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Full Version: Seeking the PERFECT online booking solution
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I am currently using Genbook but I'm not in love with it. Like "not in love" to the extent that I'm not convinced it's more convenient than nothing at all.

My #1 peeve with Genbook is that it does NOT reliably sync to Google calendar. And since they do not have an Android app (ap?) I have to open browser on my phone and wait for the website to load in order to access it from my phone... I don't know about all the various fancy/schmancy phones out there, but MY phone is rather slow at this. Slow enough that if I have to access the calendar via my phone I have to sing the Final Jeopardy music while we wait.

So I am currently keeping my schedule on both Genbook AND Google calendar-- and since I can't get Genbook to reliably SYNC to Google, this means I am constantly transcribing appointments manually.

Naturally, this is a system that is ultimately destined for disaster.

What I'm looking for is an option that allows clients to book from my website, that allows me to require bookings to be secured with a credit card or a link to PayPal for deposit (like Bookfresh does)-- that has a weekly view option (unlike Bookfresh,) that SYNCS to Google Calendar or has an actual Android ap, and costs no more than $30 a month.

I don't mind if I have to invest in salon software initially, that's fine.

It's gotta be out there! Right?
Mindbody does all that, but it costs 45 dollars a month. http://www.mindbodyonline.com/products
I was just looking at MindBody and they still didn't have an ap for Android.
Have you tried talking with Genbook about your sync issue? Mine syncs with google calendar moments later - fast of course if I'm on wifi. Perhaps its a difference with android? I use the iphone and have no problem with it syncing with google calendar... is yours not set to push sync? The phone app works better on wifi too, I do agree it can be slow to pull it up on the cell internet, I get it going while I'm still doing their nails so I'm not "waiting" for it - but I maybe book an appointment for a client only once every few weeks, so its not so bad and I figure if I needed to book people in myself all the time I'd just get wifi and it would be fine. My clients know I prefer them to book at home though (to save me time and so they can find a spot that fits for them) so its rarely an issue. Not sure how fast other companies' apps are.

I was looking around at other apps too because I'd like my clients to be able to login and see their upcoming appointments. I liked schedulicity but they won't accept credit cards at booking - and I refuse to take appointments without a credit card to prevent no shows or last minute cancellations. I emailed Genbook and they said this feature should be added within 60 days so I'm being patient. I haven't found any other online booking option where I like the interface.
No they only have an iphone app at the moment, however it does sync with google calendar so any appointments you make in mindbody (or your clients make) you can instantly see in google calendar via your phone.
I use Styleseat. Not sure if it has an app for Android but I have an iPhone and I use their app. It sends out text messages and it also has an option to allow clients to book services online. Plus, it's all free.
Jess: I totally agree on the not letting clients book their own appts without some sort of security! I specifically mentioned that when I cancelled my trial with Schedulicity-- I understand they concerns but I don't understand why they don't simply link to Paypal (Bookfresh does that but Bookfresh gave me other headaches.)

The Genbook calendar does not update AT ALL with my Google calendar-- not just my phone, but Google cal online too. I wish it would sync both ways, so if I make a new appointment in Google it would show up in Genbook (I think both Bookfresh and Schedulicity did this)-- that would solve my needs for an Android ap altogether... I will email Genbook and let them in on my rants, you always make it sound like they are good at responding to you:-)

Jazznails: thanks for the input about syncing with Google calendar-- I'll check back into it!
I love Vagaro, but I'm not sure if they have an app for Android. I had to switch from my beloved Blackberry to the iPhone to use their app and it works like a charm. Clients love the ability to check their appointments, gift certificates and loyalty points online, as well as re-scheduling or scheduling appointments. For $25 a month I think it's worth every penny, plus the iPhone is pretty sweet!
Funny I see this thread today. I have been contemplating changing online scheduling systems for a little while now. I am currently using Schedulicity. While it is a good system it is limited in some aspects (one associate user log in instead of one for each provider, no way to limit employee access to some info, no way to track payments and tips, etc). Schedulicity DOES have an android app and you can integrate with your own website. It also has a FB app. And there is a business directory on the main schedulicity page. Schedulicity will text and email the service provider when a client books their own appointment online at no extra charge. They also send auto emails to the clients confirming appointments and reminders the day before.

I have just signed up for a free trial of Appointy.com. I had tried this one a while back and it appears that it has come a long way. It provides a FB app, website integration, your own web address for their site, a way to track payments and tips, lots of various reports, clients can prepay when they book their appointments, etc. I have not figured out if there is a way to print out the day's schedule by provider yet though (that is a feature that I do like about schedulicity). Appointy has the capability of sending text messages to both client and service provider, for an additional fee (not happy about that part). They also send appointment reminders and confirmation emails to the clients (not sure about emails to service providers).

I am going to have to check out Vagaro though. I had not heard about it until earlier today.
Oh i didn't know you were trying to book into google calendar and make it backward sync to GenBook. I can't imagine them ever doing that as it could cause double bookings if someone else is trying to book through GenBook online in the same spot and time. Also google calendar doesn't have your appointments and all the details for appointments GenBook has.
Anyway I didn't know that's what you were trying to do, I thought it wasn't syncing from GenBook to google calendar- if it doesn't do it the normal way a setting is wrong somewhere.

Now one trick I use sometimes is to quickly add something to google calendar- like a swim lesson for the munchkin I use the free text messages daily, anytime there is a new appointment i get a message and also the 10 minute reminder before an appointment - I have that phone number that texts me the 10 minute reminder named "next appointment" in my contact list. You can reply to it with a quick event like "swimming Monday 6pm" and it will automatically add it to google calendar on the very next Monday. Just a trick I picked up.
Vagara does have an android app