Choosing a Virtual Diary

Jennie Spencer - Real Time Reception Ltd

 

With the trend for businesses using virtual reception services, choosing the right diary for your business is becoming increasingly important.

There are loads of hosted diaries out there looking for your business, if you are used to a pen and paper  type diary or one which will only run on your PC it can be quite daunting to make a choice.  Which one is right for you? You are likely to be using the diary for several years so it is important to choose one that’s right for you.

Essential pointers:

  • Do you rent or buy? For example in the medical sector most software is rental, in the beauty sector it is purchased. 
  • Is it secure, hosted, cloud based? You should be able to access it anywhere.
  • Can I use it on a tablet and phone as well as laptop? ditto
  • What functions do you need? You will have a basic diary but you might want
    • Different appointment types, e.g. new clients have 45 minutes and follow-ups 15.
    • Appointment reminders by sms and email - what is the charge
    • Online booking from your website
    • Card payments
    • Record taking
    • Extra diaries for associates.
  • Admin, staff and practitioners all need access at the same time - lots of logins.

Most business management software will provide these functions, but you may need to pay more for some of them.  Here at Real Time Reception the calls come into a hunt group, on Monday morning there will be 4 receptionists answering you calls and they all need to be able to log in at the same time so if you plan to use a virtual reception service in the future, think about that now. Typical charges for logins can be any thing from £5 to £25 each per month, or £300 as a one-off payment.

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