The latest addition to the Tomorrow’s Harvest portfolio is a website for therapist Anne Hopkinson, based here in Northampton MA. Anne is building a private practice, and this website was an upgrade from a older, single-page site to meet the needs of her growing business. When planning the website, we developed four goals for the user experience. We wanted visitors to:
- Understand what type of services are available
- Easily schedule a consultation
- Find location information, and details about health insurance coverage
- Have a calm, comforting experience, since finding and making contact with a therapist can be a stressful, daunting process.
Behind the scenes, for Anne’s purposes, we also had some technical goals in mind. We know that scheduling new clients is time consuming, often involving phone tag and emails back-and-forth, so we wanted to make scheduling as efficient as possible. We came up with a great solution for that – more details below. We also knew that most clients would be local, so optimizing the website for local search listings was important.
I suggested that we integrate the online scheduling service offered by Calendly into the website, to give visitors an easy way to book an initial consultation in a couple of clicks. I’ve only heard good things about Calendly, and know many professionals that can attest to the hours saved by this service. Calendly integrates with a Google Calendar account, and offers visitors an easy way to view a professional’s availability and book their own appointment online. After setting up a Calendly account and connecting it to Anne’s Google Calendar, we embedded the scheduling tool right on the homepage of the website. The first booking came through just hours after launching the website!
Calendly is free if you only have one “event type.” Various paid plans are available if you want to give visitors the choice of different appointment lengths or purposes. Highly recommended!
While this quick and easy scheduling with Calendly doesn’t remove the need to follow up with the client, it reduces the amount of effort it takes for a visitor to take that first step of scheduling an appointment. This is a significant advantage for a therapist. As Anne said when writing the copy for the Contact page, it can be daunting to reach out to a new therapist for the first time, so any tool that makes this easier is good for the client and for her business.
On the technical side, both Anne and the new client receive an automatic email (which can be customized) confirming the appointment, and the time period is automatically blocked off in Anne’s Google Calendar.