4 Ways a Free Appointment Scheduling Tool Can Hurt Your Business

4 Ways a Free Appointment Scheduling Tool Can Hurt Your Business

Steven Borders

There are many appointment booking tools out there, and it’s tempting to choose one that is simple or low-cost. This can be a suitable option, but what if your business depends heavily on booking appointments or classes? In those cases, a simple scheduling software will probably not give you the tools and functionality that you need.

Not having the features you need to schedule customers can result in more time spent on administrative work and appointment management. A good scheduling software should automate most of your appointment booking tasks. This helps prevent lost sales that often result when you don’t have the data you need to personalize your service and better manage your client relationships. Still not sure you need a more powerful scheduling tool? Check out these four ways that simple scheduling tools could be hurting your business.

They do not offer client management tools

When your scheduling tool doesn’t save information about clients, it’s difficult to manage those relationships. Free scheduling tools make it easy to set up an appointment booking page. However, they don’t capture much information about clients or save that information for future use. When using a free booking tool, if you want to build a database of customers, you will likely need a separate tool to capture customer information.

TimeTap offers customer management tools that are built into the software - allowing you to build and manage a customer database. When a customer books an appointment, any information you collect on that page is saved in the customer management area of your account. You can view appointment history for the client as well as any notes made on the client profile. You can even create tags and apply them to customers for easy sorting and reference of client categories.

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Once you have a database of customers, you can better manage your client information with TimeTap. For example, with the recall campaign feature, you can set up reminders that get sent to clients when it’s time to book their next appointment. Set up an automated messaging trigger to send out a message as a follow up to the client. This helps you build your business and better manage customer relationships. Everyone knows good customer relationships are a key to success for a business, and you can manage them effectively with a powerful scheduling tool.

You cannot customize the booking form

When booking appointments, sometimes you need more information than a name, email and phone number. For example, you might need to first qualify your leads or ask screening questions to ensure people have met prerequisites for the appointment or class. It can be costly to book appointments that aren’t qualified or haven’t met certain requirements.

Most free or simple appointment scheduling software doesn’t provide much flexibility or customization on their booking form. TimeTap offers a completely customizable booking form. Whether you need to ask screening questions or add custom fields, the tool gives you the power and control over the appointment booking page.

Providing a custom booking form can save you valuable time, giving you all the information you need for the appointment in one step.

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Free scheduling tools do not offer detailed reporting

Reporting and insights are essential to running a business. If you don’t have access to reports, it is difficult to know how your business is performing. Did you have more leads and prospects schedule appointments last month than the previous month or prior year? Without an appointment scheduling history, the tracking becomes manual, time-consuming and difficult.

With TimeTap reporting, you can run a variety of custom reports to access the data you need. For example, you can create a report on staff schedules to ensure service coverage at appropriate times. Additionally, you could run a report to view the services scheduled over the past month or an invoice report to view outstanding payments. There are multiple report types that provide greater insights for running your business.

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There is no waitlist feature

If you offer a class or service session, every scheduled slot is a source of revenue. If your class is full, that’s great! But what about additional people who would have signed up but were unable since the class was full? A waitlist is helpful for tracking additional interest in a class or service that you offer. If you have a long waitlist, this signals demand for an additional class.

Waitlists are also helpful when there is a cancellation in a fully booked class – giving others a chance to claim the spot and prevent the loss of revenue.. The TimeTap waitlist feature can automatically notify others when there is a cancellation. This is more efficient than calling or emailing others in order to fill the cancelled slot.

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It’s tempting to use a free or low-cost appointment scheduling tool, but not having important features like these might be costing your business more time and money than you realized. If your scheduling tool isn’t automating your processes or providing the data you need, consider switching to a more powerful booking software. Schedule a TimeTap demo today and learn about all our powerful appointment booking features.

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