A business whose bottom line is dependent on customer appointments needs a practical solution
to manage appointments and eliminate delays, which can be costly. These timely appointment
solutions include a few that specialize in certain industries, but, by and large, they will fit any and
all appointment driven business.
If you need to manage a packed calendar but can’t afford an assistant, Apptoto, a web based
appointment service can help. Apptoto syncs with your Google calendar, making the addition
of your appointments to their service a snap. Each time you add or delete a contact name to
your calendar, Apptoto will add it to the call list. Appointment phone reminders scheduled
as far in advance as you want are part of the system. The message the customer hears is a
pre-recorded one of your choice. Email or SMS notifications are sent to you when an
appointment is rescheduled or cancelled, and Apptoto auto-updates your Google calendar.
Twenty (20) monthly reminders are part of the free Apptoto package. More can be added
for a nominal fee. www.apptoto.com
Trying to style a haircut, answer the phone, and book an appointment are not a good mix.
The customer in the chair gets miffed; the caller who can’t get anyone to answer the phone
or gets someone who’s in a hurry gets miffed; the stylist stands to lose two customers.
SalonMonster, an online appointment scheduling service, creates a win-win solution.
The salon creates a URL through SalonMonster where customers book their own
appointments. On their personal URL, the salon lists their services, rates, and open
dates and times for appointments. Customers can sit with their calendars in hand,
checking against the dates on the salon website. Both the customer and the salon
get a confirmation of the appointment in their email box. Customers can make
appointments from home or office with their calendars in hand, checking against
the dates on the salon website. Easy to setup and easy to use. www.salonmonster.com
A web based booking service; Bookeo provides businesses with practical solutions
for managing appointments. Bookeo assists the business to set up a unique scheduling
page that can be customized with videos, images, services and pricing, promotions, etc.
The text can be written in French, Spanish, Italian, or English. Customers can book and
pay online with PayPal and major credit cards. Through the Bookeo calendar in real time,
businesses can view and revise their customer list, track and update bookings, and add
new bookings. There is no limit on the number of bookings. www.bookeo.com
Another Google friendly web based service, YouCanBook.Me takes away some of the angst
of trying to balance a busy schedule and the joy of phone tag. User friendly, YouCanBook.
Me is catching on with professionals addicted to Google who are finding the site’s information
form helpful for their clients who need to get an appointment. Once you give YouCanBook.
Me your Gmail address and give the site permission to collect info from your Google Calendar,
the service gives you a URL. You can use that URL to share your calendar’s open dates for new
appointments. Clients click on an open date and time and are redirected to the YouCanBook.
Me booking form, which you can customize when you open your account. The date, time,
and duration of the meeting are entered into your Google Calendar automatically. www.youcanbook.me
Think you’ve got it covered with a call service when your office is closed? Unless the service
schedules appointments for you, you may need to do some damage control. Clients who got
your service but were told they had to call back the next day probably aren’t happy. And
you should check out SmartPointment, a web based service that allows your clients to view
your available dates and times and schedule appointments online. SmartPointment syncs
with your iCal, Google Calendar, or Outlook accounts and can be utilized without you having
a website. An extra feature of SmartPointment is the list of filtering questions you create.
By answering the questions, potential clients can determine if you offer the service they are
looking for. The questionnaire gives you the advantage of having information available if
you need to call potential clients and offer alternative services to meet their needs, e.g.
chiropractic, massage therapy, tutoring.Appointment reminders can be sent to your clients through email or SMS. Another good
feature is the tracking and analysis of your appointments to determine if block scheduling
or other revisions to the appointment process need to be made to improve productivity.
SmartPointment has both free and premium options. Free allows ten (10) appointments or
less monthly and includes the free email reminders. Reminders via SMS is a nominal monthly fee.
A multi-tasker, Thelulu.com web based service for organizing and coordinating recurring
appointments has a diverse number of services for the business owner. Not only will it maintain
your appointment calendar, it will handle the billing for the appointment, and allow you to match
the right employee to the right customer. Here’s an example:A large music store that offers piano lessons and employs ten piano teachers knows which teachers
work well with young children and which work better with adults. The busy moms of the youngsters
and the busy adults appreciate the ability to have a set schedule that doesn’t get lost in a paper maze
plus the convenience to pay from their home computer (Pro Package.)
Additional benefits for the user are alerts on empty appointment slots and alerts on appointments
scheduled in the next seven days. Thelulu.com allows account users to manage thirty (30) plus
employees simultaneously, easily and quickly viewing the appointment calendar. The free option
allows one user, one employee, and five appointments daily for five customers. For heavier workloads
or more employees, there are premium options starting at $60 a month and include reports.
Bringing order to chaos, Booking Calendar, a web based app, makes life easier for people managing
schedules for multiple businesses or events. If you book bands and need to keep up with a different
calendar for each, BookingCalendar will work for you. The app allows the creation of embeddable
calendars so your clients can view them easily on your website. The user sets the start date for the
bookings on the online calendar(s) customized on BookingCalendar and edits them as needed.
The media control feature tracks your ads. Free. www.bookingcalendar.info
A user-friendly software, ZamaBook is an online appointment scheduler with extra benefits to include
tracking the availability of employees, a calendar, business dashboard convenience, and a data base
jammed with info to position your business for growth and improvement. Both free and paid options
are available. www.zamabook.com
Online client registration and the flexibility to schedule appointments are two of the benefits of Acuity
Scheduling. Business owners have a number of convenient app choices:
- Maintain client directory
- Control appointments, stipulating various types (email, virtual/live chat) and duration
- View appointments by time ranges (daily, weekly, monthly, date ranges)
- View performance reports (revenue and appointment specifics)
- Export to iCal or ExcelThe free account is hosted on the AcuityScheduling site and includes 1,000 appointment forms.
Premium accounts include additional options such as reminders via email, AcuityScheduling to
the business website, payment by major credit cards, eCommerce Shop, etc.
- Let’s Meet and Work
Londoners and those planning a visit should check out the innovative Let’s Meet and Work online tool to
locate a quiet place to get some work done. Let’s Meet and Work offers a handy map of London with zoom
capability and works with Google Maps. If you locate a place on the map close to you, click on the marker
to get details. The details are contributed by people who have visited the location.
Another convenient way for appointment-driven businesses to schedule appointments, SimplyBookMe is
easy to get started and easy to maintain. A web based service that sets up a public URL for your business
after you enter your company information, the dashboard feature lists your bookings and customer
information which is helpful when preparing for the appointment. Current and potential customers to
your URL can choose an appointment date and time from your online calendar. They enter their name
and phone number so you can call them if needed.
For freelancers or any business leader who organizes and schedules events, e.g. author with book signings,
motivational speaker with workshops, BookWhen, a web based booking manager, will aid in getting and
keeping schedules straight. It works well for organizing lives in general, keeping track of conferences, classes,
client events, etc. and incorporates payment due dates so you don’t lose your spot. It takes a little time to
enter all the information the system needs so it can work effectively for you. This includes the usual
registration to activate an account, and completing the BookWhen task list. When you begin to enter events,
you can update your URL.Your URL public page will list your future events where viewers can see event details and book a seat. It can
be integrated with calendars on Yahoo or Google. You are the monitor of the page and can accept or deny
requested bookings to refrain from overbooking. Payment is made through PayPal. You have a centralized
source to view your events and the scheduled attendees. www.bookwhen.com
- Conference Calendar
If you travel a lot and criss-cross time zones, but need to get some continuing education credits or heard about
an interesting conference in the country you’re headed to next month, you can now search and schedule what
you need on Conference Calendar. This web based program maintains up-to-date files on conferences worldwide.
You can search online by location or categories such as marketing, business, medicine, etc. Conference
Calendar provides details about the conference, including location, venue, contact information, and
accommodations. Registration and ticket purchases can be made on Conference Calendar. Save the date
directly to your Google Calendar and email others who will be traveling with you or colleagues in the
country of the conference. www.conferencecalendar.com
RideCharge is a miraculous idea to save time, protect your safety, and keep you from wandering around
half-empty airports in the middle of the night, trying to figure out how to get to your hotel. Finally an online
service to book taxies, limos, sedans, and shuttles and you can make the arrangements from your mobile
phone. There is no registration fee and your booking confirmation is sent to you immediately. Another
convenience is paying from your cell phone; RideCharge maintains a receipt which you can print when
you get to a printer. BlackBerry, Windows Mobile, and iPhone (check out the TaxiMagic app) all work
easily with RideCharge. The service is currently only available in the U. S. www.ridecharge.com