Let’s be honest there is an absolute plethora of options of appointment booking softwares out there. In fact it is a problem of plenty. Considering many of the users are not technologically inclined – how do they even go about selecting a solution that meets requirements?
Calendly.com, Bookings.com, SimplyBookMe.com, etc are some of the leading appointment booking solutions. Ultimately, the decision to select a particular product depends on the use case.
Identifying use cases for appointment booking would result in the classification of user types as:
|Independent service providers||Small businesses||Enterprise|
|One person||2-20 users||20 + users|
|Independent doctors||Speciality firms||NGOs|
|Coaches & trainers||Boutique consulting firms||Large firms|
|Freelancers||Barber shops||Hospital chains|
|Gig workers||Healthcare clinics||Governments|
|IT Consultants||Marketing & Design agencies|
|Tradesmen||Interior & Fashion design houses|
Currently, solutions are designed keeping in mind the needs of corporate and SME users or in some large cases based on the industry. Doing this ensures consistent and larger revenues for the software developer and helps ensure innovation through sustainability. Nevertheless, the needs of different user groups are different and as such the Cost/Value proposition is also unique to the classification or industry type.
Now that you have identified which of the above classifications you belong to, it is crucial that you define your intent of using an appointment booking solution.
- Service oriented business
- Refers primarily to independent service providers and SMEs, where the intent is to gain revenue.
- Customer driven (Support/Engagement)
- Primarily about customer engagement and end user driven
Once you have classified your intent, you can easily sort through the functionalities required in the solution of your choice.
|Feature||Service Oriented||Customer Support/Engagement|
|Appointment bookings||Must have||Must have|
|Refers to the ability to list services and availability, so that the end customer can make a booking request accordingly.||Requires confirmations process||Auto bookings|
|Modern user experience||Must have||Could have|
|Refers to the importance of the overall process of booking experienced by the end customer.||A smooth experience ensures a sale||The end customer is already onboard, so UI/UX is not a key requisite|
|Payments||Must have||Could have|
|Ability to receive online payments for services provided.||A stable payments platform is a necessity, as this is a primary source of income||–|
|Integrations||Must have||Could have|
|Ability to interact with other apps/solutions like Google, Apple, Zoho, Zapier, etc||Chances are you use a bundle of apps to run your business. As such it is critical to have a solution that integrates into other services.||If needed, integration is paid for and done.|
|Analytics||Must have||Must have|
|Highlights earnings, no of bookings per month, info on missed bookings, etc||Required in-order to gauge what works and what doesn’t.||Core requirement to gauge performance|
|CRM Solution||Good to have||Must have|
|Customer management, relationship details, etc||Maintaining records||Booking services are generally tightly integrated to ensure a seamless experience.|
|Notifications||Must have||Good to have|
|In built mechanism to send reminders for meetings/actions||Must need, serves as a reminder mechanism||Customized based on type of engagement with the end customer.|
Having identified the feature set you can do rough analysis based on value for money and feature-set availability assessments. Some of the other resources you can utilize to select the best booking solution for your website are as below:
- Capterra – https://www.capterra.com/appointment-scheduling-software/
- G2 – https://www.g2.com/categories/online-appointment-scheduling
Articles on ranking, solution selection:
- Which is the best appointment scheduling software?
- The best appointment scheduling and booking software in 2021
- 9 Top Appointment Booking Tools for Businesses
Latom.in is an all in one software solution for freelancers, counsellors, therapists, barbers, salons, consultants, doctors or gig workers. It provides for calendar and booking management, Client Management (CRM), and a platform to build your own consulting/services marketplace. We offer a web and android based solution. To know more please book a demo here.
Featured image attribution: Calendar vector created by pikisuperstar – www.freepik.com