her current needs.
Although the core objective was to implement a technology solution to deliver a more appropriate approach to appointment setting and management for her practice, we recognised that it wasn’t sufficient to only know how to install and configure the software. The software is the means, not the end. We needed to be confident that we could help Helen and deliver a better way of managing appointments. To this end, our first goal was to make sure we understood her business and objectives. Our existing relationship meant this was relatively straightforward. The work we had done with her previously meant we had a good understanding of her business methodology, while our supporting and hosting her website meant we also understood the technical structure of her website.
Using these 2 channels of knowledge, we were in a good position to investigate different options and advise, not only on the technical aspects of the appointment system but also to deliver the installation and use our understanding of her business to help ensure it was configured to meet her practical business needs.
We agreed that the 10to8 service would deliver the functionality the Helen was looking for and we installed and set up the system. A key part of the set up was not just to ‘make sure that it worked’ but also to configure things so that Helen could maintain flexible availability. It wasn’t sufficient that clients were given the opportunity to book any slot that wasn’t already booked. Helen wanted to only have certain appointment slots available and to be able to easily change these from week to week.
Our approach to this project was to deliver a solution to a business need that happened to be technical, rather than to simply install technical functionality. The technology was the means, not the end.
Consequently, Helen has additional functionality available to her that allows her to run her business more effectively. Where appropriate, she can now differentiate between the professional and the administrative with clients experiencing a more defined service offering which enhances the proposition offered by On Point Coaching.
Key to this is that throughout the implementation, the focus has been on delivering an effective solution that isn’t just technically efficient, more important, it makes the business easier and better!
After all, isn’t that what it should be all about?
Let Helen have the last word…..
“I am delighted with the results achieved by adding the appointment booking function to my website. It is professional looking and efficient, and has saved a huge amount of time both for me and my clients. It stores client details, past and future appointments and automatically send reminders, this has resulted in a reduction in the number of late changes.
Overall, a great investment that ensures I can focus on coaching rather than the administration of appointments.”