Genbook: Take Appointments Online With a Virtual Receptionist

If your business depends upon direct, one-on-one interaction with your customers, you might have toyed with the idea of adding a scheduling option to your website, but held off because of the potential complexity and expense of building a calendar module. Or perhaps you're still booking appointments the way Thomas Edison's hair stylist did it -- with a receptionist tied to a telephone. There's a better way. You owe it to yourself and your customers to add online scheduling to your website so customers can book appointments from their browser.

Forget about expense and complexity. Genbook is an affordable online scheduler that integrates into your Website and your existing scheduling software. You can be up and running literally in minutes; create a free account by specifying details like your business name, hours of operation, and staff members who are available for appointments. It took me about 15 minutes to enter all the data and fire off my first test appointment. You then get an embed code to add the scheduler to your website.

Genbook is highly customizable. Not only can you specify hours of operation per day, but you can also black out specific days and times as well. You can track your appointments online via the service's Web interface, or you can refer to Outlook, as incoming appointment notifications come with their own iCal attachments.

You can try Genbook for free for 30 days. After that, the service costs $20/month (for a single staff member) or $30/month (for unlimited staffers). If you want something that's free forever, you could instead check out BookFresh, though be advised that the severe limitations on that service's Freebie account (like only allowing three bookings per month) hardly qualifies it as business-ready. In contrast, Genbook offers all the power you need at an affordable price.

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