Top 20 Appointment Scheduling Software Solutions of 2017: Comparison of Features, Benefits, Pricing

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Appointment scheduling software solutions are a critical tool to manage bookings, expand your customer base and, ultimately, increase your revenues. They come in various price plans and feature set, and are adaptive to different business scenarios, as varied as legal services are from hair salons.

Scheduling software apps have plenty of benefits and is particularly useful to manage your staff availability vis-a-vis the work volume. We have well documented studies on how manually plotting employee schedules resulted in understaffing during peak hours and overstaffing on non-peak hours. These apps solve this classic pain point.

But appointment scheduling apps are not foolproof. There isn’t a perfect supply-and-demand forecast to optimize your staff schedule, as Starbucks had had its employee appointments once plunged in logistical chaos using its sophisticated scheduler system (New York Times, August 2014). Rather, these apps are, at best, enabler of logical decisions and data-driven insights, where you, the owner or manager, is at the driver’s seat steering your business to growth with every well-managed booking.

Source: National Small Business Association.

Furthermore, appointment scheduling software apps seem most beneficial to small business. Aside from expanding market reach via online booking, some of these apps provide online business listings and allow entrepreneurs to offer 24/7 booking without adding much to the operational budget.

These benefits are aligned with the findings of the National Small Business Association 2015 report, where the top two growth strategies of small businesses are outlined on the right.

In this top 20 appointment scheduling software solutions guide, we examined each of the app’s value propositions and its main market. While most of them feature the same standard tools, there are differences, albeit subtle. We highlight these unique features, unique being that they stand out among the app’s feature set.

  1. 10to8
  2. Checkfront
  3. Calendly
  4. Appointment Plus
  5. Bookeo
  6. YouCanBook.me
  7. Acuity Scheduling
  8. vCita
  9. HouseCall Pro
  10. Timetrade
  11. TIMIFY
  12. Simplybook.me
  13. Flash Appointments
  14. AppointmentCore
  15. Appointy
  16. Setmore
  17. Ovatu Manager
  18. MyTime
  19. Setster
  20. Pulse 24/7

1. 10to8

10to8 won our Expert’s Choice award for 2017

10to8 is a great cloud appointment tool that helps reduce no-shows and increase the clarity of your communication with clients to ensure no-hassle appointments. It comes free for small businesses for up to 100 monthly appointments and scalable to enterprise requirements such as volume appointments.

The app requires minimal administration and suits neighborhood shops including boutiques, salons and fitness gyms, and professional services like dental clinics, law firms and tutorial services. For its intuitive feature set and budget-friendly price tiers, 10to8 is our top choice in this category, meriting our Supreme Software and Expert’s Choice Award for 2017.

More than just an appointment app, 10to8 is also a marketing tool that boosts sales and drives the bottom line. It expands your customer reach with intuitive features. The two-way calendar-integrated chat, for instance, enables real-time communication between you and clients. It syncs with popular calendar apps like Google Calendar, iCal and Outlook, allowing for a consolidated visibility on your messages from various sources.

Likewise, the app automatically alerts you and clients of the upcoming appointment via email and SMS. You’re also notified of any change in the appointment, which reduces miscommunication and helps you manage expectations.

10to8 can also be utilized for resource management. Its rota management tool lets you coordinate staff availability and avoid schedule conflicts. If you have a small team, you can optimize their time with proper time and task management using the app.

The app is accessible from desktop and mobile and can be white-labeled. You can add a payment processing feature, too, to allow advanced deposits from customers using PayPal, Stripe or SagePay.

The free version is good for up to 100 appointments per month, while paid plans start at $9.6 per month.

What is unique about 10to8?

  1. 2-way calendar-integrated chat enables both you and clients to message each other in real time and with clarity and transparency
  2. It has a free app for up to 100 appointment per month
  3. Rota management helps you coordinate staff availability and optimize your resources
  4. Payment processing can be integrated through PayPal, SagePay and Stripe
  5. Low entry price point at $9.6 per month, suits small shops with tight cash flow  

2. Checkfront

Checkfront is also one of the top 20 appointment scheduling software solutions on our list. The cloud appointment app integrates with popular online services for bookings and reservations. It also features payment processing and analytics to help you leverage data. As a booking platform it’s popular with the travel industry, allowing them to integrate the features via API in their websites and CMS, and other key business systems for marketing, CRM, and business intelligence.

Bookings that can be performed in this app includes reservations for accommodation, rentals, tour packages and guiding services. Meantime, payment processing can be customized to accept full or partial payments, either which helps increase customer’s commitment to the appointment.

One standout Checkfront feature that we like is the inclusion of business intelligence. A sales and marketing analytics helps you measure your operational data, for instance, see where majority of customers come from and your best months outside the holiday season. Other features include mobile optimized platform, SSL security protocol and customer accounts. Pricing starts at $49 per month for up to 1,200 bookings per year.

What is unique about Checkfront?

  1. It’s vertical, servicing the specific booking needs of the travel industry
  2. Highly integrated with other business processes like CRM, sales, marketing and CMS
  3. Business analytics digs up strategic insights from your operational data
  4. Can be tweaked for full or partial payment processing

3. Calendly

The cloud-hosted Calendly helps automate or streamline scheduling processes away from time-consuming and error-prone manual use of email and phone tags. The app is useful for managing corporate appointments such as demos, interviews and client meetings, and suits small and medium-sized businesses.

It has a free app that integrates with Google Calendar, Outlook and Office 365 and allows unlimited events. Aside from managing corporate schedules, the app can be utilized as a customer-facing tool to boost sales and improve customer service.

In particular, its team scheduling and group events features make it easy to coordinate various parties’ schedules. This comes handy when arranging organizational wide meetings or similar events. Other features that we like include metrics and reporting, open API and privacy controls.

Pricing starts at $8 per user/month, which scales to enterprise discounts via quote.

What is unique about Calendly?

  1. Corporate event-centric app that helps you manage small and large meetings
  2. Free app allows unlimited events and integrates with popular email and calendar apps
  3. Can also be utilized for customer service or a a sales driver

4. Appointment Plus

Appointment Plus is another corporate-focused scheduling software designed to help you manage client meetings. Small businesses can use it but the pricing is aptly designed for  enterprise requirements.

The app has great automation, which frees you from cumbersome manual calendaring of dates. You and the other parties can easily spot open dates and agree on the schedule. Likewise, it helps you avoid schedule conflicts and coordinate key personnel’s calendars for group meetings. This can also be applied to managing internal meetings.

What we like most about the app is its over 500 configuration options to customize the interface and metrics like user permissions, open hours and waiting lists.

Reminders are also automatically sent to relevant parties of the upcoming event, and the app has mobile version for Android and iOS and is accessible anywhere you have internet connection. The vendor offers four plans starting at $49 per month inclusive for ten users.

What is unique about Appointment Plus?

  1. Focused on managing client appointments but can be used to manage internal appointments
  2. Pricing designed for high volume appointments, suits enterprise needs best
  3. Over 500 configuration options

5. Bookeo

Bookeo serves the needs of three verticals, service providers, schools and teachers; as well as tour and activity providers. But is also suits business of any size and type across myriad industries. Originally, the app catered to freelancers and small businesses like photographers, therapists and car washing services, but it has since focused the feature set to accommodate the three market niches.

There are three separate modules available. The Bookeo Appointments helps service providers and professionals manage their scheduling and reservations – for example massage therapists, photographers, kids parties. The Bookeo Class & Courses helps you coordinate customer schedules and manage communications for, among others, art classes, cooking sessions and yoga classes. The Bookeo Tours & Activities is ideal for guided tours, chartered packages and escape room bookings.

The app can also be leveraged to increase revenues by minimizing no-shows, cancellations and schedule conflicts. It also helps you provide better service and build long-term customer relationships.

Moreover, an online payment feature can be added to further speed up the booking-to-revenue process. Other key features that we like include website integration, calendar sync, integrated marketing tools and business performance analytics.

Pricing starts at $14.95 per user/month for one consultant and one staff login access.

What is unique about Bookeo?

  1. Industry-specific tools for service providers and travel-related agencies
  2. Integrated marketing tools and business analytics
  3. Website-integrated tool allows self-service customer bookings

6. YouCanBook.me

YouCanBook.me is a free app (basic features) that integrates with multiple calendars and allow self-service bookings. It best suits freelancers and small businesses.

Bookings are done directly on the calendar for convenience and by customers. This frees you up from manual entries, while allowing simultaneous bookings and, thus, speed up the appointment process.

The app integrates with Google Calendar and iCloud Calendar and features a personalized scheduling page for each customer. The page alerts them for the upcoming appointment or urgent changes made. Likewise, setup is as easy as simply linking your app account to the Google Calendar of ICloud Calendar.

We like how the app displays real-time bookings, which can be embedded on your website or Facebook page, preventing schedule conflicts or double bookings. Other notable features include tools for appointment padding, tentative bookings and credit card payments.

Pricing starts at $10 per calendar/month.

What is unique about YouCanBook.me?

  1. Self-service page for customer bookings
  2. Multiple calendar integration including Google Calendar and iCal
  3. Free app for basic features

7. Acuity Scheduling

Acuity Scheduling is a scheduling app suited for small businesses operating in different time zones. It provides self-booking by clients, which adds speed and convenience to the scheduling process. A free app is available for a single user.

Bookings are reflected in real time to ensure against double bookings or overlapping schedules.

The app integrates with iCal,  Google Calendar, Outlook and Office 365 and allows white-labeling to lend to your business a more professional look.

The app also integrates with online payment platforms such as PayPal, Stripe, Authorize.net, Braintree and Square. Likewise, it works with other key business systems like Quickbooks, MailChimp and with hundreds of other third-party apps via Zapier.

What is unique about Acuity Scheduling?

  1. Ability to sync different time zones to coordinate bookings
  2. Payment processing integration with popular systems including PayPal, Stripe and Authorize.net
  3. White label option
  4. Free app for a single user

8. vCita

vCita is a small business scheduling app ideal for professional services such as accountants, financial advisers, photographers, lawyers, coaches and other consultants. It has the basic tools of appointment apps and also more advanced features, such as, client billing, email marketing and contact management.

The advanced features, in fact, can make vCita a CRM tool to help you nurture long-term client relationships, the bread and butter of professional service sector. The online scheduling is standard, allowing self-service appointment. What caught our attention is the contact management that mirrors a CRM tool. It helps you associate customer data such as personal details and interactions and run analytics for insights. We’re also impressed with its document sharing that helps you collaborate with clients over a web portal.

vCita allows payment processing integration and invoicing, inclusive of preset tax and currency calculator.

What is unique about vCita?

  1. CRM-like contact management lets you associate customer data
  2. Document sharing allows client collaboration in the cloud
  3. Invoicing with preset tax and currency calculator

9. HouseCall Pro

HouseCall Pro is a mobile- and web-based appointment scheduling app designed to help service professionals manage different aspects of their business. The app actually consists of other functionalities beyond scheduling, such as, billing, CRM, GPS tracking, job management and quotes.

As an appointment tool, it solves the pain point of miscommunication and uncoordinated activities between the office and field teams to handle customer appointments.

The app gives you the flexibility to handle last-minute changes with ease and avoid loss time and revenue. Both the service professional and customer can communicate via SMS in real time inside the app to coordinate the latest updates regarding the appointment.

Likewise, it can be integrated with your website, Yelp page or Facebook page. Pricing starts at $49 per month for one user.

What is unique about HouseCall Pro?

  1. Full service functionalities including billing, email marketing, CRM, GPS tracking and payment processing
  2. Allows direct SMS communication between service provider and customer inside the app
  3. Can be embedded on your website, Yelp page or Facebook page

10. Timetrade

Timetrade is an online appointment scheduling app that suits various sectors like retail banking, retail and sales. It features multiple scheduling channels including via mobile, SMS, voice and the app’s interface.

A concierge feature lets you queue customer bookings and manage query inflow. Likewise, the app lets you run analytics for actionable insights, for instance, campaign feedback and customer engagement.

The key feature we like is the Salesforce integration, which directly ties your bookings with the sales funnel. You can leverage this setup to push for more leads and deals, including repeat sales and upsell. Other important tools that we like are on-demand personalization, smart matching technology and SOC 2 level 3 security.

What is unique about Timetrade?

  1. Salesforce integration integrates your bookings with your sales funnel
  2. Omnichannel for bookings including via text, mobile and voice
  3. Concierge tool allows for queuing customer queries

11. Simplybook.me

Simplybook.met is a free booking app (paid plans available) for up to 50 bookings and suits business of any size. The cloud app lets your clients book your service 24/7, while you receive real-time alert. You also get  email and SMS reminders leading to the appointment or get notified of changes or cancellations, if any. Moreover, a booking page can be embedded on your website or Facebook page.

We like how the app provides customized solutions. For instance, you can configure the interface with your brand colors or create multiple services for bookings. Furthermore, the app can collect customer feedback to help you gauge your service rating.

The app integrates with Google Calendar and the dashboard displays KPIs for quick lookups. It also accepts payment integration via Paypal, Dwolla, Zooz, Skrill and Bitcoin. Other features to note include recurring tasks, group booking and unit location.

What is unique about Simplybook.me?

  1. 24/7 booking with real-time alert
  2. Email and SMS reminders leading to the appointment
  3. Bitcoin integration on top of other payment processing integrations like PayPal, Dwolla and Skrill

12. Flash Appointments

Flash Appointments is a cloud scheduling tool targeted at training and learning centers, but is also suitable for other service providers. It manages attendance and eliminates conflicting schedules or date mixups.

We find the app a good communication platform between you and clients. You can message clients via the app to remind them of their appointments or track their learning progress, or send follow-up messages for missed appointments. You can also use the app to thank your clients or conduct a short survey to gauge their overall experience.

Moreover, the app has a one-click Outlook Calendar sync. It features multiple user roles, automated password retrieval and recurring appointments.

What is unique about Flash Appointments?

  1. Vertical, targets the appointment process requirements of learning and training centers
  2. An excellent communication platform between you and clients
  3. One-click Outlook Calendar

13. Appointy

Appointy is a robust online scheduling app ideal for both small and medium-sized businesses. It suits industries as varied as health, medicine, fitness, education and government.

We like how it transforms your Facebook page into a booking platform by letting you add custom tab. Your followers can book through the tab. You can also embed the app on your website and convert visitors to paying customers. Both channels can be set up with ease and don’t require coding skills.

Likewise, the app comes with a free version for one user and featuring unlimited bookings and website integration. It is accessible from various devices including Android smartphones and iPhone. Other notable features to check include back-to-back service booking, pre-payment and last-minute deals.  

Pricing starts at $19.99 per month featuring customization options, email marketing and analytics.

What is unique about Appointy?

  1. Facebook custom tab allows your followers to book through your social media page
  2. Free app for one user with unlimited bookings
  3. Robust analytics

14. TIMIFY

TIMIFY is a free online appointment app (premium plan available) that turns your website and Facebook page into a booking platform.  It is suitable for small business with scalable options to meet enterprise requirements.

The free app features 24/7 booking access using a customizable online calendar and self-service booking. Likewise, the freemium includes service and employee management that lets you optimize resources and customer management with no data caps.

The app also consolidates all related information like bookings, your staff appointments and customer details, for more seamless organization. You can also opt for SEO-optimized booking profile and get listed on the TIMIFY global business directory.

For advanced scheduling features, TIMIFY has a premium plan starting at $39.90 per month.

What is unique about TIMIFY?

  1. Free version with robust features including customizable calendar and employee management
  2. Booking-relevant records are associated, such as, staff appointments and customer information
  3. Listing on TIMIFY global business directory

15. AppointmentCore

AppointmentCore is a cloud scheduling software designed to leverage your Infusionsoft and Google Calendar for online bookings. It also integrates with key cloud meeting apps, such as, GoToMeeting and ConferenceCalling.

The app lets you create time slots, where your clients choose their date. It also automatically create the meeting in Infusionsoft or GoToMeeting. Invitations from both platforms are then sent to clients without manual entry.

Likewise, the app lets you set the lead time for last-minute bookings. Open dates are displayed with at least 48 hours prior notice. You can also set buffer time to help you prepare for a meeting.

Also, we like how the app gives you the flexibility to rotate your team’s availability. Pricing starts at $27 per month featuring unlimited booking links and appointments.

What is unique about AppointmentCore?

  1. Automated GotToMeeting and Infusionsoft link
  2. Staff availability management
  3. Provides configurable 48-hour lead time for last-minute bookings

16. Setmore

Setmore is a free lightweight scheduling platform (premium available) for entrepreneurs and small businesses, such as hair salons, spas, photography, medical and consulting. It lets you reach more customers online via 24/7 online booking, and sends you alerts and reminders to ensure appointments are kept.

The app features an integrated calendar, being compatible with Google Calendar, Outlook Calendar and Office 365. Likewise, it integrates with social pages such as Facebook and Instagram, and with key business apps like Slack, WordPress and CRM solutions.

Setmore also allows payment processing and features mobile apps for Android and iOS, which lets you manage contact list and sync your calendar on the go. Other key features include staff logins, reviews, class booking and self-booking.

Premium plan starts at $25 per month featuring 2-way calendar sync, credit card payments and custom branding.

What is unique about Setmore?

  1. Free app with robust features including 24/7 online booking platform and integration with Google Calendar, Outlook Calendar and Office 365.
  2. Integrates with key social networks like Facebook and Instagram
  3. Mobile apps allow contact list management and calendar synchronization

17. Ovatu Manager

Ovatu Manager is a rich schedule software solution designed for fast-growing small businesses. It helps you maximize your schedules, bookings and resources. It also accommodates different appointment types and multiple services for recurring bookings and class bookings, among others.

Standard tools include automated SMS reminders with in-app communication for replies and confirmations. The app also features more than just arranging schedules. We like the built-in reporting features that allow you to generate real-time financial documents and point-of-sale invoicing with pre-built tax calculator.

Furthermore, Ovatu Manager works offline, allowing you to access your data and accept bookings even when the internet connection is down. The app syncs the data once you log online.

What is unique about Ovatu Manager?

  1. Offline-online sync allowing you to access data and accept bookings even when the internet is down
  2. Accepts different appointment types, such as, recurring bookings and class bookings
  3. Built-in reporting that generates real-time financial reports

18. Pulse 24/7

Pulse 24/7 suits small business scheduling needs, specifically for hair salons, legal professionals, massage therapists and real estate agents, among others. It features instant online booking and integrates with payment processing. It also features invoicing and forward location-based ETA alerts.

Likewise, the app works with your social media pages to give your customers more booking convenience. Its intuitive algorithm follows your weekly trends and suggests industry-specific tips to help you get more bookings and increase revenues.

We like the powerful visualization tool that lets you view each upcoming appointment, sales revenues and customer feedback and ratings on a neat dashboard.

Pulse 24/7 has mobile apps for Android and iOS.

Pricing starts at $9.95 monthly plus one-time setup fee of $4.95.

What is unique about Pulse 24/7?

  1. Highly visualized dashboard that displays KPIs for quick lookups
  2. Intuitive algorithm that learns your weekly trends and suggests trade guides on how to increase your bookings and revenues
  3. Invoicing and location-based ETA notifications

19. MyTime

MyTime is an online scheduling app with an integrated calendar, communication platform and client manager. It is ideal for small business shops and professional services. The app has a business listing and customer frontend app, where clients can search your business and book online.

With mobile apps for Android and iOS and cloud accessibility, MyTime enables you to manage bookings on the go. Likewise, it consolidates in one place client’s appointment history and notes for easy referencing. This feature enables you also to set custom pricing. The platform also handles your communication with clients without having to use another app.

We like how MyTime gives you option for either online and in-person payment. We also note its capability to customize client records for specific waivers or intake forms.

What is unique about MyTime?

  1. Customer front-end business listing enables you to reach millions of users
  2. Consolidates in one place client booking history and notes
  3. Option to accept online or in-person payments

20. Setster

Completing our top 20 appointment scheduling software solutions, Setster is a cloud appointment software with a simple but practical feature set. It integrates with Google Calendar, Office 365, Calendar Via OWA and Outlook. The app suits both small business and enterprise needs because it can handle huge volumes of bookings.

Its booking platform allows your clients to schedule an appointment on your website or your Setster page. You can also manually enter bookings via your account dashboard. This is cumbersome, but it gives you flexibility in cases where a client asks you to book for him.

We  expect standard tools like advance notifications and padding & prep time to help you manage last-minute bookings. There are also the tools for confirmations and reminders and cancellation and reschedules.

What is unique about Setster?

  1. Wide array of calendar integration including Calendar via OWA, Google Calendar and Outlook
  2. Flexibility of manual booking entry for special cases
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