Tag Archives: booking system
I recently stumbled upon this new on-line booking system – GetTimely.com. According to their blog, they started just few months ago but the founders claim to have over 10 years of experience with booking systems. Let’s see if that shows in the final product.
The homepage looks nice and clean (maybe a bit too much text and too many columns, but way above average), prices are a bit steeper than expected. What they offer for $19/month is not hard to find for free. Still, so far so good.
During sign-up I felt I need to fill in too much – it is a minor complaint, granted, but who wants to be stopped and returned to the form (and fill the password again) just to add their time-zone, especially since the country has only one time-zone? Ridiculous. But again, that is only a minor, fixable detail.
Sadly, this trend continues throughout the system. You are always asked to fill in more than you want. You are constantly stopped because you didn’t fill-in enough information. It is my reservation, for Pete’s sake! I want to fill in what I want to fill in, right?
The calendar looks nice, useful and clean. Too bad it suffers from the same mistake (or unfortunate feature) as other booking systems do: it asks you every single time weather the time you are booking is a booking indeed or an “busy time”.
Personally, to me this is almost a deal-breaker. I understand why they did it, but it never stops annoying me. The other complaints are minor: settings too complex and non-intuitively structured (again, it is hard), wizard so-so, opening hours not as flexible as one might like.
Lastly, it seems that after few months, GetTimely has les than a hundred users, which to me would be a warning flag. But again, everybody has to start somewhere. Maybe in few months GetTimely might be decent option. Right now it is just another booking system, nice design but annoying bugs/features.
Google has recently introduced a new feature in their favorite Google Calendar app. Originally, you could only use Google Calendar as your personal journal of what is coming. Google than added features allowing you to share calendars, so you could, for example, let your family or colleagues know what are your plans.
Now Google introduced new (so far experimental feature) I stumbled upon just the other day. It is called Appointment slots and at the first look it seems like a simple booking system.
How to create an appointment slot
In Google Calendar, you have now two options when creating new appointment: event and appointment slots.
By selecting appointment slots, you are directed to further options. Here you can set how long the appointment will be, whether it is one session or session consisting of many parts, bookable separately.
You can also set Repeat for repeating bookings, like consultation hours or office hours, perhaps.
How can people book your appointment?
You are given an (incredibly long) link that leads to your booking page. Unfortunately, only people who are using Google Calendar can book your appointment slots. Others will be shown a log-in/sign-up screen.
Appointment slots are really just a basic feature, and while useful for infrequent users, it is far, far from ready for business use. The largest limitation being the dependency on users being signed in Google Calendar.
Many businesses around the world are managed by people who do not yet speak the language of the country they live in. That is not to say that they can’t do their job well. They usually do a great job! But they can have trouble receiving calls and scheduling appointments over the phone.
A good scheduling software, preferably an online scheduling software, will help you tremendously. Your customers will easily go online to see when they can come to you, and they can simply book the time they prefer. You don’t need to speak to them over the phone, and they appreciate the quick overview and multiple choice of time.
For you, this means less time on the phone, more time with the customer and happier customers.
As you probably know, the SaaS stands for software as a service. SuperSaaS.com is an appointment scheduling software (as a service) that captured my attention by many languages it supports. SuperSaas also offers WordPress plug-ins, which is a nice bonus for WordPress users like myself.
The site doesn’t look very modern to me, and it’s quite bland, frankly. The functions seem promising, though.
You can try a demo of the booking right away, very nice. But again, the looks?
Hands down, this is the most complicated pricing plan I have seen. Why is it so difficult. How am I supposed to know how many upcoming appointments will I need. I really do not like this.
Registration went OK, SuperSaaS doesn’t need you to fill redundant detail, although it does ask you whether you are an individual or a company.
Unlike Appointment-Plus, Supersaas has all the countries listed. Good.
After you finish your registration, you are welcomed by an empty dashboard. The interface seems somehow “work-in-progress” looking, as if it was not yet ready for users. The options are usually described in detail, but you really need to read, read and read to make any sense of it and find the right link.
You can customize almost anything. But first you need to create the calendars, timetables, users, policies… Because of the versatility and lack of templates, you will need quite some time to set it all up. But that may be a good thing, if you like things just the way you want them.
SuperSaas may look a bit old-fashioned at first but provides you with great set of features. The setting up may be tedious but the result is fine from the perspective of your customer. You can customize all the messages and synchronize your appointments with Outlook or Google Calendar (have not tried yet). The GUI is sometimes counter-intuitive and you have to read a bit, but that may be the price you pay for complete customization, I guess.
Genbook.com is very nice on the outside. Graphics are nice and price is not too bad (no free plan, unfortunately). The site looks attractive and inviting.
There are only two price plans for this booking system. I find it very restrictive to allow only one operator with the cheaper version, but I guess that is how they make more money so it makes sense (for them). Other features seem nice, only this booking system only gives you a button, so you won’t be able to embed the booking in your own website. Some will be OK with that, some want more.
Registration – only for US and Canada
Unfortunately, Genbook is available only for US and Canada. This is a major disadvantage for many businesses from around the world, and certainly for me. But I guess that even if I lived in the US and could call their support regularly, this would still be somewhat less desirable option, because you can’t embed…
Anyway, let’s go on with our registration.
Inside the system – tidy, but few options
The insides of the system is easily understood, at least when it comes to the calendar. The appointment scheduling is easy, but could be better. Payments are not done very well, but couldn’t actually try it. Suffice to say that spelling out your credit card information over the phone is not the way to go.
See the comments in the screenshots for more details.
Genbook has nice look but lacks some features, like embedding the calendar, offers just a button. It is probably usable if you don’t mind these complications. The price is average, if you have more than one person of you staff, you will need to buy the more expensive plan. No free plan available.