If you are in the service business or any business that needs to schedule appointments. These software providers can help.
They allow your staff and your customers to see when you are available and book a time to talk or meet.
Caroline Goldstein does a great job of reviewing six options you have.
6 Best Appointment Scheduling Software for 2019
By Caroline Goldstein www.fundera.com View Original
If you’re in the service industry, you can’t operate your business optimally without a highly organized appointment scheduling system. But luckily for those businesses without the budget to hire a dedicated administrative assistant, there are tons of excellent, easy-to-use appointment-scheduling software programs available.
There are so many reasons to consider outsourcing your appointment scheduling to a software program. Beyond helping you reclaim valuable time previously spent away from running your business or serving your customers, using appointment scheduling software can increase staff productivity and improve your client experience—both of which are crucial for attracting and maintaining repeat customers.
So, in no particular order, here are the six best appointment scheduling software on the market.
To narrow down this list, we’ve only chosen the software with the highest customer ratings, the best user experiences, and which are usable for businesses across industries and sizes.
Setmore receives nearly perfect starred reviews across most review sites, and for good reason. This cloud-based app is not only an easy-to-use scheduling tool with an intuitive drag-and-drop function, but it comes with additional team-management features, too.
Key features include:
- Assign a staff member, service, and client notes to each appointment
- Staff members can manage their own calendars
- Send customers and staff customizable appointment reminders via SMS and email
- Accessible via browser or smartphone
- Schedule classes with multiple customers
- Accept online payments with Stripe integration
- Integrations with social platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Slack
- Syncs with Google, Outlook, and Office 365 calendars
If you’re looking for a streamlined, no-fuss, but powerful appointment scheduling software, you can’t go wrong with Setmore. But that’s especially true if you’re a very small business, as Setmore is free for up to 20 users. For businesses with greater scheduling volume, Setmore’s Premium plan is $25 per month—still a reasonable price to pay for a personal assistant with 24/7 availability.
Square Appointments offers individual or small teams of service providers the intuitive, streamlined technology they’ve come to expect from their Square POS. Some of those user-friendly features include:
- Customers can book online only during the times you set, with time automatically opened or blocked off from your synced Google calendar
- Automatically send reminder emails and texts to clients
- View employee schedules across multiple locations
- View customer history (including purchase history and any notes)
- Embed booking widget to your website and social platforms
It should also come as no surprise that this cloud-based software has a baked-in point of sale system: With Square Appointments, you can easily accept payments; manage your inventory;, adjust prices for tax, tips, and discounts; and view sales reports, among other capabilities you’d find in your Square POS.
Square Appointment is free for individuals, though it gets pricier for businesses with employees: They charge $50/month for businesses with two-five employees, and $90 per month for 6-10 employees. You’ll need to contact Square for a quote if you have more than 10 employees.
Acuity Scheduling has many of the same core features as the previous two appointment scheduling software options on this list, but where they set themselves apart is in their robust customer-facing solutions.
When they schedule a session, your customer will digitally complete an intake form so you can gather important information about them ahead of their appointment. You can also offer packages, memberships, group classes, subscriptions, certificates, and add on additional services to give your clients even more optionality. Customers can pay instantly when they schedule, too.
Other Acuity Scheduling features include:
- Synced calendars automatically update with new appointments
- Integration with other digital tools, like QuickBooks, Google Analytics, and MailChimp
- Manage multiple schedules from one place
- Customer reviews cite excellent Acuity customer service
Acuity Scheduling is one of the few HIPAA-compliant appointment scheduling services currently on the market, so this may be the safest option for healthcare providers.
Pricing is reasonable, too. Acuity has a free option for one-person businesses, but with limited capabilities. Otherwise, they offer a $15 per month plan for solopreneurs at a single location, a $25 per month plan for managing six calendars, or a $50 per month plan for 36 calendars.
GigaBook is probably the most customizable appointment scheduling software on this list. Users can specify the staff, room, and equipment necessary for each appointment slot, and factor prep and breakdown time into each appointment so that your staff can plan their time properly. (Some customer reviews do say that there’s a learning curve when you’re first setting up GigaBook, however, as there are a ton of features to navigate.)
In addition to these detail-oriented scheduling capabilities, with GigaBook you can:
- Use GigaBook’s project management tool and to-do lists
- View and download customized reports that track your growth
- Accept payments through Stripe, PayPal, Authorize.net, or Braintree
- Integrate with QuickBooks
- Sync up your personal calendar with Google Calendar, Office 365, or Outlook
- Offer add-on products to your appointments
Solo accounts start at $12 per month when paid annually, and an additional $7 per month to add staff or resources. If you’d like a custom booking system, you can contact GigaBook and they’ll design one for you.
If you’re keen on interacting with your clients at every opportunity (as most small business owners likely are!), 10to8 offers one more channel for gaining valuable customer feedback.
Like other appointment scheduling software, 10to8 allows you to send automated appointment reminders, but here clients can respond to your messages to confirm, cancel, or request appointment changes. You can send messages via SMS, email, Facebook, Slack, or right from the chat feature on your 10to8 dashboard.
Here are a few more 10to8 features:
- Customize client communications to align with your brand
- Accept payments with Stripe, PayPal, and SagePay, without paying an additional fee
- Manually set your availability, or link up with your personal character
- Assign specific staff and rooms to appointment slots
- View custom reports that track your growth
10to8 has five plans, designed to suit businesses in a range of sizes and which increase in features: Small Business is free, Basic is $9.60 per month, Grow is $20 per month, Bigger Business is $40 per month, and Enterprise is a bespoke solution with varying prices.
Appointy is an online appointment scheduling software that enables users to schedule appointments (of course), classes, workshops, events, tours, rides, activities—essentially, however you offer services to your clients, Appointy lets your clients schedule it. Appointy has a huge suite of customization options, too, which increase with each plan.
Here are just a few of Appointy’s robust capabilities:
- Integration with your website and social media accounts
- List your services on Google Reserve
- Create gift cards, discounts, and deals
- Add additional services to your appointments
- Accept prepayments with Stripe, PayPal, and Authorize.net
- Customize your SMS and email reminders to clients
Appointy offers four plan tiers which, as we mentioned, increase in capabilities (and there are a lot of potential capabilities). The Free plan is suitable for the smallest businesses with under 100 appointments per month. After that, the Growth plan is $19.99 per month, Professional is $49.99 per month, and Enterprise—which is best for businesses with multiple locations—is $79.99 per month.
Which Appointment Scheduling Software Is Right for You?
As we mentioned, the six appointment scheduling software applications listed here can suit most small businesses, regardless of size or industry. But if you’re in a certain service-based industry, you can always target your search according to your industry and its particular scheduling needs.
For instance, MINDBODY is a popular appointment app for health and wellness businesses, Calendly works well for teachers and advisors, and Shedul is a free appointment scheduling software program for spas and salons. If you’re in the healthcare industry, be sure that whichever scheduling software you choose is HIPAA compliant.
Also, it makes sense to choose the software whose features you and your staff actually need and feel comfortable using. For some, that may mean a simple and streamlined appointment scheduling tool, like Square Appointments. But other businesses may need the bells and whistles that a tool like GigaBook or Appointy offer, especially if you need to keep track of several rooms, staff, and resources when scheduling your services.
But remember that all of the appointment scheduling software choices listed here, and many that aren’t, offer either free plans or free trial periods. Take advantage of this free appointment scheduling software (or free at least through the trial period) to test out several tools, then settle on the software that works best for you, your staff, and your customers.
With these six appointment scheduling software options, you can outsource complex, time-intensive (and, frankly, unexciting!) scheduling tasks to your laptop or smartphone. That way, you can spend more of your time taking care of your clients. Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.