Today, we’re happy to announce the release of REV23 Desktop v18.1! This is the most exciting version of REV23 yet, with amazing new features and improvements that we know you’re going to love. We’ve added several popular user requests, and really focused on simplification, reducing the number of clicks and easier training.
This release has been a lot different than past versions. What many of you may not have known was, behind the scenes, v18.1 has actually been in testing since September of 2017! Because there were so many new changes, especially on the payments side of things, we really needed to make sure we got this version right. We had a team of over sixty REV23 users, by far our largest beta test ever, hammering away on this version. They essentially watched this version built before their eyes. They installed 17 beta versions during this time, and I personally am very thankful for each and every one of them who submitted feedback, reported bug, and are a large part of why this version is so awesome! So, thank you beta team!
Now, I’m excited to share with you what’s new!
Today Dashboard: The Today Dashboard is the new default view when you log on to REV23, and is one of my favorite additions to REV23. For many users, rather than bouncing around from view to view as you do currently, the Today Dashboard will primarily be where you do all of your work. It focuses in on what’s happening now, and what’s coming up later in the day. Here, you’ll see a list of appointments that are coming up, services for the day, and the walk-in queue (read below for details on this), all available in one consolidated screen. Additionally, there are convenient actions that allow you to quickly create a new walk-in, new sale, or open the scheduler in it’s own separate window, so it can always be available to you!
Walk-in Queue: The walk-in queue is another new feature that received a lot of positive feedback during testing. Essentially, this acts as your lobby. When you get slammed with walk-ins, you can quickly enter basic client details or scan the client’s ID and add them to the queue without creating a full service record. You can stack up your queue, and if necessary, send a text message page to the client letting them know you’re ready. When they return, you start a service right from the queue, can fill in missing client information and sign the release form. If you’re strictly appointment only and don’t deal with walk-in’s, you can disable the queue completely to get it out of your way.
EMV (Chip Card) Support: Yes! We know this is what a lot of you have been waiting for! v18.1 finally supports chip card credit cards! This was a huge effort and required us to select a new processing partner, CardConnect. We've been very happy with our new CardConnect partnership and the feedback from users who have been previewing v18.1 since September with them has been extremely positive.
IMPORTANT: It is important to note that if you currently process credit cards in REV23 Desktop v17.1 and earlier, this processing method is no longer supported in v18.1. This means if you wish to continue processing in REV23, you do not want to upgrade to this new version until you have a CardConnect account in place and have received your new terminal. Get this process started NOW. Signing up is easy and you can get started here today: CardConnect.
Improved Payment Flow: Implementing support for chip card terminals required us to re-imagine how payments worked in general. So, whether you're planning to use CardConnect or not, you still benefit!
Taking a payment has never been easier! The number of required clicks has been drastically reduced, and the process is much more direct, resulting in easier training, and just takes less time in general. However, users with CardConnect will benefit the most.
Credit Card Surcharging: You’ve been asking for years and we’ve finally delivered. You can now add surcharges to your credit card transactions! You configure this globally in Configuration\My Studio\Options\Sales & Payments. Find out your local laws regarding surcharges, if you’re even allowed to do it and what the maximum is. REV23 does not support charging over 4%. Note: This is only supported when processing with CardConnect.
Tips Everywhere: When REV23 was first released in 2010, I didn’t see people leaving tips on deposits or when buying retail. What we’ve found, especially over the last couple of years, is that it happens. A lot. Because of the way the software was designed where tips only lived on services, if a client left a tip on a sale that did not include a service, things got weird.
This is finally fixed, and tips now live on each payment vs each service. So now, whether they’re leaving a tip for a tattoo, piercing or a just some aftercare, the tip will be distributed appropriately.
But wait! There's more! When integrated with CardConnect, the cardholder will now be prompted to tip for each artist or sales person on the sale. So if they are paying for multiple services, they will be prompted to split the tip right at the terminal.
Improved Deposit Flow: Because we had to change how payments work, it also forced us to take a fresh look at taking deposits. When taking a deposit, you'll be presented with the a similar payment screen as above but with the option to sign the deposit agreement (which can be defaulted). This reduces yet another mouse click when taking deposits by automatically having the client sign for the deposit and one less step you have to do manually.
Applying deposits has also changed. In fact, the "Apply Deposits/Credits" button has been removed completely and is now just part of the Take Payment screen if there are deposits that can be used. Also, all deposits/credits from all customers on the sale are now considered, so to apply deposits from multiple customers on the same sale, you no longer have to change the Sale Customer!
Upgraded Reporting: We’ve begun work upgrading our reports to a new version of the reporting module. This work will continue with each update to v18.1. With this upgrade we can begin distributing even more complex reports (and should be able to do them faster.) So that’s the goal here.
For now, what you’ll notice is two report navigation entries. Reports, and Reports (Legacy). During the course of v18.1 maintenance updates, we will eventually move all built-in reports to the new reporting module. The ones that haven't been moved yet, or any previous custom reports will show up in the Legacy list. Eventually, Reports (Legacy) will show only your existing custom reports from previous versions that should still work fine. However, some will likely break over time.
Upgraded Dashboards: Dashboards are also getting a significant upgrade. In addition to being able to design more powerful dashboards, we can now add them to new versions much faster, as well as distribute new customer dashboards to users without a new version.
Simplified Inventory: Previously we had a concept of “User Inventory”, where individual users could manage their own items. What we’ve found is no one really used it. In addition to low adoption rate on that feature, it caused complication for entering items. You may recall entering your item details, then clicking “Manage Studio Item”, which was for the studio’s instance of the item, while “Manage My Item” was the currently logged on user’s instance. Well, this is gone now. All item details, including sale price, on hand counts, etc… now just live on the main Inventory Item Detail View. So again, less clicks and easier training.
Another complication came from how we handled vendors on the inventory side. Each item was allowed to have multiple vendors for the same item. Again, this feature was not widely used, resulting in more and more clicks. We’ve removed this concept and each item now has a single vendor. If you filled out the preferred vendor information, all of that carried over. This prevented us from getting to a new purchase order system we’ve been dreaming about, which will make this a reality in a coming version.
Guardian Signature Support: While we’ve always supported guardians and separate release forms for piercings for minors, one concept we did not include was a separate signature for guardians.
The original thinking was simple. A guardian is signing for the minor. So only one signature was needed. At my local tattoo shop where I had my daughter’s lobes pierced about two years ago, she was not asked to sign the release form, I was. I wouldn’t want my (then) seven year old daughter to sign a document she can’t possibly comprehend.
However, not everyone agreed with this line of thinking and wanted both the customer and the guardian to sign. The work around was to sign one on top of the other on the same screen on the signature pad.
Well, we’ve heard your feedback and guardians now sign separate from the client when required.
Other minor improvements
- When changing an appointment’s client or artist, any associated deposits are now also kept in sync.
- Added Quiet Hours to Virtual Receptionist to prevent sending after-hours or very early morning emails/texts.
- You can now payout tips only at the end of the night in a single click.
- You can now right click an appointment to access the Start Service and Set Status actions.
- You can now add file attachments to users.
- Added an option to have a copy of the release form automatically printed after signing the signature pad. This is for those shops who want to go digital but their health department is hesitant to do so.
- Updated the look of message boxes that pop up to be more modern.
- You can now easily see payout and return/refund information in records that have such info (otherwise these tabs are hidden.)
- Added a News module so you can be alerted of REV23 news directly in the software.
- Users can now view their weekly hours and print time sheet directly from the clock-in/out screen.
- Added support for barcoded gift cards.
- Easier to export email marketing list.
- When suggesting deposits automatically, if the client already has a deposit with that artist, you will no longer be prompted for a deposit.
- Lots of minor changes and improvements.
More to come
We had even more ambitious plans for 18.1 if you can believe it! But with the large scope of features already added, we didn’t want to add to already complex changes, which complicates testing and opens the potential to nasty bugs.
Between the updated payments and reports however, this laid the ground work for a top requested feature: X/Z Out! Hoping to have more info on that in the coming months with v18.2.
What’s your favorite new feature of v18.1? Let us know in the comments!