Many businesses require their customers to book appointments. Whether you are a yoga instructor, barber, or counselor, you will need to book appointments to ensure that all your customers are served in an orderly and timely manner. Posting a phone number to call to book appointments on your website is an absolute must. However, this should not be the only way for your customers to book an appointment.
In today’s internet-driven world, customers are now used to having the option not only to call your business to book an appointment but also to book an appointment at their convenience 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This makes having a way to book appointments from your website a necessity. Without it, you will lose out on new and returning customers.
Thankfully, WordPress has a collection of booking plugins that you can easily integrate into your site. However, many of these booking plugins do not have all of the functions that you need to make it customizable to your business.
The top-selling WordPress plugin, Booked, is a fully featured appointment booking plugin that can be tailored to your specific business and help you grow your customer base. In this article, I am going to go over how you can use this plugin to create a booking system on your WordPress website.
What We Will Be Building
We will be building a booking system for our massage business. This business runs every Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. We will create a calendar that will allow our customers to sign up for one of the three types of massages that we offer during our business hours.
Here is the booking calendar that our customers will use to complete their massage bookings.
Creating a Booking Calendar
After you have installed the Booked plugin, select Appointments > Calendars from the WordPress admin menu. From here, we will create a massage booking calendar. Under the name text field, type Massage Bookings and click the Add New Custom Calendar button. This will create a custom calendar.
Next, we will begin adjusting the settings of the calendar. So head on over to Settings in the appointments plugin on the WordPress dashboard. We will first begin editing our calendar to fit our massage business by adjusting the settings under the general tab.
Under the Booking Options section, we would like to make sure we know the name of the person booking an appointment with us, so we will select the Require “Name” Only option.
Scrolling down the general settings, we will come to the Time Slot Intervals section. This will allow us to choose how long each massage appointment will last. Each massage appointment will last one hour, so we will select the Every 1 hour option from the drop-down menu.
Now we will change the Cancellation Buffer. We want to make sure that appointments can’t be canceled too close to the appointment time, so we can charge customers if they don’t cancel early enough. We will select 2 hours in the drop-down menu here so that customers can’t cancel their appointment within two hours of the appointment.
Next, we go to Display Options and check Hide weekends in the calendar options as our business won’t be operating on the weekends, so there is no need to show weekends on the calendar.
Now that we are done with the general settings, we need to adjust the time slots available on the calendar. Click the Time Slots tab and you will be brought to the editing page. Under Editing time slots for, choose the Massage Bookings calendar so that we are editing our custom calendar.
We are running our business Monday through Friday from 9 am to 3 pm, so will need to reflect this in the time slots. Under Monday, click the Add Timeslots button. Next, click the Bulk button to allow us to create multi-time slots. Select 9 am in the Start Time dropdown menu, 3 pm in the End Time menu, and 1 space available in the last dropdown menu. Since there is only one massage practitioner, we will only allow one appointment to be booked.
We will be offering three types of massages for our business: a normal, deep tissue, and hot stone massage. We want to know what massage our customers will be signing up for when they book their appointments. To gather this information, we are going to set up our own custom fields.
Head on over the Custom Fields tab on top of the Booked settings menu. Make sure to choose the right calendar to edit by selecting the Massage Bookings calendar from the drop-down menu.
Next, click on the + Radio Buttons button. From there, check the required field box to make sure that the customer lets us know what type of massage they want to receive before their booking will be accepted.
In the Enter a label text field, type in "Type of massage you would like to receive.” Next, we add in two more fields using the + Radio Buttons button and type in our three types of massages into these option fields. Here is what the custom field should look like.
Adding the Calendar to Our Website
Now that we have created the booking calendar, it is now time to add it to our website. Select the Shortcodes tab in the plugin settings and scroll down to the Display a Custom Calendar section and copy this shortcode to your clipboard. From there, create a new page and paste this shortcode into the text field. Now preview the page, and the booking calendar that you just created will be ready to use!
To view all of the appointments that were made, you can head on over to your WordPress dashboard and select Appointments > Appointments from the admin menu. You will then be taken to another calendar where you can click on each day and view the appointments booked and plan your business accordingly.
Feel free to view the video below to watch the calendar creation process in action.
Getting the Most Out of the Booked Plugin
In this article, we only covered a few of the features available in this complete booking WordPress plugin. As mentioned, this plugin allows you to fully customize the booking experience. Below are some other features that you can use to further customize the booking experience for your customers.
Depending on your business, you may need to review a booked appointment before you can accept this booking. With this plugin, you can easily set up manual approving of appointments in the General settings tab. In the New Appointment Default section, choose set as pending. Any custom information that you need to receive from your customer in order to review, you can add in the Custom Fields tab as you can create checkboxes, text fields, and much more.
Through the various stages of the booking process, emails will be sent out to your customers. When an appointment is confirmed, canceled, or approved, an email from your WordPress platform will send a custom email to the customer. In the plugin's settings, you can customize these emails to say anything you would like. Including anything that will make your customers more comfortable and excited about your business would be best here.
One important feature that must be mentioned is the ability to edit appointments. This will be incredibly useful when you need to change the date of the appointment.
If you go into the Appointments tab in the WordPress dashboard, you will be brought to a calendar of all your appointments. From there, click on the specific date that you want to change the date or time in and select the appointment that you want to change. An edit appointment popup will appear where you can update the time and date and notify your customer about this change.
When running a business that requires the booking of appointments, it is necessary not only to have a phone number for your customers to call and book an appointment but also to have a way for your customers to make these bookings on your website.
By using the WordPress plugin Booked, you can easily add a fully customizable booking calendar to your website that fits your business needs. To give this plugin a try, head over to CodeCanyon and check out the Booked WordPress plugin. And while you're there, check out some of the other great WordPress plugins available from CodeCanyon.
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