What is appointment scheduling software?
Appointment scheduling software lets your customers self-book a meeting or an appointment at ease, without the hassle of back and forth calls/emails/texts. Canceling and rescheduling appointments are effortlessly done through the software as well. It’s more like a fully automated receptionist, that also takes care of sending out reminders for the appointments scheduled.
Exploring different scheduling apps? Here's a glossary of the widely used appointment scheduling terms to get you up to speed.
Are appointment scheduling software paid/free?
It depends on the subscription packages that the appointment scheduling software offers. There are appointment schedulers, like HubSpot Meeting Scheduler, that are free to use. There is also a freemium version that offers both a free plan and premium plan(s). The premium plan(s) have little or no restriction to the features, whereas a free plan would have certain limitations. Here is a comparison of the pricing plans among popular appointment scheduling apps.
Do I or my customers have to download the appointment scheduling software to use?
Good appointment scheduling software makes things simple for you and your business. Because of that, most online scheduling tools are hosted on the cloud (internet) and can be easily accessed with a good internet connection and a browser. A few scheduling apps have a mobile or desktop version that can be downloaded, if you need it.
What is the ROI?
Ideally, when you switch to appointment scheduling software, your investment should save you time and money. When everything becomes automated, you save time. This allows you to focus more on customer meetings and other parts of the business, thereby driving in more revenue. When customer experience and satisfaction improve tremendously, it paves way for more sales, which is the ultimate ROI.
Will shifting to appointment scheduling software help my customers?
Appointment software doesn't just make scheduling easier for businesses—it also helps customers. Customers can access your appointment URL on your website or other platforms where you've mentioned it, and can book the appointment easily. The booking software will also send automatic reminders and notification for appointments to the customers. A business thrives when its customers are happy, and if customers can reach out and schedule an appointment at their convenience, they will be glad to continue doing more business.
Can I use appointment scheduling software if I have more than two work locations?
You can do this by setting up separate appointment pages for each location, then customizing the services you offer and assigning team members to the services accordingly. Each location will have a separate booking page URL that you can send to customers or embed on your website. Zoho Bookings enables you to add different work locations as 'workspaces' and you can list out the services provided under them.
How will my customers know if the appointment got scheduled?
Once customers schedule an appointment, they will land on a booking confirmation page that provides all the details of the booking. They will also receive email or SMS notifications upon booking an appointment. They can also also add the appointment details to their calendars through the confirmation.
How will the software handle bookings if my team members are unavailable on certain days or times during the week?
Almost every booking software will have a feature that lets you customize your availability and your teams. You can specify the time you're available for each day of a week, and also block out days that you may be off, busy, or taking a vacation. Once that's done, the booking software will automatically ensure those times are unavailable to the customers while booking. If the service is managed by more than two team members, then it will attempt to assign that time to an available member.
Can I list conference halls, equipment, and other items for bookings through an online scheduling software?
Yes. Most booking software will have a feature where you can have a bookings page for other services. A hair salon may have a 'grooming kit' listed, a photography rental business may list their equipment and gears individually. Even better, you can collect payment for the resources upon booking as well.
Can I create individual appointment pages for my staff/employees?
Yes. Having individual appointment pages for employees is a necessity for many businesses, and most of the booking systems have this feature available. It allows customers to book with their preferred team member without any hassle, as well as receive personalized email from the team members email address directly. In some booking software, the number of individual pages you can create may be restricted in the free plan compared to the premium plan.
Can I customize my booking page?
Versatile scheduling software enables you to customize the booking page to resonate with your brand. Zoho Bookings allows their customers to customize their scheduling page with templates/colors and make it more personalized. If customization is essential for your business, it's important to choose the scheduling software that allows you to do it.
Will it take me a long time to shift to appointment scheduling software?
Moving from manual scheduling to automated appointment scheduling can feel like a lot of tasks upfront. However, the rewards for doing so will have a positive impact on your business. The time it takes to shift usually depends on the type of business and the number of employees in it. What matters is not the time that it takes to shift, but rather the time you will save after you shift.
Will my data be secure?
Data security and privacy is becoming a crucial aspect in software services. Not all free scheduling software would have the resources to invest in securing your business data or customers' data, while a premium booking software ensures that they give importance to securing your data. It would be a good idea to read through the scheduling software security and privacy policies to get a clear picture before you decide to go with one.
What are the benefits of online appointment scheduling software? Why would I need one?
There are many benefits of appointment scheduling software:
- It eliminates double-booking & no-shows.
- It saves time by eliminating the manual effort to schedule an appointment.
- It allows you and your staff to focus on growing your business.
- It syncs your personal and team calendars.
- It sends automated notifications and reminders via email/SMS to you and your customers.
- It allows you to collect payments hassle-free.
What are the popular apps available in the market?
Plenty of booking software is available in the market, all unique in their own way. To name a few, the most popular and trusted ones are Zoho Bookings, Calendly, Acuity Scheduling, Setmore, and Appointy. It's a good idea to research the different software out there and choose the right fit for your business.
How do I know if my business needs appointment scheduling software?
If you or your employees are constantly dwelling on calendars, searching for appointment details, or losing time while scheduling and organizing, rather than actually preparing for the meeting and focusing on sales, then it’s a good decision to switch to an online booking system.
Will this software help me stay ahead of my competition?
The moment you switch to online booking software for your business, you are already one step ahead of your competitors. As you save time and effort, translating that, into business action, your business is bound to outperform compared to others. Appointment schedulers will also provide you with a booking page, which will help your business look more professional. This feature is part of Zoho Bookings where it allows you to customize your bookings page with different color schemes, background image and titles that will match your brand image.
Can I use online scheduling software if I have a small customer base?
Absolutely! As long as you have customers meet or schedule you or your employees frequently, switching to booking software will do a world of wonders for your business. It opens up new opportunities to attract potential leads to your business, and eventually add to your clientele.
How will customers book with me?
All customers need is the URL of your booking page. Zoho Bookings enables you to customize the URL with your own business domain, which helps lend credibility to your service. You can embed it to your website as a separate webpage for booking/scheduling an appointment/meeting. You can also make sure that the URL is available on social media platforms, email signatures, and scheduling an appointment is just a click away. Also you can manually schedule customers' appointment into the booking software on their behalf if necessary.
Can my customers schedule a group booking?
This is no problem. In addition to one-on-one appointments, scheduling software allows you to make group bookings, which can be used for group consultations (such as online class or conference). You can also customize the number of people who can join, the timing, and the fee for the booking.
If my customers are in different time zones, how will appointment times be synced?
Regardless of the geographical location, time zone conversions will be handled by the online scheduling software. When a customer schedules an appointment from different time zones, the time will automatically be converted according to the time zone your business operates from. This will be synced with your calendar accordingly. Most scheduling software does offer timezone conversions, but Zoho Bookings goes a step further by taking daylight savings into account when syncing the timing for the appointment. It also has a feature that offers to translate your booking page content to the language from the area the customer is based from while booking.
What are the popular tools that appointment scheduling software integrates with?
Integration with other business apps makes your job easier. The list of integration possibilities is endless. You can also use Zapier to connect your booking software to 3000+ tools.
The most popular integrations are:
- Video conferencing: Zoom, Zoho Meeting, Google meet, GoToMeeting
- Calendars: Google Calendar, Zoho Calendar, Outlook Calendar
- CRM: Salesforce, Zoho CRM, Hubspot
- Team collaboration: Slack, Microsoft Teams
- SMS: Nexmo, Hoiio
Will booking software help my team and departments to work together?
Online booking software saves plenty of time that was being spent on manual scheduling and follow-ups on appointments. Once employees start using appointment schedulers, communication, workflow, and collaboration among employees will continue to increase.
Can I receive payments through online scheduling software?
Yes. Most of the appointment scheduling software on the market has a feature that enables you to add a payment option to receive payments from your customers upon scheduling an appointment. Paypal and Stripe are two of the most popular integrations with booking software. If you are a service-based business owner and the payment option is a key necessity, make sure you research different appointment schedulers before selecting one.
Can customers get to see other booking details or information?
No. A good online booking system should protect and respect customers' privacy. Once your customer has booked a time, they will only be able to access your appointment page. They won't be able to see other customers' booking information or details.
We think we’ve covered the most common questions about appointment scheduling software, if you have other queries feel free to drop a mail to email@example.com
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