Consumer repair site and merchant lead-gen marketplace Repair.com has introduced online scheduling. It looks like this:
This is interesting to me as a reflection of a move toward online scheduling (and other operations) for SMBs. While online scheduling was stalled for several years, it now seems to be picking up steam again. Sites like DemandForce (Intuit), RedBeacon (HomeDepot), ZocDoc, Groupon and others are giving it renewed visibility.
There’s a huge (capital H) opportunity for Facebook to make its business pages more useful with an online scheduling option for SMBs. However, a majority of SMBs still aren’t ready to participate in something like this even though consumers would like to have the capacity to schedule appointments online.
Back to Repair.com: One of the challenges of a system like this is developing confidence in the business being selected. Most savvy consumers will probably click over to Yelp and check out reviews for potential service providers. As you can see above, Repair.com has its own scoring system (explained above). But that system is not really established or transparent enough to truly inspire confidence.