3 Reliable Appointment Scheduling Apps for Small Businesses

According to data released by Bookedin.com, in 2019 46% of appointments made using their software were made by clients while 54% were made by a business's employees. 82% of clients use smartphones to book appointments, 16% use desktops, and 2% use tablets[1]. If you run a small business that relies heavily on appointments and booking, then you should consider investing in robust appointment scheduling software. In this article, we will look at 3 highly recommended appointment scheduling apps for small businesses. Below are some examples of businesses that require scheduling:

  • Hair & beauty salons
  • Medical practices
  • Tattoo parlors
  • Photographers
  • Driving schools
  • Spa services, etc

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What is appointment scheduling software?

Appointment scheduling software can be used by your clients as well as employees to book. reschedule or cancel appointments with your business via an online platform. Depending on the software you choose, the interface can be integrated into your website, social media pages, or any other type of platform supported by the software.
You will be able to define the parameters that govern the ability of employees and clients to book or change appointments. You can define the time when your business is open and customize when specific services offered are available. The software will prevent double or overbooking without the need for manual intervention. You will even have the ability to temporarily block certain services. For example, if you run a salon and your colorist is on leave, you can block people from booking appointments with the colorist. Often the software will even allow you to customize the message that people see when they try to book a service or a time this is not available. Some appointment booking apps also have the ability to process payments or will integrate with your existing POS system and payment gateway.

Thus, appointment scheduling apps and software are crucial for businesses that rely on bookings. They reduce the amount of time and effort required to manage complex schedules. Any negative consequences due to human error are minimized as your employees will not be responsible for ensuring appointments are added to calendars or to confirm available slots, the software will do this in real time.

Benefits of appointment scheduling apps

Flexibility

Good scheduling software will have features that provide your business with flexibility. You will be able to customize how bookings work to suit your business's needs. Do you want clients to be able to choose the service as well as who will be performing the service? Should they be able to choose a location for the appointment? Do you want to block clients from changing appointment details 24 hours before the scheduled time? Customization allows you to create a solution that is tailored to your needs without the expensive undertaking of developing your own software.

Reduce cost & increase productivity

Conventional appointment scheduling methods are time-consuming and resource-intensive. With the help of scheduling apps, a single person can easily manage bookings for your business. This allows you to reduce cost as fewer resources are required to manage your business's calendar. The time that employees save by not having to deal with appointment management will lead to increased productivity

Quality user experience

Scheduling solutions often support more than one platform. This means that your clients will be able to engage with your business through their preferred channel i.e social media, your website, or even a messaging service like WhatsApp. Clients will be able to easily see what services you offer, what appointment times are available, and can book as per their convenience. A system that is well set up will allow users to also choose their preferences like location, the employee or doctor they want the appointment with, the type of materials they want to use, etc. This creates a very positive user experience for clients. Your businesses will come across as professional and high quality. It lays the foundation for a strong customer relationship.

3 recommended appointment scheduling apps

  1. SimplyBook.me
  2. Setmore
  3. Appointlet

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Sources:
1. A. Eira, n.d. '74 Basic Appointment Scheduling Statistics: 2020/2021 Data Analysis & Market Share', Finances Online [available online] available from: https://financesonline.com/appointment-scheduling-statistics/ [accessed Apr 2021]