What Is The Best Scheduling App For Small Business (Appointment Scheduling Software)?
Many people hate scheduling meetings. Instead of spending time on essential things, they have to schedule meetings, spend weeks emailing to decide on the conference call date, and lose money because someone forgot to add an important event to the calendar.
Why do people suffer at all? It's all about the appointment scheduling tools they have at their disposal. Classic calendars and email correspondence are outdated. It is time to replace them with appointment scheduling software.
Of course, nothing prevents you from agreeing by word of mouth and simply putting the meeting on the calendar. But with the appointment scheduling apps below, you can automate this process, and each participant can determine the most suitable time slot for them, considering all time zones.
What is an appointment scheduling software?
Appointment scheduling app (appointment scheduler) is an automated software that takes care of scheduling appointments and other events. You tell the scheduling app what time you are free and ready to hold a meeting, and the appointment scheduler communicates for you with other people. It notifies them about the current schedule and creates events in the calendar.
The most self-explanatory example, which each of you has probably encountered at least once, is making an appointment with a doctor through a clinic's website. You do not contact the doctor directly, do not discuss the appointment time, but simply select a free time slot in his or her schedule and automatically find yourself in the list of registered patients. But this is only available in expensive CRMs after a long and complicated customization.
Appointment scheduling software is a solution for everyone, where everyone can create their own schedule without any CRM. All you have to do is tell the scheduling tool when you can schedule appointments. After that, the software will create an interface where all users can make an appointment with you, with a link to your schedule.
However, a good appointment scheduler is not only a scheduling tool. It is also a tool that can be easily integrated into a long-established workflow through integration with popular services and applications. For example, integration with Zoom allows you to automatically generate a unique link after each entry (no need to leave contacts, manually create a link, and attach it to an event in your calendar). Integration with Stripe allows you to provide prepaid services.
How are appointment scheduling apps used? 5 examples
There are already successful examples of using scheduling apps when business revenue increased noticeably thanks to a new approach to scheduling.
Example of La-Z-Boy
La-Z-Boy, a popular furniture brand in the US, was forced to close stores due to coronavirus restrictions and look for a way to interact with customers remotely. The solution was customized online tours for customers with a guide-designer who could show the product, talk about it, and select related furniture and accessories.
The service became surprisingly popular, and La-Z-Boy experienced an unexpectedly high user flow. They used an appointment scheduling app and created 60 time slots for 60 potential guests respectively. Thanks to the application's diverse features, simplicity, and efficiency, the store increased this figure to 410 time slots in 2 months.
Example of Ancestry.com
Ancestry is a family tree service. It had a situation similar to the one faced by the La-Z-Boy brand. At one point, the influx of users wanting to use the service grew so much that the staff communicating with customers could not keep up with all the requests.
After the company started to use the appointment scheduling app, the stage of communication between manager and client almost dropped out of Ancestry's workflow. All those who wanted to use the service themselves signed up through the scheduling app interface. People chose a convenient time and, in a couple of clicks, signed up for a meeting with Ancestry employees without the involvement of managers.
Scheduling apps can be used by companies that only demonstrate their products and services by appointment. Applying for a demo of some CRM is always accompanied by bureaucracy and unnecessary communication with sales managers who make mistakes and complicate the whole process. People can go hours or days without responding to messages, which delays the whole process and reduces the total number of requests per unit of time.
An appointment scheduler can eliminate this time-wasting phase of customer interaction.
Example of Signpost
Many entrepreneurs were interested in how the Signpost business planner worked and wanted to see how it performed in a work environment. However, they often couldn't do so because of all the red tape, like long email correspondence.
Signpost employees knew they were losing money. Too many hot leads turned into cold leads in front of the company's efficient managers.
A fundamental change occurred immediately after the company's managers adopted the appointment scheduling tool. They set up the automatic sending of a link to the appointment scheduler interface by the first email for each potential client. That is, everyone who ordered a Singpost demo immediately got access to the schedule of the company's managers and could choose the most convenient time for the demo: no calls or lengthy correspondence.
A similar strategy can be used in the HR department to avoid wasting time calling potential hires and wasting precious hours on unnecessary phone conversations about when it would be convenient to conduct an interview.
Instead of contacting a candidate for a position and waiting to complete questionnaires and provide other data, you can send him a link to the scheduling app interface by mail or SMS. There, the applicant will choose when it will be convenient for him to talk to HR.
HR won't have to discuss the details of the upcoming interview. You can specify in the scheduling app the means of communication and all the information that a potential employee will need during the interview.
Example of Bitly
The director of Bitly, a well-known link-shortening service, decided to implement an appointment scheduling tool after he realized that the company's employees still had to make phone calls to initially contact a potential client. This method of interaction was disliked by superiors, disliked by managers, and disliked by customers. Time zone dependency, missed calls, and other unpleasant features of scheduling by phone resulted in lost profits for Bitly.
First, management forced managers to switch to email instead of phone and implemented an appointment scheduling app as the primary way to book appointments for potential clients.
After that, Bitly saw a 100% increase in the number of product demonstrations, a 40% increase in sales, and almost 90% of all meetings in the company were scheduled using this tool.
There are many projects whose demonstration takes place during a full online consultation, but it is implemented the old-fashioned way. For example, to book a demo with GFI, you have to fill out a bunch of forms, leave a phone number, and wait for someone from the company to get in touch. A Sprintful-like service would fix this situation and make life easier for both GFI managers and their potential clients.
You would not have to deprive yourself of additional information about a potential client. Custom forms can be added to the meeting scheduler to have the user provide the required data. This can be a name, email address, or a custom field with personalized preferences for the upcoming demo.
Example of College for Creative Studies
Staff at the College for Creative Studies in Detroit must regularly attend events, travel to meetings, interview former students, and teach simultaneously. With such a demanding schedule, planning by phone or email becomes a significant time eater, taking hours out of an already busy day.
One College for Creative Studies staff member tried out different scheduling apps. The first was Meetingbird, which did the job but could not offer additional tools to automate the appointment scheduling process.
With the transition to Sprintful, the situation became even better. College for Creative Studies specialists stopped wasting time looking for convenient schedules and started meeting with more people and interviewing more students.
Professionals who provide private services can adopt similar tactics. For example, therapists can use scheduling apps. They interact with their patients not only within the clinic but also from home, using Zoom, Skype, or other means of communication. And with the scheduling tool, all these meetings are easy to manage.
Today, the process of scheduling appointments with the doctor among many clinics is a correspondence on WhatsApp, Instagram, Facebook, etc. The patient informs that he or she wants an appointment, and the doctor sends him or her a list of available dates. The client disappears for a few days and then books an appointment, but the date turns out to be already taken. Both parties waste time.
If the doctor left a link to the appointment scheduler on his or her personal page or sent it as the first message on WhatsApp, no one would have to waste time and guess which appointment time to choose. The patient would find a convenient time among free dates, make an appointment, and automatically receive a link to the appointment. The doctor could not be distracted and fully concentrate on his or her work, not worrying about schedules and, at the same time, working with more people.
How else can appointment scheduling apps be used?
Naturally, no one forbids you to use scheduling apps in your everyday life. For example, you can arrange a meeting with your friends and send them a link to your schedule in the meeting planner, where they will specify the time, place, and other essential details of the upcoming appointments. And all this is possible in a couple of clicks without exchanging messages or emails for days.
Appointment scheduling apps can replace a secretary for almost anyone. It is an efficient mechanism that does not require any skills and large investments. Appointment schedulers can be easily embedded into websites and applications, and schedule links can simply be sent by mail or SMS.
Now, let's discuss the best scheduling software for small businesses.
Sprintful is the best scheduling app for small business. It integrates with Google Calendar, Outlook Calendar, Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and numerous other services. Sprintful is excellent if you:
- Care about branding
- Work with a large team
- Have a complex deal process
You can customize Sprintful to send emails from your domain name (i.e. firstname.lastname@example.org), host a booking page under your domain name, send reminder SMS from your caller ID, and completely change the look and feel of the booking page.
This best scheduling app for small business has much to offer for enterprise customers, including audit trails and SSO.
The main features of Sprintful:
- Calendar scheduling
- Calendar management
- Automated scheduling
- Appointment scheduling
- Real-time calendar sync
- Custom branding
- Automated appointment reminders and alerts
- Custom notifications
- Calendar embedding
- Custom CSS
- Team collaboration
- Third-party integrations
Sprintful most useful integrations:
- Google Calendar
- Outlook Calendar
- Google Meet
- Microsoft Teams
- Custom Domain
No wonder Sprintful is one of the best appointment-scheduling tools.
Sprintful offers the following paid plans:
- Basic - $9/month
- Professional - $19/month
- Business - $49/month
- Enterprise - (100+ users) at request
This best appointment scheduling app also offers a 7-day free trial.
Calendly (Web, Android, iOS)
This service will help others schedule a meeting with you by displaying their availability times and offering different meeting slots. Calendly is great for anyone who has a lot of meeting requests and wants to quickly and easily understand which time is best.
To use the service, you need to connect your calendar (Google Calendar, iCal, Microsoft Office 365, or Outlook) to it. And then you can create different types of meetings, like one-on-one meetings, group meetings, Round Robin, etc. You can add some additional details to each meeting type. Then, you send the link to your co-participants, who can choose a suitable time.
All scheduled appointments are automatically synchronized between participants' calendars.
This great scheduling app offers:
- Intuitive interface for booking without back-and-forth emails
- Range of scheduling types
- Automatic email notifications and reminders
- Calendly is great for recurring appointments.
- Calendly pricing
Calendly offers the following paid plans:
- Basic - always free
- Essentials - $8/month
- Professional - $12/month
- Teams - $16/month
- Enterprise - at request
Overall, it is no wonder Calendly is one of the best scheduling apps.
Calendar (Web, iOS, Android)
It's not just a meeting scheduler but a full-fledged calendar app. Calendar offers web and mobile versions, and the user-friendly interface is very similar to Google Calendar. You can schedule appointments thanks to customizable time slots and booking links.
And what really sets Calendar apart from the competition is the ability to get analytics on your meetings. Besides the obvious stats on meeting times, you can track how often meetings are canceled here. You can also predict who you have a meeting scheduled with soon.
On the free plan, you can create two customizable time slots based on which future appointments will be scheduled. For $10 per month, you can create more appointment types and connect more calendars.
Calendar distinctive characteristics:
- Unified online calendar
- Easy multi-person scheduling
- Deep analytics on meetings
With it, you will easily avoid scheduling conflicts.
Calendar offers the following paid plans:
- Basic - free forever
- Standard - $20/month
- Pro - $24/month
- Enterprise - custom
It has a convenient mobile booking app.
CalendarHero is similar to Calendly in terms of features. You can also create different types of meetings and share links to schedule them here. There is a convenient Google Calendar sync. Anyway, you can synchronize it with any calendar.
CalendarHero offers many scheduling options, including location information or call details.
CalendarHero distinctive features:
- AI-powered scheduling assistant for virtual and in-person meetings
- Automatic time zone detection
- Customizable branding
It is great for efficient scheduling.
CalendarHero offers the following paid plans:
- Basic - free forever
- Professional - $8/month
- Team - $12/user/month
It is one of the best apps for small businesses with several team members.
With OnceHub, you can create several types of appointments, including 15-minute, 30-minute, and 1-hour. You can set your own branding for meetings. And you can also share a link for quick scheduling.
All in all, it has nothing new. But the advantage here is the free plan, which has no strict restrictions like analogs. You can connect up to 25 people to it and create unlimited meetings. There is synchronization with services for video calls and third-party calendars.
OnceHub distinctive features:
- No-code tools
- In-context meetings
- Zapier integration
OnceHub provides a smooth booking process.
OnceHub offers the following paid plans:
- Starter - generous free plan for up to 3 users
- Growth - $10/user/month
- Enterprise - custom
OnceHub is a good choice for small business owners.
Who's available on Monday? What about Tuesday? This is exactly the principle on which Rallly works.
This appointment scheduling software helps all meeting participants participate in a poll to choose a suitable meeting day. And even anonymously. To work with this tool, registration is required only from the meeting organizer.
You are required to create a few suggestions for when you want to meet. When people follow the link, all participants can vote for a suitable time slot and discuss plans right on the meeting page.
Rallly distinctive features:
- Voting feature to find the right time for large groups
- Zapier integration can connect Rallly to popular calendar options
- Shared event pages
Rallly is worth your attention.
Rallly offers the following paid plans:
- Free - $0
- Pro - $2.50/month
Rallly is one of the most inexpensive scheduling apps for small businesses.
There aren't many options here, but you can schedule a meeting completely anonymously. You just need to select the available dates and share the link.
When clicking on it, the user can specify his or her name and choose a suitable time slot.
When2meet has basic functionality:
- It is free
- Simple interface
- You can anonymously schedule a meeting
When2meet is a good option for any small business owner with no budget.
When2meet is completely free. You can support it by donating. It is the best out of the free scheduling apps.
The disadvantage of most such services is that you need to give access to your calendar for their correct work. And that's where Arrangr comes to the rescue, which allows you to work with calendars in guest mode.
When you authorize, it will guide you through all the steps for planning a future meeting, including inviting guests. There's support for online and offline meetings. The meetings themselves are also customizable.
- Pre-set meeting preferences for quick scheduling time
- Customizable invite templates
- Integrations with Slack, UberConference, and more
Arrangr will help you easily automate scheduling.
Arrangr offers the following paid plans:
- Basic - free forever
- Pro - $3.99/month
- Pro+ - $6.99/month
It is easy to reschedule appointments with Arrangr.
Square Appointments (Web, Android, iOS)
Square Appointments is a scheduling app designed for businesses of various sizes. Square Appointments aims to streamline the appointment booking process for service-based businesses, such as salons, spas, medical offices, fitness centers, and more.
Square Appointments allows businesses to maintain a database of client information. This can include contact details, appointment history, notes, and preferences. The software can also send automated appointment reminders to clients about upcoming appointments. This helps reduce no-shows and ensures clients are well informed about their scheduled services.
This tool has payment processing features. It is often integrated with Square's payment processing services. This allows businesses to accept payments securely during booking or after services are rendered.
Businesses can set up their own booking policies, such as cancellation fees or appointment rescheduling rules. This gives them greater control over how their appointments are managed.
Square Appointments details
Square Appointments offers:
- Point of sale
- Client management
- Staff management
It is one of the best scheduling apps.
Square Appointments pricing
Square Appointments offers the following paid plans:
- Free - $0
- Plus - $29/month
- Premium - $69/month
Square Appointments provides unlimited appointments capabilities.
Many small business owners call Acuity Scheduling best appointment scheduling app. It offers a user-friendly interface and a range of features to streamline scheduling processes, save time, and enhance customer experience. Acuity Scheduling is particularly popular among service-based industries such as health and wellness practitioners, consultants, therapists, tutors, and more.
Clients can easily view your availability and book appointments at their convenience, eliminating the need for back-and-forth communication. Users can set up their working hours, availability, and appointment types according to their preferences and business needs.
Different types of appointments (e.g., initial consultations, follow-ups, group sessions) can be defined with specific durations, descriptions, and pricing. Businesses can also customize their scheduling page to match their branding, creating a consistent and professional appearance.
Acuity employs security measures to protect client data and maintain privacy.
Acuity Scheduling details
Acuity Scheduling features:
- Email and SMS notifications
- Activity Tracker
- Open API
It makes task management easier.
Acuity Scheduling pricing
Acuity Scheduling offers the following paid plans:
- Emerging - $16/month
- Growing - $29/month
- Powerhouse - $49/month
It is one of the best scheduling apps.
How to choose the best scheduling app for small business?
Choosing the scheduling apps for small business involves considering several factors to ensure that it meets your specific needs and helps streamline your operations effectively. Here's a step-by-step guide to help you make the right choice.
Identify your business needs
Start by listing your scheduling-related requirements. Consider factors like the number of employees, the nature of your services, appointment types, customer preferences, and any specific features you need.
Ease of use
Look for an app with an intuitive and user-friendly interface. You and your staff should be able to quickly adapt to the software without extensive training.
Appointment types and customization
Ensure the app supports various appointment types (e.g., one-on-one, group sessions, classes) that align with your business. Additionally, check if the app allows customization of appointment duration, availability, and booking rules.
Synchronization and integration
Choose an app that can sync with your existing calendars (e.g., Google Calendar, Outlook) and integrate with other software you use, such as CRM, payment gateways, or accounting tools.
Consider whether the app is available on various platforms (web, iOS, Android) to ensure both you and your customers can access it conveniently.
Online booking and client management
Look for features like online booking for clients, automated reminders (email/SMS), and the ability to manage client profiles and history.
Customization and branding
Some apps allow you to customize the booking page to match your brand's colors and style. This adds a professional touch and enhances the customer experience.
If your business involves managing resources like rooms, equipment, or staff, ensure the app offers tools to allocate and manage them efficiently.
Notifications and reminders
The app should provide options for automated notifications and reminders for both customers and staff. This helps reduce no-shows and keeps everyone on track.
Analytics and reporting
Consider whether the app provides analytics and reports on key metrics such as appointment volume, staff performance, and customer engagement. These insights can guide your business decisions.
Security and privacy
Ensure that the app has robust security measures to protect your business and your customers' data.
Check the level of customer support provided by the app's team. Timely assistance is crucial in case you encounter any issues or have questions.
The right scheduling app can help alleviate many scheduling problems, especially when participants are in different time zones. At the same time, you don't lose the ability to synchronize meetings with your favorite calendar. This list of the best appointment-scheduling apps will definitely help you!