Five Months of 2021, are they already gone? This year is passing so quickly, and here we are at the end of May. However, we are progressing rapidly on many of our system upgrades and requested enhancements.
If we’re lucky enough to be in a country where vaccines are going well and infection rates are coming way down, businesses will start to get going again. New activities are back on the schedule, eating out, socialising, some larger events and even event planning. It’s all coming back – albeit with a few restrictions still in place.
While we wait with bated breath, let’s see what we’ve brought to the booking system in May that will assist in the months and years to come. Online scheduling will continue to play an even bigger part in business development and client experience, and it’s likely to increase in popularity and demand.
What’s new in May
Let’s take a look at what we have released this month for your improved SimplyBook.me experience.
Intake Forms Feature Enhancement
We’ve gradually been enhancing the Intake form feature, but some requests have shown up more frequently than others. This month sees the inclusion of two such user requested items on the Intake Forms.
Firstly, for both aesthetics and functionality, we’ve enabled the use of fixed html text for adding organisational dividers and making the forms look more attractive. Secondly, we have enabled a multi-selection option for when you need more than one answer to a question.
Do you have any allergies? Please indicated which
What do you mean I can only choose one? I’m sensitive to ALL of them!
Custom Email Design Feature
You might have noticed that we are pretty thrilled with this new feature. I’ll be honest, we think it’s fabulous. I’ve done some pretty extensive experimentation with the custom email design feature this month, and it’s incredible what you can do with it. You can use a standard template for everything, or you can design your own custom creation. Reminders, notifications and even bulk mailing to your client list; you can create templates that reflect your gorgeous website, tell a story or celebrate the seasons. We’ve started with 14 standard templates (which are entirely customisable) that all display correctly on mobile and desktop environments, but there will be more coming up.
You can use these custom designs for all messages attached to other custom features, such as Book Soon notification, Medical testing and Tickets. You can see the complete list in the help centre article.
If you want to see how I customised a template to my preferences, you can check out the article.
Label Printing for SimplyBook.me Admin App
As a further enhancement to our ticketing feature – we already added QR codes – we’ve also added the ability for users to set up printer settings.
This means you can send tickets and labels direct to a printer from your admin app for quick and straightforward label printing.
Expected in June
While we’ve brought some fabulous features and enhancements to the system in May, we have even more planned for June and July. We know you’ve been waiting for them.
We’ve been talking security for a while now, and with more medical testing and vaccination centres choosing SimplyBook.me, we are adding more security measures for your business. These features are all in the testing phase now, and should be ready very soon to keep your data and your clients’ safe.
- “Log out from all devices” functionality – Each user session will be stored separately, and an admin can end sessions individually or all together with a single click. There will also be an “auto-log-out option after a predefined idle interval added to the security custom feature.
- If 2FA is enabled and set, we need to require a one-time security code (GA or SMS) when the user changes their password, email, or access level. In response to the OWASP recommendations.
Every few years, OWASP revises its list of the top 10 web application security vulnerabilities. Their list includes the OWASP top ten threats and the potential impact of each exposure, and how to avoid them. Check out the most recent one here.
Google Drive Upload Feature
If you’ve been waiting to have clients upload documents, we have the first option available coming soon – Upload to Google Drive.
Right now, we have the Intake Forms feature that allows users to collect pertinent data for their clients per booking. However, sometimes users must upload documents (scans of supporting documents, signed release forms, etc.). This new plugin will allow a client to upload documents to a booking for access by the company.
The uploaded Documents will either connect to a client record or a specific booking. For example, a client might upload a scan of their driving licence to use a dune buggy on an activity camp, which would connect to the client. However, they might have to sign and upload an insurance form for the specific booking. All documents will be accessible from the client history and booking details. For increased security and client data protection, it will be possible to restrict access to these documents only to admin and senior roles.
Waiting List Feature
I know this feature has been long-awaited by many of you. After pausing for a while due to compatibility issues with other functionality, the concept has been redesigned. From a different perspective, it is now on its way to completion.
Once the waiting list feature is activated, the user can assign waiting list eligibility to any service or classes in their system with a checkbox. If an eligible service is full, but another client also wants to schedule a spot, they can still finish the sign-up process, but the appointment has a flag that shows it as a “waiting list” booking.
Once a client is on the waiting list, there are two options that a user can choose
- The system will automatically add the first awaiting client in the list to the newly available slot. The system will then send a standard booking confirmation email or SMS.
- All waiting clients receive an email telling them of the opening. The first client to confirm will take the empty spot.
It’s in development right now, I checked. Our planned schedule is for late June/early July, but it all depends on testing.
Google Reviews Widget
Coming soon is the ability to show your Google reviews on your booking page. Some customers have said they want to display reviews from other sources, so Google is the first on the list.
With this feature enabled, users will display a button on their booking pages to “See Google Reviews”. A Google-native widget will pop up showing reviews collected on the company’s Google Business Profile.
Rather than asking clients to review you in multiple places, you can show off both your website reviews and those on Google.
Just in case you missed it…
This month we have had some industry experts share their knowledge with you and us. We love to get insight from outside sources to help you with the best assistance we can.
Our latest post from Dave Lavinsky at Growthink, talks about the benefits of business planning and how to create the best plan for your business. And he knows his stuff. If you’ve had to cut your marketing budget, Meenz Nautiyal at Nextiva has a whole host of different approaches to really make the most of a small marketing budget. Victorio Duran from Ring Central has some advice on boosting small business growth with machine learning, and Wes Cherisien has some invaluable data on how barBers can efficiently grow their home visit appointments. We also have a short guide to sending vouchers via email for that boost in revenue by Heather Neves.
If you’re more interested in video tutorials and features, We have the tutorial on setting up your vaccination centre with the SimplyBook.me system. If you really want to look at the new custom email design feature, you can see what it can do for you.
Have you ever wondered what you should say in your email marketing? More so, when the general rule is that only 20% of your emails should be promotional.
Struggling with scheduling staff in your small business? You can check out some best practices to ease the burden. Maybe you want to bring your brand values to a more digital experience. You can do it; it just takes a change in perspective.
Did you know that retail shopping is continuing with a more service-oriented approach? Shopping appointment services are here to stay for the foreseeable future. E-Commerce has gained massive amounts of business in the past year. However, physical stores are switching gears to bring retail service to a new target audience and people back to stores.
If you haven’t noticed, SimplyBook.me has received some significant recognition from our clients in three distinct areas:
We appreciate every client who has reviewed us and leading to recognition as a leader in scheduling for these industries.
Did you know that you can become an affiliate of SimplyBook.me? If you love our booking system and know someone who would benefit from an online scheduling system and website, why not earn a share in our success?