Oddly enough, online scheduling apps aimed at businesses generally support one main function. If you want to handle tasks like contact management, email marketing, estimates, invoices, and payments, or if you want to offer your clients personalized communication portals, well, then you’ll need to find more apps and figure out how to get them all working together smoothly.
For most growing businesses, this becomes expensive pretty quickly, while for others it’s downright cost-prohibitive. And if you aren’t particularly tech-savvy, then you could find yourself frustratedly spending hours on end, tinkering with integrations to get your various software providers to send each other relevant data as needed.
vCita, on the other hand, is an online scheduling tool with business management and CRM capabilities baked in – including contact management, landing pages, lead capture, nurture automations, reminders, as well as estimates, invoices, and billing features.
Initially, vCita was launched as a simple online scheduling tool, but in recent years, the platform has expanded to include a full suite of business management tools. It’s a robust platform that’s aimed directly at solopreneurs and SMBs, including service-based businesses and consultants. It is especially useful for businesses that require their clients to book appointments, but truly, that’s just the beginning.
vCita offers a web app, a mobile app and integrations with bookkeeping and CMS platforms to enable small businesses and solopreneurs to easily manage appointment bookings, client communications and payments.
Below, we’ll go on a thorough tour of the platform’s key features and what makes them so useful.
- Online Scheduling
vCita is great for businesses that want to improve their appointment scheduling activities and workflows. It lets new and existing clients save time by scheduling their own appointments instead of going back and forth over email, and it lets you save time and avoid errors by skipping the need for manual data entry.
Clients can access the online scheduler directly from your business’s vCita landing page, or by clicking on call-to-action buttons on your Facebook Page or Google My Business profile. You can also integrate a scheduling widget with your website, which allows you to add lead capture forms and conversion mechanisms to web pages.
You can add the online scheduling widget to your business website or vCita landing page directly from the vCita dashboard. This way, your clients will be able to book appointments with you without having to leave your website.
Simply navigate to Online Presence > Website Widgets from the vCita dashboard. Next, find the Scheduling Calendar widget under the Additional Widgets section and click the Add To Website button. From there, simply follow the instructions to add the online scheduler widget to your website.
vCita lets you add widgets directly to Wix, WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, Duda, and other CMSs and also gives you the option to add it to other websites using HTML code. You can also customize your online scheduler, vCita landing page, and website widget to match your branding color schemes and style.
Whether you’re running a one-person show or working with a team, vCita can help you increase work efficiency and maximize productivity. For example, it lets you assign staff to client appointments from within vCita. This makes it easy for everyone on the team to quickly identify which appointments and tasks have been delegated to them.
- Customer Relationship Management
As an SMB or solopreneur, you should be able to manage your contacts directly through your online scheduler, considering it’s often the initial point of contact with new and potential clients. vCita’s built-in CRM capabilities can help you achieve that by giving you full visibility into each contact’s history, including appointments, payments, invoices, conversations, and documents.
It lets you stay on top of client relationships by managing all of your contacts from a central location. This allows you to store all your leads and contacts in one place so you can easily access them whenever you need to, whether you’re in the office or on the go. From here, you can also nurture leads and maintain relationships with customers via SMS and email, as we’ll explain later in this review.
Moreover, you can use vCita’s lead capturing widget to collect emails from visitors and use them to boost your conversions. Storing, managing, and labeling leads can help you with client segmentation and lead scoring.
When it comes to client segmentation, vCita lets you segment contacts based on their location and interests as well as several other factors. As a result, you can create and send targeted marketing emails and offer tailored user experiences to prospective clients, repeat clients, and new clients.
You can change each client’s status e.g. Lead, Customer, VIP and assign custom tags to clients to segment them based on various factors. vCita comes with search filters and a tagging system that’s super intuitive and easy to use.
For example, you can easily filter out all of your contacts who are leads and send them targeted email marketing messages to guide them through your sales funnel.
vCita’s client-service portal lets clients contact you by sending direct messages. It allows them to share files with you and download and view the files you send them. You can also view past and upcoming appointments as well as outstanding payments through a centralized dashboard.
The platform also lets you customize the client portal so you can choose the color schemes and branding style that fits your business’s branding. It helps you minimize no shows and increase returning business using custom follow-up and automated reminders.
You can also use this system to invite customers to book subsequent (or recurring) appointments.
- Billing and Payments
vCita lets you send estimates, invoices, and receipts to clients, either related to or unrelated to appointments booked. You can easily share quotes with clients and manage client payments from a centralized platform. This also makes it easier for clients, as they can pay you from within the platform without being redirected to a different payment processor or using an entirely different app.
As an online business, one of the benefits of demanding an upfront payment upon booking is that it minimizes no-shows and last-minute cancellations. This way, even if a client fails to show up, it won’t be a complete waste of your time.
vCita lets you accept online payments via credit card or PayPal by adding a payment button to your estimates and invoices. This way, your clients can view and approve estimates, make payments, and download receipts. You can also send an email invite to clients with a direct payment link.
In addition to this, vCita helps you track each client’s balance and payment history and keep notes on pending and overdue invoices. It also lets you configure automatic payment reminders, helping you quickly identify and collect pending and overdue payments.
vCita integrates with payment and accounting tools such as QuickBooks, PayPal, Square, and Stripe to help you improve your bookkeeping workflows.
- Email and SMS Marketing
You can use vCita to increase your chances of getting your marketing messages across to your target audience in a timely manner. It comes with built-in, customizable email templates for setting up and executing announcements and marketing campaigns.
This is the easiest way to create mobile-friendly marketing campaigns that drive client engagement and deliver on your cross-channel marketing goals. Speaking of which, vCita lets you quickly set up SMS campaigns to increase interactions and reach customers even when they’re on the go. This is especially useful, given that SMS open and response rates are as high as 98% and 45%, respectively.
With vCita, you can easily automate your email and SMS marketing campaigns and free up more time to spend on important business tasks. For instance, you can configure and send automated campaigns to clients who have recently subscribed to your email newsletter.
vCita lets you set up drip campaigns using pre-built templates that are designed for client engagement and retention. For instance, you can send customer reactivation emails to re-engage with dormant accounts, welcome emails to new clients, or Happy Birthday messages to existing clients.
vCita makes it easy to track client activity, which lets you gauge the performance of your email marketing campaigns. Plus, you’ll be able to add an online scheduler and call to action buttons in your emails to help your clients easily fill out forms, pay invoices and book appointments.
vCita is a powerful online scheduling tool that allows you to improve communication with your clients and gives you all the tools you need to skyrocket conversions.
You can use it to improve how you accept and handle online bookings and leverage its billing options to demand upfront payment from clients upon booking. Finally, its built-in search filters and tagging system makes it easy to keep track of contacts and automate email (and SMS) marketing activities.
What features do you look for in an online scheduling tool for your business? Let us know by commenting below.