Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Simplify Your Business With Online Appointment Scheduling Software

Clients come to your website, choose a time that fits into their schedule and yours, completes intake forms, then pays. All without calling you or your staff. Does this sound like how your business operates today?

Chances are it doesn't, instead many businesses schedule appointments over the phone or in person. At best there's an interruption of a few minutes, at worst there are hours wasted in back and forth finding a time that works. A few minutes is too long, time lost on scheduling is time you could spend on what you're truly passionate about, your company.

When streamlining your business with online systems, scheduling is a quick way to simplify management of your appointments. There are several features to look at:

1) Is your schedule updated instantly when someone books?
2) Can clients complete intake forms online?
3) Are payments accepted online?
4) Will you and the client receive notification and reminder emails?

Many online appointment scheduler systems offer some of these features, but not all. One that stands out from the crowd is Acuity Online Scheduling Software. Acuity Scheduling offers a free plan allowing you to offer unlimited appointments and services online. You can link from your website directly to your online scheduler. While the free version doesn't allow for payments to be accepted online, it does still provide custom form creation to allow you to capture customer information on your own.

Simplicity in the management of appointments is important, along with the power to granularly manage your schedule. Have another appointment, or need to quickly shuffle your schedule around? Great interfaces will allow this with a click and drag of your mouse.

Many people keep track of their appointments with calendars like iCal, Outlook, or Google Calendar. Having an online appointment scheduler which integrates with them is key. This allows you to work like you are comfortable with and have new appointments instantly appear in your calendar.

Payments can be a hassle for a small business. To accept credit cards you generally need to pay a monthly fee, plus a percentage, and all that gives you is the ability to accept payments. A terminal and other equipment is often needed. Accepting payments online at the time of scheduling can be done easily through a trustworthy service like PayPal. Now have clients pay online when booking their appointment with you. This saves time when they come to you, and simplifies your interaction with clients.

Streamline your business, simplify your life, and focus on your real passions. Leave appointment scheduling to an online solution.

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