In the past, appointment scheduling has largely been handled by spreadsheets or custom interfaces around standard end-user databases. However, in recent years, online appointment apps like Artichoke have quickly become popular thanks to their convenience and the minimal need to deal with people to set things up.
Artichoke is a robust, feature-rich appointment management program that also, thanks to client notes functionality, can even double as a low-level small business CRM alternative for some agencies.
Does Artichoke stand out among its peers, though? Well, it definitely does, but that doesn’t guarantee it’s right for everyone. Let’s take a moment to go over the features of this solution, weigh the pricing and viability for business scopes and see what people are saying about it. With this insight, you should know if it suits your corporate culture, budget, and needs.
- Online Scheduling – Online scheduling with full automation allows you to integrate with email marketing strategies, send appointment reminders, maintain customer retention and much more.
- Full Integration – Integrate with your existing CRM solution, accounting software and logistical platforms for a fully unified data management solution compliant with archiving, databasing and reporting. Track appointments, schedule rates and even take advantage of predictions based on frequency of appointments made with a given regular customer.
- Client Notes – Part of Artichoke’s layered functionality is the ability to small-scale fill roles, one of which is small business CRM features through structured client notes. This is extremely useful and reduces some other expenses if you can live without the “bells and whistles” of full CRM.
- Automated Reminders – Take advantage of automated appointment reminders, both for yourself and automatically emailed to clients.
- Manage Payment Information – Use client notes to also work with payment and account data, such as credit card information. This will integrate with your accounting and other solutions seamlessly. Handle payment processing automatically before or when an appointment is kept.
- Cross-Platform – This means it works fine for mobile access, both for the client to set appointments and for management of appointments on your end. When changes happen, both can be apprised of the situation instantly, along with email notifications and much more.
- Income and Expenses – Track income and expenses, and take advantage of the integration to combine it with accounting and CRM data without problems.
In some cases, unavailable pricing is due to the unpredictable nature of business scales and workloads. However, for appointment management software like this, that’s just not the case.
Artichoke make a good case on their site for how their software essentially pays for itself in long-term practical application, but they don’t list the plans or prices. This leads most to expect it to be jarringly expensive, especially when it spends so much time claiming to be a wise investment. This is a bit of a weak spot in their marketing armor, truth be told. There is a 14-day trial available.