Businesses are no strangers to appointment scheduling software today. For example, during the pandemic, scheduling software has helped several small businesses to streamline their virtual meetings with clients and employees.
Scheduling apps have covered ample market space now. It is growing at a CAGR of 12.54% from 2020 to 2027.
It is the perfect software for small business organizations to build relationships with clients and employees.
They can automate appointment scheduling systems to save money spent on administrative work. The best appointment scheduling software for small business setups can reduce manual workload.
So, without wasting time, let’s check out the best appointment-scheduling software to support small business organizations in 2023.
How to Select the Best Appointment Scheduling Software for Small Businesses?
Appointment scheduling software is crucial for your business productivity. It ensures your staff members don’t spend extra time scheduling meetings.
It also helps to reduce the no-show rate and improve customer relationships. But, all this is only possible if you find the best appointment scheduling software for small business requirements.
Small businesses have specific needs that they must consider while selecting scheduling software. The definition of perfect scheduling software can vary depending on your business structure and industry.
However, in a general sense, you must look for the following points while selecting the best appointment-scheduling software:
Easiness to use the software
It can be challenging to learn how to use new software. So, please look at various scheduling tools to see which one looks easy.
The simpler the system, the better your team can adopt it. Many tools provide free trials, so take advantage of this opportunity. Test the software to see if it can work for your team. Consider scalability as well.
Can the software accommodate more people or tasks as your company expands? Is it adaptable enough to schedule various tasks if your company is scalable into a new market?
A desktop-only scheduling tool only works when you have employees on the road. Look for scheduling software that works with the systems you already have. Consider whether—
- Is your company using Windows or Mac?
- Mobile phones and laptop computers?
- Apple or Samsung?
Also, consider whether the software requires integration with other applications you already use. For example, some scheduling software integrates with tools like Outlook, Salesforce, Google Calendar, Slack, and other applications.
Scheduling software must assist you in scheduling tasks and resources. But it must provide insights with analytical reports.
Can you get notifications on any of your resources or events? Can you tailor these to your business needs for timesheets, order forms, booking sheets, job cards, etc.?
With limited time and resources, small businesses need statistical information you can view online or export to other tools like Excel.
Also, consider audit trails so you can go back to see who did what and when.
Examining reviews can help you determine whether a piece of software is right for you. Remember that each company and industry has unique requirements, so look for reviews from businesses most similar to yours.
When speaking with a scheduling software company, ask for examples of companies similar to yours already using their software.
Hearing firsthand how the software has aided their business can assist you in making your decision. In addition, independent review sites such as G2 Crowd and Capterra also provide unbiased reviews.
You want to ensure you get the proper support when spending money on a paid scheduling tool. Ensure to discuss the following points:
- If you require assistance, how can you approach the supplier?
- Do they include training as part of a package, and how many users are covered if so?
- Do they have any frequently asked questions on their website?
- Can you call or chat with someone to ask any questions you have about your specific business?
What Are the Main Scheduling Types?
There are several methods to automate your scheduling process. You can select different scheduling methods depending on your business type and customer base.
Before getting the best appointment scheduling software for your small business, you must consider what type of scheduling process you plan to perform.
Here are some common scheduling types:
Time slot scheduling
The most common type of booking is timeslot scheduling, also known as stream schedule. Time slot or stream scheduling is when a customer has a list of available time slots to choose from.
The customer selects a time slot that works for them, enters their information, and receives a confirmation email and SMS as a follow-up.
Another type of scheduling is wave scheduling, in which customers arrive in waves at various times throughout the day. Agents attend them in the order in which they come.
For example, if five customers come in every half hour or hour, a host can assign them to the next available slot.
It is an excellent method for staggering customer visits throughout the day, which helps improve customer journeys.
Wave scheduling + walk-in
Another variation of wave scheduling is scheduling customers at specific times during the first half of each hour, leaving the second half-hour open for walk-in customers needing immediate attention.
This way, you can mark urgent appointments or needs first. Then, your team can see walk-in customers for the remainder of the hour.
This wave scheduling system is also helpful in scheduling longer appointments for the hour and shorter appointments for the half-hour.
Another approach is to use open booking scheduling. In this, customers are given a different time for their appointment.
Customers are served in the order in which they arrive. Therefore, open booking works best when there is a steady flow of customers or when a store is not busy.
An open booking system works best for physical stores. It also works for digital stores if you have agents available at all timeslots.
Double scheduling is a different appointment type. It enables two customers to make an appointment at the same time. When a retailer allows customers to arrive at the same appointment time, this is referred to as a shared appointment.
It is sometimes used when a customer has an urgent need that requires immediate assistance.
In the double scheduling case, agents can attend to one customer through a virtual meeting. It can save time and allow agents to help more customers at the same time.
6 Best Appointment Scheduling Software for Small Business Organizations
Now, you know how to find the best appointment scheduling software for small business organizations and different scheduling methods. The next step is to check out the top appointment scheduling solutions to support your small business organization:
Consolto is the perfect appointment-scheduling software for setting up virtual meetings. It is a plug-in that you can install on your website. You can create a widget on your website that customers can use to schedule appointments with your agents.
Alt text: Consolto
It is also a video conferencing software. That means customers can book an appointment and start a video or audio communication through one platform.
Talking about scheduling features, the software has 2-way scheduling support. It enables customers and agents to send and receive appointment requests.
It also has a special feature called ClickNTalk page to start instant video calls that help when your customer wants immediate help. You can organize your calendar and use custom contact forms to personalize meetings.
Consolto reduces appointment scheduling time. Users can provide multiple available slots while booking an appointment. It helps to reduce back and the forth hassle of finding the perfect time slot for the meeting. It is a great feature for businesses as they don’t need secretarial staff to manage their appointments.
The best part is that you will get an entire dashboard to establish a virtual workspace with this software. It has a mini CRM, video calling, an analytical dashboard, and many other features.
You can use a 7-day free trial to test the software. After that, you only need to spend $8.2 per month to access scheduling premium features.
2. HubSpot Sales Hub
HubSpot Sales Hub is a powerful and simple-to-use sales CRM. It has sales engagement tools, configure-price-quote (CPQ) functionality, and robust sales analytics for growing teams.
Alt text: HubSpot sales hub
Sales Hub is built on the HubSpot CRM platform. It combines customer data, tools, and teams to create a single source for sales reps.
Reps can benefit from richer insights, warmer leads, and aligned enablement materials when they use the full CRM platform.
In addition, to create an exceptional end-to-end customer experience, leveraging powerful scheduling features.
Whether it's strategies, services, or software, HubSpot enables you to scale your business rather than its complexity.
3. Microsoft Bookings
Microsoft Bookings is a Microsoft 365 Business and Enterprise add-on for online appointment scheduling. The app organizes and manages appointments, allowing clients to book available times in your schedule.
Alt text: Microsoft bookings
Microsoft Bookings provides basic scheduling functionality. Bookings allow you to define the types of appointments you want to offer. You can also define other scheduling information like your business hours and available staff members.
These details are on the booking page where your customers can schedule appointments.
Microsoft Bookings allows you to manage existing appointments and book new appointments on behalf of customers. The app displays a list of customers who have scheduled meetings with your team.
4. Square Appointments
Square Appointments is a component of Square's POS payment processing solution. Clients can book from anywhere, and you can track multiple schedules and locations. Square also allows you to accept or decline appointments.
Alt text: Square Appointments
Square Appointments provides a free online booking website. You can embed a booking widget into Squarespace, Wix, and WordPress websites.
You can also use this tool to create customized booking links for Google Calendar, Instagram, and other social media platforms.
Square Appointments is loaded when it comes to payments. You can accept payments at the time of booking, require prepayment at the time of booking, or send invoices. Square Appointments can take cancellation fees as well.
5. Acuity Scheduling
It is a cloud-based appointment scheduling software from Acuity Scheduling. It offers self-service booking as well as multi-calendar scheduling.
Alt text: acuity scheduling
Clients can book in real-time, selecting from your available time slots. Squarespace acquired the app in 2019, which integrates well with Square's tools.
Acuity integrates with your website and accepts payments via PayPal, Square, or Stripe. You can also receive tips, provide coupons, and upsell with checkout add-ons such as retail products or additional services.
Acuity helps small businesses with accounting, invoicing, and client management. On the other hand, Acuity has some limitations regarding advanced scheduling features like group appointments.
The appointment signup form is customizable and includes a client intake form option. These forms allow you to collect all customer information in one location.
SimplyBook.me accepts booking requests 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and supports multiple locations. Plus, staff and client confirmations and reminders keep everyone on the same page.
Alt text: simplybook.me
SimplyBook.me allows you to create a branded booking website that can stand alone or integrate as a widget into your existing site. You can add Booking CTAs to your Facebook, Instagram, and Google Business profiles.
SimplyBook.me allows you to accept credit card payments via an in-app POS or payment processors such as Stripe and PayPal. You can also include coupons or upsells during the checkout process and then track the success of your promotions.
You can view, create, edit, and cancel appointments using the admin platform. It can also manage employee schedules.
Scheduling software is an essential tool for small businesses to grow. As you can see, small businesses have several options to automate scheduling systems.
But, when it comes to—the easy, fast, reliable, and affordable tool, Consolto is the best.
It has a complete yet simple scheduling toolkit with many more features. Plus, our developers are working all day to make the system power.
We are experimenting with new designs and features. Also, getting constant feedback from users.
We are here building an epic appointment scheduling tool to solve all business communication challenges.
Do you want to be a part of something great? Then, book a free consultation with our team today!