About Felix Livni

Felix has 15 years experience working in high tech. He has worked at startups, built internet services at Google and Microsoft, and founded two software companies, one during the first dot-com boom. He has a background in mathematics, distributed systems, and people management. Felix's passions outside work include painting, cooking, and armchair theorizing with friends.

More ways to send SMS reminders to your clients.

Do you wish that you had more control over when SMS reminders were sent? Do you wish that clients would receive SMS reminders regardless of whether you schedule them or they scheduled themselves? These two were the most requested features on our recent survey.

We listened. You’ll be happy to learn that we’ve made some improvements to text messaging within Schedulista.

(1) Clients can now receive SMS reminders when service providers (e.g. you) schedule them.

(2) Clients will now receive two SMS reminders — a regular reminder, and a last-minute reminder.

Client Opt-in

There is a new field on the client record so that you can set whether individual clients receive SMS reminders. The default is to not receive SMS.

text reminders for online scheduling

Note: it is important that you received express consent from the client before opting them in to receive SMS reminders.

SMS Reminder + SMS Last-Minute Reminder

Clients will now receive a regular SMS reminder along with their standard email reminder. These will be sent at the same time, and will follow the same logic. Note: You can  set your reminder policy on the Communications Settings page.

Additionally, clients will receive a “last-minute” SMS reminder either one, two or three hours before the appointment.  The number of hours  before the appointment that the client will receive the reminder can be customized per client.

Classes

We have a new feature that will let you create classes, group appointments (appointments with multiple clients), and workshops.

Here’s a quick preview:

Services now have a new option to make them a class.

create-class

Once you have a class, you can schedule them on your calendar just like you would a regular appointment.

You can add clients. (They will get automatically notified of their reservation.)

And you can remove clients. (They will automatically get notified of the cancellation.)

add-class-to-calendar

Clients can also schedule themselves in any upcoming classes that have openings.

Schedule Class

Finally, we have an advanced feature, where you can let clients schedule new classes themselves. This way they can join an existing class, or create a new class when there is available time on the calendar.

create class (advanced)

 

A Better Scheduler

A few weeks ago we announced  that we were working on a new scheduler, and invited some customers to take part in a beta test.

Today we are announcing a wider release where any customer can switch themselves over to the new scheduler. (Try it out with our demo business)

new online scheduler

Goals

We had the following goals for the new scheduler:

  1. Easier for clients to schedule on a mobile phone
  2. Simpler and more modern design
  3. Solid foundation for new features

During the last few weeks we have been measuring performance. We wanted to  measure whether the new scheduler was actually better than the old one.

Simply put —  were more people scheduling appointments? Were they  getting through the process faster?  Especially on mobile.

The short answer is yes.

Does design matter?

We know that great design is important to our customers. But do clients, who just want to schedule a haircut, a massage, or a session with their personal trainer, care?

We had a hunch that clients do care, but we weren’t entirely sure if it would translate into more appointments and less time wasted. In order to answer this question, we measured two things: (1) percent of visitors who ended up scheduling an appointment, and (2) average time to schedule an appointment.

The biggest improvement was for mobile customers. Mobile customers account for 29% of scheduler visits (that number has been steadily rising).

7.5% more appointments on mobile

Visitors using a mobile phone scheduled 7.5% more appointments with the new scheduler than with the old during the same time period.

35 seconds saved on mobile

Visitors using a mobile phone (who successfully scheduled an appointment) saved an average of 35 seconds with the new scheduler compared with the old.

Design matters.

Select which calendars to view side-by-side in the Scheduilsta calendar

Are you a hair salon with more than 10 stylists? Or are you a busy massage therapy practice and would you just like to  limit how many service providers you see side-by-side in the Schedulista calendar?

We just added a new feature that lets you do just this. Visit the day-view in the calendar, and click on the provider’s name to toggle on and off.

multiple-stylists

A Couple of Small Improvements

Recently we added a number of small improvements.

Automatically choose provider  based on  a configurable ordering

choose provider

On the /settings/policies page you can now choose for the system to automatically select an available provider based on a configurable ordering. The ordering is the same as on your public scheduling page and can be configured on /settings/users.

Provider SMS notifications are now queued

In the past, you could limit when SMS notifications would be sent. This was there so you wouldn’t get woken up  when a client scheduled an appointment in the middle of the night. But, in that case, you wouldn’t get notified at all. We now queue the notifications  and send any pending notifications once you are available to receive them.

You can configure all of this on the edit user page,  which you can find by clicking edit on the /settings/users.

User interface improvements

We made some interface improvements. The two most noticeable are the new /settings page, and the new /settings/design page.

settings

 

 

New Home Page, Appointments Report, Provider Photos & Bios

I hope all of you had a great three-day weekend.

We have a few new features to announce.

New Home Page

We have created a new home page which  acts as both a dashboard, summarizing your your business, as well as a launching point to get into the deeper reports.  Below are a few screen captures of the new home page:

home-page

You can see widgets that show upcoming appointments, scheduling statistics, and a chart showing what your week will look like.

home-page 2

New “All Appointments” Report

There is a link below your upcoming appointments called “view all my appointments” which takes you to the brand new “all appointments report”.  The report has live search, so you can instantly look up just about anything, e.g. all upcoming appointments offered by a particular provider, all appointments for a particular client, all appointments matching a particular service, or even all three criteria at once.

You can also export  your entire appointment history.  You can use this to run your own analysis in Excel or Google Docs, or import it into other software, like an accounting pack

all appointments reportA quick note about security: as always, accounts that have “provider” security level do not have access to client or appointment data,including this report. And their home page will only show a subset of the data, e.g. just their own upcoming appointments.

New Provider Photos & Bios

You might have noticed that  the new home page shows photographs of service providers. Well, now you can (optionally) upload a photograph of each Schedulista user.

If you are a multi-provider business, you can include a provider bio and both the photograph and the bio will show up on your public scheduling page.

provider photos and bios

Rotating Quotes

At the top of the page, we added a rotating list of awesome quotes —  because who doesn’t like to see awesome quotes.

motivational quotes

That’s all for now. We hope you enjoy!

 

Limited Offers

Have you ever wanted to offer a service that  was only available between two dates?

Have you ever wanted to offer a service privately — so that it did not appear in the list of your other services, and was available only through a private link?

We have a new feature called Limited Offers that lets you accomplish both of these things.

limited-offers

An example of a private service that is not limited by date:
https://www.schedulista.com/schedule/salon/offer/p2a1k-za8tq

You can read instructions on how to implement limited offers in Schedulista here:
http://support.schedulista.com/article/30-limited-time-offers

And setup instruction on private services here:
http://support.schedulista.com/article/60-private-services

 

Credit Card Capture — Charge for No-Shows.

A few months ago we sent out a customer survey. One of the questions we asked was for you to rank potential features.

The most popular request by far was for the ability to capture a credit card at the time a client schedules online.

In fact, more than half of you asked for this feature. Great news: Here you go.

Online scheduling credit card capture.

You can now take a credit card at the time your client schedules an appointment. If your client misses an appointment without canceling, you can charge the client.

If your client misses an appointment without canceling, you can charge the client.

For our credit card processor, we partnered with Stripe. Stripe is a fantastic service. It is free to sign up, and there is no monthly charge. If you charge a credit card, you pay 2.9% + 30 cents per transaction. What is really great is you never actually see the credit card number or other details. In fact, we don’t even have access to them. Stripe keeps all of the information secure, and only shares a unique token. This approach yields the highest security and the highest PCI rating.

It is really easy to set this up. You can find instructions here.