Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Happy Holidays

To all our customers, and to everyone who relies on FlexBooker to accept and manage their online bookings and schedules, we want to wish you the happiest of holidays from our team to yours.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Context is King: Knowing Thy Customer for Smarter Biz

Data is power. FlexBooker helps businesses put data to work.

One critical activity entrepreneurs, start-ups and small business owners often underestimate is the importance of measuring.

The only way to improve future results is to be able to gauge and learn from past performance, so analytics should not be overlooked! Big Data is a major buzz word for good reason. 

New technology is equipping businesses with valuable insight on consumer behavioral and
transactional patterns and preferences.

Did you know FlexBooker’s built-in reporting and metrics collects and analyzes information that can help you do business smarter, more effectively and with the potential for greater profit?

What's your busiest appointment type? 

Who is the most productive employee? 

Which customers book the most—and when? 

FlexBooker answers these questions and empowers you to put that data to work to drive repeat business.

Quality, organized information on your client base, their habits and preferences allows you to make better business decisions, conduct more precise and personalized marketing, up-sell and more.

Example: As personal fitness regimens continue to skyrocket in popularity, personal trainers are using FlexBooker to measure their customer engagement. FlexBooker assigns each of their clients a score based on their current attendance records and automatically compares that with the previous month. This allows trainers to identify top performing client—and also who they may need to offer extra motivation to.

Boost your business today with the power of automation.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Time is Money: Are You Safeguarding Your Most Valuable Asset?

3 common ways businesses are losing productivity—and the bottom line.

It’s been said that time is our most valuable commodity, as it’s the one thing in life we can never get back.

In business especially, where time translates to earnings, taking proactive measures to protect your time and maximize your productivity is mandatory.

Here are three common mistakes businesses make that may be costing them—in more ways than one and tips on how to ensure your time is honored when customers don’t hold up their end of the deal.


Requiring customers to make a deposit to secure an appointment for a service—even a small one—is a sign of solid intent on the part of the customer and an insurance policy for you. 

Service deposits separate serious clientele from those who may be indecisive, and as clients who make a deposit become ‘invested in’ your service, it also minimizes the chance of no-shows and lost revenue.

When appointments are honored, it is often standard to apply clients’ deposits to their overall balance.


One or two missed appointments a week mean five to ten missed opportunities a month.

They add up. And they can seriously affect your bottom line.

Similar to service deposits, instituting a no-show fee policy is a great way to commit clients to the time and service they reserved and receive compensation in the case of a default. We like to think of no-show fees as being an approach of greater faith and optimism—as it assumes clients will keep their appointments and only ‘penalizes’ or requires a payment in the case they do not.

With a no-show fee, instead of charging a customer up front to reserve your time, when a reservation is missed you can recoup a portion of the scheduled service fee from a credit card preauthorization required to complete booking.

From medical practices to hair salons, service providers across industries have started protecting their businesses from missed appointments and last-minute cancellations by charging these fees—often the only way to earn back even a fraction of lost revenue.


Are you still accepting and keeping track of appointments and managing your schedule offline?

If so, you’re missing out!

An online, automated schedule management solution like FlexBooker saves time, eliminates the hassle of tracking cancellations and reschedules and even briefs you daily as to what’s on your agenda for the work day. 

FlexBooker is also works for you as a great customer service tool that: sends out automated SMS and email reminders to reduce no-shows; enables customers to modify or cancel bookings by themselves; allows you to easily cancel and/or reschedule an appointment and alert all affected customers.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

5 Ways Your Business Can Save With Online Booking

Online booking systems are becoming more and more ubiquitous nowadays, from booking flights and hotels, to reservations at restaurants. But they can be used to help all kinds of businesses discover what people in these industries have already discerned: online booking for your business can save both time and money.

Here are some of the ways we've seen FlexBooker used by many different business types to save:

  1. No more back and forth with your customers. You know the drill - your customer calls you to schedule an appointment but you're servicing another customer, so they leave you a message asking for an appointment at a certain time. When you check your messages you find that the time is already booked (without an online booking system, how would they know?) so you call them back, leave another message. Eventually you get a hold of each other and go back and forth with them getting a time that works for both of you. In all, this can take quite a while for just a single customer. Multiply this each time it happens, which can be many times a week, and you realize quickly that your business is wasting hours every week dealing with a situation that can be cut to zero by online booking. By making your schedule available online for booking, and using a system that reflects your schedule in real-time, you save potentially hundreds of hours a year. That's a huge saving!
  2. Reduced no-shows. No matter what type of business you run, no-shows are awful. They leave a gap in your schedule where you should be earning revenue, but are instead left idle and unproductive. A good online booking system will cut no-shows dramatically for you with features such as email and SMS text message reminders for your customers that are sent out automatically for you. Your booking system should also allow you to take no-show fee authorizations, meaning your customer enters a credit card to book but is not necessarily charged, and then give you the power to charge a no-show fee to the customer if they miss their appointment.
  3. Improve website to customer conversions. People are looking for your website to be more and more functional these days. If they are visiting your website looking for a service, and can actually book that service (getting a confirmed accurate appointment time without having to call you or wait for an answer to an email) they are far more likely to actually book. This dramatically improves the conversion for your website. After all that's the whole point of your website when it comes down to it.
  4. Special events drive more business. We all know that special events drive both interest and customers to our business. Your online booking system should be able to handle both your open schedule for normal services and also allow you to publish special events (at special days and times, with their own attendance and payment rules) directly on your website booking widget. This way customers interested in you will see your special events, and be able to book right from your website, too.
  5. Coordinate your staff. If you have multiple staff members at your business, coordinating holidays, breaks, and shared resources is time consuming. If a staff member goes on vacation, what do you do with their existing customers? The result is lots of phone calls to clients with existing bookings trying to reorganize or reschedule with other staff members. An online booking system that handles these changes automatically for you not only saves you lots of time (there's no repeat back and forth yet again from point # 1), but also saves your reputation by keeping your customers happier.
An online booking system that really works for your business can be invaulable, and save your business many hours a week in time, which amounts to truly meaningful cost savings. It can also improve your reputation with your customers. It's a winning combination all around.

FlexBooker is reinventing the way customers make appointments at businesses in the service sector. Built on the idea that accepting online bookings should be as painless as possible, FlexBooker is designed to fit seamlessly into existing business practices by using ubiquitous technologies, such as email and SMS, to drive customer engagement. This means that customers can be up and running accepting online bookings in less than 15 minutes, as opposed to the industry norm of hours or even days. FlexBooker customers span a wide range of industries, from photographers to personal trainers. More information can be found at http://www.flexbooker.com.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Helping businesses accept booking from customers in other timezones

It's time for yet another FlexBooker improvement! As we strive to create the perfect online booking solution for you, we are continuously releasing improved and new features throughout the app.

Today we've released automated timezone translation. What does that mean for you? Well, if you have customers who book appointments with your business from other parts of the country (or even the world) then when they book online using your FlexBooker widget the times they see will automatically be in their timezone. When they get confirmation messages, or reminder or wait list emails and text messages, they will reference the time in your customers timezone.

But for you, when using the FlexBooker management site, all the times will still be in your timezone.

We think this will be a great improvement for our business customers who serve clients in different timezones, especially for their customers, all without introducing any extra steps or headaches for you.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Introducing some awesome new FlexBooker features

We're always working to improve FlexBooker, and part of that continuous improvement, is exciting new releases. Here's what we've just pushed out the door for our fantastic customers.

We're proud to introduce our new user interface. We've completely re-imagined the management area from the ground up. It's even faster, more intuitive, and easier to navigate.
We've improved our reporting area, making the charts more readable, and introducing tables for all results. We've also added some new reports for you, including booking revenue data. Even more reports are on their way shortly, too.

Your customers will now be able to use calendars to choose their desired booking from your schedule, right inside the FlexBooker widget. Users can switch between day, week, and month view.
FlexBooker now has improved multi-device support, making it easy for you to manage your bookings and schedule from any computer, laptop, tablet, or even right from your mobile phone.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Taking payments for your online bookings

We're excited to announce a new great addition to FlexBooker that you can now make use of.

Online bookings are a wonderful way of driving more customers to your business, and helping existing customers re-book your services, classes, facilities, or events.

What's even better? Getting paid online for those bookings.

FlexBooker has partnered with Braintree payments (https://www.braintreepayments.com/) to give you the ability to accept credit card payments for your online bookings. You can choose exactly which schedules, or even specific times and days that you charge for, and how much.

You can even set up a "no-show fee", in which case we'll simply authorize the card, and you can optionally charge the no-show fee from your FlexBooker management app.

Everything is built-in seamlessly. Your customers still book via the widget just like now, and we'll automatically collect their payments for the appointments and times you choose, and you can manage refunds and no-show charging directly from FlexBooker.

Does it cost more?

We don't charge anything extra for you to accept credit card payments. No extra monthly fees, and no per transaction fees whatsoever.

Why Braintree?

Braintree are one of the world's leading, and most trusted, providers of credit card payments. They also will not charge you a monthly fee at all. They also don't charge a transaction fee for your first $50,000 in sales via Braintree(!). After that they offer truly competitive processing charges at just 2.9% + 30 cents per transaction.

What's Next?

With this release complete, our developers are right back to work on the next version, which will be heading your way in a couple of weeks. It includes:
  • a huge app design and interface overhaul to make navigation easier
  • introducing graphical calendars to the widgets, making it even easier for your customers to book from your website
  • powerful new metrics in the analytic and reporting section

More on that to come soon.

Monday, March 10, 2014

What makes FlexBooker different?

FlexBooker is all about helping you to drive more customers (both repeat and existing) to your business.

The team here is totally driven by that goal. That's our only objective, and it's the reason we come into work each day.

To that end we offer the most beautifully simple way to accept online bookings for your business. Everything from appointments, classes, events, facilities, and services can be set up in minutes. The booking "widget" can be installed on your website by simply copying and pasting a tiny snippet anywhere into your site.

To further that goal, we offer powerful functionality "under the hood" that help keep bookable times full. Features such as our one-of-a-kind automated wait list system. We literally do all the work to maintain the wait list for you, including keeping the order of the list, and also reaching out to customers when we notice that space opens up at a bookable time and trying to fill it back up with customers on the wait list. Nobody else offers you that, and it's something we're proud of.

But one thing we realized early on is that our customers are busy. Very busy. They often don't have time to keep checking and managing their schedule, closing off times and days, and keeping the system up to date. So we take a different approach to the manner in which you set up your schedule. Instead of telling us your opening hours, and having to sync up with other calendars, and keeping up the hours for when appointments come in from other sources (customers might still call, of course!) you tell us exactly when you what to take appointments and for what service and, optionally, employee. The whole process takes just a few minutes to set up from scratch to completion, and will save you huge amount of time in both the initial fiddling with settings you have to do with other systems, and also hours in ongoing maintenance of your schedule.

So are we different? Yes, both through our advanced automation offerings that nobody else has, and our client-first approach to schedule setup. FlexBooker truly is the beautifully simple way to accept online bookings.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Calendars help you visualize your weekly schedule

Calendars are how people visualize their day. 

When dealing with multiple schedules, for potentially multiple employees, each time of which may or may not have bookings for them already, calendars can be daunting though. That's what we have worked hard to avoid with our latest new feature announcement: FlexBooker now has calendars to help you manage your appointments and bookings.

We think our implementation is, well, beautifully simple (and simply beautiful). The calendar can be seen by managers in its entirety (either day or week) and can also be filtered by employee. It is also handily color-coded, so you can see at a glance who has appointments, and where the bookings lie.

Of course, it's still amazingly fast. We've also combined our schedule setup area into the same page as the calendar, so you can perform all your day-to-day activities from one page.

We think you're going to love the new look. The search functionality is still there, so you can easily search your entire schedule, even by one of your customer's names, to quickly see his history and upcoming bookings (still on the same page!).

As always, now back to work to continually improve FlexBooker for you.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Responsive and Helpful Support. By both email and phone.

Everyone claims to have it, but we really strive to give our customers the best customer support possible. We don't like to work in days, or hours, but instead in minutes to respond to a customer question.

The same drive runs throughout the company, from support to sales. Everywhere we interact with customers, we want the customer to come away with a true "wow" feeling.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Introducing FlexBooker Wait Lists

We're excited to announce a brand new FlexBooker feature: Wait Lists.

What are FlexBooker Wait Lists?

FlexBooker Wait Lists are a powerful way to help keep your appointmets full, allowing your customers to place themselves onto a wait list for any full appointment.
A wait list is not a confirmation or a booking, but is instead a way to automatically get a spot if space opens up for them.
In the event of space opening up for a wait list party, FlexBooker automatically sends the customer a text message, allowing them to turn their wait list request into a confirmed booking.

What can cause space to open up for my customers who are on a wait list for a particular time?
Space can open up from a variety of ways:
  • Another customer at the same appointment cancels
  • One of your admins cancels a current booking at the time the wait list party is waiting for
  • You open up more space at the appointment

Is space held for wait list parties?

Yes, for a period of exactly 10 minutes from the moment space opens up (at which time the wait list customer will receive a text message asking if they would like the booking) space will be held for that customer.
If they don't respond within that 10 minute time frame, then the space goes back to the widget to allow your other customers to book.

What happens if multiple customers are waiting for space at the same appointment?
If there are multiple customers waiting for space at the same booking, then they will be offered space as (and if) it opens up in the order that they joined the wait list. First come, first offered.
If a party above them in the wait list doesn't respond to the SMS within 10 minutes, or rejects the SMS offer, then the next party in the wait list will be text messaged.

This is another great evolution to the FlexBooker online scheduling offering, and we're so happy to be able to now offer this often-requested feature to our customers. Not a customer yet? Check out what all the fuss is about.

Monday, February 10, 2014

FlexBooker in action

A quick interim update, before out next post announcing some really wonderful and useful new features, with a video of FlexBooker in action.

As we work to expand our help and tutorial sections (check out the help section) we are also concentrating on creating more videos, to help people in a hurry get up and running accepting online bookings at their business website in minutes (literally).

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Adding Support for more business types

We started with gyms, and the response was great. Gym owners really appreciated finally having a booking system that they could easily use to accept bookings from their own website. They liked the intuitive interface, they loved the blazingly fast speed, and they appreciated that we didn't nickel and dime them. Our pricing was, as it is now, flat and simple (check it out on our pricing page)

Now, we thought, what's true of gyms should apply to other types of business.

Over the last several months we've been working closely with folks in several other businesses to adapt FlexBooker to work for them too.

Rather than trying to come out with a one-size-fits-all approach (as some of the other guys do), where each user has to spend hours fiddling through endless settings, we do the work for you. By choosing one of the business types (and we have quite a few now, and are working to grow the list as we learn more and more) we will automatically configure your account for you. The feedback so far as been great, and we truly appreciate how open and helpful so many of our customers have been. Give us a try, for 60 days(!) completely free of charge (no credit card required) by signing up for an instant free trial.

We feel strongly that we offer the best solution out there for businesses looking to accept bookings online. But we're not resting, we have lots of awesome features and improvements in the pipeline. More to come on those in upcoming posts.