Apps are everywhere for everything, including practices like yours. One of the most customer-facing activities to be addressed by the SaaS (software as a service) model is scheduling appointments. If you’re in the market for such a solution, you may be wondering how to make the best choice for your practice. After all, it would take pages to discuss all of them even briefly. Here are some questions to get you started.
What do you have now?
Look at the other technology solutions you’re already using and the functions they offer. Rank them by how well they work or how much you, your team, and clients like using them. You may find that a current favorite has an option to add a scheduling service. If so, put that on your short-list of possibilities. If not, don’t worry.
What do you need?
Now ask yourself and your team or trusted advisors where the gaps are. What features do you want the solution to have? Which things are must-haves and which are nice-to-haves? What’s your budget? What else are you willing to give in return (e.g. client information for the software company’s marketing efforts, a twelve-month subscription)?
How tech-savvy are you or how much time do you want to spend setting up your new solution?
Knowing the answer to this will help you narrow the choices by about half. Here’s why. Online scheduling solutions come in two basic varieties – all-in-one or specialized. Both have advantages and disadvantages.
All-in-one: The main advantage is that they are fully integrated right out of the box so you wouldn’t have to worry about API integrations or anything else to make them work together. They may also have less functionality because they do a little bit of everything and you could end up paying for features you wouldn’t use.
Specialized: These solutions will most likely have more features and do their core functions very well. The downside is that they may require some technical expertise to integrate with your other solutions. Having multiple solutions also means using multiple interfaces that could be very different.
Some of the most highly-rated scheduling solutions out there are Fresha, Acuity Scheduling, Square Appointments, and Vagaro. If reading about all the options makes you more confused than less, ask colleagues or friends who have similar businesses or test your top options with free trials. The choice is yours and, remember, it doesn’t have to be permanent.