4 Best Appointment Scheduling Software 2019: Reviews & Pricing
Appointment scheduling software is ideal for any small business that relies on clients to schedule appointments for services, including salons, spas, fitness pros, and medical offices. We researched, tested, and compared dozens of appointment scheduling software to suggest the best one for your small business.
Top 4 Appointment Scheduling Software for Small Businesses
|Salons, spas, consignment stores, caterers, and others that need built-in point of sale|
+Built-in payment processor
+All features included
|Solopreneurs or very small businesses|
+Free option includes all features
+Automatic text and email reminders
-Limits users and appointments
|Any retailer that wants built-in marketing |
+Integrates with social media and Groupon
-Limits appointments per month
|Medical offices that require HIPAA compliance|
+Integrates with other software
+Branding available with paid plans
-Dated UI and UX
|Salons, spas, consignment stores, caterers, and others that need built-in point of sale|
Solopreneurs or very small businesses
Any retailer that wants built-in marketing
|Medical offices that require HIPAA compliance|
Which Appointment Scheduling Software Is Best for You?
How We Determined the Best Appointment Scheduling Software
The highest-rated appointment scheduling software is easy to use, full of helpful features, and affordable, which are all important factors for any small business owner. Most appointment scheduling software is mobile-friendly, and they allow your customers to book appointments themselves. Integrations are also typically included so that you can sync calendars, connect to your customer relationship management (CRM) software, and more.
We picked the top four software based on the following criteria:
- Good user experience (UX) & user interface (UI)
- Confirmations (text & email)
- Customer information tracking
The best appointment scheduling app overall is Square Appointments because it goes above and beyond the job of a scheduling app. It’s easy for your clients to book an appointment right from their phone if they want. It’s also easy for you to manage your schedule. For a solopreneur, you can’t get better than free, which is what Square Appointments will cost you. Teams get affordable pricing, too. The Square payment processor is built right in, so you can take payments from your clients easily.
What Are the Benefits of Appointment Scheduling Software?
Appointment scheduling software allows you to track appointments and bookings for your customers. You can set appointments for clients or clients can do it themselves.
Here are the main benefits of appointment scheduling software:
- Calendar view of appointments
- Mobile-friendly calendar
- Set appointments yourself
- Clients set appointments on your site
- Integrates with social media for easy access for clients
- Calendar sync allows you to block personal time
- Automatic text, email, or phone call reminders reduce no-shows
- Add multiple users & see all appointments at once
- Accept payments through software
- Add your branding to your calendar
Appointment Scheduling Software Pricing: What Are the Costs?
Appointment scheduling software is affordable, but some options are less expensive than others and still include a robust feature set. Below is a chart that shows you what you can expect to get for each plan level for most appointment scheduling software. Of course, features vary for each app, so use this as a simple guide.
Appointment Scheduling Software Pricing Table
|Point of Sale|
*Average monthly prices shown are based on annual payments.
Is a Free Appointment Scheduling App Worth It?
There are two big issues with going with free software and only one exception.
The number of appointments you can book through the app is likely low. Staff logins are typically throttled, as well. Some appointment scheduling software won’t give you advanced features, such as text reminders to clients or branding to give your booking calendar a polished, professional appearance.
If you own a salon, but you’re the only stylist, then free software could work for you. However, once you start adding employees, you’re going to want to give them their own calendars, in which case you’ll have to upgrade.
When Free Appointment Scheduling Is the Right Choice
The only time free appointment scheduling software is a good idea is when you’re running a solo operation. The good news is that the best free appointment scheduling software doesn’t place many limitations on what you can do. That’s why we chose Square Appointments as our top pick, regardless of which plan you choose.
Appointment Scheduling Software Features — Which Do You Need?
There are plenty of appointment scheduling features that help make it easy for clients to schedule their own appointments in the software you choose, and they even can include features to help you track customers, sync calendars, and more.
Any appointment scheduling software worth a look is going to be mobile ready. Clients often book appointments for the salon, spa, dog grooming, teeth cleaning, and more on the go. Most appointment scheduling software makes your booking site mobile-responsive, so it works on any device.
Email & Text
Life gets busy for all of us, and it’s easy to let an appointment slip one’s mind, but the best appointment scheduling software includes email and text reminders. The biggest benefit of this feature is that you don’t have to set a reminder for yourself to call your clients to remind them. Most scheduling software sends the chosen reminder to your client automatically to prevent no-shows.
It’s important in any business to track a customer’s information for various reasons. With a glance at your calendar, you’ll know the name of your client, the last time you saw them, and what they had done. This can help you tailor each service and create custom upsells that work.
Just because you don’t have an appointment booked at 11 a.m. on Tuesday doesn’t mean you aren’t busy, and this is where calendar syncing can be helpful. Some software allows you to sync your personal calendar with your appointment scheduling app to block times or days to prevent overlapping your personal meetings, lunch breaks, days off, or other events with client appointments.
Although many appointment scheduling software includes helpful features, they might not go far enough for your needs. Some offer integrations with popular software that you may already use, which extends the app’s use. You might want to integrate your accounting software, payment processor, or CRM.
In the case of Square Appointments, you won’t have to worry about choosing a payment processor because Square is both your POS and your schedule manager. Set up your virtual POS or send an email invoice. The free plan requires you to pay 2.75 percent per transaction, and the percentage drops to 2.5 percent (plus 10 cents) for the paid plans.
Social Media Integration
You’re likely marketing your services on social media, so it only makes sense that you have an appointment scheduling app that integrates. Your followers will be able to see your calendar from your profile and book an appointment without having to go to your website, call you, or open any other app.
Types of Appointment Scheduling Software
Most appointment scheduling software operates in the cloud now as software as a service (SaaS). If you choose a desktop version of appointment scheduling software, it’s unlikely that it will include an online portal for customers to book their own appointments, removing one of the key benefits of this type of software.
There are many industries that definitely need appointment scheduling software. However, some industries may need specific or niche appointment scheduling software.
Doctors, dentists, optometrists, and every other health-related profession in between rely on client appointments to continue running efficiently. Appointment scheduling software can keep each day operating smoothly with enough time in between appointments for chats with the doctor or paperwork. Choose software, such as Acuity, with strong data protection to keep client records confidential and HIPAA-compliant.
Appointment scheduling software does more than let you manage a whole team of stylists. It also lets you create customer profiles with light CRM, such as with Square Appointments, so you can track preferences, hair color, and time your email blasts with promotions or reminders that it’s time for another trim, touch-up, or shave.
Contractors, electricians, plumbers, and cleaning crews can stay on top of jobs that come in with appointment scheduling software. Choose an appointment scheduling app that includes payment processing like Square Appointments so that clients can pay for services quickly and easily after the job is completed.
Real estate professionals have much to track between buyers, sellers, and showings. Appointment scheduling software combines many features you find in other software apps into one, such as CRM, calendar appointments, and reminders. For real estate agents, 10to8 is a free to low-cost solution. You can let buyers schedule showings with you easily through the calendar feature, and follow up afterward for feedback.
You can find specific reservation software out there for your restaurant, but it isn’t always necessary. Appointment scheduling software like Square Appointments can work similarly when you choose one that allows you to add your calendar to your website where customers can make their own reservations.
Managing a child care business can be complicated, but with appointment scheduling software like Acuity, it’s a little easier. You can manage all the children in for the morning, afternoon, or evening easily. The light CRM that’s typically included can also make it easy to manage information about each child, from allergies and medications needed to emergency contact information and favorite stuffed toy.
Appointment scheduling software can keep any auto service business on task day after day. Whether you take an appointment over the phone or it’s made online through your calendar, you can prevent overlaps of appointments and make sure the work is done on time for each client. Square Appointments provides all the features an auto business would need.
What to Ask Before Choosing Appointment Scheduling Software
Will My Clients Book Appointments Online?
From restaurants and medical offices to massage therapists and fitness trainers, they all work by appointment only, but you need to consider your client base. If they’re not likely to take to making appointments themselves online, you might be wasting your time and money. However, the majority of people you deal with are likely swiping through their smartphone right now as more than 67% of Americans use them.
How Many Clients and Potential Clients Call After Business Hours?
You probably keep typical business hours. Your clients likely do, too. So, many potential customers might save their calls for appointments for after hours. The problem with this is they might not leave a message, or you’ll be stuck at the front desk returning phone calls all morning, rather than focusing on what you should be focused on: providing client services. Those after-hour calls are missed opportunities and another reason you could benefit from appointment scheduling software.
Am I Happy With My Current Scheduling System?
If you answered yes to this question, it could be that you’re simply used to your current system. Try one of the best appointment scheduling software, and you’re likely to answer this question differently. You’re probably going to have fewer no-shows, be on the phone less, and have more repeat business, thanks to the helpful added features.
List of All Appointment Scheduling App Options
After reading through the guide, you should be at the point now that you’re ready to dive into the world of appointment scheduling software. Get a better idea of how other small business owners like you feel about the software by reading appointment scheduling app user reviews.
Acuity Scheduling enables you to offer service programs and your clients to book appointments. Its paid plans start at $15 per month. View Profile
Calendly is an appointment scheduling software that enables users to schedule and manage meetings. Paid plans start at $10 per user, per month. View Profile
Doodle is an appointment scheduling software that allows users to schedule a date and time for meetings. Pricing ranges from $4 to $30+/month. View Profile
TimeTap is an appointment scheduling software that allows users to manage their meetings. Prices range from $0 to $59.95+ per month. View Profile
MyTime is an online appointment scheduling tool that enables users to manage customer bookings. Prices range from $134-$249+/month. View Profile
YouCanBook.me is a software that enables its users to set appointments and track schedules online. Pricing ranges from $0 to $192 per calendar. View Profile
10to8 is a software that enables business owners to easily manage their appointments with their clients. Pricing ranges from $0 to $50+/month. View Profile
YellowSchedule allows users to customize booking requirements, sync and customize calendars and more. Prices start at $29.95 per month. View Profile
Booker is an appointment scheduling software that allows users to book appointments and manage staff online. Prices range from $125-$395/month. View Profile
Visibook is an appointment scheduling software that allows users to share calendar links to their customers. Fees range from $6.99–$19.99/month. View Profile
The Bottom Line
Appointment scheduling software can make it easy for you to direct your attention to your clients and your business, rather than your calendar. We chose Square Appointments as the best appointment scheduling app because it organizes your appointments, allows clients to book services online, and it can sync with your personal calendar.
You can also accept payments through Square’s payment processor. Plus, Square Appointments has a free option for solo operations. The paid plans have reasonable rates, too. Still not sure? Try the free plan or try a free trial of the team plans Square Appointments offers.