Getting started with Online bookings
Timely makes it super easy for your customers to book in with you online, whatever the time. You'll love waking up to new appointments and marvel at the times your customers are booking online (1am? Okay!).
You've still got full control over how your customers book online, so you can set and forget and we'll take care of the rest.
This guide will step you through the process of setting up your online booking process and policies.
We'll cover how to:
- Turn on your online bookings, wahoo!
- Set your online booking policies.
- Customise the booking theme.
- Add custom text to each booking step.
- Decide what you'd like to be available online (including Services, Staff and Locations).
Turn on your online bookings
This is the fun part! The first step to online booking, is to make sure online bookings are switched on! This will determine if your customers are allowed to book, or change, their appointments online.
Don't worry! You still have full control over which services, staff members and/or locations can be booked.
- Head to Setup > Online bookings.
- Set the Allow online bookings slider to 'On'.
Set your online booking policies
Now that things are up and running, you can tweak your online booking settings:
Initial status for online bookings
Here, you can decide if you'd like online bookings to be instantly accepted, or if they need to be approved or accepted by you or a staff member.
To set online bookings to be confirmed straight away, choose the ' Confirmed' option. If you would like more control over which bookings are accepted, choose the 'Pencilled-In' option instead.
Click on the option to select it:
Next up, you can specify how staff should be assigned to an online booking, by choosing one of the following three options:
- Customers can select a staff member, or choose no preference: This is the default option and allows a customer to select a specific staff member, if they have a preference, or choose No preference if they are happy to see any staff member.
- Customers must select a specific staff member: The customer must select a staff member before they are shown any available times. They can then select another staff member from the options to view their availability instead.
- Have no option to select staff, staff automatically assigned: This will show all available times and the staff member will be assigned based on which time is selected.
Decide what information is required when a customer books online, if customers can book multiple services at once and if you want to display the "Powered by Timely logo":
If you offer services to customers who live abroad, you can allow customers to book in their own time zone by clicking the Enable bookings across timezones.. link.
Note: If your business has locations in multiple timezone, we do not recommend allowing customers to book appointments in their local time zone. Find out more.
Here you can determine when a customer can book appointments; how long you need before an appointment, and how far ahead in the calendar they can book:
Cancellations and changes
You can include a link in their reminder or confirmation email, which allows them to change their appointment online. You can also control how long a customer has before the appointment to make any changes (24 hours is a common timeframe).
We will create a basic cancellation policy based on those settings, but you can add any Additional cancellation terms in the field provided:
If you want to accept online payments, check out our How to set up online payments for appointments and classes guide.
Save your changes
When you're ready, click Save to update. You can come back at any point in time and make changes to these policies
Change the appearance of online booking form
The online booking process is used all over the place, from the mini website, booking buttons, booking widget and right up to Facebook. Sometimes the appearance or colour scheme doesn't match your brand design.
While most of the design and order of the online process will be set, you do have some options to further customise the online booking process:
- Head to Setup > Online bookings.
- Scroll down to the Appearance section.
- From here, choose one of the three colour-scheme options by checking the relevant box. The preview shows what it will look like. 'Neutral' uses lighter tones, or you can add your own colours as below:
- If you select 'Add custom colours, you will be presented with the following options:
- From here, click the colour square next to each online booking element and choose a colour from the colour selector. If you know the hexcodes or HTML colour names that you want, enter those into the fields directly.
- The preview on the left will change as you try new colours so you can see how it looks.
- Once you are happy, click the Save button.
To reset the colours, simply select the Use the default "Timely" theme checkbox.
Add extra information to booking steps
To provide instructions or additional information for each step of the online booking process, scroll down to the Add your own text section and your own words to the relevant box.
Decide what you'd like to make available online
Once online bookings are enabled, you have full control over which staff, services and locations you want to make available for online bookings.
Make staff bookable online:
- Head to Setup > Staff and click Edit for the staff member you want to update.
- Scroll down to the Booking options section:
- Check the Customers can schedule this staff member online box.
- In the Normal working hours section, you can set their availability at each location:
- To adjust the interval that they can be booked, updated the Can be booked every setting.
- Click Save to update.
Make services bookable online:
- Head to Setup > Services and click Edit for the service you want to update.
- In the Service details section, check the Customers can book this service online box:
- Click Save to apply your changes.
Make locations bookable online:
- Head to Setup > Locations and click Edit for the location.
- Check the Customers can book this location online box:
- Click Save to apply.