Top 10 appointment scheduling software tools for small businesses
READ TIME: 12 MINUTES
Calendly, May 26, 2020
How much time do you think you spend scheduling a single appointment? How many emails back and forth does it take to settle on a good time?
10 appointment scheduling tools that get your time back
You can get a lot of that time back by switching away from inefficient email scheduling and adopting appointment scheduling software. You have a lot of choices in today’s market, so we’ve narrowed it down to what we feel is the best appointment scheduling software for small business out there.
We admit it—we’re a little bit biased. We think that Calendly is the best appointment scheduling software available. But we think that because we've invested our time and resources making it the convenient, fully-featured and easy-to-use software that today's small businesses need.
How it works
Calendly takes on the manual work of scheduling for you so you can focus on collaboration instead. You can embed the scheduling tool on your website or integrate it with other apps, like GoToMeeting or Salesforce, so wherever you are, you can set up a meeting.
Once the invitee has chosen a meeting time, it automatically goes onto your calendar. You’ve already told the platform that you’re available then, so there’s no need for prolonged discussion.
Calendly blends simplicity with flexibility. In your Calendly account, you can set preferences that make sure your calendar works the way you want it to. You can:
Set a cap on the number of meetings a team member has per day
Add a time buffer before and after events
Show correct availability for invitees’ time zones
Disable last-minute meetings and require scheduling to happen a certain amount of time in advance
Calendly also provides metrics on invitee engagement and scheduling activity so that you can schedule even more efficiently.
Who’s it for?
Calendly works for all sizes of teams and all meeting types, from one-on-ones to large seminars. Admins can set up team pages so that each team member sees the relevant event and invitee types on their screens, and everyone gets automated confirmation and reminder notifications.
Calendly is also ideal for companies that run a lot of videoconferencing or webinar events. Thanks to integrations with Zoom, GoToMeeting and Join.me, you can add your virtual meeting details to your Calendly events and avoid people being late because they couldn’t find their login information.
Calendly has three pricing tiers:
Basic: Free, one calendar per user
Essentials: $8 per user per month, 2 calendars per user
Professional: $12 per user per month, 6 calendars per user
With annual billing, you can save 20% off of these fees. A 14-day free trial is available with no credit card required, and you can always upgrade if you need more features.
Like any good scheduling tool, Appointment lets customers set appointments 24 hours a day, seven days a week, based on your specified availability. Appointment also supports encrypted and secure transactions via SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) technology so you can take payments at the time of scheduling.
Appointment’s features give admins plenty of control. You can choose which staff members can view or edit which calendar. You can manage appointment books across multiple locations or service types, with no worries about double-booking.
Additionally, Appointment provides easy access to data analytics that help you understand appointment trends, customer spending patterns, and so on.
Appointment lets users choose a monthly booking plan or a small business plan. The monthly booking plan has four levels, each with a per-month charge ($29 to $74 per month) and a maximum number of bookings per month (300 to 1,500).
Small business plans let you choose to subscribe per year or pay as you go. The pay-as-you-go option offers unlimited bookings for $0.20 per booking.
AppointEze is geared specifically to small organizations. It lets customers view available appointments in real-time and schedule or reschedule their appointments independently so you can focus on the task of providing service.
AppointEze lets you embed its appointment scheduling tool into your website. You can create user-friendly online forms to include so your customers can schedule meetings almost anywhere they find you online. On your end, you can have your bookings synced to Google Calendar to avoid double-bookings, and you get automated reminders so you don’t miss a meeting.
AppointEze accepts payments online and lets you customize the checkout process. You can:
Make retail items available in the order
Add coupon codes or vouchers
Allow customers to choose from different pricing tiers or membership levels
In addition, AppointEze provides you with analytics to help you manage your leads and client relationships.
AppointEze has three pricing tiers:
Economy ($49 per user per month)
Premium ($99 per user per month)
If you subscribe per year, you get 12 months for the price of 10.
Appointy has a user-friendly interface that lets your customers book appointments, visits and services 24 hours a day from anywhere. The software supports multiple staff members and locations, but these options are only available at higher pricing tiers.
With Appointy, you have the freedom to customize your available slots: when they are, how long an appointment can be and even how many people can sign up for each one. This feature is particularly useful if you have state or local laws limiting event capacity.
It’s also possible to set up conditional availability, restricting sign-ups to slots of your choice. When those slots fill, Appointy will open more slots for sign-up.
You can embed Appointy’s scheduler into your company website or create a booking tab on your Facebook page. According to Appointy, adding the option to book through Facebook can get you three times more appointments. You can market your service through Facebook, Twitter or email.
Appointy has a free tier suitable for a service provider. There are also three paid plans available for providers who need more features or have multiple staff members. Plans range from $29.99 per month for growth companies to $99.99 per month for enterprises. Savings are available for annual subscribers.
Appointy offers a 14-day free trial for all new users. The free trial is fully featured and does not require a credit card.
Setmore lets customers book appointments with just a few clicks. Rescheduling existing appointments is a simple drag-and-drop process.
You can add Setmore to your Weebly or WordPress site or have customers book through Facebook. Booking can be for a single appointment or a recurring series of appointments, a helpful feature if you have clients who come back every week.
Setmore’s features include customizable text message reminders for clients and email reminders for clients and staff. Team members can manage their own calendars, minimizing the need for any back-and-forth. Apps are available for iOS and Android so everyone can manage their schedule on the go.
Setmore has numerous integrations, including Square or Stripe integrations for online payments. It also links to Slack accounts and syncs with most major calendars.
Setmore has a robustly featured free tier with no expiration. It includes Square payments and automated emails and supports up to four staff logins. At any time, you can upgrade to one of the following:
Premium: $25 per month, up to 20 logins, including text reminders
Live Booking: $89 per month, including live receptionist service
6. Square Appointments
Square Appointments is the scheduling solution that’s part of the Square payment processing software. Its basic functionality is the same as other leading appointment schedulers — clients can book from anywhere, and you can track multiple schedules and locations. With Square, you also have the option to accept or decline appointments.
Square Appointments has a free online booking website, or you can create booking links for Google and Instagram.
Unsurprisingly, Square Appointments is most fully featured when it comes to payments. You can collect payment at checkout, require prepayment at the time of booking, or send invoices. You can also set up your appointment scheduler to accept cancellation fees.
Square also has the Square Assistant, a digital messenger that communicates with clients on your behalf. It can confirm, cancel or reschedule appointments, all based on your preferences.
Square Appointments has a unique pricing structure among appointment scheduling apps. It’s free for individuals, but you’ll pay a fee of 2.6% of the Square payment charge plus 10 cents per “tap, dip or swipe.”
The per-transaction fee still holds for paid plans, except that it’s 0.1% lower. A plan designed for two to five employees is $50 per month as a base charge, and one for six to 10 employees is $90 per month.
10to8 is a cloud-based booking system that offers branded communications across multiple locations, calendars, and teams. Customers can easily book online and receive automated SMS, email and voice call reminders so they don’t miss an appointment. The platform tracks all messages so you know if someone saw a reminder.
10to8 allows admins to set calendar access controls so that staff can only view or edit certain calendars. All communications are subject to bank-grade security, and GDPR and HIPAA compliance are both available at certain pricing tiers.
When a client or staff member makes or reschedules an appointment, you see it on your screen instantly. Because you can access 10to8 on the go through any operating system and device, you’re always plugged in to what’s going on.
Reporting and analytics are robust as well. A live dashboard shows how your business is performing based on appointment volume. You can also run reports by customer, service type or staff member.
10to8 has a “free forever” plan for small businesses as well as four paid tiers:
Basic: $12 per month
Grow: $25 per month
Bigger Business: $50 per month
Enterprise: Custom pricing
The number of available appointments and supported staff members increases with each pricing tier. There is a free trial available, and a yearly subscription saves 20% per month.
Acuity Scheduling also supports self-service booking and multi-calendar scheduling. Clients can select from your chosen availability slots and book in real-time.
Acuity embeds into your website and accepts payments or deposits through PayPal, Square or Stripe. You can also accept tips, offer coupons and upsell with checkout add-ons like retail products or extra services.
The signup form itself is customizable and includes an option for client intake forms so you have all information in place when you prepare for appointments. Clients get customized confirmations and reminders to reduce the risk of no-shows.
Acuity has a free plan for solo service providers and three paid plans for larger small businesses:
Emerging Entrepreneur: $15 per month
Growing Business: $25 per month
Powerhouse Player: $50 per month
All paid users have access to advanced features. Higher tiers let you manage more calendars, staff members and locations. There is a free seven-day trial available.
GenBook proactively manages your appointment scheduling to help you avoid overlaps, double bookings and cancellations. You set your availability, and GenBook lets clients schedule a time with you conveniently and securely.
GenBook offers customized appointment scheduling with a tailor-made BookNow website and CTA button. The BookNow site integrates with WordPress, Facebook, Instagram and Google.
GenBook's built-in point of sale offers multiple payment options, including options for full and partial payment and voucher redemption. All payment processing is PCI compliant.
GenBook has three pricing tiers:
Solo: $29 per month
Team: $59 per month (up to five users)
Company: $99 per month (up to 12 users)
Every plan includes all available features. There is no free plan, but you can sign up for a 30-day free trial with no credit card needed.
SimplyBook.me takes bookings 24 hours a day and supports multiple locations. Confirmations and reminders for staff and clients keep everyone on the same page.
SimplyBook.me lets you create your own branded booking website that can stand alone or integrate as a widget into your existing site. You can also add booking CTAs to Facebook, Instagram and GoogleMyBusiness.
With SimplyBook.me, you can accept payments through an inbuilt POS or through payment processors like Stripe and PayPal. You can also add coupons or upsells as part of the checkout process.
An admin platform is included so you can view, create, edit and cancel appointments. The platform lets you manage employee timetables so that scheduling can happen all in one place.
SimplyBook.me has a free tier that includes almost all basic features except POS functionality. There are also three paid plans:
Basic: $99 per year
Standard: $299 per year
Premium: $599 per year
You can try out the service with a 14-day free trial that supports 50 bookings and includes most platform features.
Take back your schedule
As the best appointment scheduling software for small business, all of these platforms have features that can make your life easier. But again, we're biased — after seeing what these options have to offer, we still think Calendly is the easiest to use and most convenient. Give it a try and let us know what you think!
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