Today, scheduling an appointment isn’t something that’s done exclusively in-person. Because everyone is going online, many businesses are bringing the process to cyberspace using appointment scheduling tools. However, as much as there are benefits to doing this, there are downsides as well. As such, we’ll be looking into the pros and cons of Acuity Scheduling, one of the apps that provide such a service.
This article lists some of the significant features and limitations of Acuity Scheduling. This way, you’re more informed when determining whether or not it is the ideal appointment scheduling software for your business.
The history of booking system reveals that the industry was mainly used and is popularized by travel companies. Technological innovation, however, has rewritten its definition. Today, booking is a broader term that many types of businesses use to denote reservation or appointment.
There are several ways to schedule business appointments including in-person, over the phone, via video conferences, and more. However, there’s one type that’s been gaining the attention of small and medium-sized businesses, as well as freelancers. It’s the use of booking tools, and there are some good reasons for this.
Round-the-clock availability, mobility, and fewer admin tasks are just some of the benefits of online booking systems. Payment processes are smoother, reminders are automated, and most of all, the instances of no-shows are reduced. Also, as illustrated by the image below, self-booking practice is done on numerous occasions, almost as frequent as the traditional process.
This means that businesses who haven’t yet explored the self-booking area in their online appointment must begin to do so. And this, among other mentioned reasons, is where appointment scheduling solutions such as Acuity Scheduling thrives.
Acuity Scheduling is a 24/7 platform for freelancers and small- to mid-sized businesses. Thanks to its user-friendly and well-documented features, it’s an intuitive software to operate. It solves most issues related to online booking. This includes the ping-pong of email correspondence to ensure the availability of both parties, unpaid sessions, and more.
This compilation of appointment scheduling statistics showcases various key points. First is that many appointments are booked online. Second, fitting an appointment with the current schedule is among the biggest challenges in this area. And third, calendar management and automated reminders are some of the most in-demand features of an appointment scheduling solution. Can you turn these points into a business advantage with Acuity Scheduling? Let’s find out.
If you want to check its comprehensive feature set, you can easily sign up for Acuity Scheduling free trial here.
Appointment scheduling solutions can also be counted as online booking software. Therefore, your clients will appreciate how easy it is to book for your services. They don’t have to reach out to you first and learn when you’re available because they can clearly see it. You can even send them a link where they can choose from your open slots if they ask for one. This removes the need for back-and-forth email correspondence, which eats up a lot of time for both sides.
They can also book an appointment and pay online all by themselves. Furthermore, your clients can reschedule or even cancel an appointment by themselves. This eliminates tedious tasks and makes your business more appealing to clients.
Acuity Scheduling keeps the schedule management process smoothly running. It allows you to keep an eye on all the upcoming appointments easily. Reminders and notifications are in place to ensure that you won’t be missing anything. You can also look through your calendar, be it in-app or third-party, to view and manage all your bookings.
Admins have full control over which calendar slots are visible to their clients and their personnel. Consequently, the system would also automatically take care of organizing the schedules to ensure that no mix-ups occur. This is done by syncing all your calendars so that the change in one is reflected in others. Aside from that, the system also monitors the clients’ time zone differences so foreign customers can be accommodated easily.
Another major feature that Acuity Scheduling offers is its robust support for third-party integrations. While it prides itself as a full-service suite, it’s still not lacking in terms of ways to extend its functionality. It also integrates with leading external services that allow seamless connection with the apps you’re probably already using.
It integrates with accounting and invoicing solutions like QuickBooks, email marketing software like MailChimp, and CRM systems like Salesforce. There is available integration support for client engagement solutions such as ReviewRail and video conferencing tools like Zoom. In addition, Acuity Scheduling can seamlessly work with Stripe, Square, and PayPal for its payment processing needs. But more than that, the software can integrate with hundreds of applications more through third-party and open API such as Zapier.
Acuity Scheduling makes sure that you don’t miss anything important. It notifies users whenever an appointment is booked, rescheduled, or canceled. The notification is done through email and text messaging.
Some pricing packages also give the option to send follow-up messages or reminders after each successful booking. Likewise, clients get their share of notifications as well, which are practically similar to what admins receive. The system can remind them up to three times about their upcoming appointment.
Also, there might be more than one admin whom you’d like to receive booking notifications. In that case, Acuity Scheduling has an easy way to send alerts to multiple users. Just add (or remove) names on the list, separated by a comma.
The platform offers an agile calendar coordination feature that provides a two-way sync with the app’s scheduling module. Each appointment made, canceled, or rescheduled will be reflected in the calendar. Your clients can also use your calendar to see your availability and book appointments. Moreover, users can embed the calendar into their websites or share them through emails or social media sites.
Acuity Scheduling supports syncing with other apps that feature calendars as well. These include Google, iCloud, Office365, and Outlook. The system syncs every information in real-time, thereby effectively eliminating double-booking and other scheduling conflicts. Another neat feature of the calendar is that it adjusts time zone differences accordingly. This is ideal for businesses with overseas clients.
The platform offers two features that you can use to reduce the availability that your clients see. These are the Minimize Gaps and Make Me Look busy functions. Hiding some of your availability might seem counterintuitive at first, but they actually provide clever benefits.
Minimizing the Gaps feature hides all availability, in-between two tasks. Your clients can only see openings and set a schedule before and after existing appointments. Small gaps are always hidden, but you can tweak the options so that bigger gaps would show. This is helpful when you don’t like a series of downtimes scattered throughout your day.
The Make Me Look Busy feature, on the other hand, allows you to hide a customizable percentage of your slots. While you can see every slot on the admin page, your client will only see a portion of them. Booked slots will also be counted as hidden while being hidden from the client’s sight. This is good if you want your business to look busier and more in-demand.
The system offers social media integrations that you can take advantage of to extend your business’ reach. One is adding a call-to-action (CTA) button on your Instagram page. This allows your viewers to book an appointment with you straight from Instagram. They just simply need to click the “Book” button.
Acuity Scheduling can also connect with your business page on Facebook. This provides a similar capability to Instagram’s integrated booking feature mentioned above. While this isn’t available on the mobile FB app by default, there’s a fairly easy workaround for that. That is to add a CTA button that points toward your scheduling page.
Acuity Scheduling has a mobile app that’s available for both iOS and Android devices. It’s not as powerful as the primary web app built for desktops and laptops. However, it’s robust enough to perform most of the basic operations on the go.
For instance, it allows users to not only view the appointments but to manage them as well. You can edit an appointment’s details and even cancel or reschedule it. The app can also be utilized for setting your availability anytime and anywhere.
Acuity Scheduling offers a platform that allows you to sell promotional services. These include subscriptions, discount coupons, group classes, memberships, and more. You can also offer bundled deals to clients who are interested in setting up multiple or recurring appointments with you. Furthermore, the system supports the use of gift certificates and other promos that could bring new clients to your doorstep.
The software is full of customizable features. These include the tools for making your content – follow-ups, reminders, and confirmations– match your business’ branding feel. There are various aesthetic options to tinker until you’re satisfied with how they look and feel. Aside from the looks, you can also choose whether to contact your clients through SMS, email, or both.
Acuity Scheduling features an integrated payment processing tool that monitors all your business’ revenue and controls the way you accept payments. The system integrates with three major payment gateways, namely Stripe, PayPal, and Square. The software natively supports each integration to provide businesses with multiple options for their processes.
Moreover, the payment module has a dashboard that provides you with relevant information regarding your revenue. This includes the breakdown of paid and unpaid appointments, the hours spent in each service, the no-shows, and more.
The system provides intake forms for clients to fill-up to gather every necessary information related to them. The forms already include the basics (first and last name, email, and phone number) by default. You’ll, therefore, be responsible for building the rest of it. This is a great way of collecting information that is unique to your particular business.
The Acuity Scheduling team doesn’t offer phone support but instead, uses email to render customer service. Their scalable tech support helps keep the app cheaper without compromising service quality. That’s because every response they make is guaranteed to come from a knowledgeable specialist.
This is also a great way to gather all customer queries, suggestions, etc. in one place. Having all the technical information organized in a single location is helpful in troubleshooting issues. It’s also a good resource material to know which areas of the app could use improvement.
Acuity Scheduling is replete with useful functions and customizable features. In a way, however, this makes the software’s learning curve a bit steep, especially for beginners. The good news is that their site offers a plethora of learning resources.
There are numerous video learning materials available, including live scheduling training parties, tutorial screencasts, and webinars. Their site also provides how-to guides, FAQs, tips, and other useful documentation related to the app’s functionalities. Their customer service responds to questions addressed to them too, and makes the exchange available for other people to read.
Acuity Scheduler is an end-to-end scheduling platform that’s ideal for those who fly solo or those who run small- and medium-scale businesses. It has a plethora of scheduling features that are both robust and simple. As a result, the software is effortless to maintain and operate without denying you any benefit that online booking solutions require. If you want to investigate the features closely, you can easily do so when you sign up for Acuity Scheduling free trial here.
FinancesOnline is available for free for all business professionals interested in an efficient way to find top-notch SaaS solutions. We are able to keep our service free of charge thanks to cooperation with some of the vendors, who are willing to pay us for traffic and sales opportunities provided by our website. Please note, that FinancesOnline lists all vendors, we’re not limited only to the ones that pay us, and all software providers have an equal opportunity to get featured in our rankings and comparisons, win awards, gather user reviews, all in our effort to give you reliable advice that will enable you to make well-informed purchase decisions.