July Newsletter

July Newsletter: Upgrades, Clusters and Payment Channels

It’s that time of the month again, and I’m here to tell you all about the new features, updates and developments that are coming to a booking system near you. Welcome to the July Newsletter.

The world is reawakening and getting back to business, just in time for the summer (up here in the northern hemisphere, anyway). With that comes all the business of running a company, while implementing all the safeguards and new measures that will allow life to continue as “normally” as possible. Here at SimplyBook.me, we’ve discovered that online appointment scheduling really comes into its own when faced with limited customer capacity, social distancing, and making the most of a terrible situation.

Our development teams kept working throughout the whole of lockdown, bringing all the additional features and functionality that a business needs in the face of COVID-19. Now we thought we’d let some of them take some holiday – it’s only fair. However, we still have plenty of news and updates that will add to the SimplyBook.me experience.

Hot in July (yes, it is)

Historically, it’s a quiet time for almost everyone, and even more so this year, but since travel is still restricted we have more going on than usual.

Payfort

Our enterprise clients have been getting a lot of attention lately, and adding a new payment gateway is just one of the updates we have brought to the Enterprise offering. Payfort is the most recent payment provider that we have added at the request of some of our enterprise customers, to facilitate their payment processes better.

Client Fields Enrichment

Sure we introduced the option to collect client information from client sign-up, but there was more that we could do to make the process better and more bring more usability to the feature. We added more options:

  • name
  • last name*
  • email
  • phone
  • date of birth
  • password

*We know that the last name field has been on many of our clients’ “want list” for a long time.

You can alter and rearrange these fields as you see fit and create whichever questions and response types that your business needs.

Enhancements & Improvements

We always keep up with queries, requests and bug fixes, even if some bugs turn out to be a bigger problem than we thought.

1. The weekly classes calendar layout has had an overhaul this month to fix several issues with the timeline and to rectify the problems with booking a session that goes past midnight.

2. The related resources feature has had an update to optimise the resource calculations. Previously, we accessed the server for every single appointment, which caused a server lag. Now that we daily call the server, and collect all the information in one call and cache it. Consequently, we reduced the server load, and the lag has gone.

3. Our Facebook business integration has also seen some optimisations this month. Now the plugin is fully operational with custom domains; there is no longer any cutting of URL links, and the new Facebook widget is functional.

4. PayTab payment channel integration has undergone the optimisation process too. For a complete invoicing process, we have added the client information and invoice details to the PayTab form) 

Speedy Optimisations

This month we’ve optimised the current version of the booking pages for client-side use (all those clients booking your services) to improve speed and efficiency.

In the past, database calls were made multiple times for several requirements. Now they are called once, and the information cached locally to reduce the number of server queries, which allows us to decrease server load and improve server response time. Also, we have reduced unnecessary plugin initiation to speed up the booking pages.

Coming Soon… What we’re planning for August

This next month will see some seriously exciting developments for your booking site, not least for those of you with larger enterprises. 

Company Clusters for Enterprise

While technically a few of our clients are using this new interface, it is still in beta testing and bug finding mode before we set a date for full release. The company cluster system is a new interface that allows enterprise companies top-level access and overview of all their subsystems while also maintaining isolation between them.

The cluster admin can add, remove, and clone individual accounts to create new ones. They can also have different level accounts under their cluster (from basic to premium), and add any required extras to each account. This Cluster Interface also includes a directory widget that allows users to find branches, offices and stores near them, rather than scrolling through a multitude of inapplicable locations.

We’ll cover this in more detail once we have a full release. Keep watching.

Apple Pay & PayFort

Now that we have PayFort payment gateway integrated for our enterprise clients, our next step is further integration with other providers. Apple Pay is our next goal for integration with PayFort.

T&C’s Feature Enhancement 

In a multicultural and multilingual society, making your terms and conditions understandable in the appropriate languages is essential. With that in mind, soon you will be able to add your company’s terms and conditions to your booking website in multiple different languages.

Admin-side Improvements

So, we already made upgrades and speed optimisations for the client-side of the booking page this month. Next month it’s your turn for optimised running and improved performance. Including updates to the following:

  •  Export to Excel and Pdf code optimisation
  • Admin dashboard enhancements: 
    • Payments by the service provider 
    •  Filters 
    • UX enhancements
  • Admin calendar enhancements:
    • Online teams meeting link added to iCal and calendar

Unblocking a Company

At present, if a user blocks a company, even if it’s by accident, they aren’t unable to unblock it themselves. This means they can’t log in or do anything with the account without contacting support with an unblock request. This new feature development will make it possible for users to log into and unblock a blocked account (within one month) with all of the security features, for example, 2-factor authentication.

Booking Waiting List

The waiting list feature has been a mammoth-sized task, and we are so close we can almost taste it. 

Once you activate the waiting list feature, you can assign waiting list eligibility to any service or classes in their system with a checkbox. If an eligible facility is fully booked, but another client also wants to schedule a spot, they can still finish the sign-up process, but it flags the booking as “waiting list.” 

Once a client is on the waiting list, there are two options that a client can choose

  • The first awaiting client is added automatically to the newly available slot – and emailed to let them know.
  • All waiting clients receive an email telling them of the opening, and the first to confirm will take the empty spot.

Site Builder Enhancements

When we said you could build a beautiful and customised booking page with no knowledge of coding, we meant it. Greater flexibility in our site templates will enable significantly more customisation with website features, elements and design. And you still won’t have to be a coder to make your booking website gorgeous and unique.

That’s all for this month!

We will have plenty more to tell you next month too. However, if you want to hear about new stuff as it happens, keep an eye on our blog for the latest developments, the best business tips, and words from our customers. 

Stay Cool!

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