Send a meeting invitation FAST with live chat widgets and SMS

Scheduling with live chat tools like Intercom and Chatra

Customers love it when you make online scheduling easy for them. That’s why so many companies are setting up booking pages to automate the process. But to really optimize your scheduling flow, you’ll need to think about how to drive customers to book with you in the first place. In this article we’ll review some good options, from installing a live chat widget to sending your meeting invitation via SMS. There’s plenty that you can do to speed up and improve their experience.

Let’s back up for a moment to better understand the problem. Everyone knows that long wait times create friction for customers, especially when support fails to resolve their issue. Most companies offer some kind of phone or email support, but few of them do it in a way that maximizes convenience.

Current research shows that 92% of customers enjoy instant messaging experiences, due to the fast response times. That’s why quick support is so valuable. It helps people feel more confident in your product.

Identifying your live chat toolset

Live chat can take place in a variety of locations, including but not limited to your website. Other options include social media, SMS and email. We will walk you through each of these options and offer some tips on the best way to send a meeting invitation for each format.

Example of live chat with Intercom
Example of the live chat service at Appointlet, powered by Intercom

Live chat apps tend to be used in two ways; public-facing websites and user-facing web apps. The tool is usually located at the bottom right corner of a site and stands out as a unique page element, so it’s easy for site visitors to spot and engage with. Here at Appointlet we use Intercom, but there are a number of other solutions out there.

Chatra provides a simplified live chat solution that I personally found easy to set up and install on a website in just a few minutes. For small businesses that don’t need all the bells and whistles, Chatra is a good option to explore.

Example of the live chat button provided by Chatra
Customer’s View: See the live chat button located at bottom right, powered by Chatra.

When visitors navigate through your website, the live chat icon persists so they can simply click and send your team a message when it’s convenient for them. Your support agents will be notified via the Chatra dashboard, making it easy to answer questions and maintain conversation in real time.

As visitors reach out, some are more qualified than others to speak with your sales team. Live chat is the perfect place to learn about their needs and warm up qualified leads as you drive them toward product demos or consultation services. With Appointlet’s Chrome extension or Firefox extension, your customer support team has convenient access to meeting links, so they can copy and paste them right into the chat:

How to send a meeting invitation fast with Appointlet's Chrome and Firefox extensions
The Support Team’s View: Using our Chrome and Firefox extension with Chatra

Once your support agent sends the link, the lead clicks it to open your Appointlet scheduler. They pick a time and fill out a form so you have some booking data on file. If you’re wondering what Chatra’s live chat interface looks like from the visitor’s perspective, we’ve created this sandbox agency account as a demonstration:

If you’re wondering what Chatra’s live chat interface looks like from the visitor’s perspective, we’ve created this sandbox agency account as a demonstration:

The customer's view of a live chat meeting invitation
Satisfied Customer: Quick response time and an easy-to-schedule sales demo

The image above shows the Chatra dialogue from a site visitor’s perspective. Now that they have scheduled a meeting, they will receive email notifications to help them show up on time. Your staff will also receive an event in their email calendar and have the option to turn on email or sms notifications. This ensures that meeting details are easily accessible to both parties.

Direct messages on social media

Social media is another powerful way to promote your brand. Not only can it be used to drive traffic to your site, but with the right content you can attract public conversation. Keep an eye on social media channels to make sure you’re not missing any prospects.

The comment section of a social media post can be the perfect place to speak with your audience. If someone needs extra help, it’s good to send a direct message and let them know to look out for it. This keeps down clutter, helps with privacy, and segues nicely into a meeting invitation. Here’s an example of what the Appointlet browser extension could look like inside of Twitter:

Example of a live chat meeting invitation in Twitter
Share a direct message with your meeting link

If you’re interested in going deeper on this subject, we’ve published articles on scheduling for Facebook and Twitter marketing tips to help you refine your approach.

Sending a meeting invitation via SMS

Example of an SMS meeting invitation with ClickSend

Another way to reach people quickly is through text messages. Most people have cluttered email inboxes and will ignore marketing content. So if you have a lead’s phone number, you may see better engagement sending a meeting invitation via SMS.

To best manage your company’s outbound text messages, we recommend that you set up ClickSend. The app will keep your messaging centralized in a single, easy-to-access location. Plus you can easily grab a link from Appointlet and drop it into the text message. Our mobile responsive design makes it easy for leads and customers to schedule meetings from their smart phones.

Booking page on mobile
The mobile user’s booking page interface.

If you do send customers a meeting invitation with SMS, it’s a good idea to keep that medium active with automated text notifications. For example, when someone books with you, ClickSend can be configured with Appointlet to send out a text with details about the date, time, and location of the meeting. As the meeting approaches, you can also program text reminders to help reduce no-shows. Our ClickSend integration on Zapier will even handle cancellations and rescheduling, to ensure that you have an airtight scheduling experience.

For more information, check out our knowledge base article on how to set up SMS on appointlet. We’ll show you exactly how to configure the Zap so there’s no guesswork involved!

Sharing your meeting invitation in an email

Email might not seem like a live chat environment, but who hasn’t used it to fire off some quick messages back and forth? If your team is using email to dialogue with leads and customers, they can click the Appointlet browser extension to grab meeting links as needed:

Live example of the Chrome extension and how to send a meeting invitation via email

Appointlet lets you match these fast-paced live chat environments with an easy-to-book scheduler. You can count on this reducing scheduling friction and keeping your customers satisfied through the full lifecycle. We hope that you’ll take a moment to install one of the browser extensions on your computer and try it for yourself.

You can download Appointlet’s Chrome extension and Firefox extension for free and use it with our free plan, available on our landing page.

Article image credit: Miguel Tomás


Ezra Sandzer-Bell