The word calendar originates from a Latin word “Kalendae,” which stands for the first day of the month. Currently, people all over the world are using the Gregorian Calendar, but are you aware that it got implemented in Italy?
Can we try to contemplate the havoc that we can create in the absence of a calendar? We utilize it to plan events, to mark important dates, and so on. We have businesses such as salons, gyms, clinics, consultancy services, among others, that rely heavily on scheduling appointments.
We can utilize the online booking calendar of Setmore and perform stress-free reservations. Interestingly, either the customer or the staff member can make the reservations.
- Setmore allows its users to continue using their free account
- The user interface is intuitive, and the system’s design is par excellence.
- The customers can utilize the booking page and make online bookings and payments.
- We can easily embed the Setmore widget on our website or blog. The button can also be customized.
- The account allows multiple logins, 4 staff members for the free plan, and up to 20 for the premium account.
- Their unique offering of Live Booking allows virtual receptionists to receive calls from customers and make the necessary appointments.
- Limited payment gateways if compared to its competitors.
- They lack marketing tools that target to increase the revenue of the business.
- Recurring appointment/classes is available under premium plan only.
There are thousands of entrepreneurs taking huge risks and get involved in the creation of a new product/service.
What is it that aids them to grow and succeed? Everybody tends to have different opinions, but we cannot fail to concise on the fact that customers have the power of either making you or breaking you.
It is vital to pay attention to the customer experience delivered by your venture. Setmore allows the business to automize their scheduling function instead of using outdated means of booking appointments.
Setmore avails a free plan, which is accessible indefinitely and can cater for 4 staff members and allow payment via Square. A user can upgrade to a premium and a Live Booking (for US & Canada) program.
The customers can access the booking page, where they can check the availability and schedule an appointment using the online calendar.
Is that it? No, they offer much more than that. The customers receive notifications and reminders regarding their booking. They can also make online payments.
As for the business owner, he/she can set up various staff profiles, enable their logins, and create different services under a variety of categories.
Let us get into the process of setting up an account with them. We shall explore the free plan and find out its features.
Setting up Setmore account
We have mentioned that they have a free plan, which offers satisfactory features. The premium plan, however, will allow up to 20 staff calendars, provide Stripe or Square for payment, among other benefits.
These include text reminders, recurring appointments, white labeling (we remove the Setmore branding), Google 2-way sync, etc.
Even more appealing feature of Setmore is their Live Booking, whereby a virtual receptionist attends to the calls from clients on behalf of your business and books the online reservations.
We can undoubtedly comment that we are already impressed with the variety of plans and its rich offering. Not to forget, very few online scheduling software offer free of cost service to their users.
Setmore avails an easy 4 step procedure for setting up a user account. The first stage is welcome, where the user inputs details about the business name, its industry, and contact number.
The second step involves revealing the business hours from Monday to Sunday. The customers can predict the opening and closing hours using the calendar.
The third section requires the business owner to add staff members, names, and email addresses. We have stated that up to 4 members can log in to access the online booking calendar under the free plan.
The last phase in account creation deals with the service that is offered by the business. The user can provide the service name, its time, and price.
With these, we complete our set up, and the system now recognizes our staff, working hours, and our services.
The calendar that holds the scheduling information reflects on our screen. Moreover, we can access other tabs of Setmore such as the dashboard, customers, apps and integrations, settings, products, and support.
We can now proceed and view the homepage so that we can start performing the core function of this system, book an appointment.
The intuitive dashboard
There is a common saying that goes as “a picture is worth a thousand words.” Similarly, Setmore’s dashboard displays a lot of valuable information at one glance.
We can point out that the interface is not as rustic as Bookeo. Setmore has managed to design a minimalistic yet power-packed dashboard space.
The page allows the user to conduct its core activity – to book appointments. The week's schedule appears on the page’s body with this week’s event displayed on its right-hand side.
We have the navigation panel on the left side, and we can also look into various statistical values on the dashboard.
The top bar of the page reveals the week duration (date), the number of appointments, the confirmed as well as the projected revenue, and the total estimated income.
The dashboard is comprehensive as it provides useful insight into the operation of the business. Let us take on the book appointment button that will demonstrate the way the system handles reservations.
Booking an appointment using the calendar
The book appointment button leads us to the calendar. We have already displayed the image of the Setmore calendar (3rd image) that is responsible for tackling the scheduling functions.
Another noteworthy fact about Setmore is that it avails a private calendar to each of its staff members. For what other purposes can we use the calendar?
As visible from the image above, we can use the plus sign to perform some tasks such as adding new staff, service, customer, and class.
Apart from that, we can notice a red line on the calendar, and it displays the current date and time. The white cells represent the available time for booking, while the grey space shows off working hours.
To book an appointment, all we need to do is to select our desired but available time and click on it.
A pop up appears, which allows the user to create the reservation; it has two sections, namely, details and customers.
We can also label the reservation as pending, confirmed, done, no-show, paid, running late, and there is an option of the custom label too.
The customer segment permits us to search for a client or to add a new one. We can then save the appointment, which gets captured on the calendar as well as on the dashboard.
Hence booking a reservation on Setmore is a painless process. We mentioned that we could add other features using the calendar. We review the addition of service in the system.
Adding services and categories
While discovering the scheduling software, we may question the kind of businesses that can optimally use Setmore’s offerings.
We, however, receive the answer to our query on the footer of Setmore’s main page. We do not need to outline it as they have portrayed it under the industries' drop-down arrow.
Our sample business can be a salon offering a variety of facial treatments, massages, haircuts, and spa services.
The services section falls under the settings, and it allows the user to create their offerings. We can create categories so that it is easy for the customers to narrow down their search.
As an example, the service of head massage shall fall under the massage category, hence convenient for the client to locate it.
The process of creating a new service is also very straightforward. We assign it a name, provide a description, and can also upload an image.
There are other fields such as service cost, time, buffer time, category list, and option to enable it as a private service.
On the right side, we need to choose the staff member who shall be providing the mentioned service. We can select all the staff too.
All the services thus appear with the related time and pricing. The platform allows businesses to create classes, and the customers can book appointments for them.
The unique offering of class
We have pointed out that Setmore is an optimal solution for entrepreneurs and small to medium-sized businesses. The type of firm that can use this solution involves spas, education, doctors/clinics, education, etc.
We can create classes under the settings tab. It involves giving it a title, a description, cost, duration, the number of seats available, and whether to have it as a private class.
Any proficient staff member can conduct the class; hence, we need to create the sessions that fall under the particular class type.
To create sessions, we have to name the provider (member), the date and time, the duration, the number of slots available, and the cost.
There is an option of enabling repeat; we have mentioned that recurring appointments can be scheduled using the premium plan.
Thus, it is effortless to create classes and sessions using the Setmore system. It is another form of service, as we receive payments from it too. With this, we can take a peek at the settings related to the staff next.
Setmore’s staff settings
We have pointed out that the free scheme allows 4 members to log in and perform the scheduling function. The premium plan can cater for 20 people, hence appropriate for large businesses.
Each of the members accesses a dedicated calendar, where they mark the reservations. Furthermore, they have a booking page, through which the clients can conduct online scheduling
The page solely depicts the services provided by the particular member, and a client can choose to book for an appointment using the details of his/her offerings.
In case the business deals with education, then classes can also be booked via the page. The customers can submit their experience with the member, which will be visible under reviews.
We can add new members by providing details on the name and email address. They appear under the staff, and beside it, we can view their in-depth information.
It includes their booking page URL, calendar URL, and how to integrate it with Google & Office 365 (premium), service they provide, working hours with their breaks, and time offs.
We have reviewed the staff members, and now we can take on the customers, who are, in fact, essential for any business.
Managing the customers
Every business has a motto of earning maximum profits, but that can only be possible if they have loyal clients.
We need to strategize on ways to maintain a healthy relationship with our customers so that we do not lose out on the current audience base.
The customer tab on the navigation panel presents the list of all our clients. Each of them has a profile that provides details on their personal information, their appointments, notes, and statistics.
We can add new clients, edit or delete the existing ones. There is also a provision to export or import the customers.
The online scheduling software was created to get rid of the old-fashioned method of making reservations paper and pen. It also aims to provide convenience to customers who can make online bookings by themselves.
Thus, we need a platform where they can access our calendar and mark the appointments. We discussed the members having a booking page; the same applies here.
If a client wishes to make appointments, then he/she can access the booking page of the business. The web page displays public information regarding your services, staff, contact details, business hours, and reviews.
The process of confirming a booking with Setmore by a customer involves 5 sections. The first move entails choosing the service.
All the services that the business offers appear on the page and the customer chooses the one that he/she intends to undertake.
The next task includes choosing the provider, meaning selecting the member from who you wish to access the service.
After that, the client pins down the desired date and time, after making sure that the slots are available for booking.
The last 2 steps include your information and confirm. Once the client completes the booking, he/she receives the confirmation email.
The customers can write reviews using the page, and they will be publicly available. Hence, positive feedback will encourage new clients to proceed and make reservations.
The businesses with an existing website can add the book appointment button on their site, and the visitors can access the booking page through it.
We can also prevent the customers from conducting the self-booking by marking the services as private under our settings tab.
As far as classes are concerned, the instructor needs to create sessions through which we can allocate the attendees.
The premium account allows recurring sessions; hence, we can create multiple classes too. The recurring booking is convenient for regular customers who attend events/classes at a fixed interval.
The settings tab allows the user to control various functions within the system. It has sections of account, staff, service, payment, classes, notifications, and booking page.
The notification section is amongst the most crucial in scheduling software. It allows the system to send out messages to either the customer or staff member.
We can use email or text to make the connections; however, the text feature is available for the premium account users only.
So, when does the free plan allow us to send emails to our customers? It can be after the booking when the email confirms the online appointment.
The other incidents when we can communicate using email are during rescheduled or canceled bookings. We can also send our customers reminders, which can be a day or some hours before the activity.
The same applies when we email notification to our staff members hence updating them on new appointments as well as rescheduled or canceled ones.
The member who shall be delivering the service also needs to be reminded, so that they avail themselves well in advance.
As visible from the above image, we can set how and when we can deliver the email notifications to our customers and our staff members.
The customization section allows the user to edit the sender's name and the email signature. We can also modify the activity stream (the bell icon on the dashboard.)
It is a list of all the recent activities, and it keeps updating as events occur regarding appointments. The activity streams make it easy for the user to spot any changes hence keeps them informed.
We can set when we shall be receiving alerts addressing appointments & classes, customers, payment, and staff & service.
The Setmore mobile application is available for both Android and iOS, and it also supports the notifications for the various events and activities.
Configuration of the booking page
The booking page is a vital contact point through which customers complete the process of booking appointments by themselves.
Creating a page that matches our business type is also necessary; thus, we can edit and modify elements of it so that it appropriate for us.
We have the apps & integrations tab, which allows one to configure the booking page. The first thing we can edit is the booking URL.
Under the overview section, we have guidelines providing the customization opportunity. We can modify the details which appear on our booking page.
We can redefine the way our clients will make appointments with us. And we can share or embed our booking page URL so that it is more accessible to our customers.
Under the company details, we can edit information such as company name, logo, contact details, currency, country, address, about you section, and share the links to our social media accounts.
The business hours tab allows us to clarify the working hours we follow daily. It is essential, as online booking will follow the schedule we indicate under this section.
We can further modify the availability of our staff members so that the calendar does not appoint a member while he/she is off duty.
The next section is vital as it deals with the way our system will allow customers to conduct online booking.
We can set the lead time, which is convenient for us. It indicates the window period between the time of the booking and the delivery of the related service.
We can choose the appropriate booking slot size, scheduling window, contact fields (the kind of details the clients need to submit), notes for customers, the cancellation policy, and the terms and conditions.
We can opt to activate the first available appointment feature whereby the system shall indicate the next existing time slot.
We can decide to either show or hide the prices, the duration, and the business hours of the service. The customer can be permitted to book for bundled services, i.e., more than one service.
There is the customization tab that lets us modify some elements of the booking page. We can choose the default language for our page.
Next, we can narrow down the subpages that shall be appearing on our booking page. The options available include book appointments, book class, about us, staff members, services, classes, and we can choose to add our Instagram page.
They allow us to select either the 12- or 24-hours’ time format. We can edit and create our tab labels that appear on the booking page.
It includes how we show the labels of service, class, provider, and address. We can choose to add our unique terminologies that can be an extension of our personality.
We can also choose to enable or disable the review features, which allows the customers to submit their experience. It can either be positive comments or undesirable remarks; thus, it is upon the user to decide its feasibility.
Customization of the book appointment button
Most retailers today have an online presence through their websites or blogs. Either way, the aim is to increase exposure so that the maximum number of customers can reach them.
We can link our website and the booking page so that the client can make reservations instantly while browsing through the webpage.
Setmore’s apps & integrations, allows one to configure their booking page, providing various options for website booking and also presents multiple opportunities for integration.
The website booking allows one to customize the book appointment button through the booking widget.
Apart from this, we can add our booking page to various other platforms such as WordPress, Weebly, Wix, Joomla, Drupal, Adobe Muse, and Jimdo.
The booking widget opens up a pop-up window that allows the user to select how they will embed the button on their website.
The system provides us with a procedure of 4 steps to have the booking button on our website. Not only that, we can opt to customize the button too.
To embed the Setmore button, we need first to select where the button shall appear, and they provide the options.
It includes choosing either “place the button somewhere on my website/page” or “float the button on the side of my website/page.”
The second step determines what happens once the customer clicks on the button, does the booking window overlay on top of the website or it opens in a new tab.
The third step involves determining who will do the task of embedding the code. Technical personnel will be responsible or the user?
For the users who are not tech-savvy, they can create hyperlinks to link the website to the booking page.
We can also use the website builder, where we can drag and drop the HTML/Embed widget on our site. And the technical people will no problem in editing the website’s HTML.
Whichever way one chooses, it is relatively simple to have the Setmore’s book appointment widget appearing on our website/blog.
The customization is possible by modifying the button code, whereby, we replace the Setmore button URL with that of our custom image’s https URL.
Setmore does not offer customizable options for the button; however, we can add our button by replacing it on the code.
They avail advanced customization under the premium plan, which allows the user to remove the Setmore branding (powered by Setmore).
Thus, the paid plan lets the user to white label the system, meaning the customers will not witness the branding of Setmore anywhere.
Calendar sync feature
Setmore allows us to sync our calendar with Google or with Office 365 calendar. Syncing will enable you to harmonize your schedules without having to jump between 2 calendars.
In case we are using Google calendar, we can have either one-way or two-way sync. Let us see the difference between these 2 kinds of sync.
The 1-way sync will allow you to export the appointments from the Setmore calendar to Google calendar, for a single member only.
Consolidation of every member calendar happens individually; we cannot edit any appointment from the Google calendar.
The premium account will allow one to conduct 2-way sync, meaning we can export Setmore appointments and import Google events.
To initiate the sync, the user needs to ensure that both the calendars follow the same time zone. Once the sync is successful, the Setmore calendar can reflect all the past month’s events.
It will also allow synchronization of all the activities that will occur in the coming 2 years. The same scenario applies to the Office 365 calendar sync.
We can conduct the 1-way or 2-way sync. The calendar sync option allows the user to consolidate his/her personal and professional commitments in a single place, hence convenient to monitor.
Setmore, unlike Bookeo, does not offer multiple payment gateways options. It only allows payment using Square or Stripe.
Stripe is available for the premium account holders, and it allows credit and debit card payment after making online bookings via our booking page or calendar.
The payment section under the setting tab allows us to configure our payment gateways. They also avail cash payment using their cash register.
The user can activate payment from the booking page. We need to define whether its optional or compulsory for customers to make the payments at the time of booking.
We can also outline the extra charges/taxes or discounts so that the customer can understand the final pricings.
There is a payment history section, which allows the user to keep track of all the payments received from the customer.
We are still dealing with the apps & integration tab on the navigation panel. It provides various options that are available for integration.
We have them in sections of social, payment, and business integration. It also offers Google calendar and Office 356 Calendar sync.
We have various social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram Bookings, Slack, and Instagram Streaming, which are available for integration.
We have mentioned that the free plan includes payment via Square, while the paid programs can integrate Stripe with their account.
They offer a dozen of options for business integration. It includes Zendesk, MailChimp, Constant Contact, Salesforce, Google Analytics, Zapier, and so on.
The main reason to integrate third-party applications with our Setmore account is to increase its efficiency so that we can achieve our targets with minimal hindrance and losses.
They also are going to provide advanced customization of the software by offering the Setmore API, which is currently in the beta version.
However, we can send a request to access the API, through which we can integrate other applications of our choice.
We cannot fail to mention the aesthetic of the website, as the design is appealing and better than that of Bookeo.
The free account is the cherry on top of the cake, and it offers all the necessary features. The premium plan provides additional benefits.
These include the advantages of using text notification/reminders, 2-way calendar sync, recurring appointments/classes, and removal of Setmore branding.
An even better offering is that of Live Booking. Your account gets linked with a toll-free number, which the customers will use to make the appointments through the virtual receptionists.
How amazing is that, the scheduling occurs automatically, and the staff members receive the notifications of new appointments. The only limitation is that it applies to the USA and Canada only.
Most of their features are compatible with the mobile app (Android and iOS). It is thus convenient for users who do not prefer the web browser. Their customer service is accessible via chat, email, and phone number.
The account is accessible by multiple users, and every staff member has a dedicated calendar of appointments.
The user can easily embed the book appointment widget of Setmore with their existing website or blog. It thus increases the exposure of the business to an extensive audience base.
The clients can access the booking page and confirm the online booking. They can also make payments using the gateways available, Square, Stripe, or cash.
On the downside, Bookeo offers various marketing tools and strategies which we lack in Setmore. The same applies to analytics and reporting.
We can only see some statistics on the dashboard, but we do not have a dedicated section that highlights various business metrics.
The platform offers attractive features that are vital for appointment scheduling software. We can pronounce it as recommendable to industries related to health and beauty that require clients to make reservations.
Their free service is perfect for small scale businesses, who can utilize their worthy features with zero percent risk. Of course, the paid programs of Setmore empowers the business manifold.