Jamillah is the UK Editor for The Next Web. She's based in London. You can hear her on BBC Radio 5Live's Outriders. Follow on Twitter @jemi Jamillah is the UK Editor for The Next Web. She's based in London. You can hear her on BBC Radio 5Live's Outriders. Follow on Twitter @jemimah_knight or drop a line to [email protected]
Swiss startup Doodle, known for its simple online scheduling tools, has expanded its offering with the launch of BookMe, a small business service for taking online bookings.
Doodle’s doing rather well with over 10 million monthly users of its meeting scheduling service. It has brought the same simplicity to BookMe with a clean presentation for appointment booking.
The firm says that the new offering can be used alongside or instead of a receptionist for businesses like hairdressers. All bookings, whether created by customers or by managers themselves, are added to one centralised calendar.
“Having to answer the phone for appointment bookings can be a real distraction in a smaller business,” said Michael Näf, CEO. “Doodle’s technology is particularly well-suited to a service of this type, providing reception, web presence, reminders and marketing functionality for smaller businesses that can’t afford a dedicated receptionist.”
You’re not likely to make your receptionist happy by firing them, but for startups that need to keep costs down, it could be a valuable method of getting a diary in order. It also means that clients can see when a company is busy and choose to make an appointment when the coast is clear.
A BookMe button, placed on other sites is a neat way of marketing without pushing too hard. The button can be added to a directory or advert so that customers can be linked to the appointment-making process.
Subscriptions for Doodle BookMe start at €45 ($58USD) per month and include future updates. The service is currently available to try for free during a 30 day trial period.
Image Credit: PhotoSteve101
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