BookMe, a new online booking service for SMEs has launched today, allowing customers to book appointments online 24/7, even when businesses are closed.

Doodle, the online scheduling tool is launching BookMe to help small service businesses like hairdressers manage their online bookings. BookMe provides a user-friendly and comprehensive online appointment booking service, meaning small businesses don’t have to dedicate extra time or staff to answering the phone. It can be used alongside phone booking services too as all bookings are managed in one central calendar.

“Having to answer the phone for appointment bookings can be a real distraction in a busy workplace,” said Michael Näf, CEO. “For smaller businesses that can’t afford a dedicated receptionist, BookMe is an attractive option that provides reception, web presence, reminders and marketing functionality.”

BookMe even helps with marketing. It can be used as a standalone company Web presence or the business owner can include a BookMe button in any other Web site, advertising or directory that will directly enable customers to book in an appointment.

How it works
Its simple – customers visit a business’ BookMe webpage and book appointments with just a few clicks.

• Step 1 Booking – the customer visits the business’ BookMe page, selects the service they require – e.g. cut, blowdry etc. for a hairdresser – and chooses a date and time from the appointments on the displayed calendar.
• Step 2 Notification – customers then receive a notification that a booking has been made via email.
• Step 3 Acceptance – the booking is then automatically added to the customer’s online calendar, such as Google Calendar, iCal, or Outlook. They will receive reminders three days and one day before the appointment.

This new booking service has been launched by Doodle with the aim of simplifying the scheduling process. Recent research* showed that 85% of consumers use the Internet to search for local service providers, yet primarily book their appointments offline.

“Searching for a service online but having to book an appointment offline clearly doesn’t make sense,” continued Michael Näf. “BookMe means consumers can now complete the entire process online, meaning an easier customer journey for them and freeing up valuable time and staff for the business owner.”

Doodle has more than 10 million monthly users of its core meeting scheduling service and has brought the same methodology to BookMe, simplifying customer appointment bookings for smaller service businesses.

The subscriptions for Doodle BookMe are available on application and include future updates. The service is currently available to try for free during a 30 day trial period.

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