Appointment System Development Tips and Ideas
Appointment System Development Tips and Ideas
Every good service starts from an appointment, regardless it's a dental clinic or car workshop. At this point, the business turns contact with a customer into bountiful relationships either reputation loss. Thus, it should be clear, providing vast information, and friendly with every user, including seniors and non-tech people.
For small companies, like family businesses or so, it's not a big deal to use appointment services or even Google Forms. But when you grow big, and standard prices and fees like several bucks for an appointment are too high, the idea of having your own custom solution comes.
UKAD’s take on Appointment Systems
As every good service company, we have some solutions and practices which would be useful for you. In this article, we want to talk more about appointments for services nor just tools to schedule visits, so it could seem a bit complicated.
First of all, let's determine our goals. We need to create a user-friendly and robust enough solution to define when and where a service provider's staff member can fulfill a customer's request. It also should be used to book visits on vacant timeslots, which are calculated automatically, of course.
Then, it shouldn't take too much time on design and development. We don't want to make an expensive product 100% from scratch if it's not requested. Thus, our choice is third-party solutions integrated into the fancy Admin dashboard.
What we use
There is a company providing most of all services we need - Google. In this case, we are using Google Maps and Google Calendar as two core blocks. With advanced features provided by G-Suite, they allow us to perform every single operation in appointment software without any custom development. Using these APIs, we find free timeslots and place visits into the schedule without any additional tools.
To make this tool user-friendly, we decided to wrap APIs by Google into the responsive web application with .NET and VueJS. It's mostly because of our technologies stack, so you can replace Vue with other frontend frameworks.
How it works
While we already know what we do, it's time to tell what we expect. This kind of solution roughly consists of two parts: booking and managing the service. So, it would be optimal to describe them in this optics. But such a combination allows fulfilling most of the needs being both cost-effective and robust at the same time.
As soon as we use Google services, all the employees and managers get G-Suite accounts, which are also useful for communication purposes eg. calls through Google Meet and mailing. It means this solution doesn't require any extra services, tools, and payments.
Customers also operate with the same application, in which they can find the most suitable timeslot among available ones and optionally get a Google Calendar invite. The algorithm never displays occupied timeslots, so there are no risks to confuse customers.
As Calendly and similar services become more and more popular, we recommend at least taking a look at them and thinking about utilization, instead of 'raw' Google tools. They allow putting a calendar and several communication channels at the one fancy page and provide timesaving automatization.
As the customer books a visit, managers and employees see the event, which can be reviewed and marked as valid or removed. Customers aren't involved in this part and only receive a confirmation email as the visit listed in the schedule. If an employee finds something wrong in the appointment, it's possible to reject it and automatically notify managing persons. The visit time is also changeable on both sides' demand after a call or a mail.
When the service is provided, it's time to perform some more actions. At first, it should be correctly recognized and archived, not removed. Then, the managing person sends an invoice to the customer, otherwise, the solution should include automated invoicing. We also recommend attaching related documents to archived appointments for bookkeeping and other needs.
About payments, some companies prefer to handle them bypassing the appointment software with invoices and cash. Alternatively, we recommend caring about payment services integrations only in the last stages of development, when everything works properly and already brings some customers.
A few words at the end
We hope this article was insightful and wish you successful development of your custom appointment system. And don't hesitate to contact us in case of any difficulties. UKAD will gladly help you!
|Author: The UKAD team|
- Appointment System
- Web Development
- Google Services