chatbot | 8 MIN READ
Appointment booking, when seen from a business’s initial point of view, seems pretty standard. What’s so difficult to book an appointment with a single person, especially if your entire week is pretty much open, right?
But as your business scales up and you book more and more appointments with potential clients, investors, promoters, and other stakeholders, your appointment booking tool also has to level up in complexity and scale.
That is why more businesses are going for smarter, edgier and more scalable solutions for appointment booking and scheduling. Tools like HubSpot Meetings, Doodle, Setmore, etc. have empowered businesses and entrepreneurs by solving pain points like:
Managing multiple calendars
What is Calendly?
Calendly, one of the most distinct solutions for appointment and meeting scheduling, is a freemium online scheduling service that is redefining appointment booking and meeting scheduling.
This cloud-based application enables you to share your timeline with guests and enable them to book appointments with you according to mutual availability.
Calendly is one of the fastest-growing companies in the scheduling automation niche. According to Statista, Calendly holds 21.45% of the market share of scheduling apps worldwide in 2022.
How Does it Work?
Calendly tracks your timeline by linking with your calendar app. Whenever you need to book an appointment with someone, you simply send them a link that opens up your schedule. They can see which slots are available in your schedule, and according to mutual availability, they select the slot they want. The guests can then book meetings with you through a few simple steps.
The best thing about Calendly is that instead of you booking appointments, your guests have to. In that way, your work is minimized and you can avoid a lot of back and forth with the other person.
Calendly’s Pricing Plans
Calendly is basically a freemium tool, which means that people can use its basic features for free, but they have to pay for the advanced or premium features.
Calendly offers a free 14-day trial that is also available for Teams, allowing you to test all the customization options.
Let's take a look at the various pricing plans of Calendly.
Price (Per seat)
What You Get With This Plan
You can link only one calendar to your basic account
- You can brand your booking page
- You can customize your booking link
- Unlimited event types
- Access to a few more features than Calendly Basic, most notably, group events
- Better level of customization
- This plan allows you to use multiple calendars
- It gives access to all the customization features
- Gives access to the entire team or organization
- Offers live chat support to users
- This plan delivers an end-to-end solution to the enterprise clients
- Offers heightened security
Why People Look for Calendly Alternatives
While Calendly has infrastructure strong enough to support at least 6 different calendar applications, it still faces some limitations in the capacity of tech support and agility.
Many users continue to face issues in areas such as integrations, pricing, features, etc. Let us take a look at some of the frequent complaints brought in by regular Calendly users that makes them to move towards Calendly alternatives:
1. 100% Email-based Customer Support
When it comes to minor problems, email-based customer support does the job. But if it is a major issue, like glitches during changing meeting venues, emailing doesn't provide a quick resolution. But Calendly’s customer support is 100% email-based, no matter the magnitude of the issue.
This is true of both the paid and the free version.
2. Doesn't Work Great With Microsoft Office/Outlook 2019
Calendly is not built for Outlook 2019, so users using this version cannot use Calendly.
3. Limited Integrations
Calendly has very limited integrations with third-party applications. Due to its scale of usage, it should have maximum integrations, so as to enable users to work seamlessly across multiple tools and applications.
4. Limited Customization Possibilities
The Calendly software offers limited customization possibilities to the user. It could affect users’ productivity.
5. Crashing Issues
Frequent crashes while using the software are a source of great disappointment and frustration for users because it leads to disruption in the workflow and leads to users losing hours of hard work.
6. Restrictive Analytics
The key ingredient within any tech product is analytics; the analytics section should be able to provide growth-conducive insights to a customer/user. Calendly does offer an analytics section, but it is not abundantly insightful.
For e.g., Calendly's analytics would tell you how many meetings were booked, but it wouldn't tell you how many people were in the process of booking a meeting but left midway.
Top 8 Calendly Alternatives That You Should Consider
Thanks to competition and continuous innovation, there are various other Calendly alternatives in the market that are capitalizing on solving major and minor pain points. Leaving no stone unturned, these Calendly alternatives are vying for the top position in scheduling automation as we speak.
Let us take a look at some of the most intuitive and far-reaching products that are driving the best of innovation in scheduling automation.
Before you go further, we have made a video in case you don't have enough time to go through the entire list.
So, here it is.
WotNot is one of the best chatbot software that automates customer interactions to enhance conversational marketing. The platform is designed to generate qualified leads and automate customer support at scale.
While WotNot is not primarily a meeting scheduler, its intelligent bot builder can automate scheduling easily on your behalf by integrating Google Calendar with the chatbot. Here, you can use the ‘Google Calendar’ action block into the conversation flow, and the bot can take care of all your appointment scheduling with those visitors for you.
WotNot is a great Calendly alternative, as with WotNot you can build a demo booking chatbot. This chatbot can:
Ask qualifying questions in a conversational manner
Allow sales-qualified leads to schedule a demo by choosing available slots from the chatbot itself
Eliminate double booking
To know how appointment booking in WotNot works, watch the video below.
WotNot has a free plan that offers basic features. Talking about its paid plans, it starts with $299/month.
What Makes WotNot a Viable Calendly Alternative
WotNot assigns meetings in round robin manner, a feature that is only available in Calendly’s premium plan
Unlike Calendly, WotNot doesn’t charge per seating and offers unlimited seatings with unlimited calendars
Appointment booking in WotNot happens on the chatbot itself whereas, Calendly redirects users to a separate appointment booking page
Zoho Bookings is one of the most popular Calendly alternatives. It provides multiple options for meeting online and payment gateways. Here, on Zoho Bookings, you can do group bookings as well as one-on-one bookings. It allows for two-way sync with Google, O365, and Zoho calendars.
It checks for availability clashes, and integrates with all Zoho products like Zoho Meetings, Zoho CRM, etc. Every little change like meeting confirmed, meeting canceled, meeting postponed/preponed is pushed through via email notifications.
Zoho Bookings has a great free plan and affordable paid plans that start at $6 a month.
What Makes Zoho Bookings a Viable Calendly Alternative
Zoho Bookings offers great personalization options to users, which are limited in Calendly. It has highly customizable booking pages, emails, and domains.
Since it is a part of the Zoho suite of apps, it has third-party integrations with many important business apps. This advantage makes it a strong contender to Calendly, as Calendly has integration capabilities with only a limited number of tools.
Setmore is one of the prominent modern Calendly alternatives, with a simple and easy-to-navigate interface. Setmore allows customers to stay in the loop with automated email or text reminders, and allows staff to receive instant booking updates across desktop, tablet, iOS and Android devices.
Its features and settings are also aptly placed, and Setmore can integrate with Zoom, Square, Google Calendar, Facebook, Instagram, Zapier, and many more apps.
Setmore has an attractive free plan that allows up to 4 users and is ideal for small businesses and startups. As far as paid plans go, Setmore’s plans start from $5 a month for 1-2 users.
What Makes Setmore a Viable Calendly Alternative
Setmore’s simple, easily-navigable UI is far ahead of Calendly, which has a much more complicated UI
While Calendly has almost non-existent customer support, Setmore has robust live chat support, aided by strong documentation and helpful tips.
Even Setmore’s free plan has quite a lot of integrations, including Slack, Instagram, Facebook, etc.
HubSpot’s free Meeting Scheduler can only be used if you have a HubSpot account. But it is super simple, and easily sets your meetings through the data stored in other HubSpot apps.
Once accessed, it doesn’t put a limit to the number of meetings you can schedule. It is compatible with Gmail, Outlook, Office 365 and also allows you to build buffer time between meetings. It also allows you to set solo, group or round robin meetings.
To access HubSpot Meetings Tool, you can get the free version of HubSpot.
What Makes Hubspot a Viable Calendly Alternative
HubSpot Meetings are accessible by creating a HubSpot account. HubSpot has a suite of apps that are beneficial for automating many operations and processes of a business.
All data of your teams is reflected in the meeting tool, which means that it gets easier to gather data and set meetings.
YouCanBookMe is a simple scheduling tool, most commonly used by educational institutions, schools, universities, etc. YCBM can be used individually or by teams.
YouCanBookMe allows for fast implementation, which means anyone can book you in minutes.
Another key factor that makes YCBM one of the most worthy Calendly alternatives is that it has a wide range of customization possibilities. It allows you to send personalized emails and SMS at any stage of the booking process, and customize the design and language of the booking pages according to your needs.
YouCanBookMe will cost you $10 a month per linked calendar. It also offers special discounts for educational institutions.
What Makes YouCanBookMe a Viable Calendly Alternative
YouCanBookMe allows for duration and appointment padding. Sometimes appointments go over, and appointment padding gives your team the flexibility to avoid being late to all other appointments when this inevitably happens.
YCBM allows you to book multiple appointments at the same time for team-based events.
Doodle is one of the most powerful meeting schedulers. Doodle’s Meeting Scheduler is aided with additional growth tools like polls, surveys, etc. Surveys are helpful when you want to gather opinions on something, and polls come in handy when you’re trying to find an ideal time to meet with everyone.
Doodle is very easy to use and simplifies scheduling events based on numerous people's available options for time and date.
Doodle’s paid plans start from $6 per month per user. Doodle also gives custom pricing to large enterprises according to their size and needs.
What Makes Doodle a Viable Calendly Alternative
Doodle has elements like polls and surveys that can aid your meetings, which Calendly does not
Doodle has an added SSO feature
Doodle prioritizes customer support
Acuity Scheduling is another tool that would rank quite high in a list of Calendly alternatives. It is great for managing inconsistent and recurring schedules and availability. It also is known for helping businesses save up on costs with coupons, memberships, etc.
One of the distinct features of Acuity is that it provides credit card vault, for businesses taking paid appointments. It is much more than a simple scheduling platform – it handles Email marketing, reminders, etc. Acuity provides a lot of flexibility with scheduling options, and works very well for sign-ups for group events such as classes and service appointments.
Acuity Scheduling’s membership prices start from $15 per month, which goes up to $25 and $50 per month.
What Makes Acuity Scheduling a Viable Calendly Alternative
Unlike Calendly, which is a traditional scheduling tool, Acuity is a personal assistant tool. It goes beyond the scope of scheduling, also offering tools for payment processing and customer care.
It also offers open API integrations for greater customization
8. Chili Piper
Chili Piper is one of the well-known Calendly alternatives. It helps businesses improve customer satisfaction by streamlining the lead-to-booking process. It has an advanced scheduling and routing mechanism designed to strengthen the workflow of B2B revenue teams.
They specialize in helping revenue teams increase their conversion rates and enhance their customer satisfaction. Chili Piper has amazing speed to lead, routing, booking and handoff capabilities. Chili Piper gives higher returns on marketing spends in terms of converting inbound leads.
Chili Piper pricing starts from $15 per month, and goes upto $20, $25 and $30 every month.
What Makes Chili Piper a Viable Calendly Alternative
The distinct difference between Chili piper and Calendly is that Calendly schedules meetings with leads and then adds them to the CRM, whereas Chili piper adds leads to the CRM first and then schedules meetings with them. This approach is actually better since the leads are captured first in the CRM, the booking forms are prefilled, making most meetings a one-click experience.
Chili Piper’s lead assigning process is designed to ensure that leads are connected to salespeople as fast as possible.
Calendly competitors are too many to count, but each has a unique combination of features and specialties that make it ideal for a particular industry or service or niche. And even then, every venture trying to shortlist an ideal calendar software for its day to day tasks has to weigh their options carefully; ask questions like:
Whether their specific service type is really a match with the scheduling solution?
Is the scheduling solution they are seeking an independently-accessible application?
Is it a part of a suite of apps?
For instance, WotNot’s calendar integration works best for SaaS companies looking to skyrocket their demo bookings with sales-qualified.
To learn how Appointment Booking works out on WotNot, click here.
Aparajita is a content fiend. At WotNot, she loves exploring about the latest trends in tech, B2B and marketing automation, and simplify things for like-minded people. She likes to sing and is always ready to share a good laugh with her friends.