openskej aims to automate appointment scheduling, leaving small businesses free to service their customers. By doing so, we hope to convert web traffic into real customer appointments.
Better for businesses and customers
openskej is a win-win for both your business and your customers. By automating the appointment scheduling process, your business spends less time on scheduling and has less interruptions. The same goes for your customers -- they can visit your website at any time to schedule an appointment with you.
The convenience to customers becomes more apparent when you look at the stats. In our experience, over 60% of appointments scheduled online have been done outside of the business' operating hours. Customers are looking to schedule appointments late at night, or first thing in the morning.
We're improving online scheduling
When considering scheduling alternatives, there are two fundamental parts to consider:
Online calendaring: The calendar where your day's events get recorded. Important features of an online calendar include: security, privacy, calendar sharing, storage of appointment details, user interface, mobile connectivity. By combining with Google Calendar, openskej provides all of these benefits at no additional cost.
- Scheduling: Instead of opening up your online calendar for public viewing, scheduling allows you to put some structure in how customers interact with your calendar. Key features of scheduling include: customer facing interface, keeping appointment information private, setting availability by staff member, setting services and their durations, notifications and schedule management (confirm, cancel, reschedule).
Your calendar data is important, and a proven, secure, mobile and easy to use calendaring system would allow you to keep this data secure and private. Luckily, Google Calendar addresses all of this, and can be easily integrated in any environment - web, mobile, tablet, desktop.
openskej combines with Google Calendar. Because of this, you benefit from the work of two teams: the Google team focussing on improving online calendaring, and the openskej team focussing on improving scheduling.
Appointment booking process
Here's a general overview of what you can expect during the scheduling process.
Available times: Given the service and staff selected, the customer will be shown available timeslots based on your Google Calendar availability. Note that only available timeslots are shown -- none of your private calendar information is shown to the customer.
Customer schedules an appointment: When the customer finishes scheduling the appointment, openskej will send two emails (one to your business and one to the customer), and a new event will be created in Google Calendar.
Appointment status notifications via e-mail: All changes to the appointment status (request, confirmations and cancellations) will trigger an e-mail notification to the customer. When auto-confirm is turned on, a confirmation email will automatically be sent to the customer when an appointment is made. If auto-confirm is off, they will receive a "pending" email until you take action (ie. confirm or cancel), giving you control over your appointments.
Business confirmation and cancellations: Once an appointment is received, you will be able to access it through your Google Calendar. Clicking the appointment in Google Calendar will show a popup with further details and the options to take action (ie. confirm or cancel). When you decide to take action, you will also have the option to attach a personalized message to the email that's sent to the customer.
- Customer cancellation and rescheduling: Likewise, the customer also has the option to cancel and reschedule the appointment via a link that's provided in the email they receive. This lets them update you when things change on their end, preventing no shows.
That's it. Happy scheduling!