Is it time for you to retire the old paper-based appointment book? It might seem scary to you as you venture into the world of software-based appointment scheduling and calendars. Scheduling is a powerful tool to keep your productivity at its highest levels. There are many things you need to know about appointment scheduling.
Choosing the right software will be the foundation of your business, so it is important that you pick the right one for your needs. Not all software is created equally and you’ll need to be aware of what features are important to you.
Many appointment scheduling programs are going to offer features such as:
- Employee management
- Calendar integration
- Customer management
- Appointment reminders
- Mobile capability
These features are going to be the key to improving overall efficiency in your company. While this is not meant to be an exhaustive list of appointment scheduling software, here are a few companies you’ll want to add to your list.
This simple scheduling option allows clients to view the real-time availability of the company. In addition, it is simple to book your necessary appointments.
Imagine the time it saves not having to continue manually scheduling all the appointments. On top of that, the calendar coordination feature will notify you when there is an upcoming appointment booked. You can even check it on your mobile device wherever you are.
Acuity Scheduling is compatible with Google Calendar, Outlook, Office 365, and iCalendar. The ideal client would be a small or mid-size business that is trying to be more efficient than its competitors.
Some of the features offered in Acuity Scheduling include customized reminders, online payments through Paypal and other common companies, as well as integration with Quickbooks and MailChimp.
You can try Acuity Scheduling for free and see if you like the features. Then, monthly plans range from $15 to $50 depending what your needs are.
- Mobile access to calendar
- Compatible with many software programs
- Customized reminders
- Reasonable pricing
- Needs picture integration
- Can’t set up multiple payment options per user
This multi-functional, platform offers a strong focus on social media integration. They’ve been praised for their customer service capability. Many customers have also found it to be easy to use, even with no previous knowledge of this type of software.
At the business or pro level, you can expect to find many features that are sure to work for your company. Some of these include customization, reporting tools, customer relationship management, and business analytic tools.
Appointy also offers WordPress integration, Google Calendar sync, Paypal integration, as well as social media compatibility with Facebook and Twitter.
They offer a free version so you could give it a try before paying for it, but this option won’t have all the features unlocked. If you find that the free version doesn’t offer enough flexibility for you, they also have plans for $19.99 or $39.99 a month, depending on your needs.
- Many features and customization
- Free plan available
- Easy to use
- Offers integration with many platforms
- Customer service can be lacking
- Sometimes issues with Google Calendar sync
Versum is a scheduling software geared specifically toward the hair and beauty industry. It helps the owner to acquire more customers, streamline daily operations, improve overall efficiency, and build customer loyalty. You can remotely access the software with any internet-enabled device so you have control any time of the day or night.
They do offer a 14-day trial period to test out the software, but there are no free plans. After the trial, you would need to sign up for an account that ranges from $25 to $109 per month.
- Specifically designed for the beauty industry
- Great customer service
- Allows the ability to send newsletters to customers
- Stylists can see their schedule from home
- Software automatically figures the time needed without options for gaps
- No credit card payment support
Over 37,000 small businesses currently use 10to8 scheduling software for their needs. You can automatically send SMS or email reminders as well as track your client’s history. The software allows clients to book their own time slots and offers payment through PayPal or Stripe.
Sync the software with Google Calendar, iCal, or Outlook and secure it all with top-notch encryption. The setup takes less than two minutes plus it will work with iPhone, iPad, Android or over the Internet.
For up to 100 appointments a month, the software is completely free. If you find that your needs are more than that, you’ll pay anywhere from $9.60 to $40 a month.
- Free for light users
- Plenty of features
- Sends reminders to clients which reduces no-shows
- Mobile capability
- Clients can’t sign up for a series of appointments
- Customer service is slow to respond
Generally, this software is geared mainly toward massage therapists or beauty consultants. It eliminates the no-shows or late clients with easy to use features. With the convenient online appointment booking and ability to take payments, you can expect less stress and more time. In addition, it helps to provide great customer service to your clients.
There is a free 30-day trial so you can test drive the software. After that, monthly plans range from $29 to $89. They do offer a discount if a plan is paid for annually.
- Easy to use
- Designed for the massage and beauty industry specifically
- Online appointment booking
- Easy to use payment options
- Can’t set up recurring appointments
- Lacks branding options
Choosing the right scheduling software doesn’t have to be as complicated as it seems. Many of the programs we reviewed offer a free trial period. This gives you plenty of time to try out each program that interests you and to make a decision on what will be the best scheduling software for your small business.