With iPetTime, you are always in control of when and how pet owners can submit scheduling requests. While some small businesses such as dog walkers may choose to use iPetTime to track all of their appointments, most businesses use iPetTime to supplement their existing scheduling system. As a supplemental system, iPetTime serves as an alternative to allowing a customer to leave a message on an answering machine.
The iPetTime scheduling process
What follows is a common sequence of steps that occur when a pet owner uses iPetTime to schedule with your pet care business.
- A pet owner clicks on a scheduling link from your web site.
- The iPetTime scheduling page for your business opens and shows what services you provide.
- The pet owner selects a service type and when they would like to schedule. The pet owners can also select Next Available if they would like to see the soonest they can schedule.
- iPetTime displays a range of times available for scheduling. The times are determined from your business hours, holidays, existing requests and capacity.
- The pet owner selects a time, opening iPetTime's scheduling dialog.
- The pet owner enters all required information and submits the request.
- The pet owner receives an e-mail stating that you will contact them within 48 hours to confirm the appointment.
- You receive an e-mail with information regarding the scheduling request.
- You click on a link in the e-mail to confirm the appointment.
- iPetTime gives you a chance to edit a confirmation e-mail before sending.
- The pet owner receives your confirmation.
How iPetTime keeps you in control of the scheduling process
- You can define your own service types within each of the primary service type categories. For example, a veterinarian can define several types including annual physical, nail trimming and spay/neuter.
- iPetTime gives you the option of setting up any service type as being scheduled by day or by time. If you offer grooming and pet-sitting, you can setup grooming to be scheduled by time and pet-sitting by day.
- Having more than one way to contact a customer is important. When scheduling, pet owner's must provide their full name, an e-mail address and a phone number.
- Information can be tailored to your specific business needs. You can define custom fields to prompt for when scheduling. For example, a pet sitter can define a home address as a required field.
- iPetTime will never confirm an appointment without your approval. We make it clear to the pet owner, that they do not have a confirmed appointment at the time they submit a request.
- iPetTime makes it easy to see what requests were made and of those which were confirmed. You can change the confirmation state of a request at anytime.
- Email templates give you control over what the pet owner sees when making a request and when an appointment is confirmed.
- iPetTime provides several ways for you to easily avoid overbooking by giving you full control of what dates and times are available for scheduling requests.
- You can set a capacity for each service type you provide to indicate how many animals can be scheduled at any one time. For dog boarding, you can set capacity to be the number of kennels you want to allow to be scheduled online.
- You can define your business hours and holidays to prevent pet owners from scheduling at times when you are not open.
- One common way of avoiding overbooking is to setup iPetTime to only offer online bookings for dates at least 2 weeks from the current date.
Responsible veterinary care
At iPetTime, we understand that online and mobile scheduling is not appropriate for all types of pet care and we have a responsibility to let pet owners know when they should contact a veterinarian directly by phone or in person. As part of the scheduling process, iPetTime notifies pet owners that the system should not be used to request services for sick or injured animals.