When I first was approached by the folks over at SuperSaaS about doing a demo of their service, I was a bit ambivalent. After all, since Sean P and I are only loosely classified as a “business” I couldn’t really imagine what kind of benefit using the free version of their online calendar and scheduling tool might bring. But during my trial period, I’ve come to appreciate what a really well thought out (and easy to use) bit of technology this is. And while I was not/am not being compensated for this review (mores the pity!), I think I can safely say this is a product that I would actually consider signing up and paying for, if I was a small business owner in a service related industry. If that’s the situation you’re in, read on to find out why.
To begin with, SuperSaaS offers scheduling services for a wide variety of business types and needs. There are lots of different scenarios where a shared resource might be in demand. I chose to use conference rooms as an example, but there are a host of other types of things you might want to have control over in your business. SuperSaaS does a good job of outlining a number of common situations, but you can really customize the schedule to your needs using their flexible setup wizards.
One of the things I really liked and appreciated about their service is the wealth of information that is available on their Support page to explain how to set up each type of schedule. It includes Help links, Tutorials, and FAQs and you can go through all of them upfront, or go back to them as you need. The help is accessible via the very comprehensive Dashboard which is usually in the upper right hand corner of their website. I’d probably suggest running through the Support page first, if you are interested in their service, to get a good idea of what the setup and maintenance process is like.
Once you’ve decided you’re ready to give them a try, getting set up is really, really easy. For the purposes of the demo, I set up what would likely be a common scenario for most businesses – the use of a shared conference room. Getting the room set up was a very simple 5 step process, and the SuperSaas wizard walks you through every step of the way. You select your type of schedule, and then define who will have access to make the needed changes to the schedule (whether you will have a self-service system or a sign up process or a master calendar admin) You’ll then need to choose how many of the resource will be made available (one if its a single conference room) and then define the name of the resource. Lastly, you’d need to establish who can see and make changes to the resource, and you’re basically done with the framework of a system that allows you to manage who can check in and use a conference room.
There a whole host of other things you can do after the fact, by using the Configure option of that resource (in this example, the Grant Conference Room) to make the schedule and calendar more useful to you. Colors and how occupied versus vacant time slots are displayed are just a few of the options you have to configure each resource. You could choose to match your corporate color scheme or just make it easier for your users and your admin to access the resource. It’s all up to you. And since its web based, you can just direct your clientele to the web address and they can create an account (if specified) or fill out a custom form for more information before they are allowed to request the resource. You can even have your own email and domain used in outgoing confirmation emails. It’s really a robust and flexible system.
Making sure the registration or booking process is easy for your clients is just as important as making sure your users and resource managers find it easy to administer the resource. The client side workflow is pretty straight forward – and the Support tabs talk about how this process will work. As mentioned above, you can make the process as simple as pointing them to your web address, or you can opt to ask for more info before allowing access to the requestor, such as students filling out a registration form before being allowed to sign up for a specific class. You can also just have a stand alone form asking for personal information from someone before allowing them to sign up for a physical therapy appointment, and even request a specific therapist. You manage what you want your clients referred to as in the workflow using the Layout Settings menu, and ensure that you get your message across to your end user clients. If you want them to be clients or students, you got it. If you prefer to think of them as members or guests, there is a free form field to make that happen.
Designate superusers, and assign them the permissions they need to be able to perform their function. Allow them to add other users and act on their behalf (if you want a managed or hosted solution) or even allow them to act on behalf of other superusers (if you have more than one person administrating your resource) – once again, you have the flexibility to do what you need to make sure the schedule and calendar works best for your business needs.
Admins also have access to the resource in the event of unexpected changes, such as holidays, maintenance work, or someone calling out sick. This makes running your schedule as easy for your workforce as it should be. Businesses are constantly changing and evolving; you can be sure that this solution from SuperSaas will be able to meet those changing needs.
If you’ve read this far, first off – thank you! Second, you’re probably wondering “okay, what’s the catch here?” Or you might be saying to yourself “this all sounds great, but its probably not available for my country or in my users native language.” Or, worst of all, you might be thinking “there isn’t any way I can afford a service that seems as flexible and unique as this one.”
Tell yourself to give yourself a break! So, here’s the real deal – there are even MORE features than the ones I covered in this short overview. But you really don’t have to take my word for it – you can actually try it for yourself and see if its for you without any real risk or obligation. SuperSaaS offers a free version of their product, which is ad supported and has a few restrictions on the number of appointments and clients you can book for your resource. Otherwise, its the same version of the product that you’d get if you decided to sign up and pay. And there are tiers to the payment structure, so you can get the amount of volume that you think is right for you, not some one size fits all kind of plan.
In addition, the service is available in 29 languages, supports both desktop and mobile versions, and even has integrated payment services available too. With access to more features than you can shake a stick at, the folks over at SuperSaaS really tried to think of everything that a business owner might need for running a scheduled resource or resources.
If you are interested in giving their service a try, click the link below to sign up. If you do use the link, Silicon Theory will get a small fee as the referral affiliate. You don’t even have to use the paid version of the service if you choose not to. But I think you’ll find it’s so good you’ll want to.
I haven’t used many of these types of services, but after spending some time using the product offered by SuperSaaS.com, I don’t know if I really would need to. Give it a try, and if you do, tell them Silicon Theory sent you.