Clients frequently seek applications to automate business processes but want those applications to be tailored to their specific industry. For a process like appointment scheduling, flexibility is important, but there are a set of core practices that should be considered, whether building a scheduling application on your own or with an outsourced provider.
Who – In-house, custom build or software as a service
Who’s going to do the work? Will it be your staff or will you find a software development shop to leverage their expertise? Or, does software already exist out there to solve this problem? Each has their own implications of cost, feature options and ultimately performance and reliability. Weigh each of these carefully before making a selection and be sure the What section below is well-defined before answering Who.
Where – Cloud, internal server
Applications need a home, and depending on the selection above, the decision may already be made (like SaaS, where they will host and manage everything).. You may also decide to host on your own infrastructure or use a cloud service like Amazon Web Services or Microsoft Azure.
What – Features
Scheduling applications can have a myriad of features depending on the type of business relationships involved. However, the baseline features should include a set of availability, access to that availability in real-time, reserving appointment spots and automatically updating availability as spots are taken. Other capabilities should be discussed, such as how much information does the user have to provide to schedule an appointment? Can they access the system after their appointment? Can recurring appointments be set up? Can documents be exchanged electronically as part of the appointment scheduling? What reporting is available to the organization servicing the appointments? With the core set of features in place, your team can decide what else is needed.
How – Reaching customers via app or web
The web was made for this type of interaction. Mobile apps could be great for scheduling, but scheduling appointments are often done in infrequently, which could eliminate the need to download a demanding native application. In this case, a solution delivered via the web, accessible from anywhere with just a browser, is likely the best approach.
For help building a scheduling application – or any type of mobile or web-based application – contact Superior Technology Solutions at 845-735-3555 or online at www.superiortechnology.com.
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