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- Date Established
- San Francisco, CA
- Easy to use
- Impressive feature set
- Inconsistent customer service
- Limited support materials
Genbook is a robust booking system with a reasonably navigable UI. At the time of this review, Genbook claims to serve over 20,000 service professionals with over 36 million appointments made. That is a pretty impressive accomplishment, although I have some reservations based on a relative dearth of customer service options and the price of this software. Genbook is not priced for individuals, but rather small businesses with 30-50 people needing access to the program. If that is you, read on!
Table of Contents
Genbook offers three subscriptions based solely on how many staff members need access to the program:
- 1 staff member: $30/month
- 2-5 staff members: $50/month
- 6-50 staff members: $75/month
I really love when a company chooses to make all of their features available to all of their customers, not hoard them away for those with deeper pockets. Genbook also offers a 14-day free trial so customers can see what they are getting into.
Web-Based (SAAS) or Locally Installed:
Genbook is entirely web-based and does not require a download.
Ease of Use:
The signup process for Genbook is pretty simple. I entered my email, chose a password and was on my way. After confirming my trial through my email, I entered a company name, location, business hours, and created my first “service.” It was a nice way of easing into the program without getting overwhelmed.
Once my setup was complete, I was greeted by the calendar. Since I had no appointments, mine was empty. However, as it is a full-screen calendar, I can easily imagine things getting a little overwhelming if it were full. Having said that, it is probably a better solution than most calendars I have used in my life. Overall, the UI is pretty clean and self-explanatory. Across the top of the screen, you will find a row of buttons that take you to most of the important sections of the site: Calendar, Inbox, Customers, Reviews, Offers, and Analytics. One thing I wish was different is that there is no clear way from the home page to add new services—this seems like a pretty big oversight. Although I realize you probably won’t need to do that often, you will almost certainly do it at the beginning of your experience.
The only other concern I have is that it doesn’t seem like much care was given to explaining how to add booking buttons to social media or your website. After looking around a bit, I managed to find these features, but they were kind of hidden away in the settings page. As these are key features, essential to making this program work, it would be better if they were more obvious.
Customer Service and Support:
I was pretty surprised to see that Genbook has no dedicated support page on their website. There isn’t an obvious way to access help materials, whether those are videos, infographics, or help docs. Genbook does, however, have a blog. I looked through the most recent posts and found none that were clearly marked as tutorials, FAQ’s, or any normal kind of support option.
The only normal “customer service” options I saw on Genbook’s website were found under the “Contact Us” page, where you can find phone numbers to call or submit your questions via email. This is a pretty poor showing from Genbook; I have never come across a company with no self-help options on their website before. The fact that there are few customer service options within the app itself makes this concern even worse.
Negative Reviews and Complaints:
Most of the internet buzz on Genbook is pretty positive. Having said that, there are a few complaints I was able to find:
- Android App: While many reviews of the Genbook Android app are positive, there are still a significant number that complain of a buggy interface. I read a few reviews that claim that the IOS app is better.
- Server Reliability: This a pretty recent problem; in March, Genbook’s servers went down twice in the same week. While I was unable to find much showing this to be a common occurrence, it is still troubling.
- Declining Quality of Service: I know this is a bit vague, but I found a few complaints indicating that Genbook’s services have been reduced of late. I wouldn’t normally include that kind of thing here, but I did come across several of these comments, both on the company Facebook page and the Android App page.
Positive Reviews and Testimonials:
Here are some excerpts of comments from satisfied customers:
“Genbook has definitely improved my life as a small business owner! The time wasted booking appointments has been replaced by increased business! My clients love how easy it is to use.”
“I have been using Genbook since 2009. It’s wonderful when my clients want to make an appointment at 2am and I’m sleeping and they don’t have to worry about waking me!”
“Not only do I have a scheduling system that finally works, I’ve also saved and profited over ($$$) thousands of dollars in the process. It is simple and easy to use.”
“Genbook has made our business more efficient. We no longer have to make multiple calls, leaving multiple messages and play phone tag!”
Genbook has a pretty standard set of features for a booking program, though there are some nice additions that are beyond “the basics.” Here are a few of the best and brightest from what Genbook offers:
- Options For Scheduling: Genbook offers a huge variety of ways for customers to book appointments. This extends beyond the normal “come to our website and sign up for an appointment” deal. With Genbook, your customers can sign up directly from Google, Facebook, or even sites like Groupon or Citysearch.
- Manage Reviews: Genbook allows you to accept customer reviews, publishing those that highlight the best part of your company. Best of all, your overall star rating goes into your Google search results, reminding potential customers of your excellent service.
- Accept Payments: Using the Genbook app, customers can pay you using their credit or debit cards. This service also allows you to request a deposit if you work in a field where such things are useful.
Other features include:
- Social Media Marketing
- Unlimited Appointments
- Split Appointments
- “Buffer” zones between appointments
- Calendar sync
- Special Promotions
Integrations and Add-Ons:
Genbook integrates with the major social media sites (the better to market yourselves, of course), email providers, calendar services, and more. They also work to ensure your business gets better recognition from search engines so customers can book appointments with you more easily.
I am definitely conflicted about Genbook. It is a good value, offers slightly more than the features I have come to expect as standard. And generally speaking, it is well designed. But there are definitely flaws here as well. And not just little “you might want to think about this a bit before buying” kind of flaws. These are more “consider picking something else” kind of flaws.
More than anything else, I am concerned by the lack of customer service options. There are no help guides, no tutorial videos. The only option available is contacting the Genbook support team directly. While contacting their experts is not a bad choice, I am a little flabbergasted that there are no other self-service options at all.
On top of that, within the app itself, all is not entirely well. Certain things, like the new service page and the booking buttons, are not in obvious places. Becuase most of Genbook seems to function like a well-oiled machine, these little niggles are that much more irritating.
On the whole, I think Genbook is pretty good. If you try it and feel like everything makes sense to you, it is probably worth a go. If the price is attractive and you like the design of the UI, some of my other concerns may not matter too much to you, especially if you feel comfortable with computers. But if you feel less comfortable with technology, this may not be the right program for you.
We've done in-depth research on each and confidently recommend them.
We've done in-depth research on each and confidently recommend them.