There are three steps to setting up a successful and thriving consultancy agency. First, it’s necessary to contact strangers, turning them into prospective clients. Then, prospective clients need to become clients. And the last step is to ensure that clients walk away as satisfied customers. These satisfied customers will endorse the services and recommend them. As a result, the agency develops a solid and stable client base.
With an expanding client base, scheduling for a consultant becomes increasingly important. Many consultants have noticed that poor planning impedes their company’s growth. Scheduling is a key factor for success and having the right training and tools is essential.
For continued growth, consultants must meet people and engage them as clients or prospective clients. Appointments are quintessential in today’s service business. Any businessman will recognize the constant addition of new items and appointments to his agenda. Scheduling and booking are core activities.
By using consultant scheduling software these tasks become easier. Follow up is also improved. Automating this part of the client acquisition process will boost sales and productivity.
A quick search reveals that there are many scheduling software options available. The following article presents a selection of twenty booking and scheduling programs.
What is Scheduling Software?
Scheduling software allows the user to schedule appointments and reschedule them as necessary. With the appearance of cloud-based applications, this has become progressively easier. These programs can be used across multiple platforms and devices. Through the internet, information is available and is accessible at any time or place.
The purpose of appointment software is to make life easier. So before picking the right one, it is important to think about what the needs are. More complicated technical features only make life difficult. Conflicts between devices or with other apps can result in forgotten appointments and the loss of clients.
Here are some features that a good appointment scheduling app should have:
- Reminders and confirmations: The app should give the user notifications of upcoming appointments. It should also have the option of sending notifications to the client, either in text or spoken.
- Self-scheduling: It should allow clients to book their appointments and make reservations online.
- Calendar integration: Scheduling software should be linkable to other calendars and appointment software. These can be used to send and receive reminders for upcoming appointments.
- Payment processing: This is optional and depends on the needs of the user. Some scheduling apps offer different payment options along with the booking process. This makes the payment processing much easier.
- Revenue processing and reporting: This is also optional and depends on the preferences of the user. Consultant scheduling software should be able to track and report the incoming money.
- Mobile compatibility: This is important for professionals who are out of the office much of the time.
- 24/7 access: The platform and cloud should be available at any time.
- Security: The platform should be secure. Access should be password protected.
Consultant Scheduling Software To Try
The first of these consultant scheduling software options is Amelia. It is a WordPress plugin, created by TMS. They also developed the popular wpDataTables. Amelia is geared towards business people who depend on bookings for success. It is popular across various fields of business like coaching, consulting, and spas.
Amelia is renowned as a flawlessly functioning application. It is easy to install and easy to work with. Some interesting features of Amelia are:
- Automated notifications
- Customizable look
- Dashboard and reporting
- Employee management
- Fast booking and canceling
- Group appointment booking
- Locations management
- Online payments
- Schedule settings
- Services catalog
- Workflow calendar
Timezy is a new SaaS solution for scheduling. Law and business consulting companies are among its users. Timezy automates the scheduling of any event and allows customers to book online. An interesting feature is that it handles payments. So, businesses that depend on appointments and bookings will enjoy this option.
It is an excellent web app that is accessible from any device. Hosted on a failover server, Timezy guarantees 24/7 access and outstanding reliability.
Timezy gives access to individual booking environments. These booking modules can be included on any website. This enables clients to book their appointments quickly and easily.
GoReminders is much used by consultants to remind them of their appointments. It schedules and sends out text reminders. Many GoReminders’ customers are very satisfied and recommend it to their clients.
The reminder messages are customizable and can be set for single or recurring meetings. Other features of this app are appointment booking services, group messaging, and text blasts.
Vcita’s services aim at smaller businesses. It is basic, very easy to use, and simple. This app integrates all the necessary features in one practical solution.
What makes this option so attractive are the scheduling features. It ticks all the boxes for small service-based businesses. Clients can book their appointments on the company’s website or Facebook page.
Some spotlighted features are:
- 24/7 Payments
- Client portals
- Client self-scheduling
- Document sharing
- Easy to use
- Integration with other popular apps like Paypal, Square, Stripe, Zapier, and Zoom
ScheduleOnce is especially suited for consultants. The user can create a MeetMe page, which is customizable with a profile and pictures.
The MeetMe page only shows the time slots that a client can book. This app links with the user’s calendar and can update the available slots in real-time. This is important because it eliminates the risk of double booking.
MeetMe offers two user modes. In the simplest option, customers can book a slot and the software manages and books the appointment. There is a second option that gives the user a bit more control. This lets the client select a couple of time slots. With that information, the user can select and book the time that suits them best.
Square Appointments is a free option for individuals. It does not hide essential features behind a paywall or annoying ads. Service and other appointment-based businesses will benefit from the features that Square offers. It includes extensive scheduling and various payment options.
Square Appointments can operate in conjunction with a website. Customers can use this website to see the available time slots and to schedule their appointments. As the appointment approaches, the software can send out an email or text message. It also links with Google Calendar and immediately syncs the new appointments. The filled slots are then removed to avoid conflicting appointments.
Appointment Plus is a solution for the online scheduling of appointments. It is a very flexible app, so it is especially suited for growing businesses. It contains many features that cater to the specific needs of an organization. There are more than 500 settings to customize the app in any desired way.
Appointment Plus allows customers to book their own appointments. Businesses can experience an increase in the number of bookings as a result. This will bring in more money, as well as lower operating costs.
Setmore is a powerful online scheduling solution. Clients can book their own appointments, taking the pressure off the service provider. Individuals, small businesses, and larger organizations are among its satisfied customers.
Besides scheduling it can take care of many different related activities. These include online booking, client engagement, and payments. It contains many administrative tools that aid in the optimization of workflow and efficiency.
Setmore key features include:
- Compatible across devices and platforms. It is accessible at any time, at any place.
- Text reminders, so clients will not miss appointments.
- Allow employees to manage appointments.
TimeTap is a scheduling and online booking app. This software is ideal for professional service providers who manage many bookings.
TimeTap helps the user streamline the booking process with many builtin features:
- It maintains client information
- Automatically sets up waiting lists
- Creates recurring appointments
- Sends out an email or a text reminder
- Intelligent travel time for different locations
- Class scheduling
- Customizable forms
- Multi-day courses
- Disclaimer forms and waivers
Vectera makes meeting with small groups of clients very easy and efficient. It can be used as a communication hub for all company clients. Vectera is exceptional in that it combines scheduling with client meetings in online video rooms.
These rooms are available 24/7 and feature options that make meetings more efficient. The participants can upload content, make notes, and the information is available for both parties. During meetings, information is ready and up to date for all in attendance. Added features are whiteboards, document annotation, one-click start, and co-browsing.
Appointlet only has a web-based interface. This is a nice option for professionals who want to keep track of their schedule, but do not want a dedicated app for it.
Although it is free, it has some handy features. The intake fields are customizable to the needs of the user’s area of work. The basic version allows for scheduling an unlimited number of appointments. It syncs with external calendars, like Google Calendar, Office 365, and Outlook.
COVID-19 has changed the needs of many companies. This app integrates with popular video chat programs, including Go2Meeting, Join.Me, Webex, and Zoom.
TIMIFY is a flexible tool for consultants. It is available at any time or location and offers end-to-end online booking in real-time. The flexibility lies in its ability to integrate into existing infrastructure. It can sync with personal electronic calendars and works across different devices and platforms.
It gives practical and transparent tools for managing customers, employees, and resources. TIMIFY is a cost-efficient option that optimizes time management. It helps to foster communication and customer loyalty.
A popular consultant scheduling software option is Calendly because it books appointments very smoothly. It links with personal calendars, like Gmail and Outlook, enabling customers to see what times are actually available.
Calendly can create personal bookings or bookings for an entire team. Using this app can cut out a lot of time that is otherwise used in sending emails to set up an appointment. Automated emails can include a direct link to the booking site. Calendly can integrate into any website with Zapier.
Furthermore, reminders and follow-up messages for new and current clients can be customized. There is an option for sending them by email or text message. Calendly offers many customizable options, allowing it to exactly meet the customer’s needs. While it is popular, there are still lots of Calendly alternatives out there.
Yocale is a good option for starting businesses. The creators are dedicated to helping small businesses grow by facilitating contact with clients. Customers can search online and book their own appointments.
Yocale allows the client to view the customer’s details, appointment details and history, receipts, notes, and more. The client can adjust to the needs of the customer and provide a personalized experience. Through Google or Google maps the customer can discover new businesses and find their location.
SimplyBook.me offers the most professional and complete scheduling software available. With all the features it offers it can be a real timesaver. With an account comes a beautiful personalized booking site. Here, the customer can not only book, but also get to know the company and the available services.
This website can even be used to sell products, memberships, and added services. Appointments can be synced with personal calendars. On top of that, SimplyBook.me produces booking and sales statistics. The website mentions many more features.
Checkfront is an online booking appointment option. It helps with making reservations, and payments. Ultimately, this can result in increased sales for the business, and that is what counts. The Checkfront platform merges different tools. The result is a product that helps to manage customers and facilitates business processes.
Some highlighted features are:
- Automated invoicing and billing
- Customer accounts
- Instant payment processing
- A point of sale module
- A real-time dashboard
- Secure access
- Self-service bookings
- Vouchers and certificates
Bookwhen meets the scheduling requirements of businesses of all shapes and types. It offers many powerful features and elements. These include custom booking forms, and the capability to export bookings to Excel. The software is easy to use and integrate.
Some key features are:
- Customizable booking forms
- Confirm responses
- Opt-in for marketing
- Paypal, Stripe, and WorldPay
- Pay Later option to accept offline payment
- Confirmation and reminder email
Acuity Scheduling is a scheduling app, with versions for iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch. It is perfect for consultants that are always on the go and have to rely on mobile devices.
Acuity works with two calendars. It syncs with personal calendar apps, and it also maintains the appointments in its own calendar system. Acuity uses the information to send alerts, reminders, and updates for upcoming engagements.
Acuity Scheduling collects payments, handles different time zones, and customizes appointments. It is compatible with other business-related apps such as GoToMeeting, MailChimp, PayPal, and Quickbooks.
With Fons, it is not necessary to send emails back and forth to set up appointments. Customers can book the time that is most convenient for them. Fons automatically sends out reminders to minimize the number of no-shows and late cancellations.
The user can set the hours, block off certain hours, and schedule vacations. The customer will only see the available times. It automatically adjusts to different time zones. This is very practical for professionals that have to travel a lot.
Fons is great for individual workers, but it is also easy to add more staff. Each member will get his login, schedule, and administrative roles. It integrates with the calendar app of choice and sends reminders when appropriate.
The last of the consultant scheduling software presented here is InviteOnce. It manages all business bookings. It provides a clear overview of multiple appointments. It is often used in different types of businesses such as consulting, education, finance, healthcare, and lifestyle.
Individual settings can be customized for each appointment, including time and location. There is an option to assign each meeting to a specific team member. The “Round Robin” feature makes sure that these appointments are assigned in an equal way. Cancellations and bounce rates are greatly reduced. Based on the meeting’s needs, InviteOnce automatically assigns the best time slot.
Ending thoughts on the best consultant scheduling software
Self-service calendars are easy to use and available at any time and place. Using them will increase conversion rates, and generate time for more important things. This article outlined a few software options and their characteristics. Based on needs and preferences it is possible to find the best option for your business.
Apart from the scheduling feature, most apps offer other helpful features. These include reminders, payment processing, and integration with other business apps.
Some scheduling apps are so complete that they can replace an entire business website. These options allow the user to build a site in the way they like. Sections for scheduling, contact information, and opening times are fully customizable.
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