Regardless of your industry, time management is crucial. And how you reflect that time management is also critical to your brand image and reputation. It comes as no surprise that there are a plethora of scheduling software solutions out there. In this article, we are going to narrow our focus down to a few key players in today’s current market: Zoho Bookings, Calendly, Setmore, and Acuity. Let’s take a quick glimpse of what are some key features you should look for in an Appointment Scheduling Software solution and what each of these products does well.
Key Features To Look For
Ease of Use: The software should be intuitive and user-friendly for both your staff and clients.
Integration Capabilities: The ability to seamlessly integrate with your existing systems is vital, including CRM, website, calendar, and mail servers.
Two-Way Calendar Sync: This feature allows changes to reflect in both the scheduling software and your calendar.
Customization: Personalizing the software to meet your specific scheduling needs can help maintain your brand image.
Automated Reminders: A software that sends reminders can significantly reduce no-shows.
Time Zone Support: If you deal with international clients, a software that adjusts for time zones is indispensable.
API Support: API support allows you to further customize and integrate the software into your workflow.
Payment Processing: If your services require upfront payment, integrated payment processing is crucial.
Pricing: Affordable and flexible pricing options can provide excellent value for your investment.
Reporting and Analytics: Insightful analytics can inform crucial business decisions and optimizations.
This free appointment scheduling software (for one person) allows you to sync your calendar while letting customers self-schedule and pay for appointments. Some highlights of Zoho Bookings include:
- Ease of Use and Customization: Bookings offers a user-friendly interface and allows businesses to customize their booking page.
- Two-Way Calendar Sync and Integration: Zoho Bookings provides two-way sync with Google Calendar, Zoho Calendar, and Outlook. However, double bookings are sometimes an issue.
- Automated Reminders and Time Zone Support: It sends automated SMS and email reminders and offers robust time zone support.
- API Support and Payment Processing: Zoho provides a well-documented API for integration and supports payments through almost all the primary payment gateways, such as Paypal and Stripe.
- Pricing: Zoho Bookings offers a free tier and flexible pricing plans starting from $6 per staff per month.
Calendly is an efficient appointment-scheduling tool known for its simplicity. Its key features are:
- Ease of Use and Customization: Known for its clutter-free interface, Calendly also allows users to personalize their URL and confirmations.
- Two-Way Calendar Sync and Integration: It supports two-way sync with Google, Office 365, Outlook, and iCloud calendars.
- Automated Reminders and Time Zone Support: Calendly offers automated email reminders and robust time zone detection.
- API Support and Payment Processing: Calendly offers API support and integrates with PayPal and Stripe for online payments.
- Pricing: Calendly has a free tier and premium plans starting from $8 per user per month.
Setmore is a versatile online appointment scheduling software that offers a free tier with substantial features. Its main offerings include:
- Ease of Use and Customization: It provides a clean interface for setting up appointments and allows considerable customization of the booking page.
- Two-Way Calendar Sync and Integration: Setmore offers two-way sync with Google and Office 365 calendars. It is known to occasionally have syncing issues.
- Automated Reminders and Time Zone Support: It supports both email and SMS reminders and adjusts for time zone differences.
- API Support and Payment Processing: Setmore provides an API for integration and integrates with Stripe and Square for online payment processing.
- Pricing: Setmore offers a free tier for up to 4 staff calendars and premium plans starting from $12 per user per month.
Schedule, book, and pay seamlessly with Acuity, which is why it is one of the top picks for many brick-and-mortar businesses.
- Ease of Use and Customization: Acuity provides a user-friendly interface, custom intake forms, and the ability to sell gift certificates.
- Two-Way Calendar Sync and Integration: Acuity supports two-way sync with Google, Office 365, Outlook, and iCloud calendars.
- Automated Reminders and Time Zone Support: It sends email and SMS reminders and automatically adjusts time zones.
- API Support and Payment Processing: Acuity offers a robust API for integration and supports several payment gateways, including Stripe, Square, and PayPal.
- Pricing: Acuity’s pricing starts from $15 per month for a single user.
So which scheduling software is best for you?
Like any piece of software, it depends. Here at Zenatta, we still use Calendly mainly due to double-booking issues with Zoho Bookings. We have clients that love Bookings though, and some that love Setmore, and others Acuity. It really depends on your niche and how each booking software can best mold to your needs. Here is a quick snapshot of all the various solutions key features:
|Feature \ Software||Zoho Bookings||Calendly||Setmore||Acuity|
|Ease of Use||High||High||High||High|
|Integration Capabilities||Zoho ecosystem, Google Calendar, Outlook||Google, Outlook, Office 365, iCloud calendar services||Social media platforms, third-party apps||Google Calendar, Outlook, Zoom, PayPal, third-party apps|
|Two-Way Calendar Sync||Yes, but some double-booking issues||Yes||Yes, but occasional sync issues||Yes|
|Customization||Limited booking page customization, branding||Personalized URL, confirmations||Booking page customization, branding||Custom intake forms, sell gift certificates, branding|
|Automated Reminders||SMS, Email||SMS, Email||SMS, Email||SMS, Email|
|Time Zone Support||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Payment Processing||PayPal, Stripe, Authorize.net||PayPal, Stripe||Stripe, Square||Stripe, Square, PayPal|
|Pricing||Starts from $6 per staff per month||Starts from $8 per user per month||Starts from $5 per user per month (first 4 users are free!)||Starts from $16 per month|