online booking

Easy To Use Online Booking Software | YouCanBook.me

Posted by | Small Business Solutions | 3 Comments

The online scheduling software market seems to be growing quite rapidly these days. A few months ago, I settled on two programs I liked: Setster and Bookfresh. Setster still is my favorite, partly due to good support. They are slowly making some good changes to their system, so please do check out Setster. Bookfresh looks nice, but their customer service is just terrible. They really need to get a phone number to take calls! I did not want to limit myself to just one program to recommend (as some folks have different taste) so I stumbled upon a brand new booking program called YouCanBook.me.

YouCanBook.Me is a Google Marketplace item, which links up with a businesses’ Google Apps account. The logo and website did not really attract me to dig deeper. I almost went away because the site was not attractive enough. But I decided to give it a try! Glad I stuck around! YouCanBook.Me truly is a remarkable program. It is not as flashy as the Setsters, Bookfresh or BookingBug programs out there, but the simple features are impressive. In fact, of all the online booking programs I’ve tested, YouCanBook.Me is the fastest at syncing with Google Calendar. It literally took seconds for it to show up on my Google Calendar and iPhone and seconds to remove it from all my synced calendars. This program is pretty custom too. You can create custom forms (questions to ask a client before meeting with them) and even customize the colors of the booking calendar.

I’ve contacted the developer of YouCanBook.Me, and he has been very responsive. I’ve given him a list of the features I’d like to see for service contractors, and he was very receptive. The other programs I’ve recommended are almost more geared towards businesses that have a physical location. YouCanBook.Me is so simple and custom that a service contractor can easily use this program on their emails and website. It truly is remarkable. Give it a try and let me know what you think.

Bookfresh vs. Setster for Online Appointments

Posted by | Cool Software, Marketing Advice | 55 Comments

Update 5/8/2017

Since writing this post back in 2010, many appointment booking software has surfaced. I have settled on using YouCanBook.me. It works with iCloud, Microsoft and Google Calendars. That is enough for me!

Update: 4/3/2014

It has come to my attention that consumers are having more problems with Bookfresh support. One person told me they cannot get in touch with them by phone at all. So I am not endorsing Bookfresh and have not for several years. This is an older post comparing (at the time) two good programs. If you are using Google Calendar, I highly recommend you use and try: www.youcanbook.me (they have the best service and can customize it to fit your needs). Setster is still a great product as well.

Do you remember the days before cell phones? Contractors and business owners had pagers and Daytimers. I remember my dad telling me that when he worked in the field painting for a homeowner, he’d have to ask the homeowner if he could use their phone to make a call or drive to the nearest pay phone. Life was simple. Asking to use someone’s phone was not an inconvenience. It was normal.

The days of pagers, pay phones, daytimers and people waiting 24+ hours for a response are over! Now consumers want quick and fast response. If they send an email, they get impatient if they do not hear back from a contractor within 2 hours or less. Some consumers don’t even like talking on the phone. They would prefer scheduling their appointments online at their convenience.

Well, to keep up with technology and this fast pace lifestyle, Bookfresh and Setster have made it a little easier for business owners to allow prospects and customers to schedule appointments online. Bookfresh and Setster are online scheduling and appointment booking software. A visitor can now go on to a contractor’s website, click on the “Contact Us” or “Book Now” button, select a service, view available time slots and schedule an appointment. Both of these companies have made online scheduling a breeze.

Which one do I like best? It is hard to say. I like them both. Bookfresh seems to have done a better job marketing themselves and has more testimonials from places like the New York Times and USA Today. Setster, is a younger company yet is slowly becoming a threat to compete neck to neck with Bookfresh.

Pros of Bookfresh

  • Mobile friendly: browser-based website to view and accept appointments
  • Attractive and Easy to Use.
  • Available on your Business Facebook Page and Email Campaigns
  • Has a “mini site” for your company. This could replace your company contact page completely. It is easy to use and search-engine friendly
  • Integrates pretty well with Outlook and Google Calendars
Cons of Bookfresh
  • Customer support, in my opinion does not exist. Enough said.
  • For contractors, there is no function to schedule specific areas of town. In other words, if you want to schedule appointments in the same zip code or area, there is no way to do this. Bookfresh makes scheduling easy for the consumer only.
  • Bookfresh takes a consumer away from a contractor’s website. This is not good from a marketing perspective. It should be a pop up menu with the contractors brand and identity. When a consumer clicks on the Book Now button, Bookfresh takes over.

Pros of Setster

  • Easy to for your customers to use on desktop or mobile devices.
  • Customer Services. Each time I’ve had an issue, they’ve respond by email well…and even picked up the phone and called me to make sure I was happy.
  • Pricing is good. Comparable with Bookfresh, YouCanBook.me and others
  • Branding of Setster is limited. A Consumer stays on a contractor’s website when booking an appointment.
  • You can have a developer customize Setster anyway you’d like!
  • Easy to install buttons for email marketing, website and sending business emails.
  • Works very well with Google Calendar.
  • Invoice and Accept Payments online (Integrates with Quickbooks, Freshbooks and PayPal)

Bookfresh and Setster are great programs! My personal favorite of the two: Setster

Consumers use these features and seem to like the ease of them. If Bookfresh would have better customer service, I’d give them two thumbs up. Until then, Setster takes the cake.

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