Do you run your own small business? Perhaps you have a few employees, or maybe it’s just you that does everything from taking calls to managing paperwork to doing the actual work that your business is based on. Wouldn’t it be nice to minimize, or even eliminate the calls for appointments altogether? Of course, you don’t want to eliminate the appointments, just the calls. How? By providing your clients with the ability to do it all online, right from their computer.
More and more people are searching on Google and going to your website or Facebook page to get information about your company. Most of the time clients only call for questions or to set up a time to meet. Talking to your clients is great – it certainly helps to establish that trust that’s needed for businesses to succeed, but talking on the phone can also take up precious time that you could be using to grow your business.
Ubooq is an excellent online tool that can help you cut down the time your on the phone by providing your clients a way to book appointments with your company through on online portal, without ever making a call. We have ten 1-year paid subscriptions of your choice to give away!
Get Started By Signing Up
After going to Ubooq.com and scrolling down through all of the facts about it on the home page, you’ll come upon a big orange button at the bottom of the page. This is your ticket in.
You’ll then be prompted to create an account, which is all fairly self-explanatory, but I want to point out the importance of choosing a correct company name the first time. Later on, you will be able to change this, but the same name will be used for your Ubooq URL, and you won’t be able to change that.
Exploring The Features Of Ubooq
Ubooq’s features spread across three primary categories: Secretary: Promoter and Office. But upon signing in, you’ll be taken to the Ubooq tab where it will display the current time, date and what tasks are going on that day.
The Office Tab
We’re starting at the Office tab because the settings here are the backbone of everything else that Ubooq allows you to do. Here you can add services, staff, and working hours. If you were to try to make an appointment manually in the Secretary tab, prior to setting your working hours in the Office tab, you wouldn’t be able to.
Before setting up the services, add any staff members, including yourself by clicking Staff and then Add Staff Member. You’ll need to fill out the name, title, what services they offer, and how much time they need between appointments. In addition, you can add links to their professional profile (such as their page on the company website) and social media links to Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.
Next, you’ll need to set up the working hours for each staff member. To do this, click Working Time, then Add Interval.
Each day can be completely customized. So if one day you can only work between 2 pm and 6 pm, you can set that to be so. Or perhaps you can work three hours in the morning from 8 am to 11 am, but then can’t work again until 4 pm to 7 pm. You can set that to be so as well. Each day and each staff member’s working time is complete customizable.
Now that we’ve set up the staff and working hours, you can set up the services.
To begin, start by adding a category by clicking Add Category Title. For my business, I used “Computer Repair”, but it can be whatever different areas that your business revolves around. In addition, you can have multiple categories.
Next click the Add Service link. Here you type in the service name, price (only type numbers – e.g. 35.49), time that it takes to complete that service, any additional information about that service, and who performs that.
Note the Change Order button on this page as well, which allows you to easily move around the services and categories.
The Secretary Tab
The Secretary tab gives you control over your schedule and clients. Under Manage Schedule you can manually add appoints via the Add Appointment link or add a custom task (Add Custom task), such as a meeting or something else that pertains to your business, but isn’t an appointment with a client.
The Secretary tab also allows you to manage your clients, which you can do by clicking the Manage Clients link.
From here you can view all your clients, the number of appointments they’ve had, their last appointment date, track no shows, and see how much they’ve spent on appointments. To add a new client, simply click Add Client (under the Manage Clients title).
The Promoter Tab
Perhaps you found yourself wondering some of these questions as you read this article: This sounds great, but how will I tell my clients about this? Do I have to email them? Put it in a newsletter? And then how do I keep them from reverting back to the traditional method of just calling me?
The tools in this tab help you to educate your clients without taking your attention away from the other important aspects of your business. First, Ubooq can integrate directly into Facebook with an app that allows your clients to book appointment right from your Facebook business page.
The Facebook app is great because so many people use Facebook every day as a way to follow companies they care about – and because of that, it’s much more convienient than going to their website. If you don’t already have your business on Facebook, what’s stopping you?! Get on it! Our Facebook Marketing Guide should help. That said, be aware of potential mistakes you could make in managing your page as well.
Next there are a few options that you have for integrating Ubooq into your website. Upon clicking Website Widgets and opening the dropdown menu, you will see that you can embed Ubooq directly in your website, provide a button that will take your clients to directly your Ubooq page, or a link that is slightly less customizable than a button and would be used in the text of your website. You could use all three of these if you want.
Lastly, one more way to get the word out about your new online booking service is to manually share about it on social networks. Ubooq provides some links to Facebook, Twitter and Google+ in the Spread the word portion of the Promoter tab. Of course, you don’t need these buttons to do it, they’re just an added convenience and automatically insert the link to your Ubooq booking page.
A Look At Your New Reception Area
Having a clean and clutter-free reception area in your business office is crucial to giving your business a good image – Ubooq understands this. Below is an example of what your digital reception area will look like. You have a spot for your logo, company name, full address, phone number, links to your website, Twitter and Facebook and a map of where your located.
Of course the most important part is the ease of booking an appointment with your company. Upon visiting your Ubooq page, your clients can select what service they want from a dropdown menu, which also lists the time it will take and the cost to be expected. Then they can choose the staff member they’d like to perform the task, if there’s more than one that is. Remember, you can assign different services to different staff members. If you’ve added other links to the staff member’s profile such as their professional webpage and social networks, those icons will be displayed alongside their name.
Once they choose what time they would like the appointment to be for, they’ll be prompted to log in with their phone number and password.
If they haven’t yet booked an appointment with you this way before, they will first need to get a password. This process is fairly quick and easy to do.
Once they enter their phone number, they’ll receive a text with a temporary password. They enter that in and then set up their new password for future use.
Upon setting the appointment, they’ll receive a confirmation text message. In circumstance where you might need to reschedule their appointment, your clients will automatically receive a text message informing them of the newly allocated time.
And you’ll get an email with the details of the appointment.
There’s nothing like first-hand experience, so go ahead and see how this works by setting up an appointment with MakeUseOf.
Exploring Some Settings
Going back to your view of Ubooq, in the top right corner there is a dropdown menu with your company name. From there you can access general, reception, notification and account settings. The General settings is where you will add all the information that your clients see on your Ubooq company page.
In the reception settings section, you can adjust your time zone, currency, and date and time formats. You can also choose to display a message to show a customer after they’ve booked an appointment, and even set up Google Analytics.
The notification settings simply allow you to adjust how you’re notified when appointments are booked – either by email, text or both.
And lastly account settings allow you to manage things specific to your Ubooq account, such as your plan, login credentials and billing information. In addition, there’s also a nice feature called Sub accounts, which allows you to give other staff members access to any or all sections of your Ubooq account. By typing in their email and password, you enable them to take care of some of the work for you, making your job even easier.
The great thing about Ubooq is that it can be used by virtually anybody – photographers, landscapers, beauty salons, counselors, chiropractors and massage therapists, business and life coaches, pet groomers or sitters, accountants, doctors, and the list goes on. How do you plan to integrate Ubooq into your business?
Ubooq is free for anyone to try and will allow 30 appointments to be made. Their pricing plans offer multiple payment options (monthly, annually, biennially) and a variety of plans for various company sizes.
This week, we will be giving away ten paid subscriptions for the plan of your choosing!
How do I win a copy?
We have a new giveaway procedure in place, which will hopefully make participating much easier. You may enter using your Facebook credentials (which will require you to sign into Facebook) or by submitting your name and email address. You’ll receive one entry simply by doing so.
After that, you’ll also be offered various methods to earn additional entries. They range from sharing a link to this giveaway on social networks; to commenting or visiting a specific page. The more you participate, the higher your chances of winning!
This giveaway begins now and ends Friday, May 31st. The winners will be selected at random and informed via email.