Time To Pet Blog

Friday Feature Focus – Bulk Update

When navigating the Scheduler section of Time To Pet – you way want to make changes to multiple events at the same time. For example – let’s say one of your staff member’s called out sick and you need to quickly reassign their events to another staff. Or maybe you had a big snowstorm and all of your clients stayed home from work and cancelled their events. Bulk Update makes it easy to make these changes in a flash!

Bulk Update can be found right from the Scheduler page:

Your screen will adjust and only the calendar will be highlighted. You’ll also notice that your events have become slightly grayed out:

There are two ways you can start to select your events!

  1. You can click on an individual event to select it and include it in the Bulk Update. A selected event will appear significantly darker. To de-select an event, click it again.
  2. Using the Bulk Update Toolbar click the Select Options button. “Select All Visible” will select all events visible on the calendar. For example if you only want visits for John Doe on August 18th selected:
    1. Filter the Calendar by John Doe
    2. Click “Day” to narrow down the calendar to show only one day at a time.
    3. Use the arrows in the upper right corner to navigate to August 18th.
    4. Click “Select All Visible”.

You’ll notice that the number of events you have selected will be included in the Update Events button. You can click this button to start to process your update. Time To Pet will ask you if you want to re-assign the events or update the status of the selected events:

We also have a great video showing you how to utilize the Bulk Update tool as well!

Friday Feature Focus – Staff Documents

After hiring your first staff member – you will now almost certainly accumulate a file cabinet or two filled with paperwork. This might include employment contracts, resumes, applications or all types of other documents. If you need a convenient place to store these documents – you can attach them right to your staff member’s profile in Time To Pet!

After scanning and saving a document, you can upload it right to your staff member’s profile page under the Docs tab:

You can browse for documents on your PC or smart phone right from here and then attach them to your staff account:

You can also view all of your Staff Documents in the “Documents” section under Staff in the sidebar.  These are searchable from your computer or from your smart phone:

Welcome Dan Buzaid!

We are extremely excited to introduce to you our new full time Customer Success Director, Dan Buzaid!

 

Dan B.

 

Dan hails from Fort Collins, Colorado and brings with him over 2.5 years of experience in Customer Support.  When Dan isn’t helping customers you can find him outdoors hiking, playing tennis or helping reach items off the top shelf in the grocery store (he is 6’5)!

We hope you will join us in giving Dan a warm welcome.

Friday Feature Focus – Custom Client Rates

When scheduling events for your clients – Time To Pet automatically creates the invoice for you as well. This means that you do not need to go back and count your visits to generate the invoice. We generate the invoice based on the service that was scheduled and the “Default Cost” of the event. For example – if your “Dog Walking” service has a default cost of $20 then when you schedule the event, it will create a line item for $20 on the invoice. But many of your clients may pay you a different amount. Let’s say your brother also happens to be your clients and you charge him less?

Time To Pet supports Custom Rates for this exact reason! Custom Rates can be added on a client by client basis and when a custom rate is set – Time To Pet will always use that custom rate when generating new invoices.

Pro tip – Custom rates will only apply to new invoices. For example – if a customer has been using your services for two years and you decide to reduce their rate by adding a new custom rate, their previous invoices will not be updated.

 

You can add a custom rate by navigating to the Rates tab on a client’s profile:

Custom rates can either be a flat rate (like reducing a $25 service to $20):

Or they can be a % discount (like giving your client a 20% discount by setting the rate to 80%):

Just be sure to save your changes!

Tasks, Image Gallery & More!

Tasks

Tasks

Have you ever needed to set yourself a reminder for a specific task at some point in the future? Tired of leaving yourself sticky notes on your desk?

Tasks in Time To Pet are a versatile way to create assignable reminders directly in your Dashboard. A task has a description, an optional due date, an optional assignee and an optional client attached.

Tasks are now live. To get started navigate to a Client’s Profile and click the “Add Task” button. For a full breakdown of how to use Tasks please visit our help article.

Image Gallery

Gallery

The Conversation feature in Time To Pet is one of our most heavily used. Did you know that in 2016 our Customers sent their clients over 1.5 million pictures?

The new Image Gallery functionality allows you to see at a glance a full listing of all images sent to your Clients via the Conversation feed narrowed down by date range. This is a great way to find images for your next advertisement, brochure or social media post!

The new gallery functionality can be found from the Messages page.

Smaller Updates

  • Credits Applied Report. You can now run a report to see all credits given to clients over any time period. This functionality can be found in Reporting -> Payments.
  • Bulk Notification & Client Subscription Updates. Time To Support supports a large number of notifications. Turning them all on or all off at one time can be tedious. You can now check all or none with the click of a button. Similarly Client Subscriptions now lets you Subscribe/Unsubscribe to all with one click as well!

Bulk Client Unsubscribe

Bulk Notification

 

  • Payment on File and No Payment On File Filters.  We have added two new filters available in Reporting -> Clients and Messages -> Email Clients allowing you to select only clients that do or don’t have a payment method on file.

Client Filter

  • New Auto Invoice Date Options. We have added a new Automatic Invoice Due Date and Date Issued option in Invoice Settings, “1st or 16th Of Month”.  This will set the date based on the last service in the Invoice. If the service falls on the 1st – 15th of the month, the date will be set to the 16th. If the service falls on the 16th through the end of the month, the date will be set to the 1st of the next month.

Client Spotlight – Chelsea’s Critter Care LLC!

Our next Client Spotlight is shining on Chelsea Hall and her team at Chelsea’s Critter Care LLC. Based in Montgomery Village, MD – Chelsea is the definition of an entrepreneur.  She started her business when she was only 12 years old and hasn’t looked back since! Chelsea’s Critter Care now includes a team of experienced dog walkers and pet sitters who are providing phenomenal care to the pets in the Clarksburg, Germantown, Gaithersburg and Rockville area! Be sure to visit their website and like them on Facebook too!

What caused you to get into pet sitting/dog walking?
At twelve years old, I asked my mom for a dog of my own- a request that was swiftly denied. I wanted to make it a point to prove that I was responsible enough for dog ownership and began to walk my neighbor’s dog, Hey Dude (yes, that was really his name!). Word spread quickly and before I knew it, I was walking several neighborhood dogs! My business really started booming after I earned my driver’s license and expanded my territory. I am fortunate that this has been my primary career focus throughout my entire life. I guess I have my strict mother to thank for my start!

What is the most fulfilling part of owning a pet sitting/dog walking business?
I truly enjoy being able to put my clients’ minds at ease while they are away from their beloved fur babies. It takes A LOT of trust to place everything valuable in someone else’s hands and for me to be deemed worthy of that trust means everything.

What is the most challenging?
The most challenging part of owning a pet sitting/dog walking service is the need to be available at all times. I have a hard time putting my phone away due to the possibility of an emergency or the need to schedule a visit at the last moment. Hiring a strong team of pet lovers has eased some of this, but it is still my responsibility to schedule and delegate at all hours of the day.

Where do you see your business in 5 years?
In five years, I hope to be at a point where I can take a full leadership role in my company. At this time, I have a daily dog walking schedule of my own on top of the necessary billing, scheduling, and emailing that needs to be done to keep business running smoothly. I currently have 11 wonderful employees, but am expanding my team in hopes of limiting my own need to do visits and overnight stays.

What has Time To Pet changed the most about how you run your business?
We are streamlined, organized and better than ever. Prior to TTP, my client info sheets were handwritten and stored in a binder that was falling apart (keep in mind I did begin when I was only twelve!) I was the only one who had access to the important client info sheets, which became inconvenient as I expanded and hired more employees. On top of that, we encountered frequent glitches in the shared calendar that was previously used for scheduling. I wanted a way to make information readily available to all of my team members, and TTP was the perfect solution. Thank you for being the catalyst we needed to reach next level of service that always felt just out of our grasp!

Friday Feature Focus – Force Credit Card For Scheduling Requests

Many Time To Pet clients have simplified their billing process by requiring customers to pay via credit card and/or ACH payments. This means that they do not collect checks or cash payments from their clients or have to worry about their staff collecting payment either. All payments happen through Time To Pet which creates a simple process for both clients as well as for the pet care company. But what happens when a client has an invoice due and they haven’t added their payment information?

In order to make this process even simpler – Time To Pet allows our clients to force their customers to have a credit card on file prior to requesting services. That means that customers must add a payment method before they can make a service order request.

The first step to require credit cards (or an ACH/e-check payment method) is to enable payments in your Time To Pet system. This can be completed in the Credit Card Setup section.  We also have a great help article relating to accepting credit card payments as well.

After enabling payments – the feature to force credit cards can be enabled in Portal Settings:

If a client then attempts to schedule services without a payment method on file – Time To Pet will inform that they a payment method is required:

Client Spotlight – Atlantic Pet Sitting!

logoUp next in our Client Spotlight series is Chris Herath and Atlantic Pet Sitting! Focused on taking professional pet services to a new level for the residents along the Grand Strand – Atlantic Pet Sitting is built on five principles.  These principles are being trustworthy, on time, dependable, professional and affectionate towards animals. Focusing on these principles allow Chris to accomplish his simple goal – providing your pets with the same high levels of care that he would provide his own pets. If you live along the Grand Strand – be sure to visit Atlantic Pet Sitting’s website and don’t forget to like them on Facebook too!

chris-herathWhat caused you to get into pet sitting/dog walking?
While out camping with my wife, a coonhound who was about 30 lbs underweight wandered up to our camp site. After doing our due diligence in trying to find the owner, we determined he was just left out there. At the time, we already had three cats and weren’t looking to get a dog but we instantly fell in love with Coleman. It became clear very quickly that our work and travel schedule made it necessary for us to hire a pet sitter to take care of our dog. When we went looking for a pet sitter, we struggled finding a legitimate business in our area with someone who was available full time for pet care. We ended up just having neighbors and family take care of Coleman, but it was such an inconvenience. I was constantly saying, “I can’t believe we can’t find a pet sitting business in the area. I should start one.” At the time, I was working for my own financial company but was not quite feeling fulfilled by the career I was in. I decided to have a friend of mine help me put up a website for pet sitting to see what would happen. Within about 3 months I was spending all my time on the pet business and was loving it. This gave me the confidence to devote all my attention to making this dream a reality. The rest they say is history!

dog1What is the most fulfilling part of owning a pet sitting/dog walking business?
My fulfillment comes from helping people (and of course their pets). I truly believe that a business which helps a large amount of people solve a problem will always be a success. I feel our clients truly appreciate what we do for their pets. Every day I get a text message or a phone call just saying thank you. I have one particular client who had never traveled to see her grandson because she had a diabetic cat and was afraid to travel. Knowing we were the reason she had the peace of mind to finally be able to travel makes this all worth it!

cat1What is the most challenging?
The most challenging aspect is time management when we are super busy! Our typical visit is 30 minutes, and when you have a full day those visits really add up. It’s crucial to get an early start and always be aware of how much progress you have made on your schedule for the day.

Where do you see your business in 5 years?
The future of Atlantic Pet Sitting excites me! Our goal obviously is to be helping even more people than we are now. This would include bringing on more staff and giving others the opportunity to be fulfilled through working as a pet sitter. It’s a really exciting time to be in the pet business as people care for their pets more now than ever before. We are always trying to think outside of the box on ways we can serve our clients to the highest level, and we are always collecting feedback from our clients on where they would like to see us expand.

dog2What has Time To Pet changed the most about how you run your business?
Time to Pet has made a night and day difference in our business. Before Time to Pet I was running everything through separate programs. I had my revenue and client list in Google Docs, I was putting all our appointments on iCal, and I was creating my own invoices. It was so disorganized and nothing was linked. Time to Pet has brought everything to one seamless system. When I enter a client and schedule a round of visits the invoice and schedule is automatically created for me. I don’t worry about adding staff or clients now because I know with a few keystrokes everything will be setup with Time to Pet. The reporting side of things in Time to Pet has also changed the way we do business. I can look at our weekly, monthly, and yearly data to see where emerging opportunities are within our business.

Friday Feature Focus – First/Last

When performing vacation pet sitting – many of our customers like to do something special on their last visit. That may be tidying up a little more, leaving a report of how the visits went or something else. But how do you remember it’s the last visit? Well, Time To Pet makes it super easy with our “First/Last” feature. Enabling “First/Last” will tag the first and last visit of an invoice so you can be sure you know when your customer is coming home.

“First/Last” can be enabled in Scheduler Settings in the Event Settings section:

You will then notice that your events are tagged as “First” or “Last”:

You can also make sure to enable “First/Last” on your mobile app as well! Navigate to Mobile Application Configuration and make sure the “Event First/Last Status” field has been added to the Mobile Field Configuration section:

Updates to Visit Report Cards

We have made a few changes and enhancements to the Visit Report Cards functionality that was announced last week.

Support for Multiple Visit Report Cards

Visit Report Mulptile

You can now create more than one Visit Report Card . The additional Report Cards can then be assigned to specific services you offer.

For example the list of questions will likely vary based on whether a service is for Dog Walking or Cat Litter Box Cleanup. You can create a “Dog Report Card” and assign this to “Dog Walking”. Similarly you can create a “Cat Report Card” and assign it to your “Cat Litter Box Cleanup” service.

Customize Language Used in Text Message

If you have text messaging and Visit Reports enabled, you can now customize the messaging used in the text message containing the visit report.

Head over to Settings -> Language -> Visit Report Text Message to configure this now.

Ability to Hide ‘No’, ‘0’ and Empty Responses

We have changed the default behavior of questions that have an ’empty’ value. Now by default these questions will simply be left out of the visit report delivered to your Clients.

An ’empty’ answer is determined by the type of question:

Yes/No – ‘No’ is considered empty.

Count – ‘0’ is considered empty.

Multiple Choice –  No answer is supplied is considered empty.

For example imagine the question “How many times did dog pee?”. If your sitter answers ‘0’, this question will now be left out of the report.

To change this behavior, edit the Question and un-check the “Hide Answer” option:

Hide No Answer

Message & Visit Report Order

In the first release the visit report was shown before any message and pictures that were also left with the visit. This has been reversed and now the message and pictures will be shown before the Visit Report.

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