What are the Essential Features of an Appointment Booking Software?
Do you fear that you might create a permanent bad impression on your clients in case they end up waiting for you even after setting a time with you, for the simple reason that the appointments could simply slip out of your mind. Do you also fear that the client may not show up on time or may not even show up at all, simply because there was no reminder sent to him or that there was a mis-communication of date and time? When you’re manually dealing with setting dates and times with people, the above mentioned issues tend to happen. Instead of manually booking appointments, it may be very worthwhile to start getting used to an efficient appointment booking software and start to incorporate one for your business or for your professional life.
Using a good appointment booking software not only eliminates the problems that occur during the manual process but also ensures an enriching customer experience, because the customers are not only given the ability to book from anywhere and anytime over the internet, but they also receive booking confirmation and booking reminders. However, there are many more points that you need to keep in mind when you start exploring various options for online appointment booking softwares. Here, we’ve listed some of the essential features that you should consider when you’re exploring different appointment software applications.
Should not become slow with more appointments
A good software choice would be one that would not slow down on more usage or with more and more appointments stored/booked over time. This may come in as a surprise, but many softwares that look good on the surface and offer great features may acutally start to slow down on heavy usage and this can make life difficult, more so because by the time you start to observe this behavior, you will have handled many appointments through the software already and moving away from it may pose as a mental barrier, thereby creating a vicious circle.
Mobile friendly interface
Whether your customers visit your online appointment booking platform using a desktop, laptop, tablet or mobile phone, they should receive the same level of experience. Also, the appointment application should be compatible with most of the modern browsers that are in major use.
Booking widget/plugin for your website
Microsite: In case you do not have a website
The appointment software should be able to host your customer-facing booking interface on a portal or a micro site that need not be in your domain. If you do not have a website yet, then this would become more use to you as it would allow you to share the micro-site’s booking link to your customers for online appointment booking.
Integrated Payments Options
Having an appointment booking software with an integrated payment option will be an added advantage for you. Visitors can make their payments when they book their appointment. You can also get the payment details in the backend and integrate it with your financials. Getting the customer to pre pay for your service is a great way to reduce no-shows for your business.
User-friendly and intuitive interface
The appointment booking software should have a user-friendly interface, both on the client side and the business side. Navigating or exploring the options should be a breeze! If you are employing staff, you should go for an application that your staff can quickly start using from day 1 without much training. Intuitive interfaces also help any newly onboarded staff to get onboarded quickly.
Sending automatic email or sms reminders goes a long way in avoiding no-shows. Moreover, having more control over the reminders, like frequency and timing of reminders is also a good feature to have.
Rescheduling is a natural feature for any appointment scheduling software, and it could be a frequent scenario in your day to day activities. Therefore, its important that one should be able to reschedule the appointments quickly and with ease.
Approval feature before finally confirming the appointment
The software should have the flexibility to allow for having an extra step of approval before the appointment’s confirmation is sent out to the customer.
Multiple and easy calendar views
Having multiple types of views of the calendar bookings is quite a helpful feature to have. The most common views are: 1. Weekly calendar view, 2. Monthly aggregated calendar view and 3. Single Day view.
Integration with CRM tools
Contact details are entered over an over again into an appointment booking system, therefore, integrating the appointment software with a proper CRM software may turn out a good investment of time. Modern CRM tools offer much more than just storing the contacts of your customers/visitors. Some CRM tools can offer digital marketing campaigns /plans for your contacts, and having a seamless integration with CRM tools can be a great to have feature in your appointment scheduling software.
Integrated video or voice call meeting links
This feature becomes important if the appointment is scheduled for an online video or voice call meeting
Two way integration with your personal / google calendar to avoid conflicts
In case there are other appointments that are present in your personal calendar and you are unavailable for certain days/times slots, the appointment booking software should block out those days/times slots as unavailable slots. Moreover, if someone has booked a time with you on your appointment booking software then that time needs to be blocked out from your personal / google calendar as well.
Integration with google maps look up and link sharing
In case the meeting is going to be held at some place other than your regular place of business, or is not happening over video/voice call/phone, you should be able to select any place in the world thats listed on google maps and attach the map link for the place of meeting along with the appointment details.
If you would like to know more about the latest features that an appointment booking software needs to have, or discuss about the features that would be important for online appointment booking for your business, feel free to contact us at Queueme.