The key differentiators between a customizable software solution and a cookie-cutter integration

When searching for a new technology solution, it can be difficult to decide whether your business needs a cookie-cutter integration or the additional benefits that come with a customizable software solution.  

The first step is to evaluate the issues your organization is experiencing to better understand what kind of solution you need.  After isolating and identifying the issues affecting your organization, you will be better able to assess the technology options available.  

With integrated appointment scheduling, there are a variety of solutions, at many different price points, which directly reflect the capabilities of the technology.  While sometimes you only require a cookie-cutter integration, there are many benefits that come with a customizable, enterprise-grade scheduling solution.

There are three things that you should look for when assessing a potential new technology implementation which includes the ability to custom brand, an open and flexible API, as well as avoiding partnering with a solution that has acquired tech debt.  These features are worth considering as they will help the functionality of both your front-end customer experience as well as your back-end processes.

 

Full Support for Custom Branding

Being able to fully brand the user interface and customer experience of your technology solution allows your organization to offer your customers a familiar style and functionality through a third-party solution.

With a customizable scheduling solution, you will be able to customize the appointment booking experience in line with your company’s branding and messaging.  With a third-party solution that provides a customizable CSS, your organization will be able to keep a consistent customer-facing view to increase brand awareness and streamline the customer journey.  

Going with a solution that doesn’t enable custom branding leaves you open to the risk of inconsistent brand messaging and theming.  This can be problematic as customers could disregard emails that are distributed through your third-party solution that do not fall in line with your brand look and feel. The inconsistency in branding can also cause customer journey abandonment with your organization if customers are taken to an application that does not follow the same branding themes as the rest of your organization's customer-facing portals.   

Coconut Software’s customizable scheduling solution enables your organization to brand both the front and back-end of the scheduling solution. This ensures that both your customers and your staff will have a consistent experience with your brand. With custom branding, you can ensure the style and message of your communication is consistent throughout your customer’s journey with your organization.   Additionally, customers can be sent reminder and confirmation emails through the scheduling integration.


Flexible API

The key advantage of choosing a solution that uses a powerful and open API is that is will greatly enhance your organization’s productivity.  An open API allows businesses to integrate a new solution with any system, including a CRM and calendar applications. And, an open API eliminates duplicate data entry, allowing information to be stored in one place, resulting in more streamlined reporting and back-end processes.

Providing an open, customizable API requires more support and configuration by the technology provider, which is why it is not offered by every vendor.  The drawback to choosing an implementation without an open API is that you will not be able to configure your new solution to your other applications. This will prevent you from streamlining operational processes in your organization, such as integrating your CRM with your appointment scheduling application to ensure that all customer-facing staff are equipped with the right information to provide your customers with a premium experience.  Additionally, working with an application that has a closed API prevents you from sharing data between different applications used in your organization, leading to inefficient back-end processes.

The Coconut API is used to build custom client views and allows for integration with other solutions, including proprietary systems.  Our open API allows for two-way calendar sync with Outlook, Google and Office 365. Our flexible integration also enables appointment data to flow into Leads, Contacts, Activities, and Campaigns in Salesforce, and full support for mapping custom questions from forms to custom fields in the SFDC application.  Here are some of the other applications we currently integrate with …

 

Flexable API

 

No Tech Debt

Selecting a third-party solution that has accumulated tech debt will directly impact how the application functions once it has been integrated into your organization.  What is tech debt? Technology takes on tech debt when a business writes new code on top of the outdated code, instead of eliminating it entirely. This leaves room for bugs and other errors to emerge down the road.  

It takes a lot of time and resources to manage the accumulation of tech debt within an organization.  Choosing a premium, customizable solution puts you at less of a risk of partnering with a provider that has acquired a significant amount of tech debt, allowing your implementation to function as seamlessly as possible.

If you implement a solution that comes with accumulated tech debt, you’ll end up with a buggy implementation. Your new technology could end up being more of an issue than a solution!  

At Coconut, we understand the pain that comes with implementing a solution,  only to find out it’s not able to provide full functionality due to tech debt.  We have a team dedicated to addressing tech debt, and ensure our customers enjoy all the benefits of a premium appointment scheduling solution.

 

How Coconut’s Premium Solution Allows You to Control the Full Appointment Lifecycle

Many calendaring applications allow your customers to schedule appointments, however, not many allow for full control and view over the appointment lifecycle.  

With Coconut Software, you can collect additional information at the start of the appointment journey.  This enables your customer-facing staff to better meet the needs of your clients when they come in for their appointment thanks to additional insight into the customer’s history with your organization and their current needs.  We offer the ability to add touch-points to your customer’s journey with appointment confirmation, reminders, and follow-up notifications to ensure your customers feel valued and get the most out of their experience with your organization.

Beyond the customer experience benefits of Coconut’s customizable scheduling solution, appointment analytics allows for enhanced operational efficiencies.  This allows you to track the performance of each customer-facing staff member through built-in analytics tracking and Google Analytics integration.

It is important that your organization isolates and assesses the issues causing operation inefficiencies, to ensure you choose a technology solution that is able to accommodate all of your needs and enable your business to function at the highest level possible.  To experience the benefits of a customizable solution, schedule a consultation today!

 

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