- Sep 08, 2020
- by Brad Litwin
Bookings may be the lifeblood of your business, but you can’t answer telephone calls and emails from potential clients 24/7. If customers can’t book appointments when it’s convenient for them, you risk losing out on their business and additional revenue.
By adding a scheduling plugin to your website, you can accept bookings at any time of the day or night. If you choose the right tool, it can cut out some of the time-consuming administrative work involved, too. You’ll be free to concentrate on what really matters – growing your business.
In this post, we’ll introduce you to five plugins that enable customers to book appointments directly from your website. We’ll also cover all the features you should look for in a booking plugin, including integration with Google Calendar. Let’s get started!
What to Look for When Choosing a WordPress Google Calendar Plugin
When choosing a WordPress Google Calendar plugin, you may want to look for the following features:
- Customization. You should be able to customize your booking form with your own branding and add the fields you need to gather relevant information from your customers.
- Reminders and notifications. By keeping your staff and customers informed, you can avoid costly no-shows and misunderstandings.
- Responsive. Mobile devices account for around 50 percent of web traffic worldwide. To avoid losing out on potential business, your chosen plugin should have a mobile-friendly interface.
- Support for multiple locations, services, and appointment types. You should consider the features that matter to your business. For example, if you run a chain of salons, then your plugin should make it easy for visitors to switch between locations.
- Support for multiple staff. Unless you’re an independent freelancer, your staff will need to maintain their own profiles and calendars.
- Accept payments online. If the plugin integrates with popular gateways such as PayPal and Stripe, then you can process payments up front.
- A completely on-website experience. It’s more convenient for customers to complete the booking process without ever leaving your website, particularly for mobile users.
Additionally, there are several benefits to choosing a WordPress scheduling plugin that integrates with Google Calendar. This platform is free to use, so your employees can download the app and monitor their appointments on-the-go.
You can also use Google Calendar to promote transparency across your business by creating a shared schedule. Clients who are familiar with the app can keep track of their services easily, which may help prevent no-shows, too.
5 WordPress Scheduling Plugins That Sync With Google Calendar
There are dozens of WordPress scheduling plugins available. It can take a while to sift through them all, so we’ve collected five options that integrate seamlessly with Google Calendar to give you a head start.
Simply Schedule Appointments is an easy-to-use and customizable booking plugin that can be synced with your Google Calendar. It comes with a built-in onboarding wizard (which actually walks you step-by-step through the Google Calendar integration), and if you require extra assistance you can access customer support directly from your WordPress dashboard. You can also request to connect with their support staff in real-time over Zoom.
Simply Schedule Appointments integrates with many popular services including Mailchimp, Google Analytics, and Zapier, as well as with WordPress page builders like Elementor, Divi, and Beaver Builder. If you want to accept payments up front, this plugin enables you to do so via PayPal and Stripe.
To help you avoid missed appointments, Simply Schedule Appointments can send notifications to your customers via email and text notifications. It also automatically associates booked clients with their WordPress accounts, enabling you to display personalized information on your website, including reminders.
You can also use this plugin’s conversion and goal tracking features to monitor the actions users perform before scheduling an appointment. By gaining this insight into visitor behavior, you can refine your sales funnel and secure even more bookings.
WordPress Calendar Booking is a free scheduling plugin that integrates your site with the StartBooking platform. It pairs nicely with Google Calendar, but you can also manage your appointments by logging into your StartBooking account.
You can add a booking form to any page on your site by selecting it in your StartBooking settings. If your business offers a range of services, then you can easily create separate forms for each using shortcodes.
To help you provide a more personalized experience, StartBooking records visitor behavior. By analyzing this information, you can nurture potential leads and build lasting relationships with the people who visit your WordPress website.
BirchPress is a scheduling plugin that’s designed for small businesses. You can use its form editor to build a custom booking form, and then position it anywhere on your website using the provided shortcodes.
To help keep your customers in the loop, BirchPress generates an email every time an appointment is booked, scheduled, or canceled. You can customize these emails to complement your company messaging and brand identity.
BirchPress can also accept payments via PayPal or credit card. You can support additional payment gateways using WooCommerce, which integrates nicely with this plugin.
While Google Calendar provides all the features you need to manage your schedule, some employees may prefer to use alternative solutions. BirchPress has full support for Google Calendar, but it also integrates with other popular apps including iCalendar and Outlook.
The free Easy Appointments plugin doesn’t provide Google Calendar integration by default. However, you can add a two-way syncing between your site and the app by purchasing the All in One Extension package.
Easy Appointments provides an email notification system for bookings, confirmations, and cancellations. It also supports multiple locations, services, and workers out of the box.
If you purchase the All in One Extension package, then you can also send SMS reminders via the Twilio communication platform. It enables you to take online payments via PayPal, too.
If your business offers multiple services, then Amelia may be the best solution for you. It gives you the flexibility to incorporate a range of options via the same form. Visitors can filter available appointments based on service, business location, and employee, helping them schedule a booking that meets all their needs.
If your customers book via another medium, such as over the phone, then you can add these reservations to your online schedule by logging into Amelia’s admin panel. Once a customer has reserved their slot, you can send them reminders, including notifications about follow-up appointments.
Two-way synchronization with Google Calendar will enable employees to manage their schedules with ease. However, if they prefer, Amelia also provides its own user dashboard where your workers can keep track of their clients and upcoming appointments.
WordPress Google Calendar Conclusion
If a potential client calls to set up an appointment and no one answers the phone, then you risk losing out on their business entirely. By adding a scheduling plugin to your WordPress website, you can automate the process and accept bookings at any time of the day or night.
In this article, we covered five plugins that integrate with Google Calendar to provide smooth booking and schedule management processes for your clients and employees:
- Simply Schedule Appointments: A customizable plugin that integrates with a long list of services, and also provides conversion and goal tracking.
- WordPress Calendar Booking: A scheduling plugin based on the StartBooking platform; it records visitor behavior, providing key insight into your customers.
- BirchPress: This plugin integrates with some alternative calendar services, including iCalendar and Outlook.
- Easy Appointments: A free scheduling plugin with an optional Extension package that provides two-way synchronization with Google Calendar.
- Amelia: This flexible booking plugin supports multiple services, business locations, and employees.
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