Small Business Technology News
Square Releases Online Booking Service For Small Businesses
Written by Tim Morral
Square Inc. continues to expand its services to small businesses, as it releases its latest offering to help owners run their companies.
Square Inc. has expanded to provide its latest service: Square Appointments. It's an online appointment system that small business owners can use to manage appointments, save time and avoid losing sales from customers who prefer booking appointments online rather than by phone.
"Some of our sellers have said that now that everything is actually going online, they are worried they are missing out on customers who are used to booking online, new customers who may not want to pick up the phone," a rep for Square told Mashable.
Square Appointments is mobile-optimized and customers can book their appointments online, and choose to receive out reminders via SMS and email. Businesses will also be provided with a booking portal that can be integrated into their company websites or inserted into their email signature.
The service will be added to the web-based Square dashboard. This dashboard allows owners to manage different aspects of their business, including orders, sales reports, staff and inventory. Square Appointments will be available to all small businesses regardless of whether they use any of the other Square services. A Square rep said the company wants to continue to expand beyond mobile payments.
"As we sit down with our sellers, we say, 'What do you need. What's the dream product?' And we race after it and try to build it," the rep said.
During the pilot period before the service was released, 72 percent of the 200 early testers surveyed said the new system helped them generate additional revenue; 64 percent said they saved more than 30 minutes per day; and 54 percent said they now get 10 more appointments per week than before.
Square is offering a 30-day free trial for the appointments service. Following the trial period, prices will start at $30 a month for individuals and increase to $50 a month for businesses with 2-5 employees. For unlimited staff, it will cost $90 a month and each employee will have his or her own sign-in to the system, a Square rep told TechCrunch.
It's beneficial for many small business owners to have customer appointment scheduling software in place. There are a number of options to choose from--you just have to find the software that's best for you and your customers.
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