Choosing the Best Appointment Scheduling Tool for Your Business
Accurately and efficiently managing your business’s appointments is no small task. Businesses, especially small businesses, often face some difficulty when it comes to juggling all of the many facets of appointment scheduling.
This includes not just booking the appointments themselves, but dealing with no-shows, wait lists, rebookings, and emergency appointments. It’s enough to confuse anyone, let alone front desk employees who already have a lot of other things on their to-do lists.
Fortunately, there’s a better way to manage your business’s appointments than just tackling it on your own and hoping for the best. Appointment booking software can help take a lot of the work off of your hands, automating your schedule so that you can focus on other pressing needs.
What is appointment scheduling software?
An appointment scheduling app is a web-based tool that enables clients to schedule, cancel, and rebook their appointments online.
Similar to making a reservation at a restaurant, clients can access the app through a link you provide on your website, in an email, or on your social media pages. From there, they can view available dates and times and choose the best slot for their schedule. Through online appointment booking, they can also modify their appointment as needed, canceling it entirely or moving it to another available slot.
The benefit for your business is that you can spend less time managing appointments on the back end, and more time ensuring that when clients do walk through the door they have the best experience possible.
How to choose the best appointment booking app for your business
The appointment app you choose to use can make an enormous difference in your day-to-day operations. And to help you pick the right fit, we’ve outlined three key steps to choosing the appointment scheduling tool that will work best for your business.
- Determine what your needs are
Different scheduling tools are built for different types of businesses. If you’re running a legal firm, for example, you’re probably going to be looking at different software solutions than if you were running a restaurant or a hair salon.
As you start to research your options, look at the features of different appointment apps and see if they meet your needs. So if you only offer certain services on certain days or times, you’ll need a tool that allows you to designate when appointments for those services can and cannot be booked. Other features that may be important to your business include the ability to set up a unique online scheduling calendar for each of your providers, or the ability to automatically send over certain forms to clients that are relevant to the type of service they have just booked.
- Check your system requirements
You don’t want to find your ideal appointment setting app only to discover that it won’t work on your existing devices. When you’re choosing a scheduling tool for your business, be sure to take into account any system requirements that will dictate which tools will or will not work for you. If your business only uses Apple products, for example, you’ll need a scheduling app that’s compatible with the IOS operating system. The same goes if you can only use an app that works on Android. Alternately, you could just go with an entirely web-based system.
Other things you’ll want to pay attention to when researching options: how many appointments the app can help facilitate (and whether it’s enough for your business), how many devices the app can run on at one time (important if you’re scheduling appointments for more than one office branch), and whether the tool will also collect deposits for you, if that’s a feature you’re looking for.
- Compare and contrast
There are a lot of good scheduling apps out there, and chances are that as you narrow down your choices you’re still going to be left with quite a few options. Figure out what those are, and then start to dig into the details that will affect your bottom line. Things like price and value, customer service capabilities and ease of onboarding should all factor in.
Before you commit to a platform, see if it’s possible to try out a week for free. This will help you determine whether the interface and features of a particular scheduling tool are truly right for your business without having to make any sort of initial investment.
Whatever app you ultimately choose for your business, you’ll quickly realize that the benefits of an appointment scheduling tool are well worth putting in the time to research and compare your options. To get you started, we invite you to check out our own intuitive scheduling tool, which works with Google calendars or other web-based calendars to get your appointments scheduled quickly and seamlessly.