I’m wondering how you manage appointments such as business talks, meetings and interviews?
There is a lot of information to record until you get an appointment; contact information, date/time of the consultation, the method of consultation, the result of the consultation, next action, and so on.
I guess many of you manage this information with Excel.
With a cloud-based workflow system, you can manage the progress of your appointments in an easier and more convenient way.
The information to be recorded is automatically displayed on the input screen. After that, the representative just enters and selects the displayed items. When an appointment is made, a schedule confirmation email is automatically sent to the appointment recipient, and the appointment is automatically registered in Google Calendar.
In this article, I would like to show you what you can do with an appointment management Workflow App created with a cloud-based workflow system and see how it works.
(A specific explanation for how to create the App will be done in the next article (Japanese))
You will need the following services to create and use an appointment management Workflow App.
- Cloud-based Workflow: «Questetra BPM Suite» (called Questetra)
- Google Calendar
In Questetra, you will create a Workflow App. In the created Workflow App, you can record the progress until the appointment is decided. Google Calendar keeps track of your appointments.
What You Can Do with Workflow Apps
With the Appointment Management Workflow App you can monitor and process tasks, and record related information.
In particular, you can do the following things:
- Identify tasks that need to be consulted
- Process Tasks
- Record information
- Company Name
- Department Name
- Phone Number
- Email Address (including CC)
- Record the State of the consultation
- The 1st Consultation Record (Date/Time, Result, Method)
- Re-Consultation Record (Date/Time, Result, Method)
- Final Result (None, No Response, Denied, Appointment Made)
- Record of the Schedule
- Start (Date/Time)
- End (Date/Time)
- A schedule is registered automatically in Google Calendar.
- A schedule confirmation email is sent to the customer.
In the Workflow App created with Questetra, you can record target information regarding the appointment: the company name, the representative as well as historical information: contact method, date/time of consultation, and results. You can also keep track of tasks along with the progress of your appointment. (Tasks will be listed in the My Tasks list on the management screen and are also notified by e-mail.) In addition to that, you can process tasks.
As well as the manual processing mentioned above, automatic processing is also included in the App. In particular, when a date/time is determined the request is sent to Google Calendar, and the appointment is automatically registered. The schedule confirmation email is automatically sent to the appointment recipient.
Google Calendar manages your appointments. Once your appointment is scheduled, Questetra will send a request and your appointment will be automatically registered in Google Calendar.
Try it Out
The following is a workflow diagram (a diagram that visualizes the flow of operations and connects the Tasks to be processed in order).
*The first step in the creation of a Workflow App is to create a workflow diagram (easily created by drag and drop). After that, set the Data Item that you want to input/output in each Task, and set editing permissions on the processing screen. A specific explanation is done in the next article (Japanese)!
The operation proceeds in the direction of the arrow from the Start event (1) on the workflow diagram. There are some points where the flow may split into several directions depending on the processing result.
Once the token (an icon indicating the Task to be processed) has departed from the Start event, it moves in the direction of the arrow. Workflow diagrams are mainly used when creating Workflow Apps and checking the operation’s progress. On the other hand, a person uses the processing screen when processing a Task.
I will look further at Tasks 1~15 on the workflow diagram to see how the processing operation proceeds.
1【Start (Workflow App/ Process)】
- You first start the process from the Workflow App. From [Start] on the Administration screen, select «Appointment Management». (this means Start event (1) in the workflow diagram is completed)
*This Workflow App is different from the case where a process (a series of processing steps from start to end) is automatically started by using a timer, receiving an input form, or receiving an email. You should launch the Workflow App from the Administration screen.
2【The 1st Consultation Record】
- The work started at (1) will automatically move to the «The 1st Consultation Record» Task (2) where you can enter information about the 1st consultation. (See figure below)
- When «Reject» is selected in the «Result» section of the processing screen, the token moves to (3) and then (4), and the process ends.
- When «Appointment Made» is selected, the token moves to Task (11) where you enter the date/time of an appointment.
- If «Absence», «Under Consideration», or «Arrange Schedule» is selected, the task moves to (6) where you enter the record of re-consultation.
3, 5, 7, 12【Denied／The 1st Consultation Completed／Re-consultation Completed／Appointment Made】
- «My Tasks» allows you to check the list of tasks to be processed on the Administration screen. The «Title» displayed in this list enables you to clearly view the progress of operations.
- In the Automatic Process (Add-on) at (3), (5), (7), and (12), the prespecified Title (in this case, a word that shows the progress of the operation) is automatically set.
- For example, in this Workflow App, you can set the name of the company to whom you consult, the processing results of the previous Task, and the date of the 1st consultation as the Title so that you can understand the progress of the current appointment. (See figure below)
- You re-consult and record the contents (see figure below).
- You first press the «Operate Task» button listed in My Tasks (on the list, the name of the current Task is «Re-Consultation Record»).
- On the processing screen, you enter the result and date/time of re-consultation. In addition, you can modify the contact information you have already entered or take notes (for the recording method of consultation).
- The options for the result are «Absence», «Under Consideration», or «Arrange Schedule», «Appointment Made», «Denied», «None (end)», and «No Response (end)».
- Looking at the workflow diagram, once this Task (6) has been processed, the token proceeds to the «Split Conditions» icon (8), the Automatic Process after the Title is automatically set in Task (7).
- The direction in which the token proceeds is set for each prespecified condition.
- The conditions specified this time are followed by the option selected in the «Result of Re-Consultation» section of Task (6).
- The details of the conditions are as follows.
- If «Absence», «Under Consideration», or «Arrange Schedule» is selected, the token moves to Task (6)
- If «Appointment Made» is selected, the token moves to Task (11) (through the Join icon (10) which merges multiple flows)
- If «Denied», «None (end)», or «No Response (end)» is selected, the token moves to End event (9)
- It serves to merge multiple flows from each Task icon.
- This process icon is available because a Task icon is connected with multiple flows.
11【Enter Date/Time of Appointment】
- You record the date/time of the appointment.
- Specifically, enter the start and end dates and times for the appointment. These are required for the «Add Schedule to Google Calendar», Automatic Process (13).
13【Add Appointment to Google Calendar】
- The schedule you enter in the «Enter Date/Time of Appointment» Task will automatically be added to Google Calendar. (See figure below)
14【Send Confirmation Email】
- An email with preset contents (sender, destination, text, etc.) is automatically sent.
- You can preset the email addresses entered in (2) in the TO/CC/BCC fields.
- You can also set a date/time for the appointment.
- This enables a confirmation mail of the appointment date and time to automatically be sent to the appointment recipient.
4, 9, 15【End】
- It terminates the process. When the token reaches this icon, the process ends.
- However, if there is parallel processing (multiple tokens), the process ends when all other tokens reach the end icon (parallel processing is not used this time, so the process ends when the token reaches the end icon).
Benefits of Using Workflow Apps
The main benefit of using Workflow Apps is to reduce waste, irregularities, oversights, and mistakes.
The details are as follows.
- You can separate sorting operations/Workflow App creation and processing operations respectively.
- In the sorting operations/Workflow App creation task, you sort processes, record items, and workflow diagrams necessary for operations in advance, and create a Workflow App according to them.
- In the processing operations task, you just process the items (input/selection, etc.) pre-set above.
- This separation can minimize the amount of processing required.
- You can separate sorting operations/Workflow App creation and processing operations respectively.
- The function of the Split Conditions icon automatically notifies you what to do next based on the consultation results.
- As a result, everyone can work with the same quality every time, according to the rules created beforehand.
- Tasks such as re-consultation and checking date/time of appointment will be listed in My Tasks.
- You will also receive notifications via email as an alert. This will prevent oversights.
- Using Automatic Processes can reduce mistakes.
- For example, automatically sending emails and updating calendars will reduce errors caused by entering the same information multiple times.
In this article, I mainly explained the usage and benefits of the Appointment Management Workflow App created by a cloud-based workflow.
Next time, I’ll explain how to create the Workflow App!