The antique bicycle above looks like great fun, but would you try and use it for an urban delivery vehicle? Of course not – even free it has no value for the modern courier service. In the same way, you can type “free scheduling software” into a search engine and get more than 13 million results, but none that is both free and useful. Here are a few things to watch for when looking for free scheduling software:
Is it really free?
Only a few of the search results will actually link to free software. These are typically very limited calendar services, only useful for logging appointments. They are offered with the hope you will upgrade to a paid version.
Is it worth your time?
Before tying up business resource (including your personal time) in setup and training for a simple scheduling program, be sure it is worth the investment. If your company has trucks and workers in the field, a low-priced field management app will more than pay for itself almost immediately.
Free scheduling software features
Free scheduling software may be appropriate to maintain a client calendar for a small hair salon, personal training practice or similar business, but isn’t really designed to handle a field service business. A review of three free scheduling apps suggests you may find the following features at no cost:
- A shared online calendar
- Users limited to one or a few staff members
- FAQ page
You will need to upgrade to a paid version to get the following functions:
- Confirmation and reminder emails or texts
- Email or chat support
- Multiple staff users
- Schedule recurring appointments
- Sync with Google Calendar
- Reports and analytics
Compare free scheduling software to low-cost field management software
If you have technicians in the field, scheduling the job is just the start. Look for software designed specifically for a service business. At a low monthly cost, you may find, in addition to sophisticated scheduling software, the following features:
- Works on a smart phone, tablet or computer
- Telephone support and live training
- Real-time scheduling and dispatching from a map view
- Integration with QuickBooks
- Job-site invoicing and payment
- Self-service customer portal
- Field access to customer records
- GPS tracking
RazorSync Field Service Software lets users schedule and dispatch from smart phones, tablets and computers, viewing jobs and field workers on a map. Customers and employees receive notifications via text or email.