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The challenge of appointment scheduling can be huge for business owners in the services space. You need to maximise bookings while avoiding double-ups, ensure each customer is given the time they need and if you are successful enough in these efforts to open in multiple locations, you need to navigate the extra complexity that this brings.
But these challenges are made far more manageable when you have access to the right tools.
Multi-location appointment scheduling software is designed to turn the pain of scheduling into pleasure. The right solution will allow you to seamlessly manage your bookings across as many locations as you wish, via a single smart tool.
Let’s take a closer look at the challenges of multi-location scheduling, and what the right solution might look like for your business.
What is multi-location scheduling software?
To understand multi-location scheduling software, we should first look at the broader category of scheduling software.
Scheduling software is any tool designed to make the process of creating and managing appointments easier. These tools come in a range of forms, from specialised solutions aimed at certain industries to more adaptable options that a business can mould to their needs. Such a solution can prove incredibly valuable for any appointment-driven business: doctors, hairdressers, cleaners, mechanics, restaurants and consultants, to name but a few.
Multi-location scheduling software is a subcategory of scheduling software. As the name suggests, these solutions are capable of creating and managing appointments across more than one location, making them ideal for growing businesses in the service space.
5 things to look for in multi-location scheduling software
Now that we know what multi-location scheduling software is, what do the best solutions have in common? When shopping for a tool to assist with appointments across multiple locations, there are a few key features to look out for:
1. A live customer booking portal
The best solutions will allow your customers to get a live view of your schedule and lock in an available time that suits them. This single feature takes away much of the labour associated with organising bookings.
2. Automated reminders
No-shows cost your business money. Guard against them by choosing a tool that automatically sends reminders to customers about their upcoming appointments via SMS or email. Some solutions even allow you to create an enforceable fee policy for last-minute cancellations and no-shows.
The best solutions will be able to sync with all other relevant tools: your Google Calendar, website and more.
Certain tools enable you to create and manage not only appointments but the resources that each appointment demands: rooms, furniture, equipment and more. This can guard against sneakier types of double booking, like when a hairdresser has two customers who are getting the same treatment at the same time, with only enough equipment to service one.
5. Location and time zone syncing
The best multi-location scheduling tools make appointment management easy, no matter whether your premises are spread across a suburb or the world. Look for solutions that sync information no matter where or when it’s entered across locations and time zones.
How Square Appointments simplifies the challenges of scheduling across multiple locations
A solution that ticks all the boxes listed above? Square Appointments.
An ever-growing list of businesses use Square Appointments across multiple locations, creating and managing appointments in a simpler, more efficient and more effective way than ever before.
Why choose Square Appointments to manage bookings across your multi-site business? The reasons are many and varied but include:
- Automated syncing: Square Appointments syncs scheduling data across business locations, no matter where these sites might be. Time zones are automatically taken into account which guards against confusion and ensures bookings are maximised.
- Stock management: Square Appointments features multi-location stock management, which grants you the ability to transfer inventory and resources across locations in real-time.
- Team management: With Square Appointments, you not only gain control over customer scheduling but employee scheduling too. You can organise rosters across locations, and you can rest assured that any time zone differences will be automatically accounted for.
- Self-service dashboards: Team management extends to a range of self-service dashboards that allow your employees to log in with pre-set permissions, at which point they can view and manage their calendars](https://squareup.com/au/en/point-of-sale/team-management) themselves.
- A range of integrations: Square Appointments not only integrates with the complete suite of other Square products but also popular third-party apps such as Xero, Google Calendar and JotForm. Plus, f you have customers in another database already, you can easily import them into Square Appointments and manage them from there.
- A simple client booking portal: Making a booking through Square Appointments couldn’t be easier for your clients, who can do so in a handful of clicks. They can even book multiple services with different service providers in a single session.
- Better resource management: Square Appointments can ensure that you set aside all the necessary resources for your appointment, including equipment, stations, rooms, chairs and more. This helps to guarantee that you can deliver the services you promise.
- Built-in cancellation policies: No shows and last-minute cancellations can do real damage to your business in the long-term, as the revenue you miss out on can really add up. Square Appointments reduces these instances by sending automated appointment reminders to your customers. It also allows you to create an enforceable fee policy for these situations, helping you to cover the costs of situations that are otherwise beyond your control.
All in all, Square Appointments is the complete multi-location scheduling tool. If you’re after a better way to handle your bookings, look no further. In fact, at Square, we offer a wealth of tools designed to help you get ahead in business.
If you’re ready to simplify your business scheduling, our team at Square is ready to help. Get in touch today!