If you run a business that relies on client appointments, you know how much effort it takes to plan and manage the calendar. Clients, customers, or patients contact you asking for an appointment, and you have to figure out when it can work. It only gets more complicated when you have to slot in emergency bookings, reschedule someone on short notice, or cut your losses for no-shows. There’s no need to do this work manually, however, because appointment scheduling apps can do it for you, and they can do it with greater ease and fewer headaches.
The Best Appointment Scheduling Apps
- Acuity Scheduling (Android, iOS, Web)
- Appointlet (Web)
- Gigabook (Android, iOS, Web)
- ScheduleOnce (Web)
- Setmore (Android, iOS, macOS, Web, Windows)
- SimplyBook (Web)
- Square Appointments (iOS, Web)
- SuperSaas (Web)
- vCita (Android, iOS, Web)
What is an Appointment Scheduling App?
Appointment scheduling apps are business tools that allow clients to book, reschedule, and cancel appointments through a web interface. When clients want to make an appointment, they go to your business’s website, Facebook page, or anywhere else the technology is supported, and choose an available date and time. It’s just like making a restaurant reservation online. The difference, from the business’s point of view, is that restaurant booking apps work specifically for restaurants, whereas if you run a salon, medical office, or consulting firm, your needs will be quite different.
On the back end, you enter parameters about when people can book certain services, based on business hours you set as well as the times and dates that your staff or other resources are available. The app also prevents double booking and over booking. Additionally, it gives you flexibility to block off times when certain services may be unavailable. Say you run a pet grooming business and your poodle cutting specialist takes a two-week vacation. You can enter her days off in the appointment scheduling app ahead of time so that your clients won’t be able to book any poodle grooming time during the days that she’s gone.
What Makes a Great Appointment Scheduling App?
Appointment scheduling apps do more than simply give clients a list of available times when they can come in for a meeting, treatment, or service. These apps also let your clientele cancel and reschedule appointments without having to contact you. Additionally, they make it easy for business owners and managers to do their jobs. Here’s what should expect from the very best appointment scheduling apps:
Flexibility. Your business is one of a kind. The best appointment scheduling apps know that different kinds of organizations have different needs. Therefore, they let you deeply customize how your bookings work. A small gym offering one-on-one training sessions should have a different booking experience than a community workshop that rents gardening equipment. Do you want your clients to be able to choose a menu of services? Should they be able to specify the location for their appointment, such as for services offered at the home? The best appointment scheduling apps let you customize these aspects.
Calendar syncing. Nearly all appointment scheduling apps let you sync with a calendar. Some even require it. That way, you can see your business’s scheduled appointments alongside other important information, such as days when you’ll be closed for holidays or renovations.
Payment processing. The best appointment scheduling apps let you collect a payment at the time of booking. That way, you can take a deposit before for an appointment or have clients pay for their services upfront. If a client doesn’t show up, your business isn’t at a total loss. Plus, in some industries, having clients pay before their appointment keeps the business running more smoothly and results in a happier customer experience.
Multiple points of access. Once you set up an appointment scheduling service, how will your clients access it? The best apps give you options. Likely you’ll want to embed some code into your website to display the appointment scheduler, but you might also prefer a custom URL with all the booking tools in one place. Maybe you have a Facebook business page but no other website. In that case, you’ll want to be able to integrate the booking tools on Facebook. Whatever your situation, the more options the better.
One final consideration in choosing the best appointment scheduling apps was to make sure not to confuse them with meeting scheduling apps. Meeting scheduling apps share some similarities with appointment scheduling apps, in that both put the power of booking an appointment into the hands of the people you need to meet. The key difference is that meeting apps are specifically for meetings, whereas appointment scheduling apps are for a variety of appointment types that may or may not include a menu of services but almost always require payment at the end.
Jeffery Adolor is a web developer and a Techie, interested in writing and deploying web application and leveraging on computer languages to help solve computational problems and help promote businesses, also a vibrant digital marketer and strategist, active and leveraging on available Platform to help promote businesses through social media and search engines