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The top 10 things to look for in appointment software

Online appointment software can be the solution a business or organization seeks to completely automate, streamline, simplify and, most importantly, improve the manner in which it books and manages its appointments or reservations and contact information. Business and organizations should not venture into the appointment booking software selection process blindly, given the important role the application will ultimately play in operations. The following list of questions should be asked and considered when researching an online scheduling software provider.

  1. Does it provide the functionality you need? Conduct a thorough analysis of tasks you may use online scheduling for, besides self scheduling. Do you plan on sending automated reminders? Do you want the ability to process payments online? Must the system integrate with other software already used? Are you just looking to schedule appointments or you are looking for a business management software? Jotting down a “wish list” of features and then checking to see which ones are available and from what service providers can be extremely helpful.

  2. Can the software be configured to match your specific scheduling needs? What works for one organization may not work for another one. Scheduling is not a “one-size-fits-all” task. The ability to configure the scheduler and its settings is an important consideration, especially for those industries that may have unique or unusual scheduling processes.

  3. Is the software cloud-based? Does it require any installations, downloads or additional hardware? True online, cloud based scheduling software is accessible from any Internet connection in the same manner as any Web page, social media site or e-mail. It does not require any installations, downloads or additional hardware to utilize. This characteristic allows it to offer functionality typically not found in traditional software applications, such as online self-scheduling.

  4. Is the software user-friendly for both staff and customers/clients/patients/student? The success of a software application can often be tied not just to features and services, but also its user-friendliness. If the application is difficult to learn and use, it may not receive the usage the business or organization had anticipated. This can instantly undermine the goal of implementing the software in the first place.

  5. Does it offer live customer support? If you have a problem, do you have the option to reach someone by phone? Having the ability to speak or communicate to a live person is paramount in getting issues and problems resolved quickly, rather than having to refer to a FAQ page or send an e-mail message that will be responded to in a week. Given the important role that the online scheduling software system has in many businesses and organizations that rely on it, live customer support—including the type of support, whether it’s e-mail, phone or chat— should be a top consideration.

  6. Do new signups receive a coaching session on the application? Being left in the dark on how to use a software application is not the proper way to begin using a software application after selecting a provider. Unfortunately, it’s more common than many realize. A reputable online appointment software provider will offer a complimentary coaching session for each signup to assist in configuring the system and educate the new user on the ins and outs of the software.

  7. Is the software dependable? How long has the service provider been in business? The length of time a provider has been offering online scheduling software can be a good sign as to its dependability. The Web has seen its share of “fly-by-night” businesses that are here one day and gone the next. A business or organization needs the peace of mind that the service provider selected won’t suddenly disappear. Investigate as to how long the provider has been in business.

  8. What do other system users in your specific industry have to say about the software? Can the service provide references, testimonials or case studies? Businesses and organizations in a specific industry may use the appointment booking software in a similar manner, so it’s a good idea to see examples of these clients. A “real-life” example can paint a better picture than just a scenario of how appointment booking software is used. Most online scheduling software providers should be willing to share references, testimonials or case studies of exact or similar industries that use its software.

  9. What type of security measures are in place? Does the service provider have any safeguards to ensure your data isn’t compromised or lost? As company and customer, client, patient or student data will be stored online in the cloud-based scheduling software application, security should be of the utmost importance. Inquire on the provider’s standard security practices, its server database, data storage and backup procedures, and procedures related to failover and federal regulations, if applicable.

  10. Does the system ever experience downtime? Every software application must occasionally deal with technical glitches and minor issues. However, reputable software providers take the appropriate precautions to dramatically reduce the probability of these. If the system is inoperable, so is a business or organization’s ability to schedule its appointments and reservations. Online scheduling software plays an important role in overall operations, and businesses and organizations should expect an uptime percentage of almost 100 percent.

Looking for an appointment booking software? Look no further! Bookmemate is an online business management software that allows you to schedule appointments, manage invoices and track your inventory.