In my own business and client work, I make sure the behind-the-scenes of many online businesses is running smoothly. One big part of that is the scheduling of appointments.
Because we’re working in virtual environments, one way to do it is to have a back-and-forth with a client to find a mutual time for both of us. This back-and-forth can take many emails and sometimes days just to book one 30-minute session. Needless to say, it’s a huge time and energy suck!
But it doesn’t have to be like that when there’s amazing software out there that helps you step out of this routine task.
For scheduling consults and client appointments, my go-to software is Acuity Scheduling. Heck, I love it so much that I recommended the program to my local Small Business Development Center and now they’re using it.
Why I Love Acuity Scheduling
- Cost: Acuity has a free option, which is amazing if you’re just getting started. And the first paid tier unlocks SO MANY FEATURES for only $10 per month (and you get one month free when paying annually). Have a team? No problem! For just $9 more per month, you can have up to six calendars for different team members or business locations. Maximum functionality, minimal price tag.
- Layout of Admin Dashboard: The admin dashboard, where you create appointment types, access client information, customize the look of your scheduler and more is very easy to navigate, with simple lefthand navigation controls for Appointments, Client’s Scheduling Page, Business Settings and My Account. Each section has various subsections and tabs that allow for a robust use of the program, with such actions as view appointment reports, set-up special prompts for your scheduler, handle client payments, create multi-appointment packages, set-up intake forms and so much more.
- Scheduling Features: This is the main issue that clients want to know, can I set up specific availability for certain appointments? Of course you can. I would not recommend a scheduling program if it didn’t have this functionality. Each appointment type can have its own availability if you’d like. Once you have your calendar and appointments set up, easily 2-way sync Acuity with your personal calendar in Google, iCloud or Outlook, so that new Acuity appointments are automatically added to your personal calendar and appointments set outside of Acuity automatically block out that time for Acuity appointments. You’ll never be double booked again!
- Payment Features: If you want to handle appointment payments through Acuity, yep, it does that too. The two main ways to do this is to add a dollar value for specific appointments, so that clients pay for the appointment upon scheduling. Or, add a product or service, such as an appointment package, to your Acuity store and point clients there first. Once they purchase a package, they’ll be sent a code to redeem the exact number of appointments that are designated for that specific package. For ease of payment integration, you can accept payments using PayPal, Stripe, Square, Braintree, Authorize.net or a PayPal/Stripe combo option.
- Ease of Client Use: Of course, if you are asking your clients and contacts to book time with you through your scheduler, you want to make it as easy as possible for them. And I can confirm that: MISSION ACCOMPLISHED! Clients simply select the appointment type they want to book, and then find a date that works for them on the scheduler. If you’ve attached an intake form or a dollar amount to the appointment, they’ll need to complete those pieces before seeing a confirmation page, which also includes links to add the appointment directly to their digital calendar. Also within minutes of scheduling, the client receives a confirmation email with all the details of the appointment or purchase. What to see what it looks like? Click here to go to my scheduling page and check it out.
- Quality of Customer Support: As with most companies I recommend, their level support is tops! All support is through online tickets and emails, which I was hesitant about at first. The first time (and every time after that), I’ve had a question, I’ve always received a detailed, thoughtful, friendly response that’s solved my problem within hours (sometimes minutes for those urgent requests). Their responsiveness and assistance is so good that I sometimes don’t spend much time looking for an answer, I just send a message and go on with my day knowing I’ll have the solution sitting in my inbox within a few hours.
- Integration with other programs: Acuity integrates directly with many popular software options, such as Zoom Meetings, ConvertKit, AWeber, Infusionsoft, Salesforce, WuFoo and so many more. Plus, you can also use Zapier to build your own custom integrations, making automations within your business even easier to create.
On a side note, I understand they treat their staff very well – good pay, generous benefits, bonus money for continuing education, flexible, virtual positions. This acknowledgement of their all team members definitely shows in the client-facing interactions and ability to innovate and add user enhancements on a regular basis.
Looking for more information before deciding which scheduling software is best for you? Post your questions below and I’ll get you pointed in the right direction.
Note – this post contains an affiliate link, which means if you sign up for this software through the link above, I will earn a thank you bonus from the provider. I only recommend products and services I’ve tested, used and truly love. Hey, a friend wouldn’t let a friend go to the wrong hairdresser, right?