Best Practices For Creating A Waitlist

No matter the size of your pet care company, there may be times when you find yourself unable to onboard new clients or with no availability for requests made by existing clients. Whether it’s because you’re short-staffed or your team is at full capacity for the holidays, sometimes you may find yourself in a position where you don’t want to lose a client’s business but cannot guarantee availability for them. In these cases, you might want to keep track of these clients and their requests so that, in the event there are cancellations or additional availability opens up. In this article, we’ll discuss some ways you can create a waitlist in Time To Pet.

Method One: Use the Office Note on Pending Requests.

Whenever a client submits a service request through their Client App or Client Portal, it enters the Pending Requests Queue. It remains there until the service request is either approved, rejected, or deleted. While in the queue, pending requests can also be adjusted if changes to the schedule need to be made, or notes can be added for yourself or others in your company if you don’t plan on processing the request immediately using the “Office Note” feature. This note is only visible on this screen, is unique to this client’s requests, is only visible to staff with the roles of Administrators and Office Managers, and is never visible to your clients.

Office Notes added to pending requests will disappear after the pending request is approved. They are not logged in Time To Pet. If your company wants to retain Office Notes for pending requests, we recommend logging them outside of Time To Pet prior to approving to keep a record.

For this method of creating a waitlist in Time To Pet, you’ll be utilizing the Office Note on pending requests to keep track of your clients and where they are in the service queue. See our steps on how to use it below:

  1. When a pending request comes in for a date or time in which your team is at capacity, inform the client through their Conversation Feed that you are full up but that you will be leaving their request as pending and adding them to your company’s waitlist. Let them know that you will reach out if there is a change in availability.

Note: Consider asking your clients to inform you if they make alternate arrangements so that you can remove them from the queue and prioritize staffing for clients who haven’t. We would also recommend setting a date to inform clients if you won’t be able to assist them to ensure they have time to make other care arrangements.

  1. Note their position on the waitlist by using the Office Note.
    1. To do so, first click “Process Request” on their pending request.

      screenshot of pending request tab with a box around process request button

      b. This will open a new table loaded with details of every visit that this client has requested:

      screenshot of pending request screen

      c. In the upper lefthand corner, select the “Leave Office Note” option listed after “Office Note” and then enter your note into the text area that appears:

      screenshot of office note text area

      d. Click “Save Office Note” to add the note to the request. It will look as follows:

      screenshot of pending request screen with box around office note with an arrow pointing to it

  2. If you need to make any adjustments to the client’s request and its position in the queue or add any additional notes, you can edit the Office Note by clicking the “Edit” icon to the right of the note.
  3. If availability opens up with your team and you are able to assist a client, process their request as you normally would.

Note: If you are waitlisting prospective clients and do not allow them to create their own accounts, we would recommend creating profiles for them so that you can submit their requests on their behalf in order to keep them a part of the waitlisting process. This way, their account is ready for them should availability open or if they reach out for services in the future.

Method Two: Create Tasks to keep tabs on clients.

Tasks in Time To Pet allow you to create assignable reminders or to-do list items directly on your Dashboard that you can use in a myriad of ways. A task has a description, an optional due date, an optional assignee, and an optional client or staff member that you can link to the task. They can be viewed from your Dashboard (but not the Mobile App) and are only visible and able to be assigned to staff with the role of Administrators or Office Managers.

Tasks come in three forms: general tasks, staff tasks, and client tasks. General tasks can be assigned to all Administrators and Office Managers, staff tasks can be assigned to a specific Administrator or Office Manager, and a client task can be assigned to a client’s profile.

For this method of creating a waitlist in Time To Pet, you'll be creating tasks on a client's profile to establish a service queue and keep track of client requests. See our steps on how to use it below:

  1. When a client reaches out to you to inquire about services for dates you have blocked off or that your team has no availability on, you will want to create a client task that has no due date or assignee.
    1. To create a client task, navigate to the client's profile.
    2. Click the "Add Task" button beneath the client's name.

      screenshot of client profile with an arrow pointing to the add task button

    3. Fill out the Description, who to assign the task to (to not assign to anyone in particular, select "Any Admins/Office Managers"), and select an optional due date. For our purposes, we would recommend not assigning the task to a particular staff member and not setting a due date. This will help to distinguish them from other Tasks. In the Description, include the details of the client's request.

      screenshot of add task popup window

    4. Click "Save."
  2. Once a Task has been created, assign it a level of priority from one to three and note it in the Task's Description. Setting priority levels for requests can help you to further organize your requests and can be assigned based on the ease of finding availability for that particular request.

    For requests that may be easier to fulfill, such as with single daily cat visits, you would assign them a priority level of one. Meanwhile, for overnight pet sittings or requests with multiple visits per day that might be harder to staff, you would assign them priority levels of two or three, depending on their difficulty.

    screenshot of your tasks window

  3. If your client inquired about services through their Conversation Feed or provided any additional information pertinent to their request, we then want to create a message tag called "Waitlist" and tag any relevant client messages to allow for easy filtering later.

    We would also recommend making a note to refer to these tagged messages in your Task's Description:

Note: If you would prefer to keep all waitlisted inquiries together, you could create a General Task with no assignee or due date by navigating to the Tasks page and selecting "Create General Task" after you click "Add Task". Uncompleted tasks will appear on the Tasks page as well as on the staff profile for all Office Managers and Administrators.

For further instructions on creating and managing tasks, please see our help article here: Tasks.

Note: If you are waitlisting prospective clients and do not allow them to create their own accounts, we would recommend creating profiles for them so that you can create Tasks for them and so their account is ready for them should availability open up, or they reach out for services in the future.

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