Booking an online appointment is an important part of your client’s journey. It demonstrates how productive and efficient your business is. Using appointment scheduling software will show your client that you value their time. You will also demonstrate that the business processes in your company run smoothly. People want to see that working with you is going to be easy and convenient. In this post, I reviewed the top scheduling software.
A good online appointment booking system is especially important for your sales funnel. Your sales process starts before the sales call. It starts when a potential client first comes to your landing page. Once you got their interest, they want to schedule a call to talk more about your service. Make sure you don’t need a time-consuming and frankly annoying email chain to book a quick call. Use scheduling software to book a call fast, while keeping your leads engaged.
In fact, 50% of the deals go to the vendor that responds first. Scheduling tools help you to win this contest every time.
Scheduling software is also incredibly helpful once you have secured a client. You will need to have occasional online meetings to mark the project stages and make sure you are on the same page. Keep it organized with the tools listed in this post.
Calendly – free online appointment scheduling
With 10 mln users and 50k companies using Calendly worldwide, it is the most popular tool for scheduling online appointments. Their minimal interface makes it an intuitive and straightforward option. Their usability and functionality make it the best choice for a small to medium-sized business.
This easy-to-use tool will help you to boost sales and enhance service quality. You can use it for client calls, team catch-ups, and even job interviews.
Their slogan “Take the hassle out of scheduling” describes very well what you get. Here are some of the benefits you get with Calendly:
Share your availability
Easily set up your available time slots and get booked faster. So you can get you booked as much—or as little–as your schedule allows. You can also limit the time of the meeting and add breaks between the meetings.
Add it to your website or email
Calendly embed function helps you easily add your calendar to your website or email. So people can book you directly from there. This eliminates extra clicks and improves conversion rates. In simple words, the fewer steps a visitor needs to book an appointment, the more bookings you get. So you save a lot of time on lead forms and email follow-ups.
Connect your other calendars
You can integrate Calendly with Google, Outlook, Microsoft Office, and iCal. Your Calendly profile will only show available spots. So if you have added a meeting to the Outlook calendar, this spot will be automatically marked as unavailable on Calendly. And vice versa: if someone booked a spot in Calendly it will automatically go to Outlook or Google Calendar, removing any unnecessary steps in between. So you can make sure to avoid overlapping appointments.
This is perfect for people working in multiple time zones. Calendly will automatically set the right time
Busy people can integrate several calendars using a paid plan. You may want your work calendar separate from your personal calendar. But if you integrate both with Calendly, nobody will book a spot dedicated to your family time or time for yourself. Calendly never exposes your calendar contents though, so your calendars stay private.
Automate reminders and follow-ups
Calendly will automatically email your clients and colleagues with event reminders or cancellations. With paid plans, you can also send automatic follow-ups and customize your messages. For example, send specific information that the attendees will need for the meeting.
Team meetings are available with paid plans. Display a variety of meeting choices on a single page, and let your team members book a time that works for them.
With paid plans, you can request payments for individual consultations and group meetings. All you need to do is add your PayPal or Stripe account.
Integrate with other software. Easily connect it to your other tools, so your business runs smoothly. Calendly has direct integration with plenty of good tools, including my favorite email marketing tool Aweber.
Online appointment scheduling costs
Calendly paid plans start from as low as $8 per user. There is also a free trial.
Pros & Cons
- Extensive free plan
- Low prices on paid plans
- Lacks sales features like memberships or upsell add-ons
Acuity – the best scheduling software for business
Acuity scheduling is a great professional tool for scheduling appointments. It allows users to book calls and meetings in real-time based on your availability. Compared to Calendly, Equity is much more commercialized. It offers advanced sales & marketing options, such as gift certificates, memberships, and upsell add-ons.
Control your availability
Just like with the previous tool, you can preset your availability so the clients can self-schedule their own appointments. They can also easily cancel or reschedule an appointment on their end. The time zones are readjusted automatically which is especially useful for those who business in multiple locations.
Share your calendar your website, email, or social media
Easily book meetings on your website, from your email newsletters and promos, and even from your social media. Booking on social is not a common feature for scheduling software. So if marketing predominantly revolves around social, Acuity is the best option for you.
Organize client information
You can ask your clients to answer specific questions when they book, so you can properly prepare for the meeting.
Sync your calendars
Easily integrate with Google Calendar, iCloud, Outlook.com, Exchange, and Office 365 and avoid appointment overlaps.
Automate reminders and follow-ups
Avoid losing time on canceled and missed meetings. All paid plans allow you to customize automatic messages, so you can make sure your communications are aligned with your clients’ needs.
Broaden your audience
Group meetings and classes are available with all paid plans.
Accept payments using your PayPal, Square, or Stripe accounts.
Drive more sales
The biggest competitive advantage of Acuity is its commercial approach. In addition to paid consultations, you can also sell subscriptions, memberships, and even gift certificates. Upsell add-ons make it super easy to offer your clients additional services.
Integrate with other tools
Easily connect it to your other software, so your business runs on autopilot. Acuity has direct integration with many good tools, including my favorite email marketing tool Aweber. You can also integrate it directly with QuickBooks and Freshbooks for invoicing and accounting.
Online appointment scheduling prices
Acuity pricing starts at $14 a month. There is a 7-day free trial.
Pros & Cons
- Advanced sales & marketing options, such as gift certificates, memberships, and upsell add-ons
- No free plan. Relatively high price