Running a successful business isn’t a piece of cake, and keeping a smooth schedule for your employees and customers can become very challenging if done inaccurately. So, if you are still using pen and paper, spreadsheets, Office 365, or Google calendar to make schedules, then you are wasting precious time when you can make schedules easily by employing one of the best online scheduling apps which offer a ton of features like tracking the progress of current tasks, giving analytics reports, etc. in addition to easy scheduling. The scheduling software offers a free version and a paid version to suit your needs perfectly.
No matter if you are a small business making a schedule for your employees or a service provider making appointments for clients, you need an easy scheduling solution that makes swift and effortless schedules online and streamlines day to day operations. We have got you covered on the basics about the best scheduling apps, who need to use a scheduling tool, and why every business needs to have an online scheduling application. So let's take a closer look at everything you need to know regarding any scheduling software.
Table of Contents
What is the Scheduling software?
Online Scheduling Apps are programs with the capability of managing employee schedules and appointments in a manner that no resource is wasted and productivity is maximized with effective planning. They tend to be more effective than manual scheduling and offer additional features that are perfect for both the service industry and small businesses.
For business companies that offer at home (or office) solutions like painting, window cleaning, landscaping, dog walking, pool cleaning, plumbing, spa, wellness, technical support, etc. managing a large workforce is impossible if you sit with a pen, paper, and phone and manually book appointments, and track progress with the phone every hour. But an appointment scheduling software just makes your life easier by helping you manage 100s of clients by managing your booking page on your website, creating and scheduling jobs, assign jobs to available workers who are at multiple locations, tracks jobs in progress, generate invoices, receives payment, and gets verification from the customer upon completion of the job.
Most business enterprises that operate on the traditional 10to8 clock, there are multiple shifts of employees working at different times of the day, and for varying durations. For such companies, employee scheduling can be quite time-consuming. For business institutions, a scheduling software generates a schedule for employees, helps track the amount of time and resources spent on a particular task, employee hours and overtime, schedules employees as per the priority of the task, and send real-time updates to ensure stable functioning of all resources. So, in Layman’s terms, a scheduling app automates the entire process of designing, maintaining, and tracking schedules and appointments in the easiest manner possible, and saves you hours of going back and forth trying to do the same thing manually.
Key Features of some of the Best Scheduling software
Scheduling applications offer a vast variety of features for both employee scheduling and appointment scheduling and some of the features include:
Create Profiles for Customers/ Employees
The ability to create a profile for your employees within the app, booking page or website with basic client information like name, address, emergency contact information, booking details, department, etc. gives easy access to vital information. It also allows you to create profiles for clients, which is quite handy if you are in the service industry and can store information like house address, service contract details, etc. and has room for notes where you can note down preferences of clients for better customer satisfaction in future services.
Create and Assign Tasks
Almost all of the best appointment scheduling software allows you to create tasks and assign employees to them. This is quite helpful as for business enterprises, it can help track the amount of time and resources invested in finishing a particular task. For services like cleaning, maintenance, etc. the ability to formulate, assign, and track tasks from the software can keep all records in one place and avoid miscommunication as the app sends appointment reminders, and assign new tasks to free workers which might be spread throughout multiple locations. Thus an effective system of online appointment scheduling is established.
This feature is more appealing to the service sector as it can generate and process invoices within the appointment scheduling software, keeping all records in one place. In addition, the best appointment scheduling software allows payment processing through a secure website. It also supports verification of job completion either by a signature or by pictures, depending on the type of job.
Updates and Alerts
The scheduling software can give important alerts regarding team meetings, deadlines, etc. and you can update clients or team members from the app through one on one chatting.
The Scheduling software generates reports which can be quite useful to track resources, get a review of jobs that have been completed, the average time to complete a job, which jobs have been paid for and payments due, etc. These reports are very crucial to improve operations, manage resources in a better way, for both service providers and business owners.
Benefits of Scheduling Apps
When it comes to the benefits of scheduling software, it offers a ton of benefits both for small and mid-sized businesses as well as organizations in the service industry. These benefits don’t depend on the nature of the organization or the size of the crew. Let’s have a quick look at those advantages:
For Appointment scheduling
1. Makes it easier to schedule jobs
The first and foremost advantage of using an online appointment scheduling app is that it makes the booking and scheduling part super easy, quick, and error-free. Booking a service is simple, with just a few clicks on the booking page and allows the customer to add details like customer name, address, etc. It also allows us to create a number of jobs and schedule those jobs on different days, different times, and one of the most prominent features include assigning them to specific field experts based on expertise and customer needs.
2. More time-efficient than the old ways
Traditionally a customer will call the admin and request a service. Then the admin has to make a note of details like customer name, phone number, address, requirements, etc. and then depending on the urgency of the task, the admin will assign a field expert to the job by making a phone call for more urgent requirements or scheduling through google calendar. This process is quite redundant and time-consuming. With a service scheduling application, you can do all of this just with a couple of clicks.
3. More efficient tracking of jobs and field experts
With appointment scheduling applications, you can classify the appointment types, track the progress of each job you created, check whether it is pending, in progress, or completed, with just one click. For completed jobs, the admin is able to observe the post-completion actions, like generate the invoice, see the reason for canceled delivery/service and inform the client accordingly. Also, the best appointment scheduling app offers live tracking of technicians across multiple locations and updates the client on any possible delays, ETAs, etc.
4. Excellent communication in all parties involved
The appointment scheduling applications offer quick communication between admin and clients, clients and field personnel, and admin and field experts through chatting, which can be very quick, effective, and help fasten a lot of communication processes that would otherwise require an official channel. With a real-time updating feature that the app offers, if a job is canceled at the last minute, the technician can automatically go on to finish the next job and no time is wasted.
5. Streamlines entire workflow
With the best appointment scheduling app, you are able to manage everything from appointment scheduling, to process payments once the job is done, instantly through the website. All this is possible to do from the admin window on the website and all records are kept in one place. Thus, all the process that was once done using google calendar, and phone calls are automated using a service booking application.
6. Better service quality
Due to the extensive features in the best scheduling app, every part of the business process is organized from booking to payment processing completely, and thus every single employee knows their function and duties. Due to this level of process design, there is very little room for error and thus the degree of customer service provided is very high. Also, there is no room to misunderstand the scope of work, as all client appointments along with client profiles are sent to staff calendars through app integrations.
7. Receive quick feedback
Some of the best scheduling apps have the feature of customer feedback, and before payment is processed, the admin has a chance to look at the feedback and resolve the issue as soon as possible, achieving higher customer satisfaction. It also generates a couple of charts and diagrams per month to analyze customer feedback.
For Business Enterprises
1. Makes scheduling an easier and effortless task
With the best scheduling software, the scheduling process is made very quick and concise for business organizations. All needs can be customized, like the number of people with a certain skill, the total number of people present, shift requirements of employees, booking multiple staff at certain times, etc. is all possible with the scheduling application and can be done without any errors. It also saves time, as the process of manually designing schedules with google calendar is replaced by a quicker process.
2. Better tracking
With scheduling software, it is possible to track the progress of each project soundly, assign deadlines to each smaller task, and get statistics on these smaller tasks. It also sends text and email notifications for weekly plans to team members. With all of these features, timely-delivery on all tasks is more likely and work efficiency is improved.
3. Real-time updates
The schedule creating software also offers real-time updates and notifications through email or text regarding important deadlines, team meetings, etc. so that all administrative tasks are done without any glitches. In addition, messages can be sent to multiple staff members and quickly communicate important information through the app.
4. Improvise in other areas
When you shift to an online scheduling app, a lot of time is saved for the admin staff. They can use this time to focus on business management, marketing, increasing sales, productivity in different departments, etc. Thus quick scheduling solutions allow you to improve in other areas of the business enterprise.
5. Streamlined Work Processes
By using online scheduling software, you can streamline all processes within the business enterprise. You are able to easily create schedules, send them to your employees’ phones, generate and assign tasks to each employee, and monitor the progress of the task all through one application. Thus your entire workflow within the business is modernized and efficient.
6. Better communication among the staff member
Online scheduling platform offers a lot of customization options, including calendar integrations and calendar syncing to personal calendars like Google Calendar, Office 365 Calendar, etc. so everyone can view personal and professional commitments in one single application. In addition to this, all meeting and deadline details are communicated to employees through push notifications in the mobile app, text message, or reminder emails to their preferred email address.
The analytics provided at the end of each period, usually once per month, gives the business a chance to assign resources in a more productive manner, ensures you have assigned the right number of employees in each section, enough number of people in each shift, etc. In addition due to these statistics, you are able to make major and minor changes to your business to increase output.
01. What is the best appointment scheduling app?
Answer: There are a lot of appointment scheduling apps out there and you can select one based on your preferences and needs. But Square Appointments is considered to be the best appointment booking software due to its large number of users and a vast variety of features. Square Appointments offer a free plan for individuals and a paid version with advanced features, ideal for teams with more members, and larger booking volumes.
Square appointments offer a lot of features like free customer booking, wherein customers generate a booking according to their preferences through your website, Instagram, or through Google. In addition to this, they offer different payment settings like a fee when booking service, full prepayment, a cancellation fee on no show, etc. and sends invoices to customers through the app itself. Square Appointments also sends automated email and text messages to notify customers regarding their service booking.
02. What is the best booking app?
Answer: There are thousands of best online booking apps, and we have covered the best online service scheduling apps where we talked about a few of the top applications which offer a lot of features based on your needs. Jobber meets the needs of most companies that need booking services primarily.
03. How do I create an online booking for free?
Answer: The guaranteed free appointment scheduling tool online is undoubtedly by using calendar apps like Google Calendar, or any other app on your device. In this way, you can create invoices by using Office 365 apps like Word, Excel, etc. which have built-in templates for invoices. To get more insights on the payments you can use Access, another Office 365 app that gives more advanced data analytics. Alternatively, QuickBooks can be used for both invoicing and data analytics for your payments. There are a lot of apps like Housecall, Service Fusion, etc. that offer free scheduling and booking system with limited features or a limited-time free trial, that can be used for very basic needs.
04. Which is the best scheduling app for employee schedules?
Answer: With multiple apps with different features and prices, there are a lot of options for business enterprises to choose from when selecting an app for creating schedules for employees. Worktime, When I work are two of the most used apps for employee scheduling. There are other apps that might suit your needs better and for complete details on work scheduling apps, check out our blog on work scheduling apps.
05. What small business companies need employee scheduling software?
Answer: Every industry with more than 10 employees that have different working hours, like gyms, fitness and mindbody spas, beauty salon, retail stores, restaurants, campaign workers, etc. can perform better with the aid of scheduling software. The work schedules can be sent directly sent to employee phones or can be viewed on the website, instead of calling employees to inform them of changes regarding work shifts.
06. What are the advantages of scheduling applications for solepreneurs?
Answer: For Solepreneurs, a calendar application is a great option to schedule meetings, appointments, etc. But using a scheduling application provides the following additional benefits:
- Help prioritize tasks
- Clients can book favorable time for meetings through your website, removing the redundant back and forth communication while selecting a meeting time
- Create easy routines like 1 hour is booked as busy every morning to check emails.
- You can classify your entire day as admin work when you are checking emails, marketing when you are reaching out to new clients, etc. and track time for better outputs
So, to wrap things up, one can say that a scheduling application offers a great approach to better and efficient scheduling and offers other features that appeal both to the service industry and business enterprises. Using an online scheduling software, the admin of the business can easily monitor and automate a lot of processes within the business, be it a service business or any other business institution. The software is easy to adapt to, both for employees and admin staff, and they offer a lot of benefits as discussed above. Not all of the advantages may suit your needs, but it can be said with certainty that the business will be more efficient and higher satisfaction in the employees can be seen due to the crystal-clear processes without any confusion.
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