COVID-19 has forced businesses to think creatively and reinvent the way their services are offered to customers, who are either at home or following social distancing advice when using services.
Internally, with so many people now working remotely, businesses also need innovative digital solutions to build collaborative and effective teams.
While we hope that the current situation will pass soon, many businesses are thinking long term, understanding that digital solutions implemented well now are likely to continue as the norm.
Those who have already digitised their services and processes have a head start, while others are looking to them for insight on the best digital models and tools to utilise.
TIMIFY offers a wide range of solutions and functionality for modern businesses wanting to digitise services. Many current clients and new customers have been asking how to maximise the software for the current situation.
Below we outline some ideas that we hope can increase home working productivity and minimise the impact of recent events:
- Remote working with changeable availability: Share in real-time with your teams
- Merge personal and work schedules during confinement
- In time of social distancing, keep your business working by offering your services on video
- Use Booking Links app to set up internal meetings from home
- Use Booking Links app and marketing tool to get customers back to your business
- Add buffer times between appointments to aid social distancing
- Avoid payment in person with online payment and invoicing
- Group booking: An all-in-one solution to virtual classes and conferences
- Use the Feedback app to refine new online offerings
- Make sure booking buttons appear on social media
1. Remote working with changeable availability: Share in real-time with your teams
Now more than ever it is crucial to have clear visibility of you and your team’s working hours and schedule. Working remotely and balancing your daily life can prove challenging, with working hours more changeable and irregular than ever. This can make it particularly hard to schedule services and internal meetings. TIMIFY’s Shift Planner allows you to schedule all personal and work activities into your calendar and share it with colleagues. Real-time syncing means that no matter how changeable your schedule, teammates and managers will always be able to view your availability up-to-the minute.
2. Merge personal and work schedules during confinement
From an individual point of view, it is now more important than ever to ensure your work time and personal time are working in unison. Many of us use personal calendars at home and separate systems when we arrive to the office and log in for work. In some cases, you may have deliberately kept home and work calendars separate. However, with so many of us working remotely and incorporating home life commitments, it may be time to merge those systems. TIMIFY’s calendar merges seamlessly with a host of external providers, including Google and Office 365.
3. In time of social distancing, keep your business working by offering your services on video
Right now the best way to stay afloat is to reinvent the way you offer your business. Literally, overnight, millions of people and businesses worldwide began living an internet only life. Meeting clients or students face-to-face might be off the table for now, but our video solution integration with Zoom can help you keep offering your services in the digital word, and still generate revenue for your business. The demand is high, your customer is at home they still want to be hear your advice, keep fit. Integrate our GoToMeeting and Zoom app (coming soon) and Payment tool and make your business work in the new normal.
4. Use Booking Links app to set up internal meetings from home
With such irregular home working schedules, organising group meetings – particularly with external agencies and organisations – can be a nightmare, with hundreds of emails flying back and forth. With TIMIFY you can create a booking link for yourself, or a combination of people, teams or account representatives and send this to other internal or external teams. The link shows the real-time availability of the chosen group, making clear the availability for meetings without the need for a single email. Create as many different booking links as you need, with different combinations of people for work teams, projects, directors and so on.
5. Use Booking Links app and marketing tool to get customers back to your business
When confinement ends, customers will return to your business. Many of us can’t wait to return to our hairdressers, classes and gyms to feel normal again.
You can use the Booking Link app to create different links for your services (individual services, classes or events) and send it to loyal customers by email, explaining how they can support your business by pre-booking their return to your services in advance.
Help reassure them by outlining, for example, new hygiene measures you are implementing to ensure their safety and confidence. Include a booking code to give offers for pre-booking particular services, classes or events, while explaining that rescheduling or cancelling can be done online at the click of a button if necessary.
6. Add buffer times between appointments to aid social distancing
If your business has remained open and you are still managing appointments, keeping a safe distance between clients and minimising the number of people in the waiting room is key (read this useful report for information on COVID-19 social distancing guidelines).
TIMIFY can help with its Prep and Follow-Up Times feature. Add whatever length of buffer time is appropriate before and after appointments, with differing times for different services if needed, and this will be automatically included in your scheduling calendar. This helps avoid patient backlogs and allows time for any essential hygiene processes.
7. Avoid payment in person with online payment and invoicing
Current recommendations are to avoid cash payments where possible. TIMIFY allows customers to pay online in advance when booking appointments. Make it mandatory or optional for different services. We partner with STRIPE, a trusted online payment platform for SMBs, which can easily be integrated into all TIMIFY accounts, including the free version.
Find out more: https://www.timify.com/en-gb/features/online-payment/
You can also simply set up customer invoices to be generated in your look and feel. Our Invoice App is simple to install and, once integrated, you can generate individual invoices in a few clicks. These can be sent to customers digitally or printed and mailed.
Find out more: https://www.timify.com/en-gb/features/invoicing/
8. Group booking: An all-in-one solution to virtual classes and conferences
Online video has become more crucial than ever to new forms of online services. Many of our customers are now looking to provide group sessions and classes using video conferencing. TIMIFY is one of the few systems to offer customers the option to book a group session online and integrate video conferencing. Create a booking link for a class, share it on social media or via WhatsApp. Integrate TIMIFY with Zoom to include the link to the virtual session. You can also add a maximum number of attendees, allow attendees to book slots for friends and accept payment online.
9. Use the Feedback app to refine new online offerings
If you are changing the way you offer your services, for instance offering live sessions or online services, you may be working on a trial and error approach as you figure out new technology and approaches. Use the Feedback app to get instant, online insight from your customers straight after an appointment.
10. Make sure booking buttons appear on social media
If you are using TIMIFY but haven’t yet added buttons into your Facebook page, now is certainly the time. With large numbers of people working from home or not working, extra use of social media is inevitable. By adding your booking button into Facebook, whether for new online sessions or for normal appointments if your business is still open, customers can be made aware and book an appointment with a direct click from your FB page.
We hope these tips of how extend the functionality of our system during this time will help you to digitalise even further the way you offer your services to your customers. If you have any questions, please go to our website and initiate a chat with one of our representatives.
We want to support your business as much as we can. If you have any more ideas of how we can do that, we are open to suggestions. Please let us know.