In today’s digital age, people expect things to be done quickly and on-demand. With immediacy becoming the new norm, additional stress is placed on already overworked employees.
It’s hard to believe but most salespeople spend 21 percent of their day writing emails. Do you want to know what they’re doing writing so many emails? A decent chunk of them is sorting out bookings.
Self-booking through an online scheduling tool drastically cuts down this time, reduces overworking your employees and it’s the booking method the majority of consumers prefer.
Of course, there are still people who prefer to pick up the phone and call your business to schedule an appointment, but the majority of consumers are in agreement that a self-service booking tool is the way to go.
How Does an Online Scheduling Tool Work?
An online scheduling tool is a cloud-based business tool that allows your customers to book, reschedule, and cancel appointments online through any smart device. It’s a convenient and secure way for customers to book their appointments 24/7.
When customers are looking to book an appointment, instead of calling or emailing, they have the option to go to your business's website and choose an available date and time there. They then input their information and may be able to make a payment depending on the booking tool you choose.
An online scheduling tool provides customers accurate and up-to-date availability and lets them view and select a time that works for them in a matter of seconds. When a customer books an appointment, that time slot is then blocked off and updated in the system so not only you can see it, but also all of our employees.
Offering a self-service booking tool provides your customers with immediacy, convenience, and an overall better experience.
How to Choose a Good Online Scheduling Tool
With so many options nowadays, it becomes hard to find an online scheduling tool that checks all of your boxes and meets your specific needs. Unfortunately, we can’t help you with the smaller details, however, there are some general features that every great online scheduling tool should include:
- Free or affordable price;
- Available 24/7;
- Integrates with other tools (payment processor, CRM, etc.);
- Easy to use;
- Responsive design across all devices;
- Syncs to your calendar;
- Automation (confirmation message, appointment reminders, etc); and
- Real-time booking.
Depending on what your business needs, you might require additional, more advanced features. If that’s the case, you might require a paid online scheduling tool. However, there are still a ton of budget-friendly options available on the market.
Top 5 Free Online Scheduling Tools
Setmore is an appointment scheduling and payment system that allows you to create a customer-facing booking page. The free version includes up to 20 employee calendars and login, which makes Setmore a great option for small businesses with only a handful of employees. You also have the option to set up automatic appointment reminders to people who book time with you to reduce the number of no-shows.
Appointy is a cloud-based scheduling tool that was launched back in 2009. It offers a lot of useful features in the basic free plan, such as Zapier support for third-party software integration, website integration, booking directly from Google Calendar, a mobile app, automatic reminders, accepts a variety of payments, and more. You can also upgrade your plan when you’re ready to gain access to more advanced features.
The HubSpot Meetings Tool is an online scheduling tool that offers a variety of free features. It works with Google Calendar or Office 365 calendar and lets you set your availability, and have new and current customers book an appointment with you. You can also add form fields to your meeting page to collect important contact information including the person’s name, phone number, email address, and more.
SimplyBook is an online scheduling tool that was designed specifically for service-based businesses. You can integrate SimplyBook with your existing website, or you have the option to build a custom booking page of your own. It works with social media platforms to allow you to accept bookings directly from Facebook and Instagram. SimplyBook also offers additional custom features like coupons and gift cards.
Appointlet is a cloud-based booking software that allows salespeople to customize their availability, create booking pages, and send them to prospects and customers. The booking page can integrate into your website, landing pages, and emails. The free forever version of Appointlet includes a variety of features such as unlimited bookings, meeting types, and form fields.
Grow Your Business With an Online Scheduling Tool
Long gone are the days when customers are stuck on hold for endless amounts of time waiting to speak with a customer service representative. Nowadays people won’t stand for that, especially when there are better options available at a competitor just a click away.
An online scheduling tool works to streamline the entire booking process so create a better experience for both you and your customers. If you’re looking for a complete online scheduling hub, your answer is GoSite’s Booking tool.
Gosite offers a convenient online booking system for customers that is fully customizable to fit around your business, service, and processes. With GoSite, you can get all the features you want, book appointments when you’re available, and let GoSite handle the rest -- all for an affordable price.