This step is about getting acquainted with how your online booking links to your Phorest system and how changes in Phorest immediately change your online booking system.
We would highly recommend checking out the "Online Booking - Website and Facebook" course on Phorest Academy which will give you all the knowledge needed to brand your online booking page, set up your online booking rules, and take bookings through your Facebook page. You can access Phorest Academy through your Phorest system in Manager - Training or here.
You should familiarize yourself with the Checklist below before you go live with online bookings. This is to ensure all your settings are correct and meet your business needs.
Step 1 - Check your Services.
Go to Manager > Services. If there are any Services listed online that you do not want to appear you can hide them in this section. Also, if there are duplicate services listed online you can remove these by clicking on the Tick Box next to the services and Archive at the top of the Service screen or by clicking into each Service and hiding it from online bookings.
Go to Manager, Services, and click the service:
- Details: 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 Levels button beside the Price Levels Per Category and enter in your different prices depending on the staff member.
- Details: Set Requires Patch Test to Yes if this is applicable
- Online & App: To hide a service from online bookings set the Available Online to No (please also check the same for your special offer packages in Manager > Special Offers
- Online & App: We would recommend adding 1-2 sentences on what the service is under Information. This is so the customer knows exactly what they are booking
- Online & App: If you offer any service that is Priced From you enable this by setting Include "From" to Yes. 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
- Online & App: You can also set the Online Name, Online Duration, and online Discount by clicking the Show Advanced Options at the bottom right
Step 2 - Check your Staff Members.
Go to Manager > Staff Members and click on each staff member
- Settings: If you wish to hide a member of staff from online bookings you can set Show on Online Bookings to No
- For each service you have listed, you should have at least one staff member qualified to do this service
- Services: Staying within each staff member, go to the Services tab, 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 that service with that staff member.
- Staff Profile: At the top of the Settings screen in each staff member is a section to + Add a photo. By clicking this once, you can add staff images. When a customer is booking online with a particular staff member, an image of this staff appears on the payment page. This is also needed if you plan to use the Salon App. In this case, under App 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.
Go to Manager > Settings > Facilities - Ensure all your available rooms and machines are listed here. This is less important for Hair Salons, which may not require this.
Go to Manager > Categories > Service Categories - Click into a service category by clicking its name, then select 'Rooms' on the left 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
- Set the Room that you want to assign to that service category to Yes under the Assigned tab 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.
Click on Manager > Settings
Click on Online Settings.
Once in Online settings, you will then be displayed with online related settings
In the Setup & Appearance section, you can do the following:
Allow Online Bookings - You can choose to enable or disable the online booking widget, if you set this setting to No, the online booking widget will display the following
Online Booking Direct Link - Click Copy Link to copy your Online Booking link. This will copy the link to your clipboard, you can then paste this to a document or an email etc., as required
Announcement Banner - If you enable this and write a message, that message will be displayed at the top of your online booking widget
Brand Colour/Book Now Website Button - Click on the color wheel to change the brand color for your App or your Book Now button on your website
Click on Booking Rules to view additional settings.
The options that you can change from within this section include:
- Booking Slots - You can change your slots to be shown in 5-minute intervals, from 0 minutes up to 60 minutes.
- Minimum Gap Times - The default setting is 30 minutes. Minimum Gap Time gives you greater control and minimizes gaps on your appointment screen. For example, this setting is at 30 minutes and you have a booking at 9 - 9.30 am 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, where it would not create a gap time of fewer than 30 minutes.
- Cancellation Period - 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 log in 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 cost 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 less the Online Booking deposit.
- Patch Test Period - If a service requires a patch test, then you would first need to set this up in Services. 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 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 - This means that your clients will not be able to book online at the last minute and then walk into the salon unexpectedly. The default is set to 30 minutes which means clients have to book in more than 30 minutes in advance, this can be changed to suit your requirements.
Multi Service Rules - Multi -services rules are how you want bookings split if a client books 1 or more service. The default is 'Can be Split' - which means Multiple services can be performed by multiple staff members. This will give your clients the best availability options and flexibility options. Should you wish to change it the other options are:
- Cant Be Split - Multiple services from one booking can be split between staff
- Can't Be Split - Multiple services can be performed by only one staff member
- Split For Max Utilisation - Multiple services can be performed by only one staff member, but when you run out of free slots we'll offer slots where multiple staff can perform the services.
Discount for Booking Online
- No Discount - This will not apply discounts to any online bookings.
- First Appointment Only - This will only apply a discount to a client's first appointment
- Every Appointment - A discount will be applied to every appointment booked online.
- Double Treatcard Points - 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 selecting Yes or No.
- Show Notes - If enabled this allows clients to leave a note or special requirement. This will appear on their appointment.
- Send Abandoned Cart Emails - The abandoned cart email is an online booking feature that will send an automatic email to clients who drop-off at the payment screen when booking online. The purpose of the email is to entice clients to follow through with their online booking.
Marketing Your Online Booking
In your Phorest system, there is a template called Online Booking Beauty / Online Booking Hair in the Marketing Email templates which you can use and edit to let all your clients know about your new online booking system.
Online Booking Training
The "Online Booking - Website and Facebook" course on Phorest Academy will provide you with all the knowledge needed to Brand your online booking page, set up your online booking rules, and take bookings through your Facebook page. You can access Phorest Academy through your Phorest system in Manager - Training or here.