In an interview with Insights Success’ Ingvar Gudmundsson’ Founder of SimplyBook.me’ shares his experience and gives resourceful insights. In addition to this he has also emphasized on SimplyBook.me’ its products’ and motto of the organization along with the future goals in revolutionizing the industry.
Below are the highlights of the interview conducted between Ingvar and Insights Success:
Give a brief overview of the company’ its uniqueness’ and its vision.
SimplyBook.me was launched as a product in 2011 after having been operated under the name DoReserve.com for couple of years. Fortunately’ we realized soon enough that the old name and signup process was hindering the growth of the company. After the name change technical bloggers started mentioning SimplyBook.me. Google started ranking it higher’ and visitor number increased rapidly along with signups. Today’ SimplyBook.me signs up over 5’000 new companies from around the world every month and fortune 500 companies have adopted our enterprise booking solution. Our goal now is to increase our reach further by entering individual markets and countries with local based teams. This will be done directly by ourselves and in joint ventures with local partners.
What are the cutting-edge automation solutions/services offered by SimplyBook.me?
SimplyBook.me already offers users to accept bookings through chat bots and even through the use of voice bots’ where the whole booking takes place through conversation. We believe that this is the future; people will talk to their devices and ask to book an appointment’ which will then be done automatically through voice bots.
Give a detailed description of your influence over the SimplyBook.me and the automation (professional services) industry. ?
Currently’ I am holding the position as VP of sales where I mainly focus on sales of SimplyBook.me solution to enterprises which use the system for various kinds of appointment bookings within their firms and towards their clients.
SimplyBook.me’s customers can be split into two groups’ enterprise clients and smaller services businesses. The enterprise clients can be worldwide service companies’ IT companies’ banks etc. and the smaller service businesses range from beauty salons’ medical professionals’ fitness centers’ schools and basically all other service industries where appointment booking is needed.
Describe the experiences’ achievements or lessons learnt that have shaped the journey of the company.
Notando’ an Iceland firm which is the owner of SimplyBook.me’ was established in 2001 to create online financial accounting software. The company was doing fine until the financial crash hit Iceland hard and around 50% of the clients of the old accounting solution got wiped out and the company had to act fast.
SimplyBook.me was created soon after the collapse of the financial industry of Iceland. A large portion of the staff was let go and the rest concentrated on this new appointment scheduling solution. This was in 2008 and for many years it was growing very slowly until the strategic decisions of changing the name (from DoReserve.com to SimplyBook.me) and simplification of the registration process were taken. For many years me and Mike’ the CTO’ took care of all customer support’ which was good because then we could act quick on issues and good requests but as we were very few our efforts were spread thin. Fortunately we hung in there and after the name change it only took about 2 years to come into profit which allowed us to start to hire support people. Our support people have proven to be of incredibly high importance as they are the first line of contact with clients. Building our high quality support team and providing our clients with LiveChat was without a doubt one of the best decisions we have taken.
What are the challenges faced while providing automation solutions and how is SimplyBook.me serving to tackle them?
Automation is very important in many aspects of the SimplyBook.me solution. The solution allows providers to accept appointments and fills their diaries automatically; it then reminds both the clients and providers of upcoming appointments automatically. If a client has not showed up for a service over an abnormally long period the system can remind him to book again automatically. As was already mention the system can even answer the phone for the user and accept bookings there directly and fill the calendar automatically. All of these things save time for everyone’ increase the service level’ and best of all’ it increases the revenues of the system users as they get more bookings from old clients’ they get more clients because they are available to accept bookings 24/7 and this in turns means more revenues and profits.
What according to you could be the potential future of services automation and how does SimplyBook.me envision sustaining its competency?
SimplyBook.me will continue to work hard on enabling our users to be more competitive and use automation to its fullest. It will increase and it will continue to take over many jobs all over the world. I am though confident that the industry we serve will stay resilient for many years to come as it needs the human factor. A good example of this is that there is no massage chair that replaces a human massage; there is no robot able to cut the hair of people with the details that clients expect. However we will need to continue to invent so that our users can get the most out of automation technology. We saw earlier this year when the Google voice assistance bot that was making calls to real people’ and people could not distinct the difference and thought they were speaking with a human. I presume that within months the Google voice assistance will be calling-out for people to make appointments for them. Our system is already ready to accept such calls and decide with the Google voice bot what booking time will suit the client. We will continue to develop hard to make our users ready for all such new developments.
Testimonials from SimplyBook.me Clients
“We were set up and live on our website with the booking tool in less than 10 minutes from purchasing”.
“SimplyBook.me made it super easy for our patients to book appointments and it is even easier for us to manage our bookings in an efficient manner.”