Web Application for Childcare Providers: Please review

Discussion in 'Website Reviews & Testing' started by BrighterTools, Dec 21, 2017.

  1. BrighterTools

    BrighterTools UKBF Regular Full Member

    162 34
    Hello All,

    We have recently launched an enquiry management system for ChildCare providers
    (aimed at Nurseries, Pre-schools endplay groups)

    see: http://www.brighterschools.com

    This application allows nurseries to manage enquiries and parent visits.

    Any comments on the website and/or application appreciated.

    I have added an offer to offers forum (moved from here as I am not sure of the rules on this)

    Thanks,

    Mark


     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2017
    Posted: Dec 21, 2017 By: BrighterTools Member since: Jul 27, 2008
    #1
  2. fisicx

    fisicx It's Major Clanger! Staff Member

    30,952 9,074
    What does your app do that every other CRM doesn't do already?

    There is no demo of the app so can't comment on that.

    The website has a cookie consent thing that gets in the way (I don't give my consent) but it's pointless as you are already tracking my visit.

    And then the chat box thing popped up which is equally annoying.

    I struggled to read the tiny grey font - way too small and light.

    I wandered around the site a bit but soon got lost and had no idea at all what I will get if I sign up.

    I did a trial signup and was unimpressed. The font is again small and grey and it looks very dated. I really can't see why I'd want to pay you £88/month for something I can already do for a lot less. Especially as I don't seem to be able to design my own form.
     
    Posted: Dec 21, 2017 By: fisicx Member since: Sep 12, 2006
    #2
  3. BrighterTools

    BrighterTools UKBF Regular Full Member

    162 34
    Hi,

    Thanks for you feedback.. responses inline

    What does your app do that every other CRM doesn't do already?

    This application is specific to Nurseries and Preschools to manage enquiries.
    To facilitate this, the integrated form is simple with some integration options.
    This form feeds into the main enquiry list (as does manually entered enquiries that come in by phone, email or form walk-ins) to start the process of getting parents in for a visit.

    The point of the application is that is doesn't do everything that all other CRMs do, primarily to make things simple and straight forward. Many CRMs are built with many un-used features that require specific setup, consultancy and hosting, this application solves a real problem within the childcare industry in a simple way.

    There is no demo of the app so can't comment on that.

    The application has no video demo, if that is what you mean? Yes we need this!
    We do have a trial for 30 days, where users can demo the software.

    The website has a cookie consent thing that gets in the way (I don't give my consent) but it's pointless as you are already tracking my visit.

    That popup doesn't actually ask for consent (which is not a requirement by law), it is just telling you that the site does uses cookies, with a link to the privacy policy (which will be updated for GDPR) How is it in the way? Are you using a mobile device? If so, this is good feedback I will test that, possibly hide that for mobile devices.

    And then the chat box thing popped up which is equally annoying.

    I will check this on mobile, but that is used for customer support where users can ask questions directly

    I struggled to read the tiny grey font - way too small and light.

    ok thanks, will check this on different devices.

    I wandered around the site a bit but soon got lost and had no idea at all what I will get if I sign up.

    The App & Features page does show you what is inside : https://www.brighterschools.com/Home/Features
    I will review this to ensure it explains more.

    I did a trial signup and was unimpressed. The font is again small and grey and it looks very dated. I really can't see why I'd want to pay you £88/month for something I can already do for a lot less. Especially as I don't seem to be able to design my own form.

    Again I wil test the fonts on other devices.
    This application is targeted at Nurseries and Pre-schools, where for the most part their websites are not designed or build in-house and are mostly simple and straight forward sites, unless they are a large group with larger budgets and have the know-how to build forms etc.

    This application focuses on the management of the enquiries from when the enquiry comes in, getting back to parents, booking in visits and registering a child, with email notifications and workflow around these features. This where the application is most powerful, it is and less about designing forms. There are some options to how the form can be integrated into an existing site, which in our experience so far , suits the industry. We are, of course, open to feedback to develop that further.

    Thanks very much for comments and feedback. much appreciated.

    Mark
     
    Posted: Dec 21, 2017 By: BrighterTools Member since: Jul 27, 2008
    #3
  4. fisicx

    fisicx It's Major Clanger! Staff Member

    30,952 9,074
    The demo is the big thing that's missing. One where you show me examples of the forms I get that I can fill in and see the email responses. I'd also like to see the admin area so I can have a plasy and see if it meets my needs. If I does then I'll sign up for the free trial.

    The features pages have thumbnails. Make the screen shots full sized and part of the content.

    The cookie thing says: got it, no problem. There is a problem as I don't want you to track me. This is becoming a big deal as more and more people don't want to have the usage tracked. So for me and many others implicit consent (especially if children are involved) is inconsistent with GDPR.

    I'd also rethink the admin area. It all seems logical to you but as a potential user I was very confused as some of the labels.

    And I really want to be able to configure my own forms. You say I can Brand the forms but I couldn't see and styling options. And I want to be able to add/remove fields. I'd did this for a one of my plugins and it made a huge difference to sales.

    PS: I've now seen the 'make an enquiry' link. The pop up has chrome. It doens't look good. And you have a number of required fields that might be irrelevant to the enquiry/school. For example, I just want to send an email enquiry but you require a telephone number and a first and last name.

    Form design is a very misunderstood field. most people get it wrong, mainly because they are developers or have end user needs. They don't considier the needs of the users. An example, if I click off the form it loses focus and many won't know how to get it back. On my phone it opened a new window losing the connection the main page. What you should do build a model or even a toggled form.

    I do get what you ware doing but it looks like a developer lead project.

    And you need to sell the app not just tell me what it does. Sell the sizzle not the sausage.
     
    Posted: Dec 21, 2017 By: fisicx Member since: Sep 12, 2006
    #4
  5. BrighterTools

    BrighterTools UKBF Regular Full Member

    162 34
    Hi,

    All good comments and you are right, it is developer led (and MVP / V1) which needs some work, eg: better website/marketing messages, etc but wanted to get it out there and working...
    It does work technically and do the job (when you know how to use it, which is my main challenge right now) just need to get the content around it in better shape

    some responses:

    Thumbnails, you can click and popup larger versions, we can make this more clear.

    GDPR, yes as mentioned, this is in progress, with many changes happening to imply with that.

    If you go to the contact us page, there is an example of an "embedded" form
    (integration can be a link, embedded, or popup, I suspect most wold want to embed the form into an existing site)

    Branding, good point, this is in progress and shouldn't be mentioned until implemented.

    The form has the basic fields to start on the workflow within the app, to date this has not really been an issue as parents do elaborate on these enquiries and nature of this form is a bit more human, and is based on some experience in this fields, but I get your point for a more open system.

    Thanks for your time..

    Mark
     
    Posted: Dec 21, 2017 By: BrighterTools Member since: Jul 27, 2008
    #5
  6. fisicx

    fisicx It's Major Clanger! Staff Member

    30,952 9,074
    No worries.

    Don't use thumbnails on the features pages. Just put the full sized image on the page. For example, this is how I explain the settings on one of my plugins: https://loanpaymentplugin.com/settings/slider-settings/

    And you will need lots a lots of 'how to' pages. People want step by step instructions on how to do everything.

    I only know this because I have had to do the same for my plugins. Even the most intelligent people can be thick when it comes to websites/apps
     
    Posted: Dec 21, 2017 By: fisicx Member since: Sep 12, 2006
    #6
  7. godoit

    godoit UKBF Regular Free Member

    325 26
    Website is ok, I cant see the value. It doesn't explain it to me or maybe it does, is it just for lead management? Kinderlime was the best I found for explaining the value to me in a few clicks.

    I don't really get it. £88 pcm to handle enquirers specifically for childcare providers. We used a few CRM's and then went back to google calendar. Our outlay was at most £20 with a few crm's at a fiver a month.
     
    Posted: Dec 21, 2017 By: godoit Member since: Oct 8, 2014
    #7
  8. BrighterTools

    BrighterTools UKBF Regular Full Member

    162 34
    @godoit

    Yes, the application is basically lead management tool, specific to Nurseries and Pre-schools, and based on experience working with providers. The workflow ensures nurseries respond to, book visits and engage with parents quickly and effectively, its sends the nursery constant reminders on a schedule they set up to ensure enquiries don't get lost and slip through the net, the workflow progresses automatically which is where the power is, which is much easier than nurseries trying to setup systems. I guess this, again, just highlights the lack of demonstration on the website, which we need to address.

    Thanks for the feedback, will check out the example you mentioned.


     
    Posted: Dec 21, 2017 By: BrighterTools Member since: Jul 27, 2008
    #8
  9. fisicx

    fisicx It's Major Clanger! Staff Member

    30,952 9,074
    I found CRMs on Google that do pretty much everything yours does and all a lot cheaper. And I also found loads of free plugins and extensions for most of the popular CMS.

    You have developed the app with a fixed workflow and forms. It's this lack of flexibility that makes it less attractive.

    Boiled down to the basics, all you seem to be offering is a form with a follow up reminder system. That's not much for £88/month. Maybe if it integrated with existing school CRMs then the price might add value. But a lot of the school CRMs I looked at already have appointment schedulers.

    I think the app has potential but only if it's a lot cheaper and is more flexible.
     
    Posted: Dec 22, 2017 By: fisicx Member since: Sep 12, 2006
    #9
  10. BrighterTools

    BrighterTools UKBF Regular Full Member

    162 34
    I found CRMs on Google that do pretty much everything yours does and all a lot cheaper. And I also found loads of free plugins and extensions for most of the popular CMS.
    You have developed the app with a fixed workflow and forms. It's this lack of flexibility that makes it less attractive.


    I understand your point, however, users of this product are primarily educators and most cases cannot or don't want to setup and configure a CRM or CMS with plugins and the hosting of them that will do the same job, The whole point is that this is a specific workflow in a system that is hosted, maintained and provided as a service with minimal setup.

    Boiled down to the basics, all you seem to be offering is a form with a follow up reminder system. That's not much for £88/month. Maybe if it integrated with existing school CRMs then the price might add value. But a lot of the school CRMs I looked at already have appointment schedulers.

    I think the app has potential but only if it's a lot cheaper and is more flexible.


    Given current usage of the system and the nature of how schools/providers for under 5's work, the volume of enquiries is relatively high, and in the cases I have seen, certainly does warrant a system that handles these specifically, I can only go on the experience I have to date where I see this system working. Yes the features are few, but the idea is to build on this foundation based on feedback and continue the development of features and integration to other systems.

    Pricing is always hard to get right, the current pricing was set with consideration, given existing clients, and the how the application came into existence, I do take on board the feedback and do have a few things to consider at this stage.

    Thanks again for your time.
     
    Posted: Dec 22, 2017 By: BrighterTools Member since: Jul 27, 2008
    #10
  11. fisicx

    fisicx It's Major Clanger! Staff Member

    30,952 9,074
    I agree with you about everything. But the problem is still the lack of flexibility and the price.

    I built a website for a local school that has a wordpress plugin for managing appointments/visits. The plugin lets the school create their own form with the fields they want. It's also a modal which means you don't lose focus and it displays without all the browser chrome. And it's free.

    If you can allow users to build their own forms and lower the price then you will a much better package to offer.
     
    Posted: Dec 22, 2017 By: fisicx Member since: Sep 12, 2006
    #11
  12. BrighterTools

    BrighterTools UKBF Regular Full Member

    162 34
    I will have another look at the pricing, and do take on board your feedback.

    Custom/configured fields (adding/removing/making mandatory) are on my todo list (as are a many other features in the pipeline), there is value in getting a system live (the hardest bit) then progressing form there. If this was a more open CRM for all industries, then would definitely be more of a priority at this stage.

    Regarding form integration we do have some basic options and currently we provide 3 ways of integration for basic usage (embedded, link, popup), the embedded (copy and paste code) can be used within a modal implemented by a developer and this will have varying levels of complexity depending on the technologies of the website.

    I am sure you are not in the business of building sites/systems and providing services for free, so I suspect that the site for that local school you mentioned was not free to them and you put a value on your time to build the system and for ongoing support and hosting.

    Our system total cost is basically 880 + VAT per year for the system, hosting, updates and support, which doesn't seem that unreasonable?
     
    Posted: Dec 22, 2017 By: BrighterTools Member since: Jul 27, 2008
    #12
  13. fisicx

    fisicx It's Major Clanger! Staff Member

    30,952 9,074
    The school site was a freebie. It took about a day to do as they sorted all the content themselves.

    However...

    I get what you are saying but unless your app does what the school wants they won't pay. So form customisation should be a priority before you launch. And I'd look at making the popup a modal - much better aesthetically and far better UX on a phone/tablet (which is what most parents will be using).

    The only reason I'm pointing these things out is because I've been developing systems like this for years and have learnt the hard way what makes them successful.

    £880/year is a lot of money when there are so many cheaper alternatives available.

    Try https://www.usertesting.com/ or https://usabilityhub.com/ for some real time feedback
     
    Posted: Dec 22, 2017 By: fisicx Member since: Sep 12, 2006
    #13
  14. godoit

    godoit UKBF Regular Free Member

    325 26
    Good luck with it,
     
    Posted: Dec 22, 2017 By: godoit Member since: Oct 8, 2014
    #14
  15. BrighterTools

    BrighterTools UKBF Regular Full Member

    162 34
    The application started off as a bespoke SaaS product for a group of 10 nurseries about 2 years ago, who continue to see the value and use it daily. This has been re-built as a multi-tenant system to service multiple schools/groups, with more configuration, so it's not without some validation and on-going development along the way, I have users evaluating the product and will ask them for feedback on pricing once they see the value of the system.

    I do appreciate it does a very specific job with minimal functionality and maybe the pricing does need to be adjusted accordingly, until more features are added.

    I have had a look at your website, some good tips there.

    Thanks.
     
    Posted: Dec 22, 2017 By: BrighterTools Member since: Jul 27, 2008
    #15
  16. BrighterTools

    BrighterTools UKBF Regular Full Member

    162 34
    Thanks very much.
     
    Posted: Dec 22, 2017 By: BrighterTools Member since: Jul 27, 2008
    #16