Free Online Appointment Scheduling Software — Why Isn’t Everyone Already Using It?

Online appointment scheduling software has existed for many years but has been slow to be adopted by most service-based businesses despite the significant impact it can have on helping business owners manage and scale their business to the next level. Several companies offer it for free to businesses so that they can take advantage of the many benefits of bringing their business online, without breaking their bank.Here are a few benefits to using online appointment scheduling software:

For Service Providers:

Automatic Reminders

Never miss a scheduled appointment again with automatically sent text reminders. Research shows that text message reminders have an open rate of about 98% and no-shows are decreased by 40% [1].

Online Payment

Stop having to run after customers to collect on late payments, deposits, and ensure you get compensated for your time.

Stay Organized

With all your appointments organized in one place, managing your day becomes a lot easier. Using a mobile-friendly booking platform is essential for service providers who need to manage their business on-the-go. Staying organized also makes you and your business come off as more professional.

Professional Online Presence

With 4 in 5 consumers searching for businesses online [2], an on-brand and sleek online presence also adds a level of professionalism to your business.

For Customers:

Instant Confirmation

Customers no longer have to wait around to check for appointment availability or for a service provider to accept their appointment request. This makes it easier and more likely for customers to follow through with the booking process.

Easy Booking

Customers can now easily schedule appointments on their own time 24/7 without having to call, email, or text you to see if you have any availability.

Automatic Reminders

Never miss a scheduled appointment again with automatically sent text reminders. Research shows that text message reminders have an open rate of about 98% and no-shows are decreased by 40% [1].

If scheduling software has such a positive effect on businesses then why doesn’t every car mechanic’s shop, dentist’s office, plumber, stylist, or groomer, already have an easy to use booking website? Instead, customers have to manually comb through poorly designed websites that are usually not mobile-friendly and whose only purpose is to tell customers a little bit about the business and how to contact the business by phone or email.

While service-based businesses make up 69% of national consumer spending, the Bureau of Economic Analysis estimated that just 7% of services were primarily digital, meaning they utilized the internet to conduct transactions [3]. Why is this? There are a few reasons suggested by Li Jin and Andrew Chen from Andreesen Horowitz that I agree with:

The consumption of services have largely stayed offline because each service industry is complex and has unique booking management needs. For instance, the way you book a barber online will be different from how you book a dentist.

Small service-based businesses live in a very fragmented market making it difficult for software solutions to get a solution in front of them. Small businesses also have limited time and money to spend setting up an online presence so solutions need to be simple and financially accessible.

From customer interest to service delivery, much of the buying process still largely happens in-person (e.g. asking a friend for a referral, getting a haircut). This makes it difficult to bring the entire booking process of a service-based business online.

Pairi is able to overcome barriers to bringing the service economy online by translating how service-based businesses manage their business in the physical world, directly into the digital world. Rather than expecting businesses to scour the internet for an all-in-one management tool specifically tailored to their businesses needs, Pairi businesses define how they want their online business to run, and we tailor our tools to them.

[1] SpotOn Blog, “8 reasons businesses should use sms-reminders”

[2] lsainsider Blog, “infographic interest in online scheduling tools grows”

[3] Bureau of Economic Analysis, “Digital Economy”

[4] a16z Blog, “What’s Next for Marketplace Startups?”