Appointy began as a software solutions outsourcing company that current CEO Nemesh Singh ran from his laptop after college. In response to his clients’ constant requests for an SaaS-based booking solution, Nemesh and his team began developing the first version of Appointy with $18,000 in 2007. The fully developed software was launched in April of 2009.
The original Appointy team consisted of people Nemesh had met during his struggle to become a successful entrepreneur. It included Gabriela Lechin (US Head; CFO and Managing Director), Khushal Patel (CTO), Puneet Pathak, and Rajesh Meena (Senior Software Developers). The company currently has over 20 employees, with offices in Fort Lauderdale, FL and India. Most of Appointy’s clientele are in the United States, India, Canada, and the UK. Their promotional video suggests that Appointy can be used by virtually any kind of small business accepting appointments over the phone.
In 2012, an Indian online journal featuring entrepreneurs interviewed Nemesh, who outlined the story and success of his company. He noted at the time that his team uses .NET & MSSql hosted on Windows Server, and that Appointy was being used by more than 19,000 businesses in over 78 countries. Appointy aims to “grow your business exponentially” by emphasizing what Nemesh calls “social promotion” through quickly distributed and automatically updated social media announcements, reviews, and discounts.
Instead of frequent minor updates, the software receives a substantial makeover about once per year, evidencing its consistent responsiveness to customer feedback. In July 2013, the company released Appointy 4.0, which includes animated effects, a very customizable email designer, and the option to include add-ons with services.
Late in 2014, after clearing a 65,000 registered businesses milestone, Appointy pulled up roots from its home in Florida and moved its headquarters to Milpitas, CA, citing that the new location would give the company more room to grow. The company assures users that the only difference they’ll notice is the address on invoices.
Registering with Appointy automatically creates a free account including a trial of the Business Plan. After 14 days, you can upgrade your subscription or downgrade to the more limited Free Plan. At the time of sign-up, you may also be offered a special introductory rate. For example, when I signed up, I was offered an annual rate for the Pro and Business plans that added two free months onto the plans.
Appointy’s pricing has remained stable over the last year.
Free Plan: Register on Appointy.com, no credit card needed. Sadly, none of the new features have made it into the Free Plan yet.
- No Google Calendar linking
- No branding/customization
- No business analysis reports
- No email marketing
- No recurring appointment booking
- No pre-payments
- No resource scheduling
- No gift certificates
- Customers will need to sign-up to make an appointment
- No receipt customization
- 1 staff only
- Define up to 5 services
Pro Plan: $19.99/month billed yearly; $29.99 billed monthly
- Limited business reports
- Appointments without signup
- Receipt customization
- 200 emails/day
*Business Plan: $39.99/month billed yearly; $49.99 billed monthly
- Separate staff logins
- Advanced business reports
- Resource scheduling
- Gift Certifcates
- 500 emails/day
Enterprise Plan: $59.99/month billed yearly; $69.99 billed monthly
- Multiple locations
- Mulitple time zone support
*Free 14-day trial starts automatically when you register
Ease of Use:
Appointy is very easy to use, even for someone new to appointment booking software or afraid of being overwhelmed by the software’s many functions. Anyone familiar with Google Calendar or other Google apps will have a particularly easy time figuring out how to manage the software, with its clickable calendar and similar layout. Appointy 7.0, released at the end of 2015, added some new features
- Setup: Setup involves simply plugging basic business, service, and staff information into dialogue boxes that float over the main calendar screen. After that, you are prompted to start a tour of the software that highlights and describes the icons and layout of your main admin page. You’ll have to define at least one service before your account is ready to use. The only hiccup here is that you have to choose a business type from a pull-down menu, and unfortunately, it’s not exhaustive. The tour ends with a “Getting Started with Appointy” video that you can also access on Vimeo, and links to two promotional videos.
- Graphic User Interface: Appointy’s GUI is remarkably dynamic and interactive, and regularly undergoes improvements. Highlights include layered windows, icons, buttons, sidebars, pop-ups, internal links, and an intuitively arranged system of tabs and headers (with a fun but clear color scheme) to organize and present the software’s many functions. The newest iteration, Appointy 6.0, addressed previous complaints about the arbitrary placement of certain buttons and features. It’s still a bit cluttered at times, but you can minimize some of the worst offenders, like the left sidebar, while working on the calendar or Agenda. The staff section – now a link with a hover function – has also been redesigned to be less intrusive when you don’t need it and more comprehensive when you do.
- Customization: Appointy offers an unusually high level of customization, so long as you’re willing to shell out for one of the paid plans. I particularly enjoyed the ability choose or create a color theme and background image for my client booking calendar. I was also able to hide Appointy’s logo from the booking site, truly making it my own. While ultimately superficial, these little personal touches make the use of an online platform for booking seem less disconnected from my actual, real-life business. If you want, you can also change the content and formatting of all nine automated email templates (with images, colors, fonts, etc).
- Settings: There is a huge list of significantly customizable settings related to both the content and form of your account and schedule in Appointy. You can change the word “Staff” throughout the site to something that reflects your business, such as “Tech(s)” or “Trainer(s).” You can give online booking rights to certain clients (or types of clients) or even disallow online booking completely! Staff and business availability hours have been set up in a way that can account for vacations and individual open time outside of normal business hours. Finally, international businesses have the option to choose their own currency, time zone, and language.
- Language Issues: Appointy had long had the dubious distinction of suffering from poor editing in its blog and supporting documentation. The company appears to have made some improvements along those lines. Newer blog entries don’t seem to be suffering from the same problems, at least not as apparently.
- Calendar: Appointy offers the choice to switch between day, week, and month views of the calendar, and even gives you the option to look at each staff member’s agenda as well as a separate quick view of available times (as it would appear to the customer online). Since your business calendar should more or less be the center of your appointment booking software experience, these options are a huge deal.The calendar is easy to use in other ways too. Hovering over or clicking slots or services pops up description windows. The calendar integrates easily into iCal. You can easily change the intervals between offered service times to irregular amounts of time, such as 12 minutes, rather than being limited to hours or half hours.
Customer Service and Support:
Appointy customer service is unusually diverse and available. In addition to friendly live chat, accessible without wait time in a popup window at Appointy.com, the company offers:
- An automatic “tour” of your account’s main page after setup
- Setup assistance via live chat
- A basic scheduling, rescheduling, and cancellation tutorial
- Four more tutorials and one promotional video on YouTube
- User forums
- Business contact details
- A corporate office address and fax number
- Separate email addresses for corporate, investor relations, general customer service inquiries, and tech support
- A link to schedule an appointment for phone support/screen sharing
Negative Reviews and Complaints:
Appointy takes their negative reviews very seriously, and it’s not unusual for Nemesh himself to personally attempt to address complaints. It has a single, closed complaint and an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau. Among the most common complaints are:
- The aforementioned grammatical and communication issues. While these are minimal within the GUI itself, there are times when it can make communication difficult, especially when corresponding with the staff and communicating technical issues. At times, it can even make using the documentation more difficult than it needs to be.
- An AspiraTech blogger complained, “I can’t say I love the customer support, which is slow and confusing with lots of back and forth because some question other than the one you are asking is being answered again and again.” He had to figure out that resource scheduling is nearly impossible without upgrading to the Business Version.
- While these kinds of complaints should always be taken with a grain of salt, a number of Appointy users have complained about double-billing or continued billing after cancellation.
- Trouble synching Google calendar and Appointy. While I did not personally encounter this problem more than one customer reported difficulties getting Google and Appointy to play nice with each other.
Positive Reviews and Testimonials:
Appointy’s satisfied customers praised its multi-functionality, social media focus, payment platform, intuitive interface, and special features. Appointy currently rates 4/5 stars on the Google Apps Marketplace and has a single 5-star review on G2 Crowd. Users liked:
- The customer service. Appointy offers the full gamut of customer service options, and will even contact you unbidden to help you figure out features shortly after you sign up.
- Ease of use. Despite its wealth of features, many customers found Appointy pretty easy to use.
- Tons of features. At the Business, and even the Pro level, Appointy can do just about anything you’d want to scheduling SaaS to do for you.
My favorite Appointy features are its expansive customization options and comprehensive reporting tools (assuming you subscribe to a plan that offers them). Because the company focuses on social promotion, it has some interesting customer-relationship management, promotional, and business analytics tools. Appointy also boasts above average scheduling options and a high level of customization.
- Allow or disallow options you might not have even considered being able to change, such as your customers’ ability to promote their appointments through social media
- General as well as staff business hours are easy to adjust
- Customize the customer experience by (dis)allowing clients to book online entirely; requiring approval except from email or phone verified members; choosing whether a week or month view is shown customers by default; choosing whether the schedule, about, or review tab is shown by default; hiding the Appointy logo from client calendar; making it mandatory for customers to choose staff; deciding what additional information is required from customers during booking
- Change the customer email templates to virtually the same degree as your personal email
- Add a picture to discount coupons
- Include add-ons to your service offerings
- Back-to-back booking
- Recurring and group booking
- Backup staff (set of staff called on only after primary staff schedules are filled)
- Drag-and-drop rescheduling
- Two-way Google Calendar sync
- Client verification to prevent fake bookings
- Real-time notifications without refreshing the page
- OpenID login
- Text, call, and email alerts
- Option to mark and track customer attendance
- Customer profile includes icons that express things like how the appointment was made and how satisfied the client is
- Appointy can find 60 percent of your new customers’ pictures from Facebook (they have the option to hide it)
- Appointy automatically groups customers into helpful groups such as “new” and “inactive”
- Standard automatically client list
- Incredibly detailed reports possible
- Automatic appointment, sales, alerts, SMS, and credit charged reports
- Bar graph reports of service performance and appointment reports as well as pie charts of marketing reports
- Easy to track deals, including number sent, number opened, number booked
- Promote last-minute deals from the main account page when clients cancel
- Limit discount coupons to single use or first appointment
- Designed for promotion through Facebook, Twitter, and email
- Automatic customer reviews
Appointy 7.0 added a few new features for it’s premium customers, including:
- Create custom gift cards for your business
- Can be made available to purchase or given as rewards
- Available themes include birthdays, anniversaries and more.
- Allows the user to schedule rooms, lots, and other non-staff resources
- You can customize appointments to require multiple resources (one staff, a room) in order to book it.
Booking Without Registration
- Paying users no longer have to force their clients to create an account in order to book an appointment
- Facebook and Google authentication are now available as another option.
One of the most requested features users had been petitioning Appointy to develop was a mobile app. While a lot of developers have drifted away from native mobile apps in favor of mobile-friendly web design, Appointy has delivered apps for both iOS and Android.
What’s kind of funny here is that Appointy is kind of a victim of its own success: the app is a lot slicker-looking than the web app (its design more closely matches the sales portion of the Appointy website), although you won’t be able to use it exclusively. To sign into the app, you’ll need to have made an account in advance–you can’t create one from within the app.
Despite its attractive implementation, the app is fairly limited in what it can do, which is mainly add and view bookings (or, curiously, read business reviews). The booking system is fairly straightforward: swipe to change dates, hit the “+” button to add an appointment. You can define new customers within the app, but not new services; you’ll still need to set those up on the web.
Overall, it’s a decent, attractive-looking supplement, and it’s free.
Your business’ payment settings apply to all the services you offer. You can choose to charge the full amount, a fixed booking fee, or a percentage of the service value as prepayment. You also have the option to add taxes to your service fees.
Appointy offers to link your account to PayPal or Authorize.NET.
When I asked Appointy’s customer service about their security, I received the following answer:
Appointy takes security and privacy very seriously. Our servers are located in a secure environment behind firewalls. Your data is safe, private, and backed-up daily. No matter what happens, your business, your schedule, and your customer data will be intact. We also encrypt your business-critical information as in e-commerce sites. Appointy never shares any customer, client or patient information with third parties without your permission.
For medicine-related businesses, Appointy gives an HIPAA-compliance option when creating a Sales Report.
Integrations and Add-Ons:
Appointy offers SMS/call alerts at an extra cost (approximately 11 cents per message) as well as the following integrations:
- WordPress integration
- Two-way Google calendar sync (which unfortunately didn’t work well for me)
- PayPal, Authorize.net
- Facebook and Twitter (customers can post about their appointment and businesses can offer last minute deals through social channels)
As one of the better pieces of booking software for your dollar, Appointy continues to offer a useful, well-polished product at a reasonable price while iterating away some of its more glaring flaws. T
Appointy 7.0 brings debuts some useful new features for those heavily reliant on scheduling, but most are clustered toward the expensive end of the product tiers. The one that will probably affect the most users is the change to the booking system–clients of paid users won’t have to register to book an appointment, which will makes for a far better user experience. The mobile apps are a bit superfluous in my opinion, but they look good and are easy to use.
If you passed Appointy up a year ago and you happen to still be looking for a solid scheduling program, the changes are significant enough to give it a second look.