Preparing for Online Booking

If you’re thinking about using online booking you should read my earlier blog post on the benefits of online booking and employee access. Once you’ve made up your mind to start booking online these simple steps listed below will prepare you for a smooth transition to our Online Booking.

There are a couple of pieces of information that are critical for the Online Booking to work – your working hours and the booking styles. If you think about what Online Booking does it makes sense – when someone calls the salon to book an appointment you’ve got a live person answering the phone. Even if you haven’t set up your hours, service list, and timings correctly the receptionist may catch those mistakes and correct them. When you’re booking online the computer makes the decisions though so you need to give it the right information about how and when to book appointments.

You’ll want to set up Working Hours first. Go to the Appointment Book, then the Appointment Setup button at the bottom of the screen, and then click Working Hours. Go through each employee and make sure that all the employees have the correct working hours. In addition, you should set up any times where an employee is out during their regularly scheduled hours or working during hours they are not normally scheduled – either by booking the times out with appointments or through Appointment Setup then Schedule Maintenance.

Once you have set up your Working Hours you should make sure that our Booking Styles are correct. Booking Styles are accessible through the Appointment Book -> Appointment Setup -> Booking Styles.

To set up the timings for single services you can go to the Booking Styles button on that screen. Make sure that each employee has the correct timings for all the services that they do. In addition, if there are any services they don’t do you’ll need to go to those as well, click the box on the screen that says Employee Does Not Perform This Service until it turns red, and click Continue. If you have any combinations of services that need special timings you can go to the Combination Styles button to enter those timings. Finally, if you have any customers that need special timings you can set that up through the Appointment Book -> Appointment Setup -> Special Customers.

Our last area of the program to set up for Online Booking is Service Maintenance. Go to Maintenance -> Service -> Modify Service and go through each service one at a time. There are two spots on the screen you’ll want to check. First, near the top of the screen there is an Allow Online check box. You may not want some of the services listed online, whether they’re services for which you want to talk to the customer first or simply housekeeping services like ‘Free Haircut/Redo’ or ‘No Show’. This step gives you the opportunity to present a clean, concise list of just the services you want your customers to see. Right beside that box on the same screen there’s an Online Description. This optional set allows you to enter a short description for the service. You can fill it in on just the services you’d like and use it to give more information about each service. It’s very useful for providing special instructions or for marketing your services.

Once you have the program ready and we’ve turned on your Online Booking you’ll want to contact your web developer to add a link to your website. If we developed and host your web site then you’re all set – we’ll handle everything for you! Otherwise we can work together with your web developer to not just give them a link but make the Online Booking a seamless part of your existing website.

By taking the time to go through these few simple steps as soon as you make up your mind to move forward with Online Booking you can have fully functional, accurate, and always available Online Booking functionality added to your web site very quickly, often within a day! As always, don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions.

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