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February Newsletter: Management, Design & Security Updates for All Businesses

Amie Parnaby
26/02/2021
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February Newsletter

This post is also available in: French Spanish Portuguese (Brazil) German

Have we finished February already? This year is certainly flying by. Depending on where you are in the world, vaccination schemes are getting underway. And we all have our fingers crossed in hopes of a return to life as we knew it, back at the beginning of 2020. I know; we’ve been hoping for that for the last nine months, but at least it looks like there is a light at the end of the tunnel. In this month’s newsletter, we have feature updates for management tools, security measures, and even a hint at a new design feature for all our clients, from basic system users to our Enterprise clients.

A Fabulous February

Secure Access for HIPAA & Google Authentication

Security enhancements within the HIPAA data protection feature mean that SMS is no longer adequately secure enough to protect patient and client information. The default method of user authorisation is Google Authenticator for 2FA. For back-up access to systems. Authorisation by phone will still be available, but it will only be available if the user has validated their phone number previously.

Google Authenticator can create up to ten reserve codes, which are for use as alternative user authentication.

Combined Cancellations

There are will always be occasions that require prompt action and multiple cancellations. Hopefully, they are rare occurrences, but the ability to cancel large numbers or appointments at once is efficient and allows for quick action.

It is possible to select large numbers of bookings from the Detailed Booking Report, using filters for appointment type, date etc., and cancel them in bulk. This is highly useful when sickness arises, or unforeseen circumstances mean you cannot open or provide the booked services. However, it’s an extremely useful tool for companies with high loads and full schedules – nobody has time to cancel large volumes individually at short notice.

Mail Marketing Improvements

We have the option in the Marketing Suite to send bulk mail to specific clients. However, previously we didn’t have to option to filter out those unsubscribed clients from marketing emails. Now you can filter out all of the users who do not want to receive them.

Additionally, when you want to do a bulk mail shot, the interface will display a message that “X of Y emails were delivered” under this filter parameter.

SMS with Infobip

SMS gateways are so incredibly useful for sending SMS notifications to a vast number of client phones. Still, we know as well as anyone, that not all gateways are equal everywhere. 

While we already have Nexmo, it’s not always appropriate in some countries. For example, in the UAE, Nexmo is prohibitively expensive.

Anticipating a Marvellous March

Secure Activity Logging

If you’ve ever had something change in your system and don’t know how it happened, soon you’ll be able to tell who did it, when, and potentially reverse the unwanted change. 

In an upcoming update, we will be logging all user actions within the system, such as add/delete/edit for services, providers, and configuration settings. So you’ll be able to investigate any erroneous actions or incidents down to the user responsible.

Marketing Suite Upgrade for Emails

Do you want to create specific, tailored and gorgeous emails for your client?

A new project currently underway is the functionality to create beautiful and responsive email designs for your client emails. This will be part of the SimplyBook.me Marketing Suite, and it’s coming soon.

Enterprise Accounts – Specifically for you

Our clients using the Enterprise Edition of the SimplyBook.me platform have additional requirements – you know who you are. So these upcoming updates are tailored specifically to your requirements:

  • Security improvement – Users cannot change their password without authorisation through an approval link. New clusters created within the Super Admin interface will send links to users that will allow them to change passwords and enable 2-Factor Authentication. 
  • The option is now available to change the cluster interface language. 
  • Automatic extension for a recurring subscription for clusters, with a monthly email and invoice for payments.

Additional Reporting High Loads 

Additional reporting fields will be included in the Detailed Booking Report (and other associated reporting) for businesses and companies with high appointment loads and full schedules.

  • The Number of Bookings per day (today) and the week ahead by total bookings and free slots per day.
  • Ability to drill down into each day within the week view to see:
    • Number of bookings by service, provider, and location
    • Total number of bookings and/or free slots.

14-week overview from today with the total number of bookings and free slots per week to enable planning for future appointments and follow-ups.

  • A report showing individuals with more than one booking going forward.
  • A report showing individuals with only one booking so that we can contact them for a second appointment.

Happy API

The API has new functions available for developers while building apps based on the SimplyBook.me functionality and integration of SimplyBook.me into centralised systems.

  • Search bookings by additional field identifiers
  • Location bookings via the booking code
  • Get links for cancel, reschedule, and view booking with client authorisation within the system. 

What have you missed this month?

Have you kept up to date with our blog this month? If you’re receiving this newsletter, you either have our system or have signed-up to get updates. The question is, are you getting the most out of it? We gave a list of the most popular custom features overall and their benefits to your business – some of which are incredibly useful. You can also check out the new custom features video, including some of our newest features. We also did a deep dive into configuring working hours and booking times and why they aren’t always the same thing at all.

We’ve had something of a medical theme over the past few weeks, and there are benefits to paying attention. If you haven’t already started a vaccination program in your region, is there a comprehensive scheduling system for the job? Another thing to consider in medicine is the increased risk of data leakage with all the new medical apps on the market. One of our guest posters addressed the additional measures and increased security required to maintain patient data protection. On a happier note, an independent therapist is thriving in Denver. Sarah Phillips, LCSW, took the time to talk to us about her experience with SimplyBook.me and her business.

If you are in the professional or public services sector or the events and entertainment business, we have some key innovations and trends for you to consider for 2021.

Between SimplyBook.me, and our guests this month, we have a selection of business development articles. We have Omnichannel customer experience, with help from Dr Edda Blumenstein at beOmni.is. Additionally, we have the development of a customer-centric business strategy (post-pandemic) and how to bridge the gap between mobile traffic and mobile sales

Professional and Public Services Innovations
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