Congratulations on your new AppointmentPlus account! We’re happy to have you on board.
Now comes the fun part: customizing your experience. Your Sales Consultant will have covered some of this information, so a bit of it should sound familiar as we go along.
The process comprises four primary steps:
- Configuration of the Site Administration view — adjusting settings and preferences within the admin portion of your account
- Setup — adding locations, staff, resources, services, events, etc.
- Customization — modifying what your customers will see when they make appointments, and what their notifications will look like
- Fine tuning — actually using the tool and identifying any final changes you’d like to make.
So let’s get started!
1. Configuration of the Site Administration View
3. Configuration of the Customer View
4. Fine Tuning
NOTE: Some of the tab names and links used in the following instructions may end up being different in your account, depending on who and what you’re scheduling. Anytime we refer to one of these tab names or links using its default term, it will appear in green. Just know that when you see one of these terms in green, the name you’ve assigned to it in your account may be different.
1. Configuration of the Site Administration view
Most of your configuration options are located under the Settings tab, which appears at the top-right of your account home screen. Of the 240 preferences available to you under this tab, we usually end up adjusting around 12 or 13, and topping out around 15 for complex accounts. Make note of any options you’d like to explore later, and we can circle back around to them.
Given the flexibility of the AppointmentPlus software, some of the following steps can be addressed out of order, and certain preferences will be addressed differently depending on the specifics of your use case.
Open Hours and Closed Days
Setting the general Open Hours for a Location
Go to: Settings tab > Open Hours
Your Open Hours are the total hours of operation for each location of your business. You’ll set them on a weekly recurring basis. Your Open Hours should accommodate the schedules of all your staff members:
In the example above, one of your staff members arrives at 7 am. Since that’s the earliest time at which someone will be available at this particular location, 7 am is your open time. And while this staff member leaves at 4 pm each day, another staff member is on the clock until 6 pm. Since that is the latest time at which someone will be available at this location, 6 pm is your close time.
Setting the Closed Days for a Location
Go to: Settings tab > Closed Days
Creating a Closed Day will automatically block out that day across all schedules. This feature is most useful when you need to close all schedules within a single business location for holidays, emergencies, inventory, etc.
Go to: Settings tab > Terms
In the Terms section under the Settings tab, you can select or change the basic terminology used throughout your account. For example, for the term describing who or what appointments are assigned to, you might use staff members. Depending on your industry, you might also call them docks, tutors, areas, advisors . . . the list goes on.
Adjusting Key Settings
Go to: Settings tab > Appointments
Appointment preferences 1-6 — Here is where we can dictate the very basic constraints on scheduling. You’ll likely revisit this section of the Settings tab again through your implementation process to make tweaks. But for now, these 6 preferences will get us started in the right direction.
- Appointments start ― This is where you’ll set the time increment for your appointment grid. You’ll want to use the lowest common denominator of how long an appointment can last. For example, if you offer both 45-minute and 30-minute appointment times, your appointment grid should be set up in 15-minute increments. By allowing customers to book appointments every 15 minutes, you accommodate both appointment durations.
- How far in advance can customers make appointments for services via the customer view? ― If you’ve decided to enable customer self-scheduling, you’ll use this function to dictate how far into the future a customer can view and/or schedule appointments with you.
- How far in advance can appointments be made through Site Administration? ― This function controls how far into the future you and your staff can schedule appointments through the administrative side of your account.
- How far in advance can customers make appointments for events? ― The Events feature allows you to open up multiple spots for one “Event,” or group session. If you’re using this feature, take a look. If not, skip this function and move on to #5.
- How many days after the current day can customers make appointments? ― This awkwardly worded preference refers to how soon a customer is able to schedule an appointment with you. This number can never be greater than the number you select for preference #2 (how far in advance customers can set appointments), as it will effectively disable your Customer view. Often times this preference is the next day, or even the same day, but it can vary widely depending on individual needs.
- Allow recurring appointments ― This one’s pretty straightforward. If your organization schedules recurring appointments, this preference should be set to “Yes.”
NOTE: Once you’ve selected your settings, be sure to click “Update” at the bottom of the screen to save your changes before moving on.
Customer Registration Fields/Terms
Go to: Settings tab > Customer Fields/Terms
In this section, you’ll control the information you gather about your customers, or deliveries, or students, or whatever you’ve decided to rename the default term “Customer.” Sometimes it’s easier to adjust these fields after we’ve taken a test run of the scheduling process. Doing so gives us a view of the process through the eyes of your customer, and from an administrative viewpoint as well.
The Customer fields/terms section of the settings tab. The far left column shows the field name in our database, which is helpful if you’re utilizing our open API key. The next three columns represent three places this information could be viewed or entered. Customer View Registration is what your customers will see. The Customer Profile column shows the fields listed with adding new customer profiles, and Appointment Page refers to your entering customer information when creating appointments in Site Administration.
Hint: You can require certain fields from customers booking their own appointments, and make them optional on your side for quicker entry of Appointments. You’ll also likely want to leave fields like “Allow to Log In” only available in the Customer Profile column, so that only you can adjust whether your Customers will be able to access your scheduling site.
The next step of the process involves creating Services (the default term used to describe what customers make appointments/reservations for), Staff Members (the term used to describe who or what appointments are assigned to), and Events, if you’re utilizing that feature. However you decide to label each one, the function will remain the same, unless you have your Onboarding Specialist or Sales Consultant change it for you.
The flexibility to change your field names as you see fit is one of the great features of AppointmentPlus software. And many additional preferences exist that allow us to tweak how the different entities function.
Go to: Services tab > Add New Service
When adding a new service, you will be prompted for the following information:
In the Title field, enter the name of the service. This name will appear in a drop-down list in the Customer view. When making an appointment, a customer uses the drop-down list to choose which service he wants to schedule.
- Description (not a required field)
You can use the Description field to offer additional information about a service. If you do enter information in this field, a customer will see it when scheduling an appointment (you can check the Customer View section under the Settings tab to test it).
- Internal Description
The Internal Description field displays information about a service to users in Site Administration view only. Customers will never have access to view the internal description of a service or Add-on Service.
- Allow Customers to See
If set to “Yes,” this preference will allow your customer to see and book the associated service online through the Customer view. If set to “No,” this service will only be available internally through the Site Administration view.
This field determines the default length of a service. The duration can be changed (overridden) for each staff member in the Staff Members section, as well as when making an appointment. If you need a buffer time between services, set your duration for a service longer than the actual service time. For example, if you have a service called “60-minute massage” and you need 15 minutes between appointments, you would set the duration for 75 minutes.
- Number of Spots
This field only applies when using the Multiple Appointments per Time Slot version of the system. The value in this field represents how many spots will be taken up for each appointment made for a particular service. For example, if you allow six appointments to be scheduled at 3 pm, and you set the Number of Spots value to “2” for a particular service, two spots will be reserved for each individual appointment made. In other words, up to three appointments can be made, and those three appointments will take up all six available slots.
This field is used for services that take longer, or for special services that can only be provided to one customer at a time. An example might be a chiropractor who normally can work with five patients at a time, moving from patient to patient during a single appointment timeframe. If the chiropractor offers a “new patient orientation” service, it might take his full attention. So, for that service, he would have the Number in Group field set to “5.”
Service: An appointment made at a set time, with a set duration, and a with a specified staff member.
Add-on Service: A type of service that cannot stand alone, but rather must be added to an existing service. For example, an add-on service for a hairstylist might be a shampoo. Add-on services might also be products that you offer to customers.
- Cost (not a required field)
The Cost field is used to keep track of the default cost associated for each service. Like your duration settings, if staff members charge different rates, this change is made in the Staff Members section. A different cost can also be recorded when making an appointment.
- Product/Service Code
The Product/Service Code field is available when the Point of Sale (POS) plug-in is enabled.
The Taxable setting is available when the Point of Sale (POS) plug-in is enabled. If the service is taxable, a tax will be added to the service when a transaction is processed. The service tax rate is set by clicking on the POS tab and selecting “Tax Rate.”
The Category field is available when the Point of Sale (POS) plug-in is enabled. Information entered into this field is used in creating sales reports. Set up your categories by going to the POS tab and selecting “Product Categories.”
Go to: Events tab > Add New Event
The following fields can be used when adding and editing events:
This field represents the name or headline of an event. When an event is first set up, it can be seen through both the Customer and Site Administration views.
The Description field contains detailed information about an event.
- Allow Customers to See
If set to “Yes,” your customers can schedule an event through the Customer view. If set to “No,” the event can only be scheduled in Site Administration view.
This field determines the default length of an event.
This field is used to keep track of the price for an event. When events are selected in Site Administration view, the system will auto-fill the Cost field with the cost of the event. Likewise, if you are allowing your customers to pay for events that are self-scheduled using the Customer view, the system will pull in the event cost when calculating the amount due.
- Product/Service Code
This code will only display if you are using the POS (Point of Sale) module. You can use this field to assign a unique code to an event, which is used when processing related sales transactions via the POS module.
This field only applies if you are using the POS module. Events can be classified as taxable or non-taxable. This field also only applies if you are using the POS module.
This field only applies if you are using the POS module. You create event categories in the POS module, which you can then assign to specific events using this field.
- Event Start Time
The time of day at which an event will start.
- Multi-day Format
If an event has multiple dates, you can select “Yes” to register the customer for all dates of the event at once, or “No” if you want customers to sign up for each day of the event separately. An example of a multi-day event would be a class that meets weekly for four weeks. If the customer signs up for the class, they are signing up for all four sessions of the class.
- Max # of Participants
The maximum number of customers allowed to attend the event. You can also leave this field blank to represent no maximum. In the Customer view, if a customer tries to reserve a number of spots beyond your set maximum, they will be notified there are not enough openings. In the Site Administration view, you have the ability to override this number.
- Move Participants
This feature is included for events with multiple dates. You can move a list of clients from one event date to another by following these steps:
- Check the box labeled “Check this box if you would like to move all participants to a new event date.”
- Complete the “From” and “To” date selections. The dates listed are current event dates.
- If you are removing the date of the event, uncheck the appropriate date and click “Update.”
- Event Dates
All dates associated with the event.
Adding Staff Members
Go to: Staff Members tab > Add New Staff Member
The Staff Members section is used to add, update, and delete administrative users, as well as designate the types of appointments that can be scheduled and when. Additional options can be customized when adding new users, including what services and events are offered, and what days the staff member is unavailable.
Designating User Access Rights
Access Types are the levels of system access assigned to each user who can log into the system. When a user logs in, the access type you’ve selected for them will define what account features they can use.
When adding a new user profile, select one of the five predefined access types based on how much you want the user to see.
Setting up a Schedule
The AppointmentPlus software gives you three options for customizing the available times for each unique user:
- Create a Weekly Recurring Schedule when a user’s available times will be the same from week to week
- Create a Schedule Exception to override the weekly recurring schedule in order to change the schedule for a specific day
- Create a Schedule Template to assign fixed times for specific date ranges
Specifying what Services are offered
This section lets you assign specific services to each user schedule, and indicate which days of the week each service is offered. You can also change the duration and cost of each service to accommodate users who charge more or less, or take a different amount of time to complete the same services.
Indicating Days Off
The Indicating Days Off feature is used to assign specific days off to individual user schedules. Any Closed Days you add under the Settings tab, such as holidays, will automatically appear as days off for all staff members. For example, if a user needs to block out vacation days, the Indicating Days Off feature can be used to ensure that appointments are not available on that date.
Adding Customer records
The Customers tab is used to add, view, edit, and delete records, providing you with a complete database in which to organize customer information. This feature allows you to maintain contact information, appointment history, notes, payment history (if applicable), and other important data.
Creating new records
Go to: Customers tab > Add New Customer
This is where you’ll add new customers into the system who aren’t yet scheduling an appointment. Customers can also be added at the time an appointment is made. You can make fields required or optional, as well as hide fields and create new fields, in the Customer Fields/Terms section of Preferences located under the Settings tab. This function is explained in more detail later within this article.
Submitting a file for upload
Go to: Settings tab > Work Requests
Your existing customer list can be uploaded to your AppointmentPlus account for a one-time fee of $30 USD. To have your customer list uploaded, please visit the Work Request section under the Settings tab, where you can submit your request and attach your Microsoft Excel® spreadsheet containing your customer list.
Customizing email notifications
Go to: Settings tab > Notifications
Email notifications sent from your AppointmentPlus account can include custom content for your customers and staff members. Notifications include a variety of options to customize. Notifications set as “Active” will be sent, but “Inactive” notifications will not be sent. Therefore, we recommend reviewing your Active notifications prior to scheduling appointments with customers.
Customizing your Scheduling Site
The AppointmentPlus software is loaded with settings and preferences you can use to create a custom scheduling experience. The “Customer View” is the web page where your customers will schedule their own appointments and events. To see exactly what your customers will see, hover over the Customer View link at the top-right corner of your account home screen, then select Preview.
Not letting customers schedule online? Disable your scheduling site.
Adding a Logo
Go to: Layout tab
The Layout tab allows you to customize the header that appears on your online scheduling site. You can create a simple text header, add a logo, or use the provided WYSIWYG tool to create a custom header.
Customizing website text
Go to: Pages/Text tab
The Pages/Text tab allows you to edit the text that your customers see when scheduling online. You can add custom text that will appear at various points throughout the scheduling process, as well as text that only administrative users can see.
4. Fine tuning
Now you’re ready to fine-tune the way your account functions, and make sure you’re comfortable using the account for all your necessary daily functions. You should have discussed pertinent plug-ins with your AppointmentPlus Sales Consultant. However, if that wasn’t covered, check out the XXX plug-ins available in our Marketplace. You’ll also want to visit both our video library and Knowledge Base for additional information.
Creating Your First Appointment
Your new AppointmentPlus account is preloaded with everything you need to create a test appointment. A test appointment helps you to better understand the default scheduling process, and identify any changes that might be needed before you go live.
To create a test appointment:
1. Open the Appointment Grid
Access the Appointment Grid by clicking the Appointments tab in your account’s navigation bar, located at the top of your screen. In this tab, you can see existing appointments and open time slots in a Day, Week, or Month view.
2. Select a time slot
The first step to creating a new appointment is selecting an open time from the Appointment Grid. You can do so by clicking either the icon or the empty white space in an open time slot.
3. Select a customer
After clicking an open time slot, select a customer from the drop-down list at the top of the Make Appointment pop-up window. Doing so will automatically fill in the selected customer’s information for the appointment.
4. Add appointment details
Most appointment details like date and time will be filled in automatically based on the time slot you select in the Appointment Grid. Selecting a service from the drop-down menu will automatically fill in duration and cost details for the appointment. Optionally, you can add appointment notes prior to finalizing the appointment.