If you’re one of the millions of small business owners who uses Square as your payment processor, you probably won’t be surprised to learn that the platform has added appointment scheduling software to their list of small business-centric products and services.
Square Appointments provides service-based business owners a centralized, streamlined method of handling all their customers’ appointments, and their customers with an intuitive booking experience available through any of their devices. On top of its appointment managing capabilities, Square Appointments also provides a few customer- and team-management features, as well as full integration with Square POS.
In this Square Appointments review, we’ll go into greater detail about the Square Appointments app, and provide you with a few alternative appointment scheduling software options to consider, as well.
Square Appointments Features
Square Appointments is a comprehensive, cloud-based appointment scheduling software. Here’s what you can expect with your Square Appointments account:
With Square Appointments, you’ll receive a readymade booking website that can either stand alone or that you can embed onto your existing business website through an integrated widget or booking button. Then, your customers can book, cancel, or modify appointments on their own devices, choosing available time slots within blocks that you’ve already set and with the available employee of their choice. On your end, you can customize your appointments’ duration and payment options, and you also have the option of charging a fee or full repayment for no-shows.
As a cloud-based software, Square Appointments inherently automates most of its processes, including syncing with your personal Google Calendar; updating whenever your clients book, cancel, or change an appointment; and sending your customers text or email reminders about their appointments.
Built-In Point of Sale
By using Square Appointments as your scheduling software, you’ll also be using Square as your point of sale system—and benefitting from the robust but easy-to-use features included with your Square POS.
The foundation of Square POS, of course, is that this software enables you to accept all major credit and debit cards and other popular payment methods through any conceivable medium—whether that’s in-person via mobile card reader or a fully outfitted register; your business website; your computer’s virtual terminal; or invoices. Whichever Square POS you use, the software will automatically adjust pricing for taxes, tipping, and discounts, too. And if you don’t have a WiFi connection, you can still accept payments through Offline Mode.
On top of payment acceptance, Square POS is also loaded with a long list of business management features: think advanced reporting, customer feedback garnered through digital receipts, inventory tracking, and integration with Square’s myriad other management tools.
When your customer books their first appointment, Square will save their personal and billing information for easy, one-click rebooking. You can also view every customer’s appointment and billing history through their dedicated customer profile.
Along with managing your customers, Square Appointments comes with built-in features that let you manage your employees. Square’s cloud-based software means that it automatically syncs with your master calendar, and every employee can view that calendar on their personal devices so everyone is always in the loop about changes and updates. Individual team members will also receive their own confirmations about their appointments. Plus, Square Appointments enables tip and commission tracking, so you can be certain that all of your team members receive the exact payment they’ve earned.
Square Appointments Pricing
Square Appointments is totally free for individuals, though solopreneurs using Square as their payment processor will be responsible for paying a transaction fee of 2.75% per tap, dip, or swipe.
From there, Square Appointments bumps to $50 per month for businesses with two to five employees, and the transaction fee shifts to 2.5% + $.10 per processed card payment. Businesses with six to 10 employees can use Square Appointments for a $90 monthly fee and that same 2.5% + $0.10 transaction fee. If your business has more than 10 employees, you can contact Square Appointments’ sales team for a custom pricing model.
Square Appointments offers a 30-day free trial period for teams, so you can test out this service and see if it works for you before committing to a paid plan.
Square Appointments Alternatives
While Square Appointments is a perfectly functional, intuitive, and accessible appointment scheduling software for most service-based business owners, some entrepreneurs may want a scheduling software that has even greater capabilities or that is geared to their particular industry. Here are just four alternative options for you to consider:
Like Square Appointments, 10to8 is a cloud-based appointment scheduling software that covers all the necessary bases: 24/7 booking, calendar syncing, saved customer information, reporting, online payment processing, and more. But 10to8 offers users a few more advanced capabilities than Square does, like:
- Automatically send questionnaires to your clients before their appointment, so you can gather relevant information ahead of time
- Manage room bookings across several locations
- Book and manage house calls
- Take bookings from Facebook (in addition to your website)
- Customizable booking page
- Automated, branded appointment reminders sent through SMS, email, Slack, or Facebook Messenger
10to8 offers five plans at increasing prices for businesses of varying sizes. The smallest of small businesses can opt for their most basic plan, which is totally free, and larger businesses can contact sales about the Enterprise plan, which is available for a custom-set price.
Appointy is a powerful scheduling software that lets your customers book appointments, classes, workshops, events, tours, rides, or whichever other method through which you deliver your services. On top of its comprehensive scheduling capabilities, Appointy is loaded with unique features. Here are just a few:
- Customers can book through Facebook, your website, or a dedicated booking website that Appointy offers its clients for free
- Integration with Square POS
- Customizable deals, discounts, and gift certificates
- Integration with your social media accounts
Appointy offers four service tiers, and each increases pretty dramatically in available features and capabilities. Here again, the smallest businesses can opt for Appointy’s free option. And at the higher end of the scale, larger businesses with multiple locations can opt for Appointy’s Enterprise service, which costs $99.99 billed monthly, or $79.99 billed yearly. All three of Appointy’s paid tiers offer a 14-day free trial period.
If you’re in the health, wellness, or fitness industries, you should definitely consider MINDBODY as your appointment scheduling software of choice, as this booking software provides features and resources geared especially toward businesses like yours. Take a look at some of MINDBODY’s key features:
- Set a maximum class size and offer customers the option to join a waitlist
- A complete POS system, including POS terminals through Poynt if you need to process payments at your front desk
- An intuitive customer-facing app, including stored billing details for one-click rebooking
- Automatic integration with MINDBODY’s payroll software
- Integration with tons of other fitness apps, like ClassPass, Fitbit, and Trainerize
- Integration with marketing tools to attract and engage customers
However, MINDBODY is the priciest option on this list, with its three service tiers costing $129/month, $239/month, or $349/month. As a unique offering, for $249 per month, you can commission MINDBODY to design and build a customized booking app for your business.
SimplyBook.Me receives largely positive reviews across major review platforms, with many customers praising its easily navigable interface, friendly customer service, and highly customizable booking solutions.
Like the other apps on this list, SimplyBook.Me is a fully functional, cloud-based booking software that can accept a range of popular payment methods. But this platform’s carries an impressive list of other unique features, like a customizable booking website and the ability to offer your clients add-on products (like coupons and gift cards, sales, memberships, and promotions), as well as an extensive list of advanced custom features. While SimplyBook.Me can work for virtually any service-based business, a few of its features are dedicated toward healthcare businesses, like HIPAA compliance and SOAP note forms.
SimplyBook.Me offers four service tiers with advancing capabilities:
- Free: Includes 50 bookings and one custom feature
- Basic: $9.90/month, includes 100 bookings and three custom features
- Standard: $29.90/month, includes 500 bookings and eight custom features
- Premium: $59.90/month, includes 2000 bookings and unlimited custom features
You can also contact SimplyBook.Me for a custom appointment scheduling solution at a bespoke price.
Is Square Appointments Right for Your Business?
All told, you can’t really go wrong by signing up for Square Appointments. As you’d expect from Square, this service is simple to set up, easy to use, and it gives you automatic access to the rest of Square’s comprehensive, tech-forward merchant services. Square Appointments especially makes sense for new or very small businesses: As long as you’re small enough to make the cut, this service will be completely free, and it offers you and your customers all the foundational tools you need to seamlessly manage your appointments.
Still, it never hurts to consider your other options, too—and 10to8, Appointy, and MINDBODY are just three, reliable appointment scheduling software that can potentially offer your business even more capabilities than Square can. Whether it’s one of the four appointment scheduling apps we mentioned here, or one of the hundreds we didn’t, you should always take advantage of your software’s free trial period, if it’s available. That way, you can test our your service and see if it works for you, your staff, and your customers before committing.
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from Fundera Ledger https://www.fundera.com/blog/square-appointments/