Meetings and appointments are essential for any growing business. Your sales team needs to streamline appointment scheduling to maximize the time they can spend speaking to prospects. Your existing customers need an easy way to reach and meet with you. This is where a powerful appointment scheduling solution can save you tons of time, while making you more available to prospects and customers.
There are many solutions to choose from, but not all are created equal. When selecting the right solution to meet your needs, be sure to look for these core features that should come with any competitive solution:
Agile CRM is an all-in-one solution with fully integrated sales enablement, marketing automation and customer support modules. Agile’s online appointment scheduling capabilities are a major asset to sales teams, as it allows reps to send prospects a link to their calendar, and let them view open time slots and book them at their own convenience. Giving prospects the freedom to do this on their own time increases the number of meetings you conduct. Full integration with third-party calendars means the meetings they book with you get seamlessly synched back to your integrated calendars.
With a unified email marketing tool, you can embed the calendar link in nurture campaign emails or simply in your email signature, meaning it is always easily accessible for prospects and customers alike. Because scheduling features are built into Agile CRM, all of your meetings get tracked back to the contact history of the person you meet with—along with all other interactions they have had with your company—and are chronicled on an easy-to-view, chronological timeline.
Agile CRM also includes a group appointment scheduling tool, in which a single scheduling link is used to share the calendars of all team members added to that group. This helps customers book a meeting with any rep they want so they can take advantage of the most convenient time slot. For every meeting booked with a new prospect, the solution creates a new record, meaning it also serves as a lead generation and management tool.
Agile CRM not only offers all the features of a robust scheduling solution, it takes it much further by integrating that with sales enablement, marketing automation and customer support features. It is the best choice for small and medium businesses who need the most bang for their buck. For the price of one product, you get three automation tools integrated into a single one platform. Plus, Agile CRM is free for 10 users, so your team can access, test and explore its potential. Then, moving a step up from the free version, the starter version is available for $8.99/month.
If your business is more dependent on social media channels than a company website, there’s nothing like Appointy. One of its best features is the ability to book appointments from those channels, and you can easily embed the appointment calendar on your Facebook page. So don’t worry if your website is nonexistent or still in its nascent stage.
As an admin on Appointy, you can easily navigate through client histories, which are in-depth and defined clearly. There is an option to set up payment schedules, create invoices and receive payments through the website.
Although the scheduler is clutter free, the booking process takes you through multiple drop down menus, while the other software programs in this space offer an easy interactive calendar. Another setback for Appointy is that your contacts can’t cancel their own appointments with you online. Rather, they must contact you manually to request cancellations, which must then be done manually by your staff.
Appointy’s free plan gives you unlimited bookings for five services, with added email marketing integrations available at a reasonable cost of $19.99/month.
Calendly has a clean interface and relies heavily on Google for its sign-in process. As with most other calendars available, this one syncs with your Google calendar. It allows you to receive requests for meetings rather than only permitting contacts to take a free slot. Once you accept a meeting invitation, the same appointment gets added to the guest’s Google or Outlook calendar. This is one of its better features.
Calendly saves different meeting types and it offers the flexibility to schedule your weekly or monthly meetings based on your preferences and available time-slots. This does not affect your default settings for new meetings. The solution does a good job in scheduling meetings with reps from different teams within an organization, and also enables you to share custom event links with your clients.
Calendly’s free package may very well be enough for those who offer a single product or service, and their basic subscription comes in at $8/month.
If your company wants to provide employees with their own booking websites rather than one overarching group scheduler, Setmore might be an option. This is helpful to businesses that want every employee to have their own individual scheduling site. However, the challenge with that lies in scheduling around each other’s availability, as a team; the downside of this solution is that it lacks a group calendar. This inconveniences customers who want to schedule appointments with various individuals from the same company.
Apart from booking appointments online, customers can see any cost associated with the appointment, set recurring visits and request reminders on their mobile device. The recurring visits feature is missing in many scheduling tools, and Setmore scores points here. However, a few features—such as appointment cancellation and wait-list creation—are not yet available in the app.
The process to set up an appointment calendar is hassle-free. Setmore also allows you to include a booking button on your website. It includes more basic tools with subtle enhancements such as auto text reminders to reduce no-shows. Their free plan support 20 users, while their premium package offers more robust features at $25/month.
Apart from core appointment scheduling features, vCita comes with other functions such as email marketing, contact management, customer billing and more. The online scheduling options provided by vCita can be used by your website visitors to request a call, demo or appointment with your reps.
Vcita helps you reduce no-shows with automated reminders and confirmations. You can publicize your brand with customized invoices. Offering discounts and sharing documents on web portals keeps vCita in the good graces of its customers. On the flip side, vCita doesn’t accept multiple bookings for a single slot, so it’s not friendly for businesses engaging in group training and boot camps. The app is not mobile friendly and the tricky interface forces you to zoom in and out to accept appointments. The basic version is free and more feature additions start at $29/month. Document sharing and text reminders are available in the business plan for $59/month.
If your sales team is booking dozens of meetings and cold calling prospects, you may need more than a free service for appointment scheduling. But, if you are someone who uses appointment scheduling sparingly, it’s not advisable to invest heavily in such a tool. Appointment scheduling software is not something we use each and every day, but rather something we use as a convenience from time to time. There are many services available in the market that you can simply dismiss due to a cost-prohibitive price point. The tools reviewed here will provide the most value for your investment.