Figures show that millennials' online booking rate has increased to 6.7% in 2019, and it’s easy to see why.
Imagine, you made the manager of your team or finally started your dream company after a long wait. Your work schedule is now choc-a-bloc with trying to manage new clients, training a new team, and building your brand. Mistakes and oversights will happen.
Sounds familiar? Well, let me assure you, you aren't the only one. In fact, a lot of seasoned players face these issues almost every day. The secret to their seamless and effective management formula is, their use of the best scheduling software available.
Moving from the world of messy manual calendars to scheduling software will not only make it easier for you to juggle meetings and appointments but also help you organize your busy schedule.
The right scheduling tool helps you manage your professional time without cutting into your personal life.
It is efficient, cost-effective, increases productivity, and frees resources that can be utilized elsewhere. In fact, appointment scheduling software market is expected to grow and reach $546.31 million by 2026.
Use online scheduling software to stay synced with your employees on all fronts and keep them updated on your availability or appointments without the hassle of a chain email. It makes the job easier by enabling seamless and effective communication.
Let's take a deeper dive into what exactly a scheduling software is.
What is Scheduling Software?
A scheduling software is a tech solution for businesses to handle appointments and schedule meetings through software that organizes and manages on your behalf.
Significant tasks that a scheduling software does for you are –
- Scheduling – It oversees customer as well as staff scheduling. The shared calendar shows customers available time slots for a booking, while the standard staff calendar helps you stay updated on your staff's routine.
- Quick Real-time Response – Thanks to their automated real-time engine, you can accept or decline a booking or schedule, or instantly cancel a meeting.
- Alerts and Reminders – It makes it easy for you to notify your clients regarding an upcoming appointment or a cancellation via text messages or emails.
- Promotions – Some software come with in-built marketing tools to promote or advertise attractive offers and deals.
- Online Transactions – Some appointment scheduling software integrate with payment gateways, allowing customers to pay during a booking itself, making the whole process more direct and cleaner.
There is a wide range of scheduling software programs to choose from. However, all of them can be broadly categorized into two kinds, namely -
- Web-based (SaaS) – With web-based services, you have a third-party provider. You have access to an online portal where your customers can easily book and cancel appointments according to their convenience.
- Desktop Application – They are licensed and have to be installed in your PC's hardware. A downside is that you get limited features as the application can only be updated by the end-user who supports and maintains it.
The current market is overflowing with newer, better, savvier technologies with a significant edge over competitors. And all businesses, big or small, are in line to ride on the coat-tails of these innovations to keep them a step ahead on the corporate ladder.
So why should you fall behind?
To help you stay ahead in the race, we have compiled a list of the crème de la crème of scheduling software for businesses. Let's have a look.
What is the Best Scheduling Software for Businesses?
Calendly is a cloud-based software that books and manages appointments or meetings between businesses, clients, and colleagues. It even allows users to set availability and sends an invite link for the meeting. It is one of the best appointment scheduling software for small businesses as it is cost-effective and extremely easy to use.
Pros – Can easily be integrated with other applications such as Google Calendar, Office 365, GoToMeeting, Salesforce, PayPal, etc.
Cons – Some users have issues regarding its lack of features to find the best time for a meeting between multiple people.
Price – Starting from $8 per month to $12 per month. You can request a custom price specific to your business.
X.ai (now acquired by Bizzabo) is one of the best AI scheduling software that seamlessly integrates with your calendars and provides you with an ideal meeting time after reviewing your availability. You can share these time links or ask Amy or Andrew, the AI assistants, to do it for you. It manages cancellations and reschedules, and also sends follow-ups and reminders.
The virtual assistants can be instructed to fix an appointment by simply starting a paragraph with their name. For example, “Amy/Andrew schedule a Skype meeting with John of XYZ.” The AI bots make sure the event is incorporated in your calendar with all the details and a reminder sent on time.
Pros – It handles the tedious part of scheduling by finding a suitable time on your behalf. It also Integrates with other essential tools such as Google, Outlook, Slack and Zoom.
Cons – It may take a new user some time to understand how it functions. You can read the FAQs on the site for quicker and better comprehension.
Price – It has a basic free version. The paid version starts from $8 per month per person to $12 per month for the whole team.
Appointy comes in handy when you want to grow your business and increase productivity. It can manage a large number of employees and locations with ease. It sends automated reminders through email and SMS and can aid in the swift implementation of customer loyalty programs. It has an easy interface and integrates with all major calendars and synchronizes with all time zones.
Pros – It has really responsive customer support services with a live chat feature.
Cons – There are no options to change the design of the calendar. The software itself could do with a design that is more appealing and attractive to professionals.
Price – It starts from $19.99 per month to $79.99 per month. It also offers a 14-day free trial.
BookedIn is a web-based software that does a range of other tasks, apart from managing bookings, such as marketing and payment management and customization. Best part? It is 24/7 accessible from anywhere in the world.
Pros – It has a business webpage and directory list, which provides you with an effective way to reach out to new customers and helps with social media marketing.
Cons – Some features don't translate from web to phone, forcing users to switch on their desktops every time they need to work.
Price – Starts from $20 per month to $65 per month. Offers free trial.
MINDBODY is a cloud-based appointment scheduling, waitlist management app, and more designed for the management of salons, spas, yoga studios, massage, and wellness centers.
Pros – It has a built-in marketing feature that helps attract new customers while keeping the existing ones engaged.
Cons – It is a bit pricey compared to its competitors, making it difficult for small business owners to use.
Price - It starts from $129 per month; the cost goes up according to the features you add.
Engagebay is not only an appointment scheduling solution but wears other hats and provides solutions for sales, marketing, and service issues as well.
Pros – It syncs appointments from Google calendars and Office 365. It also notifies clients of upcoming meetings.
Cons – Its features are relatively limited, making it unsuitable for medium-sized or bigger businesses.
Price – It is free for up to 15 users. The paid version charges start from $8.99 per user per month.
7. Starfish CONNECT
Starfish is a cloud-based appointment booking schedule. It allows students to set up meetings with their advisors.
It has features such as outcome reporting and student folders for notes and presentations. Best scheduling software in the market for students.
Pros – It has integration with other course management system like Moodle, WebCT, ANGEL, Blackboard and is really easy to learn
Cons – Some feel that it has privacy issues due to alerts that are sent publicly.
Price – It charges a license fee starting at $5000 per license.
Timely not only books appointments for you but also provides you with financial and staff reports. It also helps create a perfect client outline with bookings, payments, gift vouchers, automated text, email messages, and targeted SMS campaigns.
Pros – It is an excellent tool with language features (Spanish and Russian) at an affordable price.
Cons – Some may find the overload of features overwhelming.
Price – It starts from $15 per month. It has an additional feature of custom pricing available for companies with 20 plus staff.
Wix is a website building software with a scheduling software, Wix Booking. It lets your clients book appointments and services and pay online as well. It has marketing tools that SEO and makes you visible on Google. It also has a video maker for your social media promotion!
Pros – You have a wide variety of templates to choose from, and it also provides you with tips to grow your business.
Cons – At times has technical issues that cause the website to lag.
Price – There is a free version with limited features, but in the end, you will HAVE to upgrade to premium; otherwise, you cannot accept bookings or payments. Other plans start from $23 per month.
Acuity is a highly functional scheduling software with a user-friendly interface. It offers online transaction options, including PayPal and Stripe. It helps the clients keep a tab on their everyday schedules and strike out any miscommunication.
Pros – It is very well designed with an option to book appointments through social media accounts as well.
Cons – The mobile application is trickier to navigate.
Price – Starts from $15 per month to $50 per month. Free trial is available.
Bitrix24 is equipped with many collaborative and integrative features, making it suitable for all business types. It is powered by WebDAV document libraries and uses it to centralize tasks, assignments, and activities.
Pros – Bitrix24 allows you to share files with other users.
Cons – Interface is a little complicated, making it a little difficult to use all available features.
Price – It starts from FREE for one user to $119.40 per month for unlimited users.
SimplyBook.me is a fantastic appointment scheduling software for service businesses. You can easily make a booking through your social media pages and make payments in an instant. It sends confirmation through text and email with an option to cancel at any time.
Pros – Integration with Google Analytics helps track visitors and engagement.
Cons – Has limited templates.
Price – It starts from $9.90 per month to $59.90, depending on the package you select. 14-day free trial available.
SuperSaaS is the best kind of meeting scheduling software. Whether you want to arrange one-on-ones, group meetings, or make reservations, SuperSaaS is what you go for. It easily integrates with a lot of third-party tools.
Pros – It has automatic adjustments for time zones.
Cons – The calendar has a single design.
Price – It is free for up to 50 appointments, starting from $8 per month to $46 per month.
Setmore is a robust scheduling software, especially for small businesses and individual entrepreneurs. It is highly compatible with a plethora of devices like laptops, tablets, and mobile phones.
You can give access to your employees to manage meetings and appointments. By listing your availability on an online booking page, customers can self-book appointments, and get reminders.
Pros – A prompt and responsive customer support. Has optimized faster transactions.
Cons – The user interface could do with a more contemporary upgrade.
Price – You have an option to use it for FREE or upgrade to other plans and pay $5 or $9 per user monthly.
Bookwhen comes with a slew of unique features like customized booking forums, exporting your appointments into an excel sheet, and integration with many other platforms.
Pros – It is available in a wide range of languages like Spanish, French, German, English, Dutch, Swedish, Italian, Danish, etc.
Cons – The biggest issue is that one cannot reschedule appointments and customer support is only available on weekdays.
Price – It is free for up to 50 appointments, starting from $15 per month to $59 per month.
Use Fireflies with Your Scheduling Tools
Now that you’re scheduling a large number of meetings with your desired scheduling tool, it’s time to streamline your workflow even further.
With Fireflies, you can have our AI assistant automatically take notes and transcribe all these meetings.
If you’re using a scheduling tool like Calendly and include a video-conferencing link, Fireflies will be able to join that meeting and take notes for you. Because Fireflies connects with Google Calendar or Outlook Calendar, it can quickly parse the events and join the meeting to transcribe it.
You can also have the scheduling tool send an invite to our AI assistant email@example.com. Fireflies will then be able to parse the invite and join the meeting.
Not only are you able to automate the meeting scheduling process with your favorite scheduling tool, but you can also automate the note-taking process for the meetings using Fireflies.
We’ve made Fireflies compatible and flexible so that it easily fits into your workflow no matter what web-conferencing platform you are using. Try now! The basic version is absolutely free.
Clyde Desouza, the author of 'Think in 3D', said,
"Technology is not evolving anymore. Technology is the evolution".
Now, we need not repeat what the father of evolution, Charles Darwin, said about survival, right? Help this fantastic software help you become the “fittest” of them all!