Best Appointment Systems Software in 2018

Appointment systems software takes the stress out of appointment scheduling, making it easier for agencies, professionals and SMEs to book, cancel, re-schedule, and remember important meetings and appointments. Advanced features include letting users view and book appointments from anywhere, allowing customers to make payments while booking an appointment, creating recurring appointments for customers, tracking attendance history, and allowing global users to set time zones.  Read the full software guide...


THE ULTIMATE Software Buyer Guide 2018

The Ultimate Appointment Systems Software Buyer Guide 2018

Product recommendations, vendor rankings, market overview and tips on how to select Appointment Systems software for business. Published in October 2018.

Appointment systems software takes the stress out of appointment scheduling, making it easier for agencies, professionals and SMEs to book, cancel, re-schedule, and remember important meetings and appointments. Advanced features include letting users view a...

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Appointment Systems Software Guide

What is Appointment Systems Software?

Appointment systems, or appointment scheduling software, are a form of business process solutions that allow companies, organizations, service providers, and professionals to manage their scheduling appointments and bookings more easily and efficiently.

Appointment systems are also referred to as online booking software and appointment booking software solutions. Organizations and independent professionals use this type of software solution to help automate the booking/scheduling process via the internet.

The system can be utilized effectively to manage client schedules, meetings, and bookings. Additionally, these platforms come with a few key features that make them a very effective scheduling solution for companies that are dealing with a fairly large number of clients on a daily basis.

Some of these core features include appointment reminders and notifications, employee and customer management, seamless calendar integration, payment and revenue processing, and mobile optimization and compatibility.

Through these features and capabilities, appointment systems can facilitate scheduling tasks, update appointments, and help improve the company’s productivity and efficiency.

There are two basic appointment system categories—desktop-based and web-based. Both of these appointment systems typically include integration with existing employee and customer information, integration with calendar systems linked with a centralized database, the ability to monitor and evaluate calendar data, and permissions or role-based access methods.


Types of Appointment Systems Software

As previously mentioned, appointment systems are divided into two main categories: the desktop-based solutions and the web-based platforms, which are otherwise known as software-as-a-service, or SaaS.

Desktop-based appointment systems are programs that are often licensed and installed on end-user computer systems. These types of programs are typically comprehensive and robust when it comes to the features and capabilities they offer, from real-time reporting to customizations and integrations with other existing systems within the organization’s network infrastructure.

Desktop scheduling software is ideal for brick and mortar service providers and businesses. It is a good appointment systems platform for organizations that do not necessarily cater to an online-based market.

The downside of this particular approach is the fact that most desktop-based platforms don’t generally have online portals for employee and customer access. Moreover, licensed and installed solutions often require ongoing maintenance, updates, and support as provided by the vendor or the service provider and conducted by the end user.

Web-based systems, on the other hand, are offered by third-party service providers. This type of scheduling platform offers appointment solutions and services that are hosted via the cloud. Normally, web-based appointment systems come in the form of a website and are accessed by the organization and its clients/customers through their web browsers.

The one major advantage to web-based appointment systems is that they provide customers with the ability or the option to book their own appointments, cancel upcoming appointment schedules, or move them to a different date and time.

Web-based appointment systems facilitate the appointment scheduling process over the web, providing customers and clients access to the schedules of service providers and professionals whose services they’re trying to book. Everything, from the booking process to payments, is done through the internet.

Customer appointment management software, or CAM, is a subcategory of web-based scheduling systems. CAMs are specifically designed to cater to businesses with a large mobile workforce, i.e. HVAC companies, pet grooming services, electronic repair services, delivery services, pool cleaners, landscaping professionals, veterinary services, and so on.

Pricing for desktop systems is typically based on a one-time licensing fee, while web-based appointment systems are normally available as a monthly or annual subscription.

In general, the pricing models for these types of appointment systems solutions may vary, from a traditional one-time licensing model for desktop-based programs to subscription-based, per-use, advertising-based, and per booking fee for web-based platforms.


How to Choose Appointment Systems Software

Appointment systems help businesses, service providers, and professionals to manage client bookings and appointments in a more efficient and convenient way. It benefits potential customers and clients by providing them with an easier and more practical way to schedule their appointments.

When choosing a suitable appointment system solution, the organization or company has to make sure the platform they subscribe to can effectively meet their demands and the needs of their clients.

One of the key considerations in selecting an appointment system is its capabilities. Make sure to understand or identify the full capabilities of the product/service. The best way of doing that is to take full advantage of the free trial period. Most vendors and service providers offer a free trial of their product/service. If you’re unsure about the system’s capabilities, get to know it inside and out with the free trial option.

Consider the features the solution provides. Some appointment system solutions may offer a plethora of features and tools, but half of them your business may never use. So, figure out which tools and applications your company actually needs and see whether or not the scheduling platform has those in store.

It’s also important to consider the industry your business operates in when choosing an appointment system. The best scheduling software solution is a versatile one. The platform has to have the ability to cater to a variety of businesses and industries. The solution has to be customizable and can adapt to a wide range of industries.

The pricing model used by the service provider or vendor is another factor that needs to be carefully considered.

As mentioned, there are many different types of pricing models available, from subscription-based pricing with the option to pay on a monthly, annual, or biannual basis to the per booking pricing model. Research the pricing options carefully and figure out which one fits your organization best.


Benefits of Appointment Systems Software

Why are appointment systems important? Why should you use appointment scheduling software solutions? What are its advantages and benefits? These are the types of questions that might be going through your head right now, upon learning what an appointment system is.

One of the benefits this type of software solution may provide your business is the fact that it will make your brand look more professional in the eyes of potential clients. Even if you have no official website for your business, if you have an online booking service, that may still be a win. Application systems help to attract new customers and retain existing ones.

Application systems will also help you save time on administrative tasks like recording schedules and appointments on actual record books and filing them accordingly. With a web-based appointment systems solution, you can do away with traditional pen-and-paper scheduling and filing. The system will automate the process and store the records via the cloud. This will help improve staff efficiency and minimize errors like double booking.

Finally, appointment systems software solutions help to increase revenue. Through the automation of scheduling work, by providing customers and clients to book their own appointments online, service professionals will be able to spend their time meeting appointments, servicing more customers, and generating more revenue.


Common Features of Appointment Systems

API Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) are programmatic intersections with external products or platforms that allow for custom integrations with your own solutions or other solutions you are using.
Calendar Management Manage and update calendars for scheduling or consolidation of events across teams, departments or business functions.
Contact Management Manage large amounts of personal or business contacts in a centralized system.
Contact Sharing Share contacts across teams or platforms to give access to others or to migrate address books across different systems.
Customer Management Manage customer databases and/or track outstanding shipments, payments and more.
Dashboard Dashboards are digital interfaces commonly used to visualise data or give quick access to important features and functions of online platforms. They often serve as an overview gateway in software applications.
Data Export Exporting functionality can be used to streamline the migration of data sets and information across systems, platforms or applications.
Data Import Importing functionality allows you to use data sets from other systems or platforms to cut down on data entry requirements or to more easily migrate records from similar applications you have used in the past.
Data Visualization Data visualization features render a visual interpretation of data sets through the use of charts, infographics and other visual cues generally in form of a reporting dashboard.
Email Integration Integration with email clients or providers to create and send emails as well as view received emails within an application.
External Integrations Integrations with other software products or platforms to improve efficiency and compatibility across systems.
Google Apps Integration Integration with the G Suite, including Gmail, Google Docs, Google Sheets, Google Calendar, etc.
Lead Management Manage business leads to improve sales outreach processes or stay on top of prospect inquiries.
Multi-User Supports more than just one user account and generally allows for collaboration with colleagues.
Notifications Includes notification support and sends you alerts with information on important events and other time sensitive instances. For example through push notifications on mobile phones or email notifications.
Scheduling Schedule tasks, resources, appointments, payments, communications, etc.
Third-Party Plugins/Add-Ons Offers additional features or integrations built by third-party developers in form of plugins or add-ons.
Time Management Monitor and optimize how you're spending your time.

Latest User Reviews of Appointment Systems

Appoint.ly
Eben Marks, Customer Success Manager - SmileBack
"Great for setting up customer calls"

BookSteam
Monica Cherry, Administrator - Self-Employed
"huge help!"

SuperSaaS
Sneha Mittal, Marketing and Customer Service Manager - SuperSaaS - Online Appointment Scheduling
"Amazing for small and medium businesses"

The software is very affordable and highly customizable. I use it to manage my person...

Appoint.ly
Nick Amaral, District Staff Development Coordinator - Ramapo Indian Hills High School District
"Decent Booking App"

The layout and overall design is engaging. Apppointly lets you set the hours you work...


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