Online Appointment Scheduler | 9 mins read

Your Guide to Online Appointment Schedulers

your guide to online appointment schedulers
Mary Kate Morrow

By Mary Kate Morrow

What is an Online Appointment Scheduler?

An online appointment scheduler is a tool or application that gives clients the ability to schedule appointments via an online portal. An online appointment scheduler is also commonly referred to as booking software or online scheduling software.

An online appointment scheduling tool is crucial for businesses that rely heavily on client appointments. With the best appointment scheduler, owners can grow business and increase bottom line profitability.

Both small business and large corporation owners have found that investing in an online booking system assists with everything from automatically scheduling recurring appointments to real time email reminders regarding appointments.

The Importance of Appointment Scheduling

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An appointment scheduler is important for a wide range of business processes. The ability to manage appointments assists with everything from increasing bottom line profitability to boosting business reputation.

One important component of online appointment scheduling is that it decreases the likelihood of a business owner arriving unprepared or not at all for a scheduled meeting. A scheduling tool can send out automated reminders through email reminders or text messages to both business owners and clients.

As a result, business owners can schedule reminders for a specific period of time before an appointment for both themselves and their customers. Not only will this prevent the likelihood of either party forgetting about an important appointment, but business owners can manage appointments more effectively in order to make sure plenty of time is allotted to prepare.

Regardless of whether a meeting is a free appointment to discuss a potential project or recurring appointments with a long term customer, punctuality and preparedness are absolutely essential to maintaining a professional image. Proving clients with easy use online appointment scheduling software will further solidify a professional business relationship and boost the company's reputation.

The establishment of strong customer relationships is paramount for guaranteeing repeat clients. The purposeful maintenance of customer relationships will increase retention and grow business profitability.

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How to Find an Online Appointment Scheduler that Suits You

With the prominent benefits that an online booking system can offer both businesses and their clients, the investment is well worth it. However, some business owners may be unsure which specific appointment scheduling software is the best fit for their own company.

Just as every customer has their own unique objectives, wants, and needs, so do businesses. Unsurprisingly, different businesses require different scheduling tool solutions.

Important considerations for deciding which online booking system is the best fit for a specific business include-

1. Considering Features

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Businesses can begin the brainstorming process by composing a list of both required and desired online appointment scheduling software features. These features can range from easy use external calendar synch capabilities to real time alerts whenever customers book an appointment.

2. Analyzing Comparisons

Finding the best appointment software requires careful consideration and comparison. Thankfully, there are many online guides that will list appointment scheduler functions and features side by side.

In addition to comparing features offered, businesses should look into reviews on service providers that customers have created. Customer reviews can identify booking software potential pain points and highlight unique benefits offered.

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3. Accessing Trials

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A free plan trial is a great option for business owners looking to invest in the best appointment scheduling software for their specific business. Business owners can contact service providers directly to make sure that free plan trials supply the full breadth of available features.

Businesses can also request extensions on free online appointment scheduler trials if more time is needed to explore the features. A combination of free appointment schedulers and free plan options can help business owners make a final well informed decision.

How to Build Your Own Online Appointment Scheduler

With every business possessing its own wants and needs, custom appointment schedulers are very useful. The best appointment scheduling software and tools may be different depending on the industry type and objectives of a specific company.

Thankfully, there are many tips and best practices for both small businesses and larger corporations looking to build their own online booking systems including adding-

1. Details

With so many options available to consumers, business owners should point out what makes their services or products different from the competition. Before customers book an appointment they have the ability to learn more about what makes a business unique.

Details provided on the appointment booking page should be checked closely for errors. Addresses must be clearly listed for physical storefronts in addition to easy use customer service links should customers require any additional clarification.

2. Availability

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Clarifying availability is essential for proper online appointment scheduling. For example, if a small business has specific hours for breaks or lunch that they will be out of the office, then appointments should not be offered for those time slots.

Even for a larger corporation, recurring appointments with service providers or internal team meetings can make certain time slots unavailable. If free appointment booking is not offered and a fee must be paid, credit card portals or other payment options should be clearly listed.

3. Automated Reminders

Automated reminders significantly decrease the prevalence of no show appointments. Offering both text message and email reminders to clients reminds them of a scheduled appointment on multiple platform types.

While some clients meticulously keep up their Google calendar or calendar synch appointments, other clients are more forgetful. Automated reminders are a great way to keep less organized customers focused and accountable.

Texts are opened at a higher rate than email reminders are so it is crucial that email reminders are used in a complementary manner. The best online appointment scheduling software can even offer time and service specific automated reminder options.

4. Booking Page

A booking page should be customized and unique in order to draw in and maintain customer interest. A memorable booking page can function as a marketing tool, making a lasting impression on potential customers and supplying a great experience for returning clients.

Options for making a booking page stand out include utilizing stock photos as visual aids that are high resolution. Unfortunately, poor quality resolution photographs can actually deter customers.

Client reviews should be accessible for curious potential customers to peruse. If client reviews are not listed directly on a booking page, business owners should make sure to provide an easy use button to route customers to the review page.

5. Calender Sync

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Calendar sync capabilities are extremely helpful for keeping both business owners and customers organized. Especially for people who utilize multiple calendars simultaneously, calendar synch abilities should be considered a top priority.

Calendar sync functions are an easy use solution to avoid double booking and missing scheduled appointments.

6. Sharing

All the effort it requires to create and maintain a scheduling tool for a business is useless if customers do not or can not access it. Sharing a booking page can be accomplished through a variety of means from social media posts to email campaigns.

The Benefits of Online Appointment Scheduling Systems

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There are significant benefits for businesses that properly utilize online appointment scheduling software. Both well known service providers or newly opened small businesses will find an organized and efficient booking system is massively beneficial.

Noteworthy benefits of an online appointment scheduling system include-

1. 24/7 Accessibility

One thing that small businesses and large corporations have in common is that their customers appreciate the ability to book appointments online through an easy use platform. Customers book appointments when they have free time, which often is outside traditional business work hours.

In fact, case studies show that 35% of clients prefer scheduling appointments outside of the traditional 9-5 work hours. Research also shows that 40% of occurrences where clients book appointments online happen outside of the 9-5 work hours.

When customers book appointments in real time and outside of traditional work hours, there is an additional less obvious benefit for business owners. Instead of business owners feeling that they have to be on their electronic devices at all hours to confirm appointments, a scheduling tool can handle the task effortlessly.

2. Reduce No Shows

Missed appointments negatively impact both clients and the businesses they patron. A missed appointment has the ability to severely damage a working relationship permanently.

For a small business owner that is just beginning to grow business opportunities, missed appointments are especially damaging. Thankfully, an online booking system can decrease the number of no shows.

Automated reminders that include email reminders and text messages can majorly decrease missed appointments. In fact, studies show that automated reminders sent via text message can decrease no shows by 39%.

An online booking website makes it possible for both business owners and clients to make real time adjustments to their appointments. For example, if a business owner needs to reduce shows for the week, they can reschedule an appointment instantly.

Likewise, a client can reschedule or cancel with service providers without even having to make a phone call.

3. Easy Use

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The best appointment scheduler provides easy use and accessibility. The traditional methods of scheduling appointments require a lot of back and forth, which wastes the time and energy of everyone involved.

One common example occurs when a customer uses a phone call to schedule appointments. Instead of potentially multiple phone calls trying to find the best time for both parties, an online appointment scheduler is a one stop solution.

Additionally, the ability to schedule appointments online minimizes human error. Appointment scheduling software can avoid two customers being booked for the same time slot.

Automated reminders also avoid a business owner needing to remember to followup with a client directly before their appointment.

4. Google Visibility

Google searches for finding businesses near a user's location to purchase products or services from have surged. In 2017, users looking for businesses and products in their own area grew 500%.

The best appointment scheduler will help a small business to establish its presence in the community. Large businesses also benefit from showing up on Google searches.

Google calendar can be a helpful scheduling tool for businesses that want to manage appointments there. Calendar sync is an especially great option for businesses whose representatives are frequently on the move.

5. Marketing

Both small businesses and large corporations are aware of how important marketing is in order to sustain and grow business operations. With more consumers engaging with the internet than ever before, marketing initiatives are increasingly moving to online platforms.

Including a free online link for customers to instantly schedule appointments in real time decreases the likelihood of them bouncing from the page. Easy use online scheduling tools can be linked directly to both social media and website advertisements.

Key Takeaways

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  • Free appointment scheduling capabilities are essential for both small business and large company customers.
  • Finding the right online booking system is assisted through consideration of features, analyzing comparisons, and accessing trials.
  • Customizing appointment scheduling software includes supplying details about a business and clarifying availability.
  • Benefits of online appointment scheduling software include 24/7 accessibility and a reduction in no show appointments.

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