In the rapidly evolving digital landscape, businesses are constantly seeking efficient ways to streamline their operations and enhance customer experiences. Automated booking systems have emerged as essential tools to manage appointments and bookings seamlessly. This review delves into FluentBooking, a WordPress plugin that offers a robust automated booking system, assessing its features, benefits, and comparisons with other popular solutions.
What’s an Automated Booking System?
Automated booking systems allow businesses to manage appointments and reservations easily and efficiently. By eliminating manual processes, this system offers better experience so that you can focus on other important things. Not only that, but other features such as real-time availability, reminders, and easy integration with various platforms will make the automation a real gem for you.
How an Automated Booking System Elevates Your Business
An automated booking system can ease the meeting process and enhance operational efficiency, reduce no-shows through reminders, and improve customer satisfaction with a seamless booking process.
Now, have a look at what benefits you’ll get through an online booking system:
- Bookings and appointments are done online so you don’t have to worry about log things manually on your diary.
- You can let your customers know when you’re available and when it’s holiday or you’re away from your work.
- Set reminders so that clients get notifications before a meeting. This action helps in missing appointments simply by forgetfulness.
- An appointment system should also have integrations with popular calendars so both parties can be on the same page.
- If you offer paid consultancy, there should be an easy way to get paid. Multiple payment systems can make the process easier for vast number of people.
- When you can get a detailed report on your booking history, you can understand your business and take data-driven decision.
These are only a few points to give you some basic insights. There are many more benefits when you include a booking system in your business.
Appointment and Booking in WordPress
WordPress, a widely used content management system, offers various plugins to enable appointment and booking functionality. These plugins help businesses schedule appointments, manage reservations, and optimize their workflow.
Now talk about appointment and booking system in WordPress. Well, there are some plugins available to manage booking from your WordPress site. I’ll talk about only FluentBooking today. This is a fresh tool in the WordPress arena from a trusted house WPManageNinja. They’re the masterminds behind powerful WordPress plugins like Fluent Forms and FluentCRM.
FluentBooking is a WordPress plugin crafted for small businesses to streamline their appointment scheduling and booking processes. This plugin is well-crafted and ready for managing your booking while you’re planning to grow your business.
Let’s explore its features and benefits.
FluentBooking offers a user-friendly interface, making it super easy for both businesses and customers to navigate and book appointments effortlessly. It’s a no-code solution, meaning you don’t have to give extra effort to manage the system. The options are self-explanatory.
Customizable Booking Forms
Tailor booking forms according to your business requirements, collecting essential information from clients during the booking process. There are multiple field types available, and you can mark a field as required.
Provide clients with up-to-date availability, ensuring a seamless booking experience and reducing double bookings. You can set up your availability and customers will see your time when they will come to book an appointment.
Email Notifications and Reminders
Minimize the risk of missed appointments by sending automated email notifications and reminders to both businesses and clients. Send notifications instantly right after someone scheduled an appointment and send reminders before the the meeting coming up.
Payment is an integral part of a booking system. Without having the right payment methods, you cannot proceed with your business. That’s why FluentBooking allows you to get paid for the right package. You can seamlessly integrate payment gateways to enable secure and convenient transactions for appointments or reservations.
Want to enhance accessibility and user experience? Cater to a diverse clientele by offering multiple languages for users across the globe. You can translate it in your language and make it friendly for native participants
Comparing with Calendly
I think Calendly is the most popular software in terms of appointment and scheduling. Calendly has become popular mostly for its intuitive layout and easy-to-use functionality.
Without being a coding expert, anyone create a calendar for their customers. FluentBooking offers the same experience but it stands out because it works inside WordPress.
Well, with Calendly, you can connect it with your WordPress. Since it’s an online service (SAAS), you cannot have full control over your data.
When you install FluentBooking, you are unpacking everything inside your self-hosted site, so you have more freedom and you know where the data is stored.
Another important aspect is the pricing. Calendly is highly expensive and charges $10 per seat per month. On the other hand, Fluent Booking’s pricing is affordable for anyone with limited time discount available now. For $99, you can have the lifetime access (that’s the base price and it may change after their deal.)
FluentBooking vs WPAmelia
WPAmelia is a popular WordPress plugin for appointment scheduling and it’s been here for years. While both plugins offer similar features, FluentBooking distinguishes itself with its solutions to the pain points that WPAmelia creates.
The interface is better, the customizability is more efficient and enriches the user’s experience with the ecosystem Fluent family provides.
FluentBooking vs Google Calendar
Because of the popularity of the Android system, Google Calendar is everywhere. It is a widely used tool for scheduling and managing events and it can be accessed anywhere from your phone or online.
Although you can use Google Calendar to manage your events, mainly to remember dates, you can not do a lot of things. For instance, you can’t allow people to pick a date and book your service.
Real-time availability, email reminders, third-party integration, extensive customization, there’s a lot you can do with FluentBooking.
How to create a booking with FluentBooking
Once you’ve done the installation, click FluentBooking from the left side of your WP admin dashboard. You can see a congratulations message like the following one:
Choose Event Type and give a title to the Event Name.
Now provide all the Event Details to the respective fields. Select the Meeting Duration and write a little description. Then, choose the location whether it is online or in-person. Click Continue to go the next page.
You’re now on the Schedule Settings. Here you can allow invitees to schedule in a time frame and set your availability between existing schedule or custom hours. Then, you can set Weekly Hourse and see if any Date Overrides.
It’s time to set up your Email Notifications. See different options and find which ones fit your needs.
Now work with the Booking Questions. You can either choose the basic form fields like name and email or you can add more advanced fields if necessary.
Here’s a view of how the form adding options appear. First you have to choose the field type, then write a label and placeholder. If the field is required choose Yes and click Save.
Now go to the Payment Settings to set up payment for booking. To enable the payment setting, you have to configure Stripe payment first from the Setting Page.
That’s all for now. You can find your booking under Calenders and you can edit it anytime.
If you go to the General Settings, you can set up some basic stuff like Admin Email, Calendar start date, time format, etc.
On the Team settings, you can add Team Member for booking management.
Login to your Google Calendar or Google Meet and get the Client ID and Secret Key.
Similar to the Google Calendar, you can set up Zoom. Go to Settings > Zoom and click the big blue button with Connect Your Zoom Account.
Let’s set up your Stripe payment. Go to Settings > Stripe and click the button with Connect with Stripe. I suggest you keep the Test Mode under the Payment Method. After making sure everything works fine, you can turn the Live Mode one.
You can share your booking form with any one using three methods:
- Landing Page
- Gutenberg Block
How people will see from the front-end. They can click the Book Now button and choose further steps.
The can select date and time slot for an appointment.
They will also provide the details as of what they want to talk about.
If someone can successfully booked an appointment they will see a message like this.
FluentBooking is a robust WordPress plugin that streamlines appointment and booking management, providing businesses with essential features and a user-friendly interface. While it competes with other plugins like WPAmelia, Google Calendar, Calendly, Bookly, and Booking Calendar, FluentBooking’s unique features make it a compelling choice for businesses seeking an efficient automated booking system for their WordPress website.