Book more appointments with appointment apps

Do you own a service business? Do you find it difficult to manage your calendar or to check your daily schedules and appointments? If you haven’t experienced these frustrating side effects of growth, then I promise you these pain points are just around the corner for you as you continue to grow! With great foibles come great lessons – and here’s a no brainer: you should start using a scheduling app for your small business.

Instead of emailing back and forth with your clients to book a time, all they need to do is click a link and they can book an open time on your calendar. It’s that simple! Imagine you’re therapist or a dog trainer or even a hairstylist. Wouldn’t it be great if anyone could book an appointment by clicking a link through your Facebook page, Instagram or other social media accounts? Appointment apps make it a reality and they’re simple to set up through your mobile device!

This article will help you manage your calendar so you won’t have to worry about canceling or rescheduling an appointment again. Time for a pre-emptive pre-victory dance! (Yes, I just made this up, and I’m making it a thing now).

What are appointment booking apps?

An appointment booking app (aka scheduling app) is a tool that is used by business owners or professionals. It is used by people and service business owners to schedule appointments with clients. With a unique link, clients can be taken to a booking page to schedule an appointment and view your availability in real-time.

With a scheduling app, service business owners can plan and manage a schedule with ease. Most of them are mobile apps that have support for desktop versions as well.

Here are the advantages of using a scheduling app:

  • You can set your availability and business hours
  • Clients can book appointments with you automatically
  • It prevents overbooking/double booking
  • It makes payment processes easier
  • It provides access to clients everywhere

How do we look at each scheduling app?

We compared each scheduling app based on price, features, reviews, and cons.

We also check their relevance for small business owners and how it can help them manage their schedules successfully.

We also checked how it can help you as a small business owner. I mean, that’s the whole point, right?

Here’s what the best scheduling software apps have in common:

Appointment booking

The reason these apps exist in the first place. With appointment booking features, clients can book a time on your calendar. The app should also support set business hours. For example, if you’re only available from 9-5, your clients shouldn’t be able to book a time with you at 7 am.

Most appointment apps offer unlimited appointments in their pricing plan, so it shouldn’t be an issue when researching potential solutions.

Calendar integrations

Having a central location for your calendars is important. By integrating your calendar with your payment app, you can view all your appointments in one location and not have to worry about double-booking for the same time slot.

Email & text message reminders

Instead of manually following up and reminding your clients about their upcoming appointment, they’ll automatically get reminders via email and text for their appointment. You can customize the messaging and even set up a cancellation fee if they decide to no-show.

Client payments

Getting paid by clients can be a hassle depending on how they want to pay and how you charge. Some appointment booking apps also support client payments, so look for apps that can help you accept digital payments to make payments easier for you and your clients.

Team management

As your business grows, your team members may need access to your scheduling software. Or your team schedules might also need to be available so clients can book them directly.

The Best Appointment Apps You Can Use

There are dozens of popular apps available to help with appointment scheduling. Here are some of the top appointment booking apps available.

Without further ado, we spent hours refining a top 10 list of the best appointment apps for your small business!

PocketSuite

With PocketSuite, you can manage your schedule, allow your client to make appointments online, and collect payment easily. PocketSuite is the online booking system for your business. This scheduling app is highly recommended for individuals who need to manage their schedules (estheticians, fitness trainers, dog trainers, pet professionals, therapists, health and wellness professionals, and other small businesses like dog walkers / cleaners, contractors, photographers, life coaches, beauty professionals, and more).

Price: There is a free version of this app. Yippee! This paid version of this scheduling app is available for free trial. A premium plan starts at $19.99 per month. For more features and to add your team, get a Premium Plus plan for $49.99.

Features: This scheduling app features appointment reminders, online payments, point of sale (POS) for credit cards, e-contracts, invoicing, text reminders, sending forms to your clients and more. It has advanced features including online booking, packages, subscriptions, gift certificates, and scheduling all-in-one platform. This scheduling app makes it easy for you to collect information about clients when they book you and/or get them to sign waivers and other agreements. You can go paperless with this scheduling app. PocketSuite also syncs with Google Calendar, iCalendar, Outlook, and any other calendars.

Reviews on the web: With its free basic plan and 24/7 live customer service support, users of PocketSuite find this scheduling app a helpful one.

Possible cons: We couldn’t find many cons, if you’re a small business you owe it to yourself to give PocketSuite a shot!

 

Square

Square was created by the founder of Twitter – Jack Dorsey. This scheduling app is easy to use. Clients can use Square Up to book their appointment via their mobile phone.

Price: There is a 2.9% + $0.30 processing fee per transaction for individual accounts. For a small business account, the basic package starts at $50. There is also a transaction fee of 3.5% plus $0.15 for every transaction.

Features: This scheduling app allows you to accept payments online. It also allows you to set discounts or gift rewards. Small businesses can view client history with this scheduling app. This scheduling app syncs with Google calendar.

Reviews on the web: Individual users highly recommend this scheduling app for its cheap price. Small business users find their packages a bit expensive.

Possible cons: The Square Appointment app has limited customer support according to users. Check out their client reviews in the AppStore and GooglePlay.

Google Calendar
If you want a basic scheduling app for your small business, you can use Google calendar. At its core, it’s a calendar software app that integrates with Gmail and other services to manage meetings in one location.

Price: It is free. Just sign up for a free account through Gmail.

Features: You can add events, make multiple Google calendars under one account, share your calendar with this scheduling app. You can also set reminders. Google calendar also works with premium scheduling apps.

Reviews on the web: This scheduling app is free, but has limited features. It also doesn’t integrate payment processing. So your clients can’t pay you from a Google Calendar invite. Also, clients can’t see your Google calendar online. Unless you give them access to your full Google calendar, which creates some privacy issues (for you). You don’t want clients seeing personal appointments on your business calendar.

Possible cons: You have to subscribe to a premium scheduling app that is compatible with Google calendar.

Outlook

Outlook is another free scheduling app that you can use. If you have Microsoft Outlook, then you can take advantage of its calendar feature.

Price: It is free. Just create your account.

Features: You can schedule, cancel, or modify your appointment with this scheduling app. You can also set an alarm to remind you about an upcoming event or appointment.

Reviews on the web: It is good for office use but if you are managing a business where clients need to place an appointment on their own, this app won’t do. Clients also can’t pay you through your Outlook calendar.

Possible cons: This scheduling app works for individuals who manage their schedules. It is not for business.

Checkfront

Checkfront is an online application that can be used for making reservations. This program can also help you analyze your sales data.

Price: This scheduling app costs $8 per month.

Features: It is compatible with your CRM and can be used for marketing and sales analysis. You can set payment to full or partial.

Reviews on the web: Small businesses that need operational data for analytics can take advantage of this scheduling app.

Possible cons: It is highly recommended to businesses in the travel industry, outside of that it may not be a great fit.

AppointmentPlus
Appointment Plus is a great scheduling app, but is not recommended for small business owners. It comes with great features at a high price.

Price: The basic package for this scheduling app is $49/mo. There is no free version.

Features: It comes with more than 500 settings that you can use to manage your appointments.

Reviews on the web: This is a great scheduling app, but is not for a small service business because of its pricing and complexity.

Possible cons: The pricing is high and there are too many features because it targets large companies.
Bookeo
Bookeo helps businesses to manage their bookings effectively. It is used by businesses in the car washing and photography industry.

Price: The price of this scheduling app starts at $14.95/mo.

Features: This scheduling app can be used to make payments. It is also designed to prevent schedule conflicts and cancellations.

Reviews on the web: If you are a party or event organizer or a service business owner with at least 3 team members, this scheduling app is for you.

Possible cons: This scheduling app has no free trial. This scheduling app is not ideal for solopreneurs.
Acuity Scheduling
The best feature of this service business application is its customer-facing option. When a client sets up an appointment, this scheduling app will collect basic information.

Price: It has a free trial for individual users (doctors or tutors) and paid plans that start at $15 a month. For service business owners, you can opt into their $25 per month plan or $50 per month plan that comes with multiple calendars.

Features: Automatic updates of schedules with your calendar, compatibility with MailChimp and Google Analytics, and it can process payments (if you bring your own payment processor). Kind of like BYOPP (Bring Your Own Payment Processor). Doesn’t have a great ring to it does it?

Reviews on the web: Service business owners provide a great review of this scheduling app because of the time they save with data collection.

Possible cons: This scheduling app is very complex to set up. Get out your spectacles and your ibuprofen.

Gigabook
For a detail-oriented scheduling app, the GigaBook scheduling app is something to check out, for sure. This scheduling app allows you to make appointment timeframes to maximize each schedule. It also allows clients to choose the team member they want.

Price: Price starts at $12 every month with a $7 additional fee for additional access. The $7 is for every team member that you add.

Features: This scheduling app allows customized appointment set-up and for clients to choose their preferred team member for assistance.

Reviews on the web: New users complain about the complexity of this app.

Possible cons: It is hard to use for non-techy users.

Appointy
This app allows your clients to schedule their appointment based on your availability and theirs.

Price: A free plan for small businesses that get at least 100 appointments per month. Small businesses with less appointments have to buy a plan that starts at $19.99/mo. Professional plan for $49.99 and $79.99/mo are also available.

Features: You can let your service business clients select available appointment dates. You can also add discounts and gifts or make packages that your clients can choose from. It can also process payments and it can send SMS reminders to your clients about their appointment.

Reviews on the web: This scheduling app is affordable for small businesses and service business owners. It is easy to use.

Possible cons: You have to bring your own payment processor to the table by linking it with Stripe or PayPal to receive payment for your service business. Let’s just say, this add your payment processor step is not fun.

Found what you need for your service business? Remember that all scheduling apps are the same in a way, some are more affordable and offer more features than others.

Now it’s time to go get yourself that single glass of wine to celebrate your new appointment app!

Need help deciding on which app to download? Go with PocketSuite! We have leading features and a competitive price point that helps your business grow.

Need help deciding on which app to download? Go with PocketSuite! We have leading features and a competitive price point that helps your business grow.

Like this article? You’ll love our guide on how to generate leads for service businesses in 2020, and of course our Frustrations with Square article!