Intelligent scheduling and online booking gets smarter

David Coles
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We’ve made several updates that make our intelligent scheduling and online booking systems even smarter. These systems, available on our Customer Journey plan, embody efficiency, by automating the complex process of routing and scheduling jobs, as well as providing an easy way for customers to book jobs online. 

We've been listening to feedback and actively trying to push these powerful systems even further, so we’ve been working on improvements in the following areas:

Please note that these systems are only available on the Customer Journey plan and higher. If you are not on this plan, book a call with our team or give us a ring on 0203 0266 266 about upgrading today.

Improvements to normal events

We've made two simple, yet effective updates to normal events that improve the scheduling accuracy and experience with Commusoft.

If you're not utilising Normal Events, they're useful for adding any events to the diary which are not Jobs or Estimates, such as meetings, supplier pickups, personal appointments, etc.

Normal events now have locations

You can now add locations to your diary's 'Normal Events'. This makes scheduling a little easier for all Commusoft users, no matter whether you schedule manually or with our intelligent scheduling system, as each event now shows the address where it will take place.

Screenshot 2021-07-01 at 12.09.21

In addition, any normal events that have addresses added will now be recognised and considered by the scheduling engine to offer even better route optimisations. This means that you can intelligently schedule around any event with an address, whether that's a job, estimate, or normal event to help get the most out of every day.

How to add a location

It really doesn't get much simpler. When adding a normal event, you now have a 'Location' field to add the address to - start typing and then just select the correct one from the list! Please note that completing this field is optional. Once saved, the address will now display on the event record with a map preview as well.

normal event location

Normal events can't be double booked

The second improvement we've made to normal events has been designed to remove the chance of double booking a normal event with a job or estimate. With this change, both the intelligent scheduling and online booking systems will now recognise normal events and not consider them as open slots, so you don't have to worry about a clash in your engineers' diaries.

Choose whether overtime shifts can be booked

Shift patterns are incredibly useful when using our scheduling engine as they allow you to tell the system when engineers normally work, when their overtime shifts are, and when they do not work. With shift patterns set up, appointments will only be suggested or booked if they match with the engineer's shift criteria, ensuring a perfectly scheduled diary.

We've listened to client feedback and have now added the option to choose whether overtime shifts are available through suggested appointments and online booking portals or if they are unavailable and therefore cannot be booked. We understand that many clients prefer to keep overtime slots free for emergencies and do not want standard services to be booked at those times, as well as to not incur their customers with additional overtime charges.

How to toggle overtime shift scheduling

Overtime shifts screenshot-1

To choose whether you allow overtime slots to be booked, there is now a setting called 'Scheduling options' in system settings. By default, this has been set to off (overtime shifts are unavailable), however, it can be quickly turned back on by ticking the box.

Driving distance limits for engineers

This is a brand new functionality that will be applied when using the suggested appointments and the online booking systems. It allows you to set a driving distance limit for your engineers, so that they cannot be scheduled to ever drive further than the set limit. This is fantastic if you wish to ensure engineers are not travelling large distances to complete a single job, keeping your schedule efficient. It also stops customers from accidentally booking work from your business when they are not local or within your approximate service area.

How does it work?

This update allows you to choose the maximum number of miles that your engineers can drive to complete jobs. For example, if you choose a limit of 30 miles, your engineers will never be scheduled for a job that is more than 30 miles from their previous job or location. Please note, the distance is not measured from a central location such as your office, but from the last location of your engineer.

Setting the distance limit

To set a distance limit all you need to do is head over to the 'Scheduling options' section of the system settings page, where you will find several toggles. You can then choose exactly where driving limits will be implemented and what your limit is in miles.

Scheduling options screenshot 2

  • Don't consider any distance
    With this option chosen, there will be no driving distance limit for any of your booking systems, so drivers could be booked for jobs at any distance.
  • Consider distance for portals alone
    With this option chosen, the assigned distance limit will be implemented only for the online booking systems, which your customers interact with. This stops customers from booking jobs beyond your distance limit, but still allows your office staff to book beyond the limit as needed. We would generally suggest this option.
  • Consider distance for web and portals
    With this option chosen, the driving distance limit will apply to both the online booking and suggested appointments systems, blocking both customers and office staff from scheduling jobs outside of the distance limit.
  • Maximum distance
    Make sure you input a maximum distance that you are comfortable for your engineers to travel between jobs, before hitting save. If needed, this can be updated at any time.

Not using these features yet?

All of these updates apply to Commusoft's intelligent scheduling and online booking systems, which are available on our Customer Journey plan. If you're looking to take your business to the next level, with streamlined and automated scheduling that not only saves your team countless hours, but also offers greater customer convenience, get in touch with us today. To learn more about upgrading to the Customer Journey plan and utilising these powerful features, you can book a call with the sales team here.

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