The Lowdown on Free Appointment Scheduling Software
Free appointment scheduling software comes with big promises of convenience, efficiency, and time-savings without any investment on your part. If that sounds too good to be true, you’re right. When something comes free, you still pay a price — though likely in ways you never expected.
Here’s what “free” solution providers don’t want you to know. Free usually means that the user is turned into a source of revenue to keep businesses afloat. These providers may sell your information to third-parties, serve up annoying ads, and provide less-than-stellar support.
You can steer clear of these not-so-free deals by selecting the best appointment scheduling software subscription for your business needs (even if it means shelling out a fee). By simply paying for the usage of the software each month, you know exactly what it’s costing you.
The real cost of “free” appointment scheduling software
- Hidden charges (some will take a cut out of your revenues)
- The sale of your data or your customers’ info to third parties
- Barebones software with minimal features
- Lackluster customer support
Types of Free Appointment Scheduling Software Available
At first glance, free appointment scheduling software shows immense potential in improving the business operations of those across many different industries. Everyone from beauty technicians to mental health therapists can use the scheduling apps to manage all their client visits.
With just a few clicks, users can schedule appointments directly or accept clients’ online booking requests. They can reserve time for internal business operations and set appointment reminders for all team members and their clients. Some even allow business owners to collect deposits and other payments in advance. All this promised utility can prove advantageous for small business owners looking to grow their companies, but like all free things, it comes at a hefty price.
The Truth of the Matter aka Why There’s No Free Scheduling App
Even the best free appointment scheduling software cannot overcome the fact that businesses must make a profit to thrive. When things come free, owners of those companies must make up their profits in other ways. As companies cannot stay in business without turning a profit, free offers often turn you and your customers into the products for sale. They also come at a great cost to development and support — and leave business owners trapped in an endless cycle.
Hidden Scheduling Charges
Free for business owners does not always translate to free for everyone. The free barber scheduling software, and similar programs, usually come paired with a consumer-facing app that connects you with leads. To make up for the lack of money coming in from business owners, these consumer-facing apps usually come with charges that eat into your customers’ budgets. They may charge your customers to make bookings, for example, to ensure their company turns a profit.
In some cases, the software provider may charge you, the business owner, for each appointment that you book. For instance, certain “free” schedulers don’t charge subscription fees, but they take a cut of around 2% from each successful booking.
Let’s do the math: If you pay 2% per booking for each appointment that’s worth $100 and you get 15 bookings a week, you’re paying the provider $120 a month.
Meanwhile, above-board pricing scheduling software providers range from just $29 to $99 month, so you’re not just saving money, you also get to keep all your profits.
The bottom line? While some solutions are technically “free” to use, they’re likely a lot more expensive in the long run, particularly if they take a cut out of your revenues. As such, you’re better off with a simple subscription service.
Many free apps, including free appointment scheduling software, keep funds rolling in by selling their customers’ data. When you sign up, you give them consent to collect data about your company demographics and activities. Your clients also agree to the same upon signup, making your company and clients the product for sale.
They can then sell access to this data to marketing companies interested in using it to promote their clients’ products. Although this does not seem like a big deal, it is definitely an affront to your company’s and clients’ privacy. The apps continually monitor your activity on the platform and beyond, gathering your location data and other private information from phones and computers alike. They can then sell and use your and your clients’ data at their leisure with nary a regulation in the way.
Despite bringing in money from your customers, the so-called free salon scheduling software and other booking apps do not reinvest those funds into their program. They simply spend copious amounts of money on search ads and other demand generation tactics in their pursuit of becoming the best free scheduling software provider. As a result, they are not investing in continual improvements that will benefit your business operations. And with the choice to go with free barber scheduling software and the like, neither are you.
With paid appointment scheduling software, you have a chance to contribute to a company with your bottom line in mind. They reinvest their profits into the continual development of their software program to bring you features upgrades and improvements.
Even the best free online scheduling tools come with minimal support. They leave both business owners and their customers on their own in navigating the system and troubleshooting problems. At best, they may offer access to a FAQ page or other online resources, but they do not usually provide any phone support or other types of assistance. The money is just not there to ensure they can meet the support demands of their clientele.
By going with a paid appointment scheduling program, you can receive the highest quality of support and so can your clients. These companies use their profits to build a strong support team and put the right elements in place to give all their customers excellent service. They even offer assistance from their experts in setting up the software and customizing it to your business needs.
Trying out free scheduling apps seems harmless enough, but it is actually the start of a never-ending cycle that leave many business owners feeling trapped. When you sign up, your business operations greatly rely on their dedication to quality support and product development. If they do not come through in this realm, switching to a different type of appointment scheduling software can prove challenging at best.
When you go with a paid appointment scheduling software instead, you can rest assured that you are investing in improvements to the platform. The software company will divert their profits into software development and support, benefitting your company in the long run. You will not have to worry about switching to a new platform in the future, as the paid version will continue to meet your needs as they make frequent and valuable upgrades.
Nothing in life is free — and so-called free appointment scheduling software proves that point. With a paid solution, you can simply use the platform to suit your business needs without these repercussions barring your success.
How To Choose The Right Paid Appointment Scheduling Software
Getting started with reputable paid scheduling software is as easy as signing up for a free trial. The appointment scheduling software company extends the trial your way in hopes you will find it helpful in achieving your business goals. When they are offering a solid product with excellent features, their software speaks for itself, helping you see how it can improve your business success.
If their software lives up to your expectations, you can continue with your subscription by paying the monthly or yearly fee. As you invest in your success with this software, they will invest their profits into app development, support services and more to help your company thrive.
Take Genbook for a spin to discover all the cool things you can do with the software — no credit card required!