Appointment Scheduling Apps: A Guide

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Time is money. We’ve only got so much time every day, so spending it wisely is a must. In the tattoo world, one of the most time-consuming things for artists is scheduling and coordination of appointments. While some artists book their own clients, and others get booked through the shop’s front desk, no matter who you are in the industry, appointment management is a big part of our lives.


Today we’re exploring appointment scheduling apps and what they can offer for artists. These apps (ex BookedIN ) say they’ll help us spend less time glued to our phones trying to coordinate appointments and more time on our art and enjoying our day. So this is definitely something we want to investigate and promote to our readers.

What are appointment scheduling apps?

Overall, the main goal of appointment scheduling apps is to drastically cut down on administrative work. These are apps for artists that help to automate all the annoying parts of booking appointments. Client reminders, rescheduling, cancellations, and filling in those cancelled/blank spots with new appointments. With appointment scheduling apps, the artist can book appointments on their phone/laptop or tablet. The clients can also book themselves in online. There are payment options so artists can force clients to pay their deposit to secure their appointment slot.

Typically appointment scheduling apps can be installed on any mobile device (Android/iPhone) and accessed through the web or a tablet. The app will keep track of your client list in a database of sorts where you can make notes and track history.

Pros and cons of appointment scheduling apps:

Pros:

  • Time saving: Drastically frees up the tattoo artist’s time.
  • Better customer service: Clients can easily book appointments online, cancel, reschedule.

Cons:

  • Learning curve: Artist needs to spend at least a few hours setting things up, sync over their existing clients/appointments, learning the system, then get clients familiar with it.
  • Not free: Pricing is around $29/mo for individual artists and can run up to $89/month for larger shops.

What are other tattoo artists saying?

“It’s changed everything… literally. We have five tattoo artists and a piercer. Our schedules are completely different and random. We now book appointments daily from the shop, the grocery store, the gym… all the places. It’s truly linked us together and helped the business blossom.”
– John Hintz, Owner/Tattoo Artist @ Warrior Tattoo

“Online scheduling is one of the pillars of my business. Without it all of our employees/colleagues would not be able to remotely manage their own appointments meaning a specialist would have to be employed to communicate all appointments. It therefore is fiscally a ‘no-brainer’ for us”.
– Sean Owen, Owner/Artist @ Ink Embassy

“Online booking is quick & convenient for both artist & client. It the age of social media & internet, people like to use apps and other web methods to make appointments and such. We find that the clients like doing this as opposed to making a phone call. It is easy for them to cancel appointments as well….people do not typically call to cancel & then you have a very annoyed artist who could have opened that time frame for a paying customer. All around it workswellforeveryone.”
– Diana Gill, Owner/Artist @ Broken Anchor Tattoo

Appointment Scheduling Case Study

We also wanted to share this recent case study written by BookedIN featuring one of their artists and shop owner Jason Medina from Temecula California. He talks through the challenges and rewards he had when setting up his appointment scheduling app. At first he learned about appointment scheduling apps from his girlfriend who runs her own successful eyelash extension service.

“In a matter of a few seconds she had booked two new appointments and collected $200 worth of deposit payments while just sitting there. This blew me away. I was like, wow that was pretty damn cool. How could you NOT be interested in that type of service?”
– Jason Medina, Owner/Artist @ Dedicated Tattoo

Click here to read the full case study

3 different ways to set up online scheduling:

  • Fully online booking : ask all of your clients book online
  • Mixture: both the clients and the artist book appointments. The artist books through the
    app, the clients book online based on availability
  • Fully private booking: the artist can turn off the online booking part and just use the
    app for organization and all the automations (client text reminders, custom emails, etc)

For those who accept online bookings, we’ve noticed that many tattoo artists nowadays who use appointment scheduling apps will connect it to their Instagram. This lets clients book appointments and pay a deposit directly on their Insta feed. For example check out @higher_truth_tattoo:

How to get started

We recommend to use this one: BookedIN. They’ve been around since 2010 as an appointment scheduler for all industries, but have recently really started to take off in the tattoo scene. They have excellent free setup support, and the 30 day free trial is enough to get started and get your clients using it. Bonus they’re Canadian too! Click to learn more about BookedIN and start the free trial or just watch the tour video below.

What do you think?

Are appointment scheduling apps changing the way you do business? Or are you still feeling hesitant and prefer the old-school method of pen and paper book? Let us know in the comments.

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