This guide describes how to offer one-on-one private sessions. Your clients can pick a time slot that works best for them only when you're available to make scheduling quick and easy. This guide includes:
- A 7 minute tutorial video
- Step by step instructions for how to set up appointments
- Set and edit your availability to host appointments
- Enable appointment bookings on your offerings
- How to add time-off to your availability schedule
- How to change your availability schedule in the future
- How clients book appointments on your page
If you are on the business plan and have staff members that you would like your clients to book appointments with, please also read this help article.
Watch this short video on how OfferingTree can make your scheduling life easier! You can also read the sections below to get step by step instructions for setting up your appointment schedule.
Set and Edit Your Appointment Availability
Your appointment availability represents the days of the week and times you are available to take on appointments, one-on-one or private sessions. You can also set availability specific to each individual offering (see the next section). To access your main availability head over to the "Schedule Page" in the "Manage Schedule" section. If this is the first time you're adding your availability into OfferingTree you will see an "Enable Appointments" button, but if you've already added your availability you'll see an "Edit my availability" button. Press that button to add/edit your appointment availability.
Now you should be directed to the "Manage Your Availability Schedules" page. If you haven't yet added any availability press the "Create a Schedule" button. If you already entered your availability and you want to edit your availability, press the edit icon next the the availability schedule you wish to edit.
Now you should see a pop-up asking you to create your schedule. Pick the date you wish this schedule to take effect. If you want it to take effect immediately, pick today's date.
Then the "Edit Your Availability" pop-up will appear. Please enter in the times your are available for each day of the week to take on or host appointments. Press the toggle on the left of the day of the week to enable that day. You can then edit the start and end times you are available. You can also press the "+" button next to the day to add another time slot for that day. In this example, the availability is set up for Monday and Wednesday from 9am until 12pm US Central time with an hour break and then 1pm until 5pm.
Press the "Done" button on the bottom when you have your availability set up the way you'd like it.
Enable Appointment Bookings on Your Offerings
Once you have your availability set, you can enable each of your offerings individually to offer appointments. To get started, visit the "Offerings" page under the "Manage Schedule" section. Create or edit the Offering you wish to enable appointments for and check the "Enable Appointments" checkbox under "Appointment Information".
This will bring your to the "Edit Appointment Information" pop-up. Here you can define the price of the appointment and select if you want to accept online payments for registration.
Appointment time and duration
You can set the duration of the appointment (how long the session with the client / student is). Under Additional Settings you can set how much setup or cleanup time you need before or after the appointment. The setup and cleanup time is time that is needed as a buffer before and after the appointment and we'll make sure this time is blocked off when someone books an appointment. For example, if the session duration is 45 minutes and you have 10 minutes of setup time and 5 minutes of cleanup time, when someone books this appointment OfferingTree will block off 1 hour from your availability.
When people can book an appointment
Under Additional Settings, you can set up minimum and maximum advanced notice. Minimum notice prevents someone from booking a last-minute appointment in case you need time to prepare or travel. Maximum notice prevents someone from booking an appointment too far in the future.
Other features here allow you to set a location, online appointment information and waivers. When you have everything just the way you want it, press the "Done" button. Don't forget to "Save" the offering when you're done so you don't lose all the appointment information. Your offering is now set up for appointments!
Set special availability for an Offering
If you want your availability for this offering to be different from your main availability schedule described in the previous section, you can set up a custom schedule. Under Additional Settings, there is an Availability for this Offering dropdown with two options, Use main schedule and Use custom schedule. The Use main schedule option will use the main schedule described above in the previous section and is used for all offerings that don't have a custom schedule. The Use custom schedule option will allow you to set a custom schedule for this specific Offering.
Add Time Off
You can request time off from your normal availability. You may need to do this because you have a personal day off or you need to be away for a few hours. To do this, navigate to the "Manage Your Availability Schedules" page by clicking on the "Edit Your Availability Button" on the "Schedule Page" (see Set and Edit Your Appointment Availability section above). Once on the "Manage Your Availability Schedules" page, click the "Add Time Off" button.
Now you should be on the "Manage Your Personal Time Off" page. This page shows you all the days and times you have requested your availability to be blocked from appointment bookings. If you don't see all your time off, make sure the date range selection is correct. To add time off, press the "Add Time Off" button.
When you press the "Add Time Off" button the "Add Personal Time Off" pop-up displays. Fill out the Start Date / Start Time and End Date / End Time for your corresponding time off. You can add a helpful note for yourself as to why you are adding the time off (this will not be visible on your site to the public). Make sure to press "Create" to save the time off entry. Your time off should should now be visible in the table. You can edit or delete your time off entry from the table as well.
Add a Future Availability Schedule
If your schedule is going to change at a future date, you can add a future availability schedule. For example, you may have different availability during the Summer months. You can set a schedule to start and end on a certain date. To create a future schedule, navigate to the "Manage Your Availability Schedules" page by clicking on the "Edit Your Availability Button" on the "Schedule Page" (see Set and Edit Your Appointment Availability section above). Click on the "Add a Future Schedule" button.
Now a "Create Your Future Availability" pop-up should appear asking when you'd like the new schedule to take effect. To follow our example, if we were creating a future schedule for our Summer hours here in the U.S. I'd pick June 21st. Once we pick our start date, the "Edit Your Availability" pop-up displays and we enter our new availability (see the Set and Edit Your Appointment Availability section for how this pop-up works). We can also enter in a date when this availability ends. To do that, unselect the "Never" checkbox under "Schedule Ends" and pick the date to end this schedule. If the Summer hours end August 31st, I could put that date in. Once we have our new availability entered we press the "Done" button. Now we should see our future availability schedule in the table. From the table we can edit and delete our availability schedules. To build on our example, if we wanted our normal hours to resume after August 31st we could create another future schedule starting on September 1st.
How Clients Book Appointments With You
Now that you know how to set up appointments with OfferingTree, we'll describe how it looks to your clients and students. When your site visitors go to your homepage, they will see a "Book an Appointment" button in the "Upcoming Events" section. If they press that button they will see all the offerings you have enabled appointments for.
On the Offerings page, your visitors will see a "Book Now" button under any offering that is enabled for appointments.
Once your clients select the Offering they would like to book, they are taken to a calendar page where they can pick an open date and time to book the appointment. If another client or student already booked a time slot on a particular day, that time will not be shown to others making scheduling convenient and easy for you and your clients.
We hope you learned everything you need to know about OfferingTree's appointments feature. Feel free to drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any further questions.
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