So, you’re ready to retire your paper-based appointment book in favour of appointment scheduling and calendar software. But you want the best of the best.
That makes sense. If you’re an appointment-based business, your scheduling software will be among the most powerful tools you will have on your side. It will take care of so many things so that you don’t have to.
This software will be the foundation of your very business, so of course, you want to make sure that you’ve chosen a powerful software.
It goes without saying, but indeed, not all software is created equal. They don’t all have the same level of functionality.
That’s exactly why we’ve compiled this checklist of what makes the best scheduling software.
Now, keep in mind that this isn’t the ultimate list. We’ve covered the ultimate guide to choosing the best scheduling software before – we suggest you give it a read. That list includes other important elements like ease of use, etc.
We suggest you give it a read as well.
1. Fully-Encrypted Software & Cloud-Based Storage
Your scheduling software will be storing a lot more than client names, their phone numbers and the time of their appointment. A good software will also allow you to track client details and other personal and sensitive information (more on this to come).
There’s a lot on the line in terms of the potential for security threats and data loss, so it’s imperative that the software prioritizes security. A top-tier software will be fully encrypted and also offer cloud-based storage.
With cloud-based storage, it will automatically backup all of your data and prevent against data loss whether due to cyber threats or because of system failure.
2. Design Excellence
A top-tier appointment scheduling and calendar software will have a well thought out design, especially when it comes to critical aspects of the booking process like the booking page itself.
After all, in order for customers to want to book online, the booking page needs to be streamlined. Is booking fast? Does the booking page have design elements that would help the user navigate through the booking process?
Above all, design is critical to conversions. Every e-commerce site will tell you this. 30% of all online shopping carts are abandoned due to long, complicated checkouts.
Design excellence also means that the booking page is mobile responsive. Customers need to have the ability to book on their smartphones. More people are using their smartphones than ever before.
So, above all, a top-tier scheduling software will display design excellence when it comes to critical features of the booking process. This is particularly true for the booking page.
3. Smart Automation
A major benefit of scheduling software is that it automates time-consuming tasks and makes businesses work more efficiently. But there’s an important distinction here.
Smart automation – automation that not only reduces time-consuming tasks but is also designed to encourage more bookings and more business is what’s key.
For example, a top-tier software will offer email and SMS confirmations. Not only does this reduce staff time spent on the phone, but it also reduces no-shows.
But a study published in The Internet Journal of Healthcare Administration found that email reminders reduced no-shows by as much as 36%.
Yocale has also found that reminders reduce no-shows by as much as 80 percent.
A software that also offers automated reviews is another example of smart automation. It reduces time spent trying to solicit more reviews while simultaneously encouraging more business (more reviews is always good for business).
4. Customizable Scheduling Options
In order for a scheduling software to be as effective and as useful as possible, it needs to bend toward your business’s particular needs. Every business has different scheduling needs and as such, it’s important that the software is able to bend – not the other way around.
If you only want to take appointment requests instead of firm bookings, the scheduler should be able to accommodate your needs. If you only have certain services available on certain days of the week, again, the software should accommodate you.
And a top-tier scheduling software will be able to do so.
5. The Following Key Features
Next, a top-tier appointment scheduling and calendar software will have the following key features: invoicing and client management.
Invoicing allows businesses to easily keep track of how and when clients paid. Invoicing is traditionally a source of a lot of headaches for appointment-based businesses.
The client management feature allows businesses to take detailed client notes and then use this data to deliver personalized services to the client. Personalization is key to a better customer experience.
For example, if you run a pet salon, you can take a note of the fact that Fido has skin problems and only uses a special shampoo. The next time Fido comes in to be groomed, you can tell the client’s owner that you know Fido has skin issues and that you will be using a special shampoo.
It is this sort of personalized service that makes businesses stand out from the rest and, in doing so, gain loyal customers.
Lastly, a top-tier software will also be scalable. As your customer base grows, it will be able to accommodate those additional clients.
The Bottom Line
It’s time to take your appointment book online with scheduling software. Above all, a top-tier appointment scheduling and calendar software is one that prioritizes data security. It has design excellence, smart automation, customizable scheduling features, invoicing and client management features. And it’s scalable.
Yocale is the the top appointment scheduling and calendar software on the market today, featured in Microsoft, Forbes and beyond. We also offer a free suite of business management, marketing tools and automation tools. For more information, click here!
Have you recently switched from a paper-based appointment book over to appointment scheduling and calendar software? If so, we want to hear more about your experience in the comments section below.