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5 best appointment scheduling software for small businesses in 2020

Published on 09/12/2019 by Sonia Navarrete

The New Year is on its way,  the perfect time to take stock of your business and think about what improvements you can make in the year ahead. As you set about this task, one area in particular might prove fertile ground for change – the processes and systems you use to schedule appointments. 

Whether arranging meetings and events with clients, patients, partners or suppliers, the best appointment scheduling software for small businesses can make the process simple, streamlined and professional. It may sound like a transactional investment, but in fact the right software solution can deliver significant benefits to your business, such as the elimination of double bookings, the automation of time-consuming and error-prone manual processes, or enabling real-time visibility into employees’ diaries.  

To help you weigh up the many software scheduling options on the market and make the best investment for your business in the year ahead, we’ve pulled together this top five list. These are the five most popular appointment scheduling solutions for small businesses in Capterra’s directory:

  • Rated 3+ stars by users on Capterra.co.uk
  • Most reviews on Capterra.co.uk
  • High search volume in the UK

Schedul

Rating: 4.9/5

Ease of use: 4.9/5

Customer service: 4.9/5

Pricing: Free version available

Free trial: Yes

best appointment scheduling software for small business

Schedul is a booking platform for salons, spas or wellness businesses. The software provides scheduling capabilities, complete with payments features, for both online and point-of-sale bookings. Additional features include the ability to send automated appointment reminders to customers, relationship management capabilities and activity dashboards to keep track of daily scheduling activities. Through its in-built point-of-sale, Schedul can also help you manage sales, invoicing, receipts and taxes. 

Reviews on Capterra praise the software for its usability and clear interface. Users also appreciate that the software is continually updated with new features and capabilities. However, some reviewers noted a lack of certain tools, such as an interface to set up a merchant account, while others would like to see a little more room for customisation.

Our take: Schedul is ideal for salons and wellbeing businesses that need a comprehensive set of scheduling and payment options at no cost. 

Calendly

Rating: 4.6/5

Ease of use: 4.7/5

Customer service: 4.5/5

Pricing: Free version available

Free trial: Yes

best appointment scheduling software for small business

Calendly offers small business a range of automated scheduling tools. These include the ability to connect with the calendars of employees and partners to check availability and to invite people to attend different types of meeting (e.g. one-to-ones, webinars or team meetings). The software also enables users to take control of their scheduling experience through brand customisation tools, notifications, alerts and automated availability detection features. The software can be integrated with a wide range of business tools including certain email, website, payments and CRM systems. 

Users on Capterra note the flexibility and control of Calendly, particularly when it comes to scheduling different types of events and managing the experience of all event attendees before and during the event. However, some users are disappointed by the lack of analytics on the software and others felt that the user experience could be improved.

Our take: The automation capabilities make this a good option for businesses that schedule a wide range of event types at a high frequency.

MINDBODY

Rating: 3.9/5

Ease of use: 3.8/5

Customer service: 3.8/5

Pricing: Upon request

Free trial: No

Targeting businesses in the fitness, wellness and beauty spaces, MINDBODY’s entry-level product offers businesses tools to manage schedules, sell services and streamline everyday tasks. The scheduling feature enables users to set up and manage classes, appointments, workshops and events online and through mobile apps, and comes with a retail point-of-sale. 

User reviews highlight the strength of MINDBODY’s customer service teams and its annual software training sessions. On the other hand, some reviews noted glitches with the software and difficulties with the user interface. 

Our take: MINDBODY is well-suited to businesses with complex scheduling requirements and a need for a more premium product.  

Acuity Scheduling

Rating: 4.8/5

Ease of use: 4.6/5

Customer service: 4.7/5

Pricing: Upon request

Free trial: Yes

Acuity Scheduling offers online scheduling assistance that enables business’ clients to view real-time availability and self-book their own appointments. Additional features include online rescheduling tools and the ability for users’ clients to pay for services online. The software provides control over schedule management through tools that adjust for time zones as well as through client notifications. Through its premium services (starting at £12/month), businesses can control schedules for multiple locations and employees and ask clients to complete intake forms when scheduling.

Reviews on Capterra show an appreciation for the customisability of the software as well as its ability to integrate with tools such as Instagram and MailChimp. On the ‘cons’ side of things, reviewers are disappointed that customers can’t book multiple services at once through the platform and some have found the set up around calendars confusing.

Our take: a simple-to-use solution for businesses looking to get fully branded scheduling tools up and running quickly. 

Housecall Pro

Rating: 4.7/5

Ease of use: 4.7/5

Customer service: 4.8/5

Pricing: From £30/month

Free trial: Yes

Housecall Pro is a cloud-based scheduling tool aimed at home services businesses. The software allows businesses to automate scheduling, dispatching, estimates, and invoicing, and the company claims it can save businesses up to ten hours a week. In addition to automated scheduling and appointment reminders, Housecall Pro provides a number of additional features, such as text alerts to customers to let them know when a service engineer is on their way.

User reviews highlight the software’s seamless integration with related business tools, such as QuickBooks, as well as its ability to empower end customers to manage their own appointments online and leave reviews following visits. Negative comments highlight a poor web experience compared to the app interface, with difficulty navigating to key features.

Out take: this software is well-tailored to home service businesses and comes with a comprehensive set of features. 
Take a look at our directory today to find the best appointment scheduling software for small business.  

This article may refer to products, programs or services that are not available in your country, or that may be restricted under the laws or regulations of your country. We suggest that you consult the software provider directly for information regarding product availability and compliance with local laws.