To tell it short and sweet
Genbook is a scheduling software for service-driven businesses. Genbook differentiates itself from other apps by including several modules that make it easy for their customers to market their services well to clients, get reviews and thereby acquire new leads.
Genbook’s thinking appears to be shaped by hitting the nail: help customers get more revenue and leads. To this regard, they have last minute discounts, waitlist, discounts, and gift certificates.
Another point that Genbook really shines on is the better user experience.
Who will find Genbook useful?
Genbook is good for service-driven businesses who wants to automate appointment scheduling, generate leads, and has a local focus.
Genbook has made the software focusing on ‘what really matters’: reviews, email marketing, automated scheduling, promos and discounts. Without spending the big bucks on marketing, you can attract and retain clients.
While it is true that you get better results if you use specialized software for marketing, the advantage that you will have on Genbook is that you don’t have to spend more and sweat more.
Who will find Genbook limiting?
Genbook may not be the best option at all stages of your growth. While they are pretty good at scheduling, you might find the various modules limiting if you go deeper in to them. For ex. If you want to do extensive email marketing, you will want to use a specialized software for that to have better control and flexibility. So, it is good to assess your growth stage, and evaluate if Genbook is the best option considering later stages in your growth as well.
Genbook does not have integrations other than with payment gateways. It is surprising that they have not integrated any calendars but have chosen to do the calendar sync by subscribing to calendars.
Similarly, there is no integration with Zapier, or another iPaaS. Even apps that do not focus much on integrations have Zapier to keep clients who need some way of connecting two apps.
It is surprising but Genbook does not have integrations with Zoom or other online meeting tools. Yes, they are built for in-person services but online meetings are going to be important even in a post-pandemic world.
Though Genbook sends notifications and reminders to clients about the appointment, it does not allow customization of the email body, or the sender address. This limits the personalization and branding efforts that you might want to go for.
The intake form is basic in Genbook. You don’t have additional field types other than a multiline.
Genbook is currently available only in the US and Canada.
What is their business model?
Genbook tries to be close to their customers, gain insights from them, and tune their marketing accordingly. Though they do SEO, paid ads, and content marketing, there is also an effort to provide the market that they serve with insights, for ex. They generated a tool called pricing insights which will tell you the average price for a service in a local community. You can then decide your pricing based on this. They also participate in events related to their target audience. Rather than casting a wide network to capture every audience that needs scheduling, they try to be around their audience.
Viability of the company
Genbook, which was founded in 2006, and is now used by over 22,000 businesses worldwide. Publicly available information from third parties claim their revenue as $2.3 million. There is not much information on their funding other something during their early days. We could not find interviews with their founder or CEO, which discuss their financial backing or their goals.
Genbook: how do they fare on the basic features of a scheduler?
- Calendar sync: Genbook doesn’t have direct integrations with Calendars. You can share your Genbook Calendar with your personal calendar and vice versa. The advantage is that you can sync almost any calendar the disadvantage is the additional effort on your side.
- Availability: Setting up availability is very flexible in Genbook. They show you a calendar for both the staff and service. The deefault availability is the business working hours and the staff’s availability. However, you can use this calendar to mark 30-minutes on the calendar as Away, Offline, Or Block. You can make fine adjustments to your schedule with this. When it comes to recurring availability, you get advanced options to repeat daily, monthly, weekly, or select specifi days.
- Appointment types: Genbook has one-on-one and group appointment types.These can be recurring too. While one-on-one is straightforward, Group events are limited. It is not possible for clients to book multiple slots in one session for a recurring group event. This is needed when you want to create a service that needs multiple sittings and which you bill as a whole. Another common use case is booking for tours where the leader of a group wants to book slots for the entire group. This is also not possible. However, Genbook allows multi-service booking. Clients can book for multiple services to be performed in one visit. This is essential in salons and spas.
- Sharing: Genbook offers a default booking page from which clients can book appointments. Additionally, you can generate a Book Now button whose look can be customized, and can be placed anywhere on the website. You can create a Book Now button on the Facebook page and allow clients to book from there. You can place the booking page URL in your emails for clients to book if that is your main source for bookings.
- Notification and Reminders: You can enable notifications and reminders for customers and staff. Additionally, Genbook allows you to send a confirmation attachment, which could be the driving directions or a form you want clients to complete before their visit, or your Terms and conditions. Using the confirmation message feature, you can also show up to 3 messages on the booking page where you can give the clients directions or instructions.
- Online meeting: Genbook does not offer online meeting feature.
Genbook: what are the advanced features?
- Reserve with Google: Genbook is a good software for small service based businesses with local clients. Naturally, they have intergrated into Reserve With Google. If you are on Genbook, your business will appear as the many options that customer can visit. The advantage that RWG offers is that clients can book directly from the Google search results page which eliminates the need to visit your website. The chances of them dropping out of from the time they discover you to payment is lesser with RWG. Using RWG and the Reviews module on Genbook to boost reviews, you will get more clients.
- Payments: Genbook is integrated with Stripe and Square, with Stripe recommended for online payments and Square for in-person payments.You can take payments using the Square reader or another way offered by Square.
- Promotions: Genbook has multiple ways for you to promote the business. You can offer discounts, and send templated promo emails to customers. They also have gift certificates. The automatic review emails and publishing improves your market standing without you having to sweat. There is a Search module which has configuration settings that might bosst your SEO.
- Email Marketing: Branded as Smart marketing, this is a combined use of email templates, customer segments, and triggers. If you want to send an email campaign, you can select one of the templates, select the right customer segment, and trigger the campaign.
- Analytics: The is an interesting module in Genbook. You get to see the most important performance metrics of your business and staff. It is interesting because the module is not large and unwieldy, but it gives you your answers in a glance. It includes revenue/aappointments against staff/service and also quick averages like Daily average revenue and average revenue per appointment.
- Multi-service appointments: If you are operating a health and wellness clinic, where customers do multiple service per visit, this feature is useful. Clients can book all the services they plan to do during the visit and pay for them together. Genbook will ask the client to pick the services and staff. If multiple staff is needed to perform the services, clients are shown only those slots which work for all the staff involved.
- Inbox: This lists all the new appointments. It is not an inbox as the word connotes. We were expecting an inbox where you can track all customer conversations so far, which it is not.
Genbook: what are the differentiating features?
- Last minute discounts: This is definitely a big differentiator. If you have unfilled slots that you want to fill up quickly, you can offer them at a discount. Just define the percentage, the time duration, and use the smart marketing feature to send emails to customer segments who are most likely to buy it. The discounted prices also show up in the Genbook app meant for clients.
- Quick access button to mark the whole day as AWAY: When you set the status of a particular slot, you can drag-drop the same status to other slots. This might seem simple but this is a comparative advantage where many other apps make it so difficult.
- Split appointments: For services that are designed with a break in between, you don’t have to be idle. By using split appointments, the breaks open up as slots on your calendar that can be booked by clients. This is a reminder of the fact that Genbook has a DNA where they think of generating more revenue and better marketing for their customers.
- Waitlist: At times, clients won’t get the best time slot for them. Genbook allows you to ask such clients to enter a waitlist. So, when that slot becomes available, you can email them to book the slot thereby never leaving a slot empty. You can even set a window through which the slot will be open only to the wait listed clients before being opened for all.
- 30 days free trial: The usual free trial period is 15 days, but Genbook offers the trial for 30 days which gives you more time to evaluate the app.
- Reviews module: The big hit among Genbook customers. If you set up this module, Genbook will follow-up with clients for reviews and publish verified reviews for your business on Google. As you can imagine the local business’ standing is greatly impacted by these reviews. Genbook makes it easy-peasy.
- Import contacts from a number of sources: One of the challenges for customers when they switch app is migrating their client data. Genbook makes it easier by allowing you to import your contacts as a csv or by syncing it to your email app. They cover Yahoo, AOL, and LinkedIn along with popular apps like Gmail and Outlook.
- Inline instructions: By providing clear instructions and a few lines to describe each feature, Genbook helps customers to get started with any feature confidently. They won’t have to read the help documentation to study a feature before using it.
- Multiple locations: You can manage up to 3 locations in Genbook. Staff can be assigned and working hours can be set for each location. Clients can book the location they prefer, and you can see appointments for each location in a separate calendar in your Genbook account. If a staff works in multiple locations, they will be able to see both locations from their log in.
- Online appointment start times (manual): You might want to start your services at a different time from your business hours. Alternatively, you might want to have different start times for each day of the week. On Genbook you can do that.
- Search optimization: These integrations to search engine platforms, business directories, and social media networks, make it easy for customers to find — and book — services with you.
- Create and display appointment confirmation messages (three of them): This is a very unique feature on Genbook by which you can display messages on the booking confirmation page. This is handy if you have to instruct clients about driving directions, any preparation work they have to do, payment methods you accept etc. Additionally, you can set up the conformation emails to include these messages.
- Mobile app directory: Anybody can download this app from the App Store and see the list of businesses that run on Genbook in a locality. They can filter them by the servcie, rating, and location. This is Genbook’s way of connecting the business and the customer.
- Confirmation attachment: It is another handy feature from Genbook. Many times, the business might want to send a document, ex. Terms and conditions, contract, etc, once the client books an appointment. You can set this up as an email where the attachment will be sent to the client on booking confirmation.
- Pending appointment/Appointment hold time for clients: This is a thoughtful feature. If a client is booking with you and has selected a slot, Genbook will mark that slot as Appointment Pending on you calendar for 5 minutes. For the client, Genbook will show a timer and give message about the time remaining for them to complete the appointment. This ensures that two clients trying to book the same slot don’t get disheartened.
Mobile app reviews
Genbook has two mobile apps: Genbook manager for the business admin, and Genbook, a directory of local businesses with which you can book an appointment.
Genbook manager app has replicated almost everything that’s possible on the web app. Both iOS and Android apps are available.
The directory app is available only for iOS.
Genbook does not have APIs.
Ease of use
Genbook has a clean, neat user interface. Though the design looks a bit old, the user experience is good. There are prominent menus which makes navigation easy. Also, there are shortcuts to simplify repetitive actions like marking a few slots as busy or available. Along with easy navigation, there are inline instructions, and contextual help snippets that are handy when you are trying out a new feature.
Genbook’s booking page is spartan. Clients will find it straightforward to book an appointment. There are no breaks and nothing is confusing. However, the page lacks customization and personalization options.
- Booking flow: Clients select their services, the staff, date and time, and then move to book the appointment. The intake form is basic. Apart from the default fields, you can include an additional requests field, a multiline field, but there are no other fields types that you can use. Some apps give the option to switch the flow such that the the first selection by the client is either service or staff. Genbook doesn’t have that. For clients who have registered previously, Genbook asks them to log in if needed.
- Appearance: Genbook allows you to add your logo, image, description, etc which will personalize the booking page. However, there is no color customization by which you can change the look and feel. Also, the booking page looks a bit dated.
Help and Support
Genbook has good help documentation which illustrates how to use every feature.
They also have a live chat support which is either answered with help links or through a direct conversation with the support rep.
We did not spot any bugs during our evaluation of the app.
Check the policy here.
Genbook does not have a Free plan. The Solo plan starts at $25 per month, followed by $49 for Team: 2-5 users, and $83 for Company: 6-12 users.
Genbook is unique because they offer all features in all plans. Usually, apps have restrictions both for user count and features.
Keeping the pricing plan like that, and offering a generous trial period of 30 days are moves that will boost purchases of the Solo plan.
Total cost of ownership
Genbook do not charge transaction fees for online payments nor does it charge for SMS, or email.
Since they do not have integrations, you will not need to pay addition subscription for Zapier or other iPaas platforms.
What will you get for Free, $15, and, $50?
|Number of users||1||2-5|
|Online booking site||Yes||Yes|
|Reviews and reputation||Yes||Yes|
How does Genbook compare to the segment leader?
Genbook’s closest competitor is Acuity Scheduling. Here is a comparison of Genbook and Acuity.
Summary of other Genbook reviews
People love that Genbook automatically sends requests for reviews and then publish verified reviews on Google. These reviews are highly effective for local SEO, and Google shows these reviews. The businesses get free marketing, and therefore a boost in revenue.
They also love that Genbook is easy to use, and offers good customer support.
Genbook is an appointment scheduling app that is has the right balance of features, UX, help and support, and pricing. If you serve local clients primarily, and want to start automating your schedule based services, you can start with Genbook.
Long term Genbook review
Often, you will find that the product that you started using with full conviction is not the one you need now, after a few years. The reasons could be that it is not able to scale, or the total cost of ownership goes enormous, the support is bad, there are no updates.
Our long term review is a way to observe how a product and the company behind it behaved in the last one year. This is an important read if you are buying the product for a longer term. Read our long term review about Genbook.