What The Blueprint looks for in a great appointment scheduling software
All online scheduling programs are not created equal. Still, there are certain characteristics that they must meet to nab a coveted “top choice” distinction. Setting the bar a little higher than “successfully completes client bookings,” there are a few characteristics that we believe any good booking software should have.
By the time you bring in a scheduling app, you likely already have a whole fleet of office, operational, sales, and other software running. Since your scheduler deals so much with both the customer and administrative back end, it should be as unobtrusive as possible.
It should be adept at pulling customer information and tracking progress with your CRM. You should also be able to sync your existing calendars to it so that any premade blocks of unavailability or other existing standing appointments plus personal time remain protected.
It is also ideal for your scheduler to sync with your email platform so that you can communicate with customers. Great apps also let you hang out where your customers are by integrating with Google, Facebook, Instagram, etc. to create “book now” buttons for a wider appointment net.
If you are running a standalone, professional business, you want to remove all traces of external branding you can. For brand cohesion and a smooth customer experience, it is important that your scheduler allow you to customize its client-facing parts.
From uploading your company logo to selecting brand colors for your booking buttons, it all goes a long way to make the booking experience feel seamless.
You also should be able to customize it on a more technical level. As every business is different, you’ll have your own automation rules, employee permissions, scheduling block lengths, and appointment types that you need to set up to uniquely suit your company.
Ease of use
It may sound like a no-brainer, but not every tool out there is intuitive. Since your business's goal is to have as many customers complete the booking process as possible, you need to make that experience easy and hassle-free.
A good scheduler should not have too many steps, should load well, be easy to understand, and auto-send confirmations and reminders to customers without you having to do any extra work.
How your business can benefit from using appointment scheduling software
Ditching the fallibility of analog booking and stepping into the digital age comes with a unique set of benefits that you just can’t get from pen and paper.
With reports on the back end and built-in catches on the front end, a good booking app won’t just make your life easier; it will positively impact your business.
Reduce missed appointments
When you can set both confirmations and reminders to automatic, not only is it one less thing for you to worry about doing manually, but it also helps keep upcoming appointments top of mind for customers, so they don’t forget. You can even include cancellation policies in the reminders so that if they do need to miss a booking, they give you enough notice.
Many software solutions will also allow you to collect a deposit upfront or hold onto a card number securely. That knowledge that they are on the line for actual money is an excellent motivator for clients to keep their appointments.
Maximize time efficiently
You’ve got your hands full running all aspects of your business, so sitting down daily and optimizing schedules is not going to be the best use of your time. If schedules aren’t optimized, you run the risk of accidentally overbooking, which leads to unhappy customers and lost revenue.
With all bookings being tracked electronically, the ever-present threat of human error is virtually erased, and appointment calendars are up to date and efficient.
Increase customer familiarity
Online schedulers that approach booking as an all-in-one service go a long way to increasing customer satisfaction. Because they store all information and history, you can have past records on a person in an instant, making them feel attended to and appreciated. Also, by storing data such as payment information and appointment preferences, your clients will complete bookings and checkouts faster and more willingly.
The information stored and tracked can be used to market your business better. Whether you offer personalized promos to existing customers or highlight add-on services they may like, having all that information about them in one place is a big help.