Top 5 free appointment booking software for UK SMEs

Published on 04/08/2022 by Eduardo Garcia

Find the best selection of free appointment booking software available in the UK, based on the highest reviews on Capterra.co.uk. 

 Best free Appointment scheduling software represented by UK map and calendar

Time is precious, not just to businesses but also to clients. Companies can show they value their customers’ time by providing an online booking process that allows clients to select an appointment that best fits their own schedule. As well as enhancing customer engagement, appointment scheduling can help users personalise the customer journey. Businesses can also benefit from appointment booking software by streamlining processes to save time and resources.

We’ve compiled a list of the best free appointment scheduling software for small businesses to help you organise your meetings. We have selected this software based on the availability of free versions, overall rating, and the number of reviews on Capterra.

All these tools, presented in alphabetical order below, allow online booking and appointment reminders. These products also offer mobile access and automated scheduling. You can find the detailed methodology at the bottom of this page.

What is appointment scheduling software?

Appointment scheduling software allows businesses to streamline the process of booking, rescheduling, and cancelling appointments with attendees through a web interface. This software helps increase efficiency by automating recurring appointments and eliminating double-bookings. Users can visit the company website or any page that supports the booking software and pick an available date and time for their appointment.

On the back end, employees enter the parameters that determine when clients can book certain services. They can also access individual and team schedules in real time, make any pertinent changes to the system from the scheduling interface and use reminder tools to help reduce no-shows. 

1. Calendly

Screenshot of Calendly’s appointment booking system 
Sharing a booking in Calendly’s appointment scheduling dashboard (source)
  • Overall rating: 4.7/ 5
  • Ease of use: 4.7/ 5
  • Customer service: 4.4 / 5
  • Features: 4.5 / 5
  • Value for money: 4.6 / 5

Calendly is an appointment scheduling tool that allows businesses to book appointments by creating availability, sharing the booking link, and confirming the reservation.

Calendly’s free version also delivers features that can help businesses develop an appointment scheduling plan. Users can create unlimited one-to-one events and meetings, customise booking links, automate event notifications, and integrate with various third-party meeting applications. An upgrade to the premium version provides more integrations with a variety of software. 

Additionally, premium features include metrics and analytics, live chat support, meeting polls, routing forms to screen out people before they make bookings, and automated workflows, among other attributes.

Notable features:

  • Mobile access
  • Automated scheduling
  • Calendar sync
  • Reporting and analytics
  • Third-party integrations

Read More

2. FareHarbor  

screenshot of Fareharbor’s online booking system dashboard
Calendar view of bookings in Fareharbor (source)
  • Overall rating: 4.8 / 5
  • Ease of use: 4.7 / 5
  • Customer service: 4.9 / 5
  • Features: 4.6 / 5
  • Value for money: 4.8 / 5

FareHarbor is an appointment booking software that enables third-party operators and customers to book tours and activities online. Users can set up their online scheduling tools via FareHarbor’s dashboard, which aggregates booking tasks in one interface. The administrative dashboard manages agendas and contacts while providing reports on numerous metrics. 

The platform has built-in integrations with various third-party applications and is compatible with a range of customer relationship management systems (CRMs) and marketing tools. Fareharbor provides a suite of booking and scheduling features, along with an onboarding master to support and assist new users when setting up their accounts. 

Fareharbor is a freemium service that also includes a free demo. The software and marketing services are free for clients, who only have to pay the credit card rates and a fee per transaction. Further pricing information is available upon request. 

Notable features:

  • Mobile access
  • Automated scheduling
  • Calendar sync
  • Training and customer support
  • Reporting and analytics

Read More

3. Setmore

Setmore’s calendar for booking online appointments
Setmore’s calendar for booking online appointments on desktop or mobile (source)
  • Overall rating: 4.6 / 5
  • Ease of use: 4.6 / 5
  • Customer service: 4.7 / 5
  • Features: 4.3 / 5
  • Value for money: 4.7 / 5

Setmore’s appointment scheduling software allows users to customise their schedules and share the URL of their appointment pages within multiple applications. For example, users can create their own URL with their brand elements, create and send tailored text reminders, include QR codes, or structure their booking page with the features they want. 

The software comes with other features, such as calendar syncs, and integrates with over 40 apps and platforms. These integrations include mobile apps so that users can manage customer listings, booking, or calendar schedules on Android and iOS devices. 

Additionally, Setmore includes a staff login feature so that employees can set up their own accounts, create individual calendars, and manage multiple bookings simultaneously while also accepting online payments for appointments via their calendar or booking age too. Businesses can also use the software to collect and respond to reviews, feedback, recommendations, and testimonials from customers and display an aggregate of submitted ratings and reviews on their booking page. 

The free version allows up to four users and includes features such as unlimited appointments, email reminders, 24/7 support, and third-party integrations. The premium version includes more apps in its integration portfolio and additional third-party payment processing options. 

Notable features:

  • Mobile access
  • Automated scheduling
  • Calendar sync
  • Third-party integrations
  • Online payments

Read More

4. SimplyBook.me

SimplyBook.me’s dashboard for managing appointment schedules
Dashboard for appointment scheduling calendar in SimplyBook.me (source)
  • Overall rating: 4.6 / 5
  • Ease of use: 4.4 / 5
  • Customer service: 4.6 / 5
  • Features: 4.5 / 5
  • Value for money: 4.5 / 5

SimplyBook.me is an appointment scheduling platform that accepts bookings from multiple channels and allows businesses to customise their sites according to their brand requirements. Along with catering to UK SMEs, the software provides services in over thirty languages, as well as allowing integrations with multiple payment processing services and social media channels. 

In addition to leveraging calendar sync and automation tools, businesses using SimplyBook.me can access dashboards and reports to review metrics such as how many bookings have been cancelled, online reviews, and employee workload, along with other notifications and reminders. 

SimplyBook.me has four plans, starting with the free option and leading up to the premium plan, which includes a 14-day free trial. The free online booking system allows 50 bookings per month, while the paid versions offer more. 

Additional custom features offered include intake forms, accepted deposits, or vouchers and coupons, to name a few. The free version lets users choose one custom feature, while the basic, standard, and premium plans offer more.  

Notable features:

  • Mobile access
  • Automated scheduling
  • Calendar sync
  • Reporting and analytics
  • Third-party integrations

Read More

5. YouCanBook.me

YouCanBook.me dashboard for appointment scheduling for businesses
Creating a business appointment in YouCanBook.me (source)

Overall rating: 4.6 / 5

  • Ease of use: 4.5 / 5
  • Customer Service: 4.5 / 5
  • Features: 4.4 / 5
  • Value for money: 4.5 / 5

YouCanBook.me is an online booking, scheduling, and appointment platform that helps plan out weekly activities. Users can create event reminders or recurring meetings while customising their notifications or managing their team assignments. 

YouCanBook.me comes with SMS and email notifications to inform attendees of booked appointments. Users can also receive forms and questions to verify their attendance. Additionally, the platform’s third-party integrations can help businesses streamline their calendar, among other activities. 

The free version provides access to basic scheduling features and functionalities, one personalised booking page, and one linked calendar from your Google account. An upgrade to the premium package opens access to other features, such as password-protected booking pages, multiple bookings per time slot, and the ability to export data. 

Notable features:

  • Mobile access
  • Automated scheduling
  • Calendar sync
  • Reporting and analytics
  • Third-party integrations

Read More

Key considerations when choosing appointment scheduling software

While each business has its own needs, there are key considerations to evaluate when choosing the right appointment scheduling software. Most appointment booking tools do more than just provide slots of available times for a meeting. Here are four other key features to consider: 

  • Flexibility and customisation: Can users cancel or reschedule appointments at any time and from any device, or are there any limitations if these actions need to be carried out?
  • Centralised payments: Does your business need to accept payments at the time of booking? Can users centralise their payments and review metrics and analytics that deliver actionable insights?
  • Calendar sync: Does the software allow you to sync your appointments with your preferred calendar to better manage your agenda? 
  • Third-party integrations: Do you need to integrate your booking system with the rest of your company’s tech stack? 
Looking for appointment scheduling software? Check out our catalogue!

Methodology 

 To be considered for this report, products had to:  

Meet our definition for appointment management software: Appointment Scheduling software streamlines the process of scheduling clients, patients, and meetings. This type of software promotes efficiency by eliminating double-bookings and automating the scheduling of recurring appointments. It also allows employees to have real-time access to their and their colleagues’ schedules, make changes to the system straight from the scheduling interface, and provide clients with the most suitable appointment options. Appointment Scheduling software often includes reminder tools that help ensure timely attendance of scheduled meetings and appointments.

  • Have the following core features: Appointment reminders, online booking
  • Be available in the UK
  • Offer a free, stand-alone version of the software (not a trial version of the software where you must purchase a product after a limited amount of time).
  • Have a minimum of 50 reviews on Capterra.co.uk between 04/05/21 and 04/04/22
  • Have features that can be used by businesses in all sectors
  • Score an average rating of 4.5 or more stars on Capterra.co.uk

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.

About the author

Content Analyst for the UK. Providing research and digital tech tips for SMBs. MA in Journalism. MA in Diplomatic Studies. Animal loving, sea revering, Mancunian

Content Analyst for the UK. Providing research and digital tech tips for SMBs. MA in Journalism. MA in Diplomatic Studies. Animal loving, sea revering, Mancunian

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