Many countries are facing new COVID-19 restrictions and lockdowns, once again severely impacting service-providing enterprises across every industry.
With the first lockdown more unexpected, most businesses had to improvise with short-term solutions to stay active until restrictions were lifted.
During this time, we learnt a lot about how crucial some TIMIFY features are to keeping services running, with digitisation becoming the backbone for customer interactions and internal productivity.
Our team responded by working closely with our multitude of clients, refining key features, launching targeted new functions, and aiding rapid integrations.
Below, we explain our key learnings to help any business prosper amid the new restrictions, outlining eight common challenges and how TIMIFY helps overcome them.
CHALLENGE: When continuing in-person appointments, manage online bookings alongside drop-in clients, without overcrowding
SOLUTION: Our Queuing app provides a digital ticketing system that allows drop-ins to be merged with an existing schedule of pre-booked appointments.
Drop-in clients draw a ticket number from the app or scan a QR code with their phone. An available slot will be found, with the client’s phone showing a countdown time for the appointment. A notification is also sent just before being called.
This saves front-desk staff time, allows cancelled slots to be filled in real-time, and gives those waiting the convenience of leaving the premises and returning just before their appointment.
CHALLENGE: Prioritise new COVID measures without creating delays to appointment schedules
SOLUTION: Whatever services you provide, COVID-19 will have changed them somehow – most likely around social distancing, hygiene procedures or managing more pre-booked appointments.
Ensure essential tasks pre- and post-appointment are never forgotten and are accurately accounted for in your daily schedule, avoiding over-running appointments.
Our ‘buffer times’ feature lets you pre-set time before and after appointments, as required for each different service. This time will be automatically blocked out in the calendar every time a customer books this service.
CHALLENGE: How to convince customers to return to retail stores
SOLUTION: Depending on the current restrictions on your business, you may be considering how to get customers back in store for timed visits, personalised sessions, in-store pickups or pre-booking a post-lockdown visit or experience.
Online booking lets you promote the availability of services across multiple touchpoints, make appointments simple to book, reassure customers that visits will be safely managed and without overcrowding.
Find out more about how TIMIFY can bring online booking to unique new services, group events, personalised sessions and more, building customer confidence, satisfaction and loyalty:
CHALLENGE: Keep separated teams working collaboratively and efficiently
SOLUTION: The power of TIMIFY’s shared calendar allows complete visibility across teams, no matter how many people or where they are located.
See the availability of colleagues in real-time, including their shift times, appointments and holidays.
Find out more:
CHALLENGE: Remove the pain of scheduling meetings and job interviews when working remotely
SOLUTION: Forget chasing multiple participants for their meeting availability – we all know how that goes.
Our Booking Links app lets you add any colleagues to a group and share their availability via their TIMIFY calendar. The app finds available time slots that suit everyone and creates a link.
Anyone who clicks on that link (internally or externally) will see the available time slots for meeting with that group. If anyone updates their calendar in the meantime, the app will adjust in real-time.
Find out more:
CHALLENGE: Manage high volumes of video call appointments, between customers or home-working staff, and when hosting group events online
SOLUTION: Video conferencing has become the lifeline for so many businesses, with reliability, professionalism and a feature set to cover all needs the key to a first-class experience.
Integrating with TIMIFY enables the easy set up and scheduling of unlimited video appointments.
TIMIFY’s apps for Zoom and GoToMeeting, as well as our own custom-built service, allow a choice of market-leading video technology to be seamlessly integrated with your online scheduling system.
CHALLENGE: Avoid in-person payment, reducing close contact and saving appointment time
SOLUTION: TIMIFY allows customers to pay online in advance when booking appointments. Make it mandatory or optional for different services.
Find out more: https://www.timify.com/en-gb/features/online-payment/
Our Invoice app also lets you send branded invoices automatically after any appointment, relieving admin for your staff.
Find out more: https://www.timify.com/en-gb/features/invoicing/
CHALLENGE: Know if customers are happy with your adapted services
SOLUTION: Many businesses have been forced to trial new ways of delivering services and improvise as restrictions change rapidly, making it vital to monitor customer satisfaction.
With many customers unable to give feedback in person, our Feedback app automatically prompts customers to rate their experience straight after an appointment.
Find out more:
There are many more features that can prove helpful, depending on the nature of your business and services, and the restrictions in your area.
Check out this article: Surviving the second wave: How digitising with TIMIFY keeps your services and staff productive, for a more general guide on how TIMIFY can help businesses during COVID-19 restrictions.
If you require any guidance on getting started with TIMIFY, or how to use its features to suit your needs, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team for a free consultation.