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Re: Customers? [Re: Bill12349876] #1895741
05/12/12 12:37 PM
05/12/12 12:37 PM
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Cincinnati, Ohio
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RoyP Offline
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Do you guys require a credit card number to be entered at the time of booking? I see Genbook offers that option.

This thread prompted me to search for other online appointment scheduling services. There are many. So far, none of them offer routing. I'm still looking. Full Slate is one that will let you set up locations. So, you can set different locations on different days. And, you can accept or decline an appointment before it gets confirmed. What I've thought of doing is once I have an appointment set up in one part of town, then going in to set the location for that day to that area, so that others would be setting appointments around whoever sets the first one. It wouldn't matter where the first one was.

Some services offer two way calendar syncing, others only export. That is one difference. Right now I use Google calendar, which wirelessly syncs with my Blackberry. Contacts also sync. It doesn't integrate the calendar with the contacts, however. So, contact info isn't linked with the appointment. That's one thing I would like. Then, for those who don't pay at the time of service, I have to go back, look at my calendar, and figure out who to bill. I'm looking for something which would integrate this. It would be nice to have a calendar function for appointments which automatically shows who hasn't paid yet. The new version of Quickbooks has some sort of calendar app. But I think it just shows when you have done various accounting tasks. Maybe it will evolve.

Simplifythis looks good. It does all this, with an invoicing function. If I didn't have Quickbooks already, I would probably use it. The thing is that I've already been using Quickbooks for a long time, and use the Intuit Payment Network to invoice people and accept payments. I also have Paypal buttons on my website. But, I have to manually enter info.

Appointments-Plus comes with a Quickbooks plugin. If someone books online and pays, it will import the info to Quickbooks. That's attractive.

Most of the online appointment services do about the same thing. I'm just trying to figure out which might suit my needs best. I'll probably go this direction in some manner.





Roy Peters, RPT
Cincinnati, Ohio
www.cincypiano.com
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Re: Customers? [Re: Bill12349876] #1895743
05/12/12 12:45 PM
05/12/12 12:45 PM
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Loren D Offline
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I don't capture credit card information at the time of booking. I don't think it's a good business practice. I just let the customer book without requiring anything other than their basic info that I'll need to complete the appointment (address, phone, email, for instance).

Sounds like there are more services now than there were three years ago when I started doing this. At that time, Genbook and Schedulicity were the only two I knew of. The problem with Schedulicity was that (at the time, anyway), you couldn't capture a customer address. It was instead geared toward businesses where the customer travels to the business (tanning salon, etc).

I do think though that it's definitely the way things are going.


DiGiorgi Piano Service
http://www.digiorgipiano.com
Re: Customers? [Re: Bill12349876] #1895752
05/12/12 01:21 PM
05/12/12 01:21 PM
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Posts: 6,828
Grand Rapids Michigan
Jerry Groot RPT Offline
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I don't capture a credit card number either. I don't think many people would book. I know that I wouldn't. I checked out some of the other programs too besides Genbook but Genbook seemed to offer more flexibility and more of what I wanted and the price is excellent too I think.


Jerry Groot RPT
Piano Technicians Guild
Grand Rapids, Michigan
www.grootpiano.com

We love to play BF2.
Re: Customers? [Re: Bill12349876] #1895758
05/12/12 01:30 PM
05/12/12 01:30 PM
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Loren D Offline
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Hey Jerry, did you see the new "Read reviews" button Genbook offers? Go to my site and click the Frequent Questions page to see it in action. Maybe your nephew could add it to your site next time he updates?


DiGiorgi Piano Service
http://www.digiorgipiano.com
Re: Customers? [Re: Bill12349876] #1895762
05/12/12 01:38 PM
05/12/12 01:38 PM
Joined: Nov 2007
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Grand Rapids Michigan
Jerry Groot RPT Offline
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I like that Loren! I will have him look into putting that feature into mine too. Thanks for letting me know. I agree with you Lauren about Booking online becoming the latest fad. Many doctors, lawyers, my doctor even, allows me to change my appointment with them online if necessary.

PS I am at the cottage playing with my iPad I should be outside enjoying the weather where I am going next. We had to open the second cottage this weekend. Two weekends ago, we opened the other cottage code is done cleaning it right now I set up here.

We are having a very good time up here. And we'll be getting very very drunk tonight ha ha. My son just walked up behind me and said that but he could be very right. Ha ha

Last edited by Jerry Groot RPT; 05/12/12 01:42 PM.

Jerry Groot RPT
Piano Technicians Guild
Grand Rapids, Michigan
www.grootpiano.com

We love to play BF2.
Re: Customers? [Re: Bill12349876] #1895774
05/12/12 02:23 PM
05/12/12 02:23 PM
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Cincinnati, Ohio
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RoyP Offline
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I do like the customer review feature of Genbook. Loren, I was going to ask if it only allowed 5 star reviews? laugh But I scrolled down and found a 4.


Roy Peters, RPT
Cincinnati, Ohio
www.cincypiano.com
Re: Customers? [Re: RoyP] #1895811
05/12/12 03:51 PM
05/12/12 03:51 PM
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Loren D Offline
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Originally Posted by RoyP
I do like the customer review feature of Genbook. Loren, I was going to ask if it only allowed 5 star reviews? laugh But I scrolled down and found a 4.


Haha Roy! Yeah, you found it! smile


DiGiorgi Piano Service
http://www.digiorgipiano.com
Re: Customers? [Re: Bill12349876] #1896107
05/13/12 10:21 AM
05/13/12 10:21 AM
Joined: Nov 2007
Posts: 6,828
Grand Rapids Michigan
Jerry Groot RPT Offline
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Jerry Groot RPT  Offline
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Grand Rapids Michigan
The new iPad has dictation on it. Meaning all I have to do is speak and it types it for me. That is what I was using yesterday when my son walked up behind me and said something about getting drunk yesterday which we did not do. Just FWI. Smile face. smile

I too, really like the review feature in Genbook. In fact, so far I like everything about Genbook.


Jerry Groot RPT
Piano Technicians Guild
Grand Rapids, Michigan
www.grootpiano.com

We love to play BF2.
Re: Customers? [Re: Jerry Groot RPT] #1896139
05/13/12 11:17 AM
05/13/12 11:17 AM
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Toronto, Ontario
Sparky McBiff Offline
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Originally Posted by Jerry Groot RPT
I don't capture a credit card number either. I don't think many people would book. I know that I wouldn't. I checked out some of the other programs too besides Genbook but Genbook seemed to offer more flexibility and more of what I wanted and the price is excellent too I think.


I'm with Jerry on this one.
As a consumer if one tuner required me to submit CC info just to book an appointment I would simply go with somebody else.
(And this is from somebody who buys things with their credit card online all the time).
These days people are very aware of the inherent risks in posting any such information online.
Some people are somewhat paranoid about putting such information online, especially simply to confirm a booking (even though it won't be charged).
And there are those that will never post their credit card info online at all, ever.

Re: Customers? [Re: Sparky McBiff] #1896149
05/13/12 12:03 PM
05/13/12 12:03 PM
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Loren D Offline
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Originally Posted by Sparky McBiff
Originally Posted by Jerry Groot RPT
I don't capture a credit card number either. I don't think many people would book. I know that I wouldn't. I checked out some of the other programs too besides Genbook but Genbook seemed to offer more flexibility and more of what I wanted and the price is excellent too I think.


I'm with Jerry on this one.
As a consumer if one tuner required me to submit CC info just to book an appointment I would simply go with somebody else.
(And this is from somebody who buys things with their credit card online all the time).
These days people are very aware of the inherent risks in posting any such information online.
Some people are somewhat paranoid about putting such information online, especially simply to confirm a booking (even though it won't be charged).
And there are those that will never post their credit card info online at all, ever.


Exactly right! I know I wouldn't enter cc info anywhere just to book an appointment. And like you, I buy stuff online all the time. I just don't see the need to capture cc info just to book an appointment.


DiGiorgi Piano Service
http://www.digiorgipiano.com
Re: Customers? [Re: Bill12349876] #1896150
05/13/12 12:05 PM
05/13/12 12:05 PM
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Loren D Offline
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Another reason I didn't like Schedulicity is, the customer has to create a profile to book an appointment. Again, that would deter me. I'd just go somewhere else. A customer is just wanting to book an appointment, not sign up for anything. I think it's a poor business model to require that.


DiGiorgi Piano Service
http://www.digiorgipiano.com
Re: Customers? [Re: Bill12349876] #1896171
05/13/12 12:53 PM
05/13/12 12:53 PM
Joined: Dec 2003
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Cincinnati, Ohio
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RoyP Offline
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Whether something is a good or bad business practice depends upon your goals, does it not? If your goal is to get as many people as possible to book appointments, then barriers to such are bad. If your goal is to minimize lost income due to driving places and having no one be home, then it's more beneficial to have people enter a CC as an insurance measure. They are more likely to take the time they have booked seriously. Yes, many people would look elsewhere. The email/text reminder feature would probably help prevent no-shows. But I don't believe there is a right or wrong here. Fortunately, this is a business where most customers are great people, and are responsible as far as payment goes. The fact is, however, that using an online service like this you are not pre-screening people on the phone. Anybody can sign up, and you don't know who they are until you get to their home. I wouldn't make people enter CC info unless I started to have problems, but I can see why some businesses would want it. I just wondered what you guys thought.


Roy Peters, RPT
Cincinnati, Ohio
www.cincypiano.com
Re: Customers? [Re: RoyP] #1896182
05/13/12 01:11 PM
05/13/12 01:11 PM
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Loren D Offline
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Originally Posted by RoyP
Whether something is a good or bad business practice depends upon your goals, does it not? If your goal is to get as many people as possible to book appointments, then barriers to such are bad. If your goal is to minimize lost income due to driving places and having no one be home, then it's more beneficial to have people enter a CC as an insurance measure. They are more likely to take the time they have booked seriously. Yes, many people would look elsewhere. The email/text reminder feature would probably help prevent no-shows. But I don't believe there is a right or wrong here. Fortunately, this is a business where most customers are great people, and are responsible as far as payment goes. The fact is, however, that using an online service like this you are not pre-screening people on the phone. Anybody can sign up, and you don't know who they are until you get to their home. I wouldn't make people enter CC info unless I started to have problems, but I can see why some businesses would want it. I just wondered what you guys thought.


Well, I think the only time I would give a credit card for booking something would be if I was reserving a hotel room or rental car. But that's also because in most instances, that's also how the customer is going to pay for the room or car.

But in our business, suppose someone wants to book me and the plan is to pay with cash or check? A credit card doesn't even enter the picture, so what would be the reason of requiring a credit card to book the appointment?

I will say this; I've never had an online-booked customer not be there for the appointment. They get the reminder 24 hours ahead of time. I've had customers have to cancel or reschedule, but that's just part of the territory.


DiGiorgi Piano Service
http://www.digiorgipiano.com
Re: Customers? [Re: Bill12349876] #1896185
05/13/12 01:12 PM
05/13/12 01:12 PM
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Loren D Offline
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As for pre-screening, often times that means pre-judging. That's not good business practice either, imo.


DiGiorgi Piano Service
http://www.digiorgipiano.com
Re: Customers? [Re: Bill12349876] #1896205
05/13/12 01:50 PM
05/13/12 01:50 PM
Joined: Nov 2007
Posts: 6,828
Grand Rapids Michigan
Jerry Groot RPT Offline
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Grand Rapids Michigan
For me, so far I have only been using Genbook for approximately 6 to 8 weeks. Loren has a lot more experience than I do with Genbook. I have not worried about pre screening in fact, I hadn't even thought about it until now. I do not foresee that as a problem but, like I said, there is always the cancel appointment feature that is available too. No different than cancelling over the phone, right?

The weather up here is awesome!


Jerry Groot RPT
Piano Technicians Guild
Grand Rapids, Michigan
www.grootpiano.com

We love to play BF2.
Re: Customers? [Re: Bill12349876] #2045252
03/08/13 09:07 PM
03/08/13 09:07 PM
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Cincinnati, Ohio
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RoyP Offline
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Hey Jerry. Now that you've been using Genbook for about a year, I wonder what you think.

Thanks!


Roy Peters, RPT
Cincinnati, Ohio
www.cincypiano.com
Re: Customers? [Re: Bill12349876] #2045266
03/08/13 10:15 PM
03/08/13 10:15 PM
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Scott Hamlin Offline
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I think dentists have the same feelings.

Re: Customers? [Re: Bill12349876] #2045280
03/08/13 11:12 PM
03/08/13 11:12 PM
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Grand Rapids Michigan
Jerry Groot RPT Offline
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Grand Rapids Michigan
I absolutely love it Roy!!

If I have any trouble with customers that are trying to schedule out further then I'm traveling that week I will simply just call them back and explain the situation to them. It happens rarely. I am finding more and more of my regular clients prefer to use Genbook nowthan ever before because they discovered ths ease ans use of fit..

I can send my customers a reminder message of my choosing asking for removal of all items off from the piano no dishwasher clanking removing or input of dishes and someone. And I do use This feature often. Plus I can change it at will. For the price of $19.95 a month I find it awfully hard to beat. I can't count the number of hours this evening and returning people's phone calls.


Jerry Groot RPT
Piano Technicians Guild
Grand Rapids, Michigan
www.grootpiano.com

We love to play BF2.
Re: Customers? [Re: Bill12349876] #2045296
03/08/13 11:44 PM
03/08/13 11:44 PM
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Cincinnati, Ohio
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RoyP Offline
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Sounds good. I'll look into it again. I hired someone to answer my phone. But it's alot more expensive than $20/month. She does a good job, and I have customers often comment how much they like her. Still, I think of doing this. I get alot of people who email, and then I have to forward to her, or send them an email. And people call my home phone instead of the business number. So, I'm still responding to calls and emails quite a bit.

There are quite a few of these services out there now. I'm checking them out. Thanks.


Roy Peters, RPT
Cincinnati, Ohio
www.cincypiano.com
Re: Customers? [Re: RoyP] #2045324
03/09/13 01:53 AM
03/09/13 01:53 AM
Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 534
Oregon Coast
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TunerJeff Offline
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Oregon Coast
Joining this a little late, maybe....

My little Ranger has just cracked 362,000 miles, for instance.

Ryan! I disagree that pianos left untuned for years are ok...they are not. Our job should be to KEEP pianos in tune, not drag them up to pitch irregularly, and hope they sound good for a while. If the customer won't schedule once a year, I don't keep them in the 'current' file. Pianos that go flat CAN be damaged by the experience; what happens when you are dragging all those kinks and bends around the bridge up and away from the pins to get it in tune? False beats, and crummy sounds, my friend! Properly; we train the strings, balance the load, and then maintain it with minimal tuning input. Pianos like that are a treat to tune, and WANT to go back in place. They literally jump back into place...because that's where the whole load is comfortable and 'proper'. I really do disagree with you on that score..sorry, my friend! Some older tuners, and piano care books, also talk about bridge damage, soundboard stresses, and (gasp!) structural problems from horsing around with the 30,000lbs. at irregular intervals.....but, I can't honestly tell someone their piano may explode if they fail to tune it. I'd like to.......but.....(sigh)

Phones? Well, I always set an estimated 'next' tuning, and I encourage 6-months for pianos actually being played, and once a year for the ones that only get tapped on Sundays by a little old lady when she's feeling good. Minimum once a year, or you are not taking care of your investment is what I say.

Reminder cards? Yup. That's my basic (although email reminders are getting more frequent)method of keeping in contact with the customers. I send a card, and I expect the customer to have the interest to by-golly call me back. I NEVER call and harass the customer to tune their piano. There's a guy out here who gave me a new client this week when he called and said; 'I need to make a car payment. Can I come and tune your piano tomorrow?'. True story.

My wife is my office manager. We like to tell people that it is the perfect arrangement. I get up in the morning, and she tells me where to go and what to do.

Muttering,
'Yes, darling.',
I remain,


Jeffrey T. Hickey, RPT
Oregon Coast Piano Services
TunerJeff440@aol.com
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