You’re in the tertiary sector of the economy and you’re providing services to others, but you can’t properly run your business without having the right tools. An appointment scheduling software allows businesses to accept appointments from their customers and clients. It also allows businesses to properly manage their appointments and customers.
There are many reasons why businesses should be using an appointment scheduling software. I mean, it’s 2019, you have to be on top of things to be the best! As this is the ultimate guide to the best appointment scheduling software in 2019, we’re going to go over many different topics. It’s going to be pretty comprehensive. Some of these topics are, the benefits of using an appointment scheduling software, the downfalls/cons, what to look for, how to pick the best one, and more.
Whether you own or are a hair salon, dentist, medical doctor, chiropractor, lawyer, spa, consultant, personal trainer, gym, accountant, counselor, or teacher, you will need the best appointment scheduling software for your business. As a business that belongs in the service industry, there are tons of pros to using a scheduling app. Let’s start with the benefits of using an appointment scheduling software.
- Save Time – It can be hard to make the most of your time, especially when you have a lot of mundane tasks to do. An appointment scheduling software will help you get the repetitive jobs out of the way for you, while you focus on running your business. It may be hard to put down the pen and paper at first, but as time goes on, you’ll realize technology has got scheduling down to a tee. You’ll find yourself with more time on your hands to handle all the appointments and reservations that are flowing in.
- Attracts Customers and Clients – Believe it or not, using an appointment scheduling software for your business will help attract new and returning customers to your business. How you may ask? Great question. As the world we live in gradually accepts technology into our everyday lives, we tend to get “attracted” towards technology being used in the things we do. Take voice search, for example. Since voice search has become such a big thing in the past few years (and is still getting bigger), more and more people have started to use Alexa and the Amazon Echo speakers. We are slowly adapting to the new technological advances.
Another way online appointment bookings attract customers is the better user experience. With the convenience of being able to make appointments on the go, from anywhere, on any device, users are starting to enjoy and take advantage of it more. As time goes on, appointment scheduling will all be done digitally, or with technology.
- Convenience – As with attracting new customers and clients, using an online scheduling software is convenient for you, and your customer! It helps businesses to be more organized and have appointments all in one spot. Plus, you can check your appointments from any device, wherever you or your staff may be. Your customer can book an appointment with your business even when your doors are closed. Hours of operation doesn’t stop you from taking in customers and a busy phone line doesn’t either. Your customer or client can book online from any location, at any time, on any device. See? It’s that simple!
- Promotes Efficiency – With an appointment scheduling software, your staff are able to be more efficient. It squeezes in more customers for them, which results in more money. Technology helps businesses streamline their everyday operations.
- Make Money – Yes, an appointment scheduling software will help your business to make more money! By taking out the need for someone to be at the phone and handle scheduling, you are able to save money and make more money by servicing more customers. Another amazing feature that allows business to make more money is its billing integration. You are able to charge your customers for services you provide and perform, before or after the service is delivered.
- Reduces No Shows – Doesn’t it suck when your customer skips out on their preplanned appointment? I mean, you could’ve filled that chair or spot with another desperate client! There are many ways to reduce no show appointments. Scheduling apps have automated text message reminders and notifications so your business can reduce no-shows seamlessly, and easily. An appointment scheduling software can automatically send out appointment confirmations so your customers can acknowledge and confirm their appointment a couple of days before their scheduled date and time. There are many other ways to reduce no-shows, but using an appointment scheduling software is definitely one of them!
Now that we’ve covered some of the benefits of using an appointment scheduling software, we’re going to cover some of the features of the best appointment scheduling software.
The features of a scheduling app can help businesses be more productive, efficient, and save money. Here are some important features that a scheduling software would have:
- Appointment Reminders – A very important feature is the appointment reminder or notification feature. A big thing many businesses struggle with is no-shows. By using an appointment scheduling software that has built-in appointment reminders and notifications, it helps businesses to reduce no-shows. It allows the business’ customer to know when their appointment is, and when their next appointment is coming up. Appointment reminders are a big must have in an online scheduling software.
- Staff Scheduling – You may or may not have staff. If you are a one-person coaching business, you may not have any staff or employees that work for you. If you are a salon or any type of other business that belongs in the service industry, you will have staff members. In order to manage your team members properly, you will need a staff scheduling component in the software you choose. With staff scheduling, you are able to set different availability dates and times for each team member. Although a team member may not be scheduled to work one day, your other staff will be able to take in appointments online. A good appointment scheduling software will have a staff schedule module built in.
- Accept Payments Online – An important feature many appointment scheduling softwares
lackis the ability for customers and clients to pay online. This includes paying after the appointment, or even beforehand. The ability to accept payments is huge. The best appointment scheduling software will have the ability for businesses to accept payments online; with security in place. With a scheduling app that allows you to accept payments online, you are able to collect payment before a customers/client books an appointment. This will help reduce no-shows and cancellations.
- Custom Services and Appointment Types – Most appointment scheduling softwares are missing a simple feature. This feature is the option to add your own services.
Customservices and appointment types is a feature for businesses to add the services they provide to their booking page. This allows customers to preselect a service prior to selecting a date and time. What this does is that it helps you filter out dates and times that you cannot provide a specific service. For example, if you only do haircuts from 9 am to 11 am on Monday’s, you can make it so that customers can only book haircuts in that time frame. Customservices and appointment types also help customers and clients know what services your business provides, ahead of time. This eliminates confusion and mix-ups. The best part about this is knowing what your clients are coming in for, in advance.
- 3rd Party Integrations – Third party integrations include using softwares from other companies. This may sound like a “weird” thing but it’s pretty common. It’s simply connecting the appointment scheduling software with another software that provides different functionalities and services. Some 3rd-party integrations include Google Calendar, Microsoft Outlook, and WordPress. There are obviously many more third-party softwares out there, but those are just a few. For example, if you had a company calendar on Google Calendar, you can sync the appointment scheduling calendar with Google Calendar with ease. That way you won’t have duplicates or double bookings. A 3rd-party integration is a simple way of connecting another app to the appointment scheduling software.
- Customer and Client Contacts – Once you have customers booking with you online through the appointment scheduling software, you’re going to want to keep track of and manage those customers/clients. A good scheduling app will have the ability for you to manage and see your customers and clients, all in one place. You can filter and sort through these customers and clients of yours easily.
What to Look for in an Online Appointment Scheduling Software
As we’ve already gone over the features of an online appointment scheduling software, we’re now going to go over what to keep an eye out for when picking a scheduling app.
You already know some of the features to look out for, such as, the ability to accept payments online, appointment reminders, custom appointment types, and much more.
Here are a few things to look for when picking out an online appointment scheduling software:
- Cloud Based – What is
cloud basedcomputing? A cloud basedsoftware is a software platform that is hosted on the internet for you, in which you can access anywhere. An example is Facebook. You can access Facebook from any location. You don’t have to install anything extra on your device; just open your web browser and boom, it’s there! That’s the same thing with a cloud-based appointment scheduling software. You don’t have to find a host to host it for you and you don’t need to worry about installing anything on your computer, phone, or tablet. Just sign up for an account and start going!
- User-Friendly – Is the software user-friendly? Does it provide a clean user interface (UI) for you, your staff, your customers and clients, and your business? How is the usability of the software? Is everything organized on the software? Does the software require extensive training in order for you and your staff to use it? Those are all important questions to keep in mind when picking out a scheduling software.
- Easy to Use – How hard is it to use the software? This kind of goes along with #2 and how user-friendly it is. How long does it take for you and your team to know how to use the software? Will your customers be able to book appointments with ease? As you know, those are all important questions to ask yourself. Don’t worry, because the best appointment schedule software has all of these.
- Dependability and Downtime – When was the last time this software went down? How often does the software website go down? As downtime can cost your business time and money, you want to pick
a softwarethat has the least downtime. Just remember, a good scheduling software will always be there (online) when you need it.
- Cost and Pricing – The cost and price is a huge factor in picking out the best appointment scheduling software. Some scheduling softwares are free, some are a one time cost, and some are subscription based. Here is why we think subscription based scheduling apps are the best. When it comes to software, there will always be security updates, bug fixes, and new features. For subscription-based scheduling softwares, it gives an incentive or motivation for developers to keep up on the new features and security updates, versus one-time payment softwares. Some softwares may cost a few hundred dollars a month per employee, while others may cost only a fraction of that per month. The best types of softwares are freemium softwares, which allows for a free and premium plan.
- Customer Support – When something goes wrong with the software, are you able to easily contact support? How long does it take for the support team to get back to you? If you’re stuck on using the software, it can be really frustrating. You want to reach out to the pros but who are they and where can they be? The appointment scheduling software you need will have different contact options, such as live chat, email, and phone.
Now those are all important things to look for in an appointment scheduling app. Up next, we’ll talk about how to pick the best appointment scheduling software.
How to Pick a Scheduling App for Your Business
There are quite a few scheduling softwares out there and many “claim” to be the best one for your business. The truth is, there is no “best” for your business since every business is different. However there is a “best” for most business, and that software is the most versatile. A tutoring business’ needs for a scheduling software may be completely different than the needs of a dentist. A chiropractor will need a chiropractic software and an acupuncturist will need an acupuncture scheduling software. Whatever the needs are, the best appointment scheduling software will accommodate to most business’ needs. It’s pretty much an all-in-one solution, so to speak.
So how do you really pick the best appointment scheduling software for your business? Easy – the best scheduling software will have all of the things we have talked about previously. Now we get to the good part. We reveal what scheduling software is the best.
What is the Best Appointment Scheduling Software for My Business?
Whether you run a busy salon or a one-person tutoring business, a scheduling software will make your life easier.
The best appointment scheduling software is Set a Time – https://setatime.co. The simple reason is that all the features we have listed above are included. Set a Time has a flexible pricing plan for every business, and it has the features every business needs. More importantly, it’s
From appointment reminders to staff management to online payment processing and acceptance, and more, Set a Time has it all. It deserves to be recognized as the best appointment scheduling software for all businesses.
Want to learn more about scheduling softwares? Here’s a video for you!
We hope you’ve got a few things out of The Best Appointment Scheduling Software – Ultimate Guide. If you have any questions or feedback, we’d love to hear from you in the comments. Leave us a comment below and let’s talk!