Independent Review of 10to8

07 August 2017    Nicola Dashfield

10to8 accurately describes itself as ‘All-in-one appointment scheduling software for ambitious businesses’. Its fully comprehensive system allows you to keep tabs on all areas of your diary: from what services you offer, to when and where you are available to work. It also enables your clients to do the same and book appointments with you online.

Getting Started

Setting up an account is very straightforward. Simply enter a few basic details and a password for your 30-day free trial and your account is ready in about a minute.

Once you have created an account, a Dashboard appears, suggesting links which have more information about other features of the software.

On the left hand side of the screen (for desktop), you will see a toolbar detailing the features below:

Calendar

This is perhaps the most important feature of 10to8. Using the Calendar sync tool (enclosed in the Set Up tab), in a few clicks you can link your current online calendar to the 10to8 software and therefore avoid any clashes. This feature is compatible with most calendars, including Google, Outlook and iCloud. In my experience, synchronization took around 10 seconds and was faultless.

Booking appointments is very simple, and you can customize the content of the appointment confirmation (email & SMS) on the fly. 10to8 shows all the activity on a booking in an intuitive timeline (you can see the changes, cancellations, follow-up messages and customer replies). 10to8 is unique in that it shows whether clients received and opened your messages – meaning you can tell ahead of time if there might be a communications problem.

Customers

This feature allows you to add customers manually or import contacts from a range of sources, including Google Contacts, Outlook, iCloud and other CRM or spreadsheets. I used Google Contacts to import a selection of contacts into 10to8. Although the process isn’t as slick as the rest of the software, it is secure and comes with step by step instructions to help you along the way.

When this is complete, you can book appointments with individuals and choose to send them an email notification with a personalised message. I was pleased to discover that my test notification appeared within a few seconds, including all the information I had selected and the option to reply, change or cancel the appointment.

Inbox

A self-explanatory feature, the inbox helps you keep track of any messages and booking requests you receive.

Reports

The reports tab displays any messages unopened by customers. This is a very useful feature because it helps you to keep an eye on any clients who may need extra reminders of their appointments.

Online Booking

One of the main appeals of 10to8 is that your customers can book appointments with you online. To allow them to do this, you can customise the booking page for desktop, mobile and full screen. You can also use the .10to8.com domain name if your company doesn’t already have its own. A further tab in this section allows you to add booking buttons and forms to other sites, including your company Facebook page and website. Although this may seem complex, the layout of the software makes it fairly easy to understand. If you get stuck, you can always use the Help feature, explained below.

Messaging

This feature enables you to communicate with your customers automatically via email or text. From booking notifications, to reminders and feedback surveys, you have complete control over when and what messages you send out. The reminder feature is especially useful in case of changes or cancellations.

Set Up

Enclosed in this tab are several other key features:

- Availability: as you would expect, this feature allows you to define your working hours. Usefully, the boxes to enter times into allow plain text as well as numbers, so you can indicate that you are ‘Not Available’ on certain days. There are also options to add holidays and extensions to normal working hours, should you wish to do so.
- Calendar Sync: as detailed above under Calendar, this is where you go to start the process of synchronisation.
- Booking process: this tab is the feature that gives you control over the online booking process. It allows you to choose what information you require from the customer to schedule an appointment, for example email address and phone number. The Set Notifications tab leads you to the Messaging section, as detailed above.
- Taking payments: here you can set up your method of payment. This feature allows for card payments that are transferred straight into your bank account (by means of the secure
Stripe payment processor) or using PayPal.
- Locations: another self-explanatory feature, the Locations tab is where you can indicate where you take appointments, whether that be at your business address, at clients’ addresses, or online / over the phone. The online option requires Skype (or similar) handles for you and your clients.
- Staff: if you employ any staff, you can enter their services and availability in this section. The option to change the price and duration of services for each staff member is great if you have differing levels of seniority within your organisation.
- Export data: should you wish to export customers, staff or appointments, simply click the relevant button and a file will appear for you to download.
- Import customers: this is really a duplicate of the import feature in the Customers tab. 

Referrals

This feature encourages you to share 10to8 on social media for a commission. The number of successful referrals you make determines your discount on the premium (payable) accounts.

Billing

If you would prefer to bypass the commission option and simply pay for an upgrade, this tab displays the various options available. It also keeps track of your current plan, just in case you forget!

The pricing of 10to8’s software varies depending on which features you require. The Free option allows for 100 appointments per month, although you can’t use your own branding on communications or online booking. The payable options range from £12/month to £200/month, the main differences being the number of staff logins and appointments per month.

Every pricing plan includes a 30-day free trial, as well as a money-back guarantee, so it is definitely worth seeing if this software suits your business.

Help

There are various ways to get in touch with the 10to8 support team and they are very eager to help. Choose between booking a demo, chatting online, reading the support pages, sending an email or simply picking up the phone.

Summary

Although the sheer quantity of 10to8’s features seems overwhelming, each and every one is important to efficient appointment scheduling. Thorough and extensive, 10to8 covers every aspect of booking an appointment and would therefore be highly suitable for any business that needs a helping hand with organisation.