Quick question: How much time do you spend on admin tasks such as scheduling appointments, invoicing, email marketing, client follow-up and so on?
I bet you don’t have the slightest idea, so let me help you. According to a study conducted by West Monroe Partners, 36% of businesses spend between 3 and 4 hours per day on admin tasks. From the same study, 34% of businesses spend between 1 and 2 hours while 24% of the respondents said they spend over 5 hours per day on administrative tasks.
Well, that’s a lot of time to spend on repetitive and mindless tasks! It is this needless wastage of time that pushes many a company to automation technology and business management apps such vCita, the subject of this review.
In today’s post, we shine light on the awesome features that make vCita WordPress plugin one of the best business management apps you’ll find on the web. Doesn’t that sound awesome if you’re looking to save time, keep customers happy and make more money?
If that is a resounding YES, grab a mug of coffee and let’s roll.
What is vCita?
So, ladies and gentlemen, what exactly is vCita? In a single quote, vCita is a…
…powerful all-in-one management app for small businesses.
How lazy and vague of you Freddy? Okay, allow me to expand.
vCita helps you to perform many administrative tasks all in one place (or one centralized dashboard). Instead of investing in a different scheduling app for instance, you’ll find this feature right within vCita.
Other features include invoicing/billing, a fully-fledged CRM for exceptional client management, calendar management, online payments, email marketing, lead capturing and I can keep going if we didn’t have a features section coming right up.
So class, what is vCita again? It’s basically a business management app on steroids. The plugin helps you to manage your business website like a boss.
For example, instead of forcing clients to call or visit your office just to book an appointment, vCita makes the whole process incredibly short and easy. What else can I say? Oh yes, it is incredibly easy to use and integrate with your WordPress site. That’s right, you don’t need any technical knowledge to hit the ground running.
I always say a WordPress plugin is only as good as the features it offers. vCita will knock your socks off thanks to an impressive suite of features.
No kidding, vCita is one of the best business apps of 2019 and beyond. It spots a fantastic futuristic design and a nice set of options. The plugin makes managing your services-oriented business a breeze.
Hold onto your seats kids, here comes the feature list in no particular order. vCita boasts of features such as (drum roll please).
Scheduling Software & Calendar
vCita is the ultimate scheduling and calendar management machine. Thanks to a set of scheduling features, you can accurately and effectively spread your time around appointments and other admin tasks.
- An online business calendar that allows you to view your agenda from any device, sync your work schedule (with Google, iCal, Outlook or Hotmail calendars) and track client’s payment status
- A team calendar that enables your to manage/view your team’s calendar and assign appointments and/or services to staff members
- Options to list services and include duration, location, and price
- Ability to invite clients to register and pay online or add multiple clients to any given service or event
And there is even more…
- Option to create recurring or one time events
- Clients can schedule, reschedule or cancel appointments from a branded client portal, your website or social media saving you a great deal of time and money
- Automated appointment reminders via email or text messages
- Automatically confirming client bookings to save time by eliminating back-and-forth correspondence
- The power to send post-meeting follow-ups to boost repeat business
I’m talking about having 100% control over your time with task automation tech from the gods. Set up vCita and it will handle your scheduling and calendars automatically in the background while you focus on your business.
Moving on swiftly.
Client Management (CRM)
We all know acquiring new customers is no easy task, so don’t let those new relationships die with vCita CRM. If you’re wondering, you can:
- Store, manage and label your leads in one online hub
- View your client’s history from payments, documents, conversations, invoices, and appointments
- Leverage the vCita mobile app, which means you have your client information wherever you go
- Collaborate with your team on the go by assigning incoming requests, appointments and clients to team members
- Wait, did I mention you can create custom follow-up messages? I’m sure your clients will love them, just like they love your offerings
- Import or export client info via Gmail, Excel or as a CSV file meaning you have plenty of options to move your information around
- And so much more (I’m not a fan of boring you to death with a ton of text, so please check out the vCita 14-day free premium trial already.)
Billing & Invoicing
Billing and invoicing presents a lot of challenges to many an entrepreneur. The good news is vCita makes the process as easy as pie. In a matter of seconds, you can:
- Create/send invoices, estimates and receipts
- Customize invoices with your company and logo
- Set up taxes and currency
- View paid, pending and overdue invoices in an intuitive dashboard
- Create automatic payment reminders
- Add a payment button to invoices, so that clients can pay 24/7 and from anywhere
- Enable offline payments
- Keep the clients in the loop with a state-of-the-art client self-service portal
- Integrate vCita invoicing solution with Quickbooks and Zapier
- Securely accept any type of credit card at no extra charges while using multiple gateways including PayPal and Stripe
- Sync payments with your calendar allowing clients to pay upfront
- And so much more!
Without the right marketing, your website will perform poorly and that’s a fact. Not to worry though because vCita makes marketing your business easy with tools such as:
- Easy to create email campaigns. You can manage subscribers, segment customers, import contacts and more
- Call To Action (CTA) buttons that help clients to book appointments, pay and share documents
- Coupons to drive sales
- Real-time analytics that help you to stay on top of your game
- Pre-built email templates that are easy to customize
- SMS marketing
- Killer landing pages that are optimized to convert
- Website widgets that take lead generation to the next level
- Instant text notifications whenever a client makes contact
vCita business management app is the ultimate brand builder thanks to a client portal that you can customize with your business insignia.
With a few clicks, you can create a powerful brand identity and deliver a personalized experience to your clients, but I’ve sort of said that already.
What I haven’t mentioned is vCita is 100% responsive, meaning the client needn’t run about looking for a desktop computer.
They can use whatever device in their possession to share documents, make payments, book appointments and do so much more, which – if you ask me – is quite impressive for a business management app of this might and nature.
In a nutshell, you get a:
- CRM to manage your clients.
- Online calendar
- Billing and invoicing solution
- Remarkable scheduling system
- Payment framework
- Self-service client portal
- Marketing engine
- Lead generating machine
The list of vCita features is quite impressive. We gave it a test drive as detailed in the next section.
How to Get Started with vCita for WordPress
Aside: Before you proceed, I urge you to point your browser to vCita.com, and create a free trial account. The process is pretty much straightforward.
Once you have an account, installing the vCita WordPress plugin is easy.
Login to your WordPress admin dashboard and navigate to Plugins > Add New as shown below.
Next, enter “Appointment Booking and Online Scheduling by vCita” in the keyword search box, and hit the Install Now button as we detail below.
After that, click the Activate button to get the ball rolling as shown below.
Upon activation, you will find a notification at the top of your WordPress admin dashboard. Click the Click here to learn more link as we highlight below.
You’re doing alright so far so good. Clicking on the above link leads you to the vCita settings page shown below.
You can also access the above screen by clicking the vCita Online Scheduling item on the WordPress admin menu.
Before you do anything else, scroll towards the bottom of the above screen and click the Switch to a different vCita account link to connect your website to your vCita account. See image below.
On the next page, login to your vCita account as we highlight below.
The page will redirect you back to the vCita Settings Page as shown in the screengrab below.
Notice from the above screen the email you used to create the vCita account has been added in the Appointment requests will be sent to this email field. This means your vCita account is now successfully connected to your WordPress website.
- At this point, vCita is ready to use
- The plugin automatically creates two pages for you i.e., Contact Us and Book Appointment that you can see by navigating to Pages > All Pages on your WordPress admin menu
- On the client facing side of your website (or the frontend if you will), vCita adds a couple of snazzy widgets as shown below:
- You can test drive your online scheduling right from within your WordPress site as shown below:
With the basics out of the way, let us see what is hidden behind some of the buttons on the vCita settings screen.
To add/edit your company logo, profile picture and business info, hit the Profile Settings button as shown below.
Hitting the above button redirects you to vCita online dashboard shown below.
On the above page, you can:
- Add/edit your business name, short description, company logo, profile picture and contact info
- Remove all vCita powered by links
- Change the dashboard theme
- Configure options such as choosing whether to display business address, URL, phone number or email to clients
To configure your vCita scheduling settings, click the Go to Settings button as shown below.
Clicking the above button redirects you to the respective Settings/My Services page as we highlight in the image below.
On the above page, you can:
- View/edit your available services
- Create a new service
- Add 1 on 1 appointment
- Add a group event
- Create service categories
- Preview each service as a client
According to the developers, Active Engage “…has proven to double contact requests on your website.” Active Engage is just a fancy word for a set of widgets optimized to boost conversation. Below, is a preview of the default Active Engage widgets.
To customize your Active Engage widgets, click the Edit button as shown below.
Doing so leads you to the Active Engage edit screen we illustrate below.
On the above page, you can customize your Active Engage widgets until you drop.
Other available options:
On the vCita settings page, you can find other settings. You can add/edit/preview:
- The Scheduling Calendar (Booking Appointment page)
- Contact Us page the plugin created earlier
- Sidebar widget to your website
- Rate the vCita plugin
- Join one of vCita’s WordPress partnership programs (see image below for details)
How much does vCita cost? The company offers you four price packages as shown in the image below.
There is the:
- $15 bucks per month Online Scheduling plan
- $29 per month Essentials plan
- $59/mo Business plan
- $99/month Platinum plan
We urge you to go with a plan that’s suitable for your business.
Final Thoughts on vCita
vCita is quite a powerful management app for small businesses. The tool offers you plenty of options to perform administrative tasks without a hefty price tag.
It is easy to configure you’ll be up and running in less than 10 minutes. Just create a vCita account, install the WordPress plugin and manage away! For sure, you will save plenty of time and money. I guarantee you.
Have we left out something? Have a question or suggestion? Please let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.