Time & Attendance Articles

Time Clock System Reviews - 4 Pitfalls To Avoid

Reading product reviews is helpful when researching something new. If you are looking for a new pair of running shoes, you can appreciate the honest feedback from other consumers about things like comfort and fit. It's also nice to check side-by-side comparisons or reviews of different running shoes to see how they rate against one another in various categories. You expect these reviews to be relatively objective and unbiased, but that may not always be the case. The Internet has certainly changed the way we research products and services. Deploying a new time clock system can be a significant investment, so researching the best employee time clock software for your business is an important process not to be taken lightly. Here are some pitfalls you'll want to avoid when researching your new time clock system.

Avoid Pay For Placement Sites
There are many web sites that can be found on the Internet that include rankings, reviews, and side-by-side comparisons for products and services in such diverse categories as software, electronics, web services, mobile, movies, music, and video games. Their main goal is to send you to a site they're promoting and hope you buy the product. Because if you do, they get up to 60% of the sale. Trusting pay for placement review sites is the first pitfall to avoid when reviewing time clock systems. What most consumers don't know is that these sites change little from year to year. If you're willing to pay them, then they'll review your product and reshuffle the listings based on the review results. That's why these sites are called 'pay for placement' sites. Beware of employee time clock software publishers who have to buy their reviews. It's widely known that pay for placement sites rank products that earn them more money higher, contain inaccurate and outdated information, and shouldn't be relied upon. Find a time clock system that has independent reviews from reputable sources like trade or software magazines and websites, rather than relying on gimmicks.

Avoid Affiliate Marketing Sites
An entire industry has sprung up around Google AdWords and AdSense. These programs allow you to quickly create and run ads for your product or business. AdWords are displayed along with search results when someone searches Google using one of your keywords. This allows you to advertise to an audience that's already interested in your product. AdSense works a little differently. You get paid for displaying targeted Google ads on your website. An abundance of websites have sprung up that offer you the hope of finding information you need based on their search result listings, only to draw you to a site that's nothing more than ads. You know the sites, they're completely covered with ads and contain little relevant content. Using affiliate marketing sites is the second pitfall to avoid when reviewing time clock systems. They tease you with a little information on the subject or product you're looking for so they can lure you into clicking on one of their ads, usually an affiliate or partner that stands to benefit from the relationship. These spam marketing sites offer very little to help you choose the best time clock system for your business.

Avoid Limited Software Trial Evaluations
Another pitfall to avoid when researching time clock systems is trying free time clock software evaluations that have limited functionality. You want to test the fully functioning version of the software. In other words, test exactly what you'll be asked to buy. Otherwise, you'll be dependent on the word of a commission based salesperson rather than your own experience regarding time clock program features and functionality you need. This is also your chance to get to know the company behind the software. Will they provide you with training and support while you're evaluating their employee time clock system? Can you extend the evaluation period if you run out of time before you're ready to make a decision? This is your opportunity to eliminate any future surprises and test the time clock system with your real configuration settings. For example, if the free time clock software trial can only be used with three employees, how can you adequately test load balancing and the impact the new time clock system will have on network traffic?

Avoid Software Companies With Little Experience
The final pitfall you'll want to avoid when reviewing time clock systems is dealing with companies that are new to the time and attendance industry, or are just hobbyist programmers trying to earn a few extra bucks. There are a couple of dead giveaways. Make sure the software publisher's website is professional, easy to navigate, and has current information. An amateur website will likely indicate less than professional software. Check the copyright date of the website. If the date is not current, then the content of the website is likely stagnant. Make sure the software publisher has valid contact information on their website. Use Google Maps to look up the address. This will show whether the company has a legitimate business location or is just working out of a private residence. Avoid companies that only allow contact by email or online form. This may indicate they're not offering a serious time clock system. If they don't publish a phone number, you're better off moving on to the next company. Serious time and attendance software publishers will provide easy to navigate websites will all the information you need to make an informed decision. Better yet, call the company to get a feel for who you'll be doing business with. Talking to a real person will go a long way toward learning what the company is like. Be ready to ask the same set of questions to several competitors. Do they take the time to understand your business environment? Do they understand the problems you're trying to solve? Can they tell you about the history of their company? Can they provide you with references from other customers in your same industry? One final thought, make sure there are more sources than the company's own website promoting the merits of their time clock system.

It's important not to rush into a new time clock system purchase. Being aware of some common pitfalls when researching you new time clock system can mean the difference between major time and attendance hassles and minor inconveniences.