Your Checklist For Going Live With Online Bookings
Before you go live with Online Bookings read the checklist below to make sure you understand how your Phorest system is linked to your online booking pages and how you can make changes. This is to ensure all your settings are correct and meet your business needs.
We would highly recommend going on our free Online Booking Training so you can how fully get the most out of your online bookings. This is a 30 minute training course over the phone/web with a Phorest trainer who will show you how to control your online booking settings and how to promote and market your online bookings to your clients. You can book your free Online Booking training by clicking here.
Step 1 - Check your Services.
Under ‘Manager’, click on ‘Services’. If there are any Services listed online that you do not want to appear you can hide them in the this section. Also, if there are duplicate services listed online you can remove this by clicking on 'Archive' at the bottom of the Service's screen or by double-clicking into each Service and hiding it from online bookings.
Under ‘Manager’, ‘Services’ and double clicking into each service you can:
- Basic Tab: Make sure all your information is correct including any service that requires a Gap Time. This is particularly important for Hair Color services. If prices vary depending on staff members, you can click on the 'Per Staff' button beside the price and enter your different prices depending on staff member
- Advanced Tab: Tick 'Requires Patch Test' if this is applicable
- Online Settings: To hide a service from online bookings untick the 'Can be Booked Online' box (please also check the same for your special offer packages in Manager > Special Offers
- Online Settings: We would recommend adding 1-2 sentences on what the service is under 'Online Description'. This is so the customer knows exactly what they are booking
- Online Bookings: If you offer any service that is 'Priced From' you can tick this box at the bottom of the page. For example, the price for a hair color would depend on what exactly is needed. In that case, the price would be displayed online as 'From £50' - or whatever price you decide
Step 2 - Check your Staff Members.
Under 'Manager', 'Staff Members' - double click into each staff member
- If you wish to hide a member of staff from online bookings you can tick to box 'Hide from online bookings'
- For each service you have listed, you should have at least one staff member qualified to do this service
- Staying within each staff member go into 'Qualifications', make sure each member is assigned the correct qualifications. If the staff member is marked as qualified for a service, customers will be able to book in with them online
- Staff Profile: In the top right hand corner of each staff member is an outline of an image. By clicking into this once, you can add staff images. When a customer is booking online with a particular staff member, an image of this staff appears at the payment page. This is also needed if you plan to use the Salon App. In this case, under Staff Profile we would need you to add a few sentences for each staff member, telling the customer something about them.
Step 3 - Check your resources.
Under 'Manager', 'Resources' - Make sure all your available rooms and machines are listed here. This is less important for Hair Salons, who may not require this.
Under 'Manager', 'Categories', 'Service Categories' - Highlight a service category by clicking on it once (should be yellow), then select 'Rooms' at the bottom of the page to see what rooms have been assigned to that Service. Do the same process with 'Machines'. How this works:
- When selecting a service category, add all available rooms that service can be done in
- Click on the Room that you want to assign to that service category and the system will list these in order of priority
- Think about it like this, if you had no appointments at a particular time and you had to assign a room to a service what one would pick first and so on
- If you can conceivably do a service in all your rooms, then add all your rooms
By assigning rooms and machines to a service, you cannot get double booked or over booked online if you do not have the rooms/machines to do these services.
Step 4 - Check your settings, cancellation/patch test period
Default online settings are already in place for you and these are designed to optimise the number of bookings you get and how they are displayed in your calendar. If however you want to edit your Online Booking settings such as the frequency Online Booking Slots, gaps between appointments, cancellation periods, patch test periods and whether you want to accept last minute bookings online - you can control all of that through the Online Settings section.
- First Click on Manager
- From manager Click on Settings
3. Once in the Settings section click on Online Settings
4. Once in Online settings you will then be displayed with some of your online related settings
The options that you can change from within this section include:
Double Treatcard Points for Online Bookings - If you implement the Treatcard system within your business this would prove as an incentive for clients to utilize your online booking system, you can switch this on or off by ticking or un-ticking the box displayed.
Show Staff First Name Only - If you have your online booking system set up this option allows you to specify if you would like the Staff Members first or full name displayed when your clients are choosing the staff member they want to carry out their service.
Online Booking Frequency - This is displayed as 'Online Booking slots will be shown every ..' You can change how often time slots appear. For example every 30 mins, your client could choose from available slots from 9.00am, 9.30am, 10.00am, etc.
Gap Times: This is displayed as 'Do not add appointments to slots that will create gaps of less than: Enter the number of minutes. The default setting for this is 30 minutes, however you can choose to change this if you wish. This allows you greater control over your gap time between appointments and the time slots that are suggested to your customers online. If for example this setting is at 30 minutes and you have a booking at 9 - 9.30am and another booking for 10 - 10.30, you have a 30 minute free gap. If a customer wanted to book an appointment online for a service that only takes 10 minutes, then they would not be offered the time of 9.30 - 10 - as this will be using up time that could be used for a longer service. They would instead be offered a time after 10.30, were it would not create a gap time of less than 30 minutes.
Give Discount for Online Bookings - Using this option you can specify if you want clients that book online to receive a discount, you have the option of setting a discount for first time online bookings or you can allow discounts for all online bookings.
Cancellation Period (Hours) for Online Bookings - The default cancellation period is 24 hours, however you can change this to suit your business. Your cancellation period is shown to your clients during the online booking process. If for example your cancellation period is 24 hours, your clients cannot login to your online booking and cancel their appointment less than 24 hours before their appointment. You also have the right to take the full amount of the appointment minus the deposit. It is up to the salon to make a decision on an individual basis whether or how much to charge. The system will allow you to charge any amount up to the total cost of the visit excluding the deposit.
- Patch Test Period (hours) for Online Bookings - If a service requires a patch test, then you would firstly need to select this under 'Services', click on a service, go to the 'Advanced' tab and select 'Requires Patch Test'. In this Online Settings section, you can set what the patch test period is for online bookings. When a customer books a service online and a patch test is required, they are given a prompt to tell them a patch test is required. When a customer goes to book online within this 'patch test period' and the customer has not had a patch test, they will not be allowed to book and told to contact the salon.
- Short Notice Period Excluded For Online Bookings - The default setting for this is 60 minutes. This means that clients can only book online up to 60 minutes before the time of their booking. If you would prefer a longer period so you can prepare for bookings, you can change this. Likewise, if you would like to give your customers the ability to book online right up to the time of their booking, you can do this also.
Ready for launch!
Get some further information here: Marketing your online booking
After your online booking is live, Phorest will also send a promotional email on your behalf to let your clients know that they can now book online with you. If you would also like to send a SMS campaign to boost this to your customers, we can do that for you also.
The Online Booking Training goes into how to promote and market your online bookings in a lot of detail and will give you some great ideas. If you haven't done this already, you can book in for that training here: Online Training Calendar.
Charging a no-show
If your client doesn't turn up for their appointment, you can charge them up to the full value of the service as the appointment is credit card secured.
Once the appointment has turned grey for a no-show just click it and then click 'Pay'. You will be prompted on the screen to type how much you want to deduct. You can only deduct the remaining balance of the service, less the online deposit that the client will have already paid. For example a £/€/$100 bill less the £/€/$1.50 deposit means you can charge up to £/€/$98.50) A full guide can be found here
Please find further information on the deposit fee: Online Booking Deposit FAQ