Massage & Bodywork

November/December 2013

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online scheduling KC: How about online scheduling? Some therapists have embraced it, but others are still a little leery of how it works. order amount as the fee for having the service. Easy for everyone involved! LS: We've heard that one barrier to using online scheduling is the safety concern that strangers will book appointments. LS: OK, Kristin, what's one last techno tip to offer our friends? KC: Totally understandable, but this is really a case of fact versus fiction. The frightening fictional scenario is that people will book all sorts of appointments with you and you will have no control over when, where, how long, who these people are, etc. The fact is, you have all sorts of control, options, and opportunities to customize the booking process to meet your comfort level. Want clients to be able to see your openings but not book without your approval? Want to receive a text message any time someone books an appointment? Want to allow clients to book online up until 48 hours before a session, but within 48 hours they have to call you? Want to allow current clients to book online, but new clients need to call? Done, done, and done. Not only do the programs not do the things you're afraid of, they offer you a lot of really wonderful and convenient benefits that you probably didn't even know you needed but will really appreciate (and will make your life a lot easier), like sending reminder emails or text messages to clients when you want them to. Before you dismiss the idea of using online scheduling, check it out and get the facts first. It might be more user-friendly than you think. KC: Well, we touched on using smartphones for your business last time, but we didn't really talk about all of those wonderful, and sometimes addictive, apps that can help us manage our business—and our life—better. LS: I agree, Kristin. If a therapist is serious about growing her practice, she needs to think about meeting clients where they are. If I look at my checkbook, here's what I write checks for: a few utilities, a few service providers, and, of course, my gambling debts (just kidding). The world of commerce is moving online, whether it is payment or scheduling. I can schedule my car's service appointment, doctor's appointment—I could have even scheduled my recent surgery—online! KC: While we're talking about adding useful and clientfriendly options to your website, don't forget that you can easily add the ability for people to purchase gift cards with just a click of a button by signing up with one of the online gift card companies. People click the link on your website page, purchase a gift card in the amount they choose, and pay for it online. Therapists pay a percentage of the gift cards 28 massage & bodywork november/december 2013 LS: I am a big fan of apps. There are some great ones that therapists can use. One of the most important apps I personally use is called Things, made by Cultured Code. It is a GTD or "get things done" app that helps you manage your to-do list. It is designed for the iPhone and also the Mac, so I have a version on my phone that syncs with my computer, and vice versa. I put everything on it from paying bills to writing proposals to remembering to give the dogs their heartworm pills to writing this column. It's not cheap—$50 for the computer version and $10 for the iPhone/iPad version. But for me, it's what makes sense. A cheaper alternative is the free Reminder app on the iPhone. KC: There are some really useful anatomy apps available that are not only great to keep our own knowledge fresh (how many years has it been since we sat in an A&P class?), but are helpful to use with clients to show them where you've been working and what's happening in their own bodies. A quick search on keywords in your app store will pull up a surprisingly long list to choose from.

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