Intro to Calendaring Software: 7+ Benefits for Coworking Spaces

Benefits of Real Time Calendaring for Coworking Spaces | CloudVO

Is your workspace team using a manual calendaring system? Are you trying to manage reservations and schedules with spreadsheets and shared docs?

Maybe it makes sense for you to use a manual system because you’re small enough to manage each booking in-person. 

Or maybe you’ve had a systems meltdown when using an online program and you feel more comfortable using an in-house system.

Or maybe you were unsuccessful teaching members how to use a real-time system and you ended up with members booking large rooms for small meetings, small rooms for large meetings, or any other number of missteps.

Or, maybe the investment in a software solution for calendaring doesn’t seem worth the expense.

More likely though, you’re buried in todos and don’t know all the options available to you—let alone which ones will work for you and your team.

But, if you plan to scale, you’ll need to automate your calendaring at some point. So you may as well set it up now.


Benefits of Real Time Calendaring for Coworking Spaces

Online calendaring offers a host of benefits for coworking space operators. At the top of the list is that it takes a todo off the plate of your overextended community managers. This is a huge win in and of itself.

It can also help sell coworking and virtual office memberships, boost meeting room revenue, and give members and potential members a more seamless and convenient experience.

Here are seven more benefits to online calendaring:

  1. It sets an expectation for the customer by being open and transparent about real-time availability of spaces and services.
  2. It reduces the time and resources needed to reserve rooms by eliminating the need for emails or phone calls when booking.
  3. It frees up staff time, allowing community managers to focus on other needs and community building.
  4. Clients can see availability and make bookings 24/7/365 without being constricted by the space’s business hours
  5. Most unified booking platforms have integrated billing systems to streamline payment collection which removes the hassle of chasing down payments.
  6. While technology is not always fool-proof, it’s more reliable than manually keeping the information about bookings.  
  7. Required fields such as name, time, date, attendees, contact info are safeguards these platforms have to prevent overlapping or booking errors.
  8. Users are requiring it. Maybe not the attorney member that has been there forever and is quite happy asking the front desk staff to make the booking, but pretty much everyone else.

If it’s not real-time, many won’t book, particularly corporate users. If you don’t use a system that can provide real-time booking and that can communicate to a platform like CloudVO or Liquidspace, you cut yourself off from one of the most profitable side of your business.

Pacific Workplaces Online Meeting Room Bookings | CloudVO
CloudVO sister company Pacific Workplaces offers online meeting room bookings for a seamless and convenient experience for current and potential members.

Syncing Your Calendaring Systems to Platform Partners and Resellers

It’s now easier than ever to sync calendars to reservations, scheduling and booking platforms through API integration.

Through CloudVO, you can sync calendars via Google Calendar. Once you’ve officially signed up your locations through our partner portal, you can add Google credentials to each listing on the platform.  To do this, log into our portal www.cloudvo.com and access the location(s) you would like to sync.  Each room can be synced to its respective calendar and clients can start booking in real-time.

CloudVO Blog Platforms and Tools Cloud Meeting Rooms Online Booking


If Google Calendar integration is not available with an API for your specific platform at this time, partners can send us credentials to access their platform where we can make bookings on your behalf.  While this still isn’t “real-time” on our end, it does eliminate half of the communication needed to confirm bookings manually.

This can increase the number of leads and bookings that are received from channel partners because it’s faster than manually confirming by phone and email.

Our mission at CloudVO is to provide a seamless interface between your calendar and our platform so potential members and customers can book space in your workplace quickly and painlessly.

Have questions about which online booking platforms are the best for coworking operators? Already a partner and want to sync your calendar for seamless real-time bookings? Contact us to learn more.

Cat Johnson is a storyteller for the coworking movement and founder of Convos – virtual monthly group discussions amongst space operators on topics relevant to the coworking industry. Sign-up for the next free Coworking Convo and join the discussion!


About CloudVO

CloudVO is the umbrella brand of Cloud Officing Corp., headquartered in San Francisco, California. CloudVO’s mission is to provide comprehensive virtual office, coworking and meeting room solutions to professionals under a Workplace-as-a-Service™ model. CloudVO operates the CloudTouchdown network that grants preferential access to day offices and meeting rooms at nearly 1,000 locations worldwide for mobile workers and distributed workforces under a subscription model or on a pay-per-use basis.


What Workspace Providers Should Know About Phone Answering

Live phone answering is still good business for providers in the shared workspace industry as seen on our recent webinar “Phone Answering Best Practices and Outsourcing.” To ensure their answering services are top notch, providers can outsource to CloudAnswering, but whether they outsource or not, there are operational factors every provider should implement to ensure the best customer service to members.

Remove Phone Answering From the Front Desk
We’ve all come to expect phone answering for any business to take place at the front desk, but for a shared workspace provider this is a mistake.  Call volume is a drain on time and resources, and your front desk staff’s priority should be to ensure the needs of members and guests are taken care of real-time. How can this be done if she is also responsible for processing incoming calls?  If a member has a pressing need while front desk staff is answering phones for dozens of businesses, the reality is customer service quality will suffer.

livephoneanswering

So what can be done?  Operators should centralize call answering to a specific back office area other than the front lobby.  Centralization is important specifically for operators with five or more locations since there is enough call volume to justify the investment. This could mean converting under-utilized space in the back of one of your centers for the purposes of phone answering, or even turning an empty office into your call center for the entire portfolio. For operators with less than five locations, centralization does not make sense due to lack of critical mass, and outsourcing would be the best option. The takeaway here is whatever needs to be done in order to remove call answering from the front desk should be high on the priority list.

Re-deployment of Front Desk Responsibilities
Once your front desk staff no longer has to deal with answering calls, their focus should be on providing exceptional customer service to members and guests.  Your front desk staff can now oversee everything from managing busy meeting rooms, to troubleshooting IT issues, even responding to sales inquiries and providing tours of the space if necessary.

Planning networking events, mixers and social activities which curate the community is also a better way to make use of front desk time.  Establishing a community in your workplace is essential to the success of a provider’s business.  None of the essential elevated tasks above would be possible if phone answering operations aren’t relocated.

In this era of Google Voice and text messaging, many question whether live call answering is still relevant, but while technology has made a difference on the way people communicate, it can’t always replace a human voice answering incoming calls.  There is a segment of our member base such as attorneys, consultants, and sales reps where the human touch is critical and that is not well served by an automated voice mail.

For more resources specific to workspace providers, check out our LinkedIn Workplace-as-a-Service™ discussion group and join the conversation.


About CloudVO ™

CloudVO is the umbrella brand of Cloud Officing Corp, headquartered in San Francisco, California. CloudVO’s mission is to provide comprehensive virtual office, coworking and meeting room solutions to professionals under a Workplace-as-a-Service™ model. CloudVO operates the CloudMeetingRooms.com and CloudVirtualOffice.com e-commerce sites and grants preferential access to day offices, coworking space, and professional meeting rooms at close to 500 locations worldwide for distributed workers on a subscription or a pay-per-use basis.

HappyDesk Powers Pacific Workplaces and Boosts CloudTouchdown Real-Time Capabilities

Virtual Office e-commerce | CloudVO

Press Release | For Immediate Release

Boca Raton, Florida, September 09, 2014
HappyDesk, the only complete enterprise software solution for shared spaces with features including e-commerce, billing, CRM, and automated proposals and CloudVO, the manager of the CloudTouchdown network and a global provider of virtual office solutions and touchdown space for mobile workers, announce today that Pacific Workplaces, an operator of on-demand workplaces with 17 locations in California, is using the CloudTouchdown-enabled HappyDesk platform for e-commerce and meeting room reservations.

“We are pleased that Pacific Workplaces is able to utilize HappyDesk to power its website e-commerce capabilities and real time booking of meeting rooms,” said Dorthy Bright, President and cofounder of HappyDesk. It is yet another HappyDesk endorsement by a quality player in the Workspace-as-a-Service industry.”

“I am delighted with the performance of the HappyDesk platform,” said Scott Chambers, COO of Pacific Workplaces. “We are selling quite a few Virtual Offices online on our web site thanks to the HappyDesk white site, which is great.

Laurent Dhollande, CEO of CloudVO ™ added: “This announcement speaks to the HappyDesk technology leadership in our industry. They have already achieved state-of-the-art functionality with a plug & play platform that is easy for operators to use and to embed into their own web site. I particularly appreciate that they are deploying significant resources for making HappyDesk fully compatible with the CloudTouchdown program. The combination of independent Workspace-as-a-Service ™ operators + HappyDesk + CloudTouchdown ™ is now a potent combination.”

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About HappyDesk
HappyDesk’s Sharing-space-as-a-service (Saas) software platform was created with a singular purpose – to transform the way shared spaces are sold, accessed and serviced. Space providers leverage HappyDesk’s white label e-commerce, CRM, billing, proposal, door access and marketplace to increase engagement. The result: providers enjoy satisfied clients, increased revenue and reduced administrative time and cost. Seekers rely on HappyDesk because of the endless amount of shared space options they can search and reserve. With hundreds of providers across four continents, direct engagement between provider and end-user has never been so easy or transparent.


About CloudVO
CloudVO  is the umbrella brand of Cloud Officing Corp., headquartered in San Francisco, California. CloudVO’s mission is to provide comprehensive virtual office, coworking and meeting room solutions to professionals under a Workplace-as-a-Service™ model. CloudVO operates the CloudTouchdown network that grants preferential access to day offices and meeting rooms at nearly 1,000 locations worldwide.


About Pacific Workplaces
Pacific Workplaces (Pac: for short) are great places to work, with a wide range of part-time and full-time furnished office spaces including virtual offices, private offices, and mini-suites, in a shared infrastructure environment, with curated communities that maximize networking opportunities and serendipity. Members have access to meeting rooms, coworking areas, business lounges, VoIP telephony, unified messaging, answering services, IT support, admin support, and an online legal library, under a pay-per-need hosted model [pac] refers to as Workplace-as-a-Service ™. All [pac] centers are operated by PBC Management LLC.


CONTACT:
Kim Seipel
CloudVO
(415) 230-5300
Kim@CloudVO.com

5 Ways that Poor Telephone Answering Can Hurt Your Business

Live Telephone Answering | CloudVO

While LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook are excellent at connecting you with potential businesses, there’s still nothing better than an old-fashioned phone call. Offering a phone number on your website shows that your company is not only legitimate, but is there to help whenever your potential clients may need to reach you. Although listing a phone number on your website can help your business, there are several ways that answering those phone calls can hurt your organization. If you make the wrong impression, you could end up losing business.
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5 New Tech Devices Making Mobile Work Easier

How a Virtual Office Can Save your Mobile Business | CloudVO

At one point, the model for work was that an employee left his or her home, went to a specific location at a certain time, and then returned home at the end of his or her designated shift. Now, the work environment is much more fluid, with some people still following the traditional model in the way they perform their tasks, while others are working from home or other locations. Technological advances have made it easier for mobile workers to work from virtually any location, and as tech devices become more sophisticated, the number of people who can take advantage of this type of flexible work arrangement is likely to increase. Continue reading “5 New Tech Devices Making Mobile Work Easier”

Is Google Drive Worth Your Time?

It seems like the online business community can’t go a month without seeing the release of a new tool or platform that is supposed to revolutionize the way that we do business. The latest entry is Google Drive, an online collaboration studio and storage suite. Before you invest the energy to begin using Google Drive for team collaboration, it’s important to ask “Is Google Drive worth your time?”

Is Google Drive Worth your Time? | CloudVO

It seems like the online business community can’t go a month without seeing the release of a new tool or platform that is supposed to revolutionize the way that we do business. The latest entry is Google Drive, an online collaboration studio and storage suite. Before you invest the energy to begin using Google Drive for team collaboration, it’s important to ask “Is Google Drive worth your time?”

Continue reading “Is Google Drive Worth Your Time?”

Outsourcing: 5 Ways to Vet a Service Provider

Outsourcing | 5 Ways to Vet a Service Provider | CloudVO

Outsourcing work to freelancers is becoming as much a part of the normal way to do business as hiring employees. While outsourcing has always been around, the advent of reliable remote connectivity tools has fueled a new freelance economy which has made outsourcing easier and more effective than ever. Virtual offices  are helping freelancers be effective performing their contractor work in a more cost effective manner than if the job was performed in-house. It makes sense for companies, big and small, to outsource non core-activities. To find the best service provider for your needs, there are several ways to weed through the available providers.
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