When it comes to small businesses, especially those run by single entrepreneurs, appointment scheduling can be difficult. To run a business successfully, one must maintain a proper work schedule, coordinate between the various fronts, and execute plans accordingly.
Although in today’s world, with several apps presenting their various features, choosing ‘the best appointment scheduling app for small businesses is subjective and dependent upon the needs of the company.
What are the requisites of the best appointment scheduling app for small businesses?
There are several parameters that an appointment scheduling app should satisfy to be considered ideal for small businesses. These include the following;
- Availability across platforms: The best appointment scheduling app for small businesses should be available across multiple platforms. This includes Windows, Linux, Android, iOS, and other operating system platforms. It allows users across all these platforms to access the services the business provides with a seamless and hassle-free experience.
- Syncing with external calendars: This is paramount for the best appointment scheduling app for small businesses. The feature allows the scheduled appointments to be synced across all the devices the company uses to run its services. It eliminates multiple bookings across the same period, resulting in more efficient appointment scheduling.
- Well-designed booking page: The booking page is the customer and client interface that offers the chance to book various services. The booking page should provide ease of accessibility to the customers for a better experience.
- Notifications and alerts: The app should send regular and timely notifications to the businesses so that the entrepreneurs do not miss any necessary appointments or may reschedule in case of conflicting timelines. This allows the company and the customer to prepare for unforeseen circumstances that can be avoided and eliminate the hassle and untoward experience of last-minute rescheduling or cancellations.
- In-built online meeting features: All small or large businesses wish to expand their markets and build their company to have a global outreach. Thus, the online meeting feature should be built-in into the appointment scheduling apps, so that they can communicate with clients all across the globe, and to remote locations in their own country, without having to attend the meetings physically. This is a desirable feature for any appointment scheduling app.
- Integrability with other apps: The app should also be integrable with other apps that will help customers and the business conduct their business smoothly and across all platforms that require these services.
- Offering a service catalog page: Cataloging is another crucial feature that an appointment scheduling app must-have for its customers to choose from various services that the business provides. This allows the companies to showcase their services better.
- Integrated payment systems: The app should allow the customers and clients to make payments through itself. This reduces the chances of no-shows, payment delays, and the need for the business to pursue their overdue bills, reducing the wastage of working hours.
- Costs: This is a crucial aspect for any small business. These businesses already have budget constraints and require as much as low costs to run their scheduling apps. Thus, the free and premium services offered by these appointment scheduling apps must be considered before considering them the best.
- Feedback: Any business is not without its flaws. How it addresses them is what sets them apart from the rest of the companies offering the same products and services. The ideal app should contain a feedback section, where the customer may post their reviews and suggestions and also email the company directly with any negative feedback from their previous experiences. This helps the company identify its flaws and shortcomings and strive to offer better services in the future.
What is the Best Appointment Scheduling App for Small Businesses?
After conducting extensive research across cyberspace, here is a list of the best appointment scheduling apps for small businesses that meet the criteria mentioned above. The overall best appointment scheduling app among them can be decided upon by choosing the feature that suits the company in question.
- Zoho bookings: Zoho bookings aim to streamline the appointment scheduling process and reduce booking hassles by allowing customers to schedule and pay for the appointments themselves. This eliminates the hassles of overdue payments, reschedulings, and unnecessary email alerts and notifications. The app also integrates with other apps on the same platform and allows the user to access the best options without worrying about the technicalities involved in coding processes.
- SimplyBook.me: This app has a unique feature with a user-based pricing model system, allowing the business to select their preferred features that have been mentioned in their pricing plans. Not only is it cost-effective for the company, but also efficient and easy to use. There is also a customer feedback section to allow the business to know its shortcomings and work on them to ensure retaining the customers for future services. The app is available on mobile devices and is more focused on businesses that are in the healthcare and wellness industry.
- Setmore: Apart from its web-based and mobile application software, this app has a straightforward payment plan that is easier for the business to incorporate into their running costs. A unique feature is that it also supports customers by email and live chat support so that the company can address the customer’s needs, provide solutions and improve their services in real-time.
- Calendly: This is one of the more popular apps. It offers a minimalistic user interface for hassle-free use. The app also has a very active and helpful community service that is well suited for businesses with issues with efficient handling of the app. The payment plans are also quite simple, allowing companies to integrate them into their working budget easily.
- Appointlet: The app is an alternative to Calendly and offers similar features. The way it differs from Calendly is that it has an approval system. It allows the business to accept or reject the meetings that the customer or the client has made. Their payment plans are also quite simple and hassle-free and enable easy integration into the working budget of the company.
The overall best appointment scheduling app
The overall best appointment scheduling app is a highly subjective claim to make, and no single app can ever meet all the ideal requisites of the best appointment scheduling app. However, based on the popularity, the ease of use, the simplicity of payment plans, and the integrability with other apps, including payment portals, put the apps mentioned earlier at the top of the list.
The features of these apps will allow businesses to function better and schedule their meetings and appointments more efficiently. These apps mentioned above are also relatively budget-friendly. They enable ease of integration into the already constrained working capitals of the small businesses run by small teams or single entrepreneurs.
Appointment scheduling is a crucial aspect of any thriving small business. Not only does it help in scheduling appointments with potential tie-ups and partnerships, but it also allows users and customers a seamless and hassle-free experience. The feedback features integrated into these apps also help businesses implement suggestions and ideas that would, in the future, reflect upon their better quality of services. In the end, it is the company that must decide upon the app that best suits their requirements.