What is common among small businesses, entrepreneurs and busy professionals? They all need to manage their time well. And one effective tool in almost everyone’s arsenal is a scheduling tool.
Scheduling software available online is both paid and free. There is high demand for these tools because they enable you to schedule all kinds of appointments online and sell your products and services easily.
But not all free online scheduling tools are created equally. What do you need to look for when buying one? Here are some features that you should watch out for:
1. Calendar integrations
One of the most important features in an automated scheduling software is the ability to integrate with your existing calendar apps. How many calendar apps does the scheduling tool support? Can you sync it with Google, Outlook, Office 365 and some other popular apps?
If your calendars are in sync means that you can avoid double-booking and unhappy customers.
2. Automated reminders and notifications
Let’s face it: we use an app so that we can forget. Does the scheduling tool send reminders and notifications to your client before the appointment? Not only should it alert the clients but also carry helpful details about the meeting, along with the ability to reschedule or cancel right from the email to avoid the possibility of no shows or late arrivals.
3. Multiple service integrations
Modern businesses rely on an arsenal of tools and apps to conduct their operations smoothly. Most free online scheduling tools offer some integration with your existing tools and apps. But it is worth checking if they provide the necessary connections to the apps that are absolutely necessary for your business. For instance, if you have a preference for Zapier or Zoom and the scheduling app provides support for both, it is smooth sailing for you.
For instance, Booklikeaboss is an online scheduling tool that offers multiple integrations ranging from Outlook to Stripe, PayPal, Zoom and Zapier.
This helps you to get started easily and enhance your existing workflows.
4. User interface
It may not seem like a big deal at first, but the shorter the learning curve, the better it is for you and customers to adopt a new scheduling app. Is the interface modern and user friendly? Does it enable easy scheduling or does the user need to read a lot to figure it out. The user experience should be flawless and smooth for higher adoption.
5. Mobile support
While most free online scheduling tools offer mobile support, it is worth finding out more about it. Some tools provide an app for mobile while others are mobile optimized and work great on all devices and operating systems.
Check the tool’s design and responsiveness on mobile and ensure the experience is fast and smooth.
6. Limitations on number of bookings and listings
Can you offer unlimited number of bookings or is there a cap on how much you can offer? Ideally, the scheduling tool should provide unlimited number of bookings and the number of listings that you can offer to your clients.
7. Flexibility and customization
The ability to embed the online scheduling tool on your existing website allows you to truly leverage its potential. But that’s not all. Many a modern free online scheduling tool is designed around your priorities. That is, the tool is flexible and offers multiple customizations ranging from the cover and profile photos to colors and fonts, to YouTube Video integration, social media links and much more. You may not need all of these features now, but it is good to have them as you scale up and need more flexibility.
Last but not the least, a great scheduling software offers support. Be it bot assistance, video tutorials or in-depth documentation, you will need to tap into these resources when you hit a snag.
Ready to do your research? Be sure to use this checklist when making your final choice.