An appointment is an arrangement that one or more customers make when they book a service that is delivered by one of your employees. Once you have completed your employee(s) and service(s) setup, your clients will be ready to start booking appointments. In order to schedule an appointment, you or your customer need to choose a service, an employee that will provide the service, available date, and available time slot.
There are two different types of appointments each of which is based on the maximum capacity of the service that is delivered. An appointment is considered as a “Single” appointment if the maximum capacity of the service is 1. If the maximum capacity is higher than 1, the appointment is considered as “Group”. There are two types of group appointments:
- Group appointment where all customers are separate (usually the case when they don’t know one another).
- Group appointment where one customer defines a number of persons that are coming with him or her.
The main difference between these two is that in the first one every person appears in appointment separately, with all details defined, such as name, email, appointment status, payment details etc.; this means that any person can cancel his/her participation in the appointment separately.
The situation with the second type of group appointments is that only the person who has scheduled the appointment has a name, email, appointment status and the payment details. The others are seen as +1.. +10 “addition”. So if one of them decides to cancel his or her participation in the appointment, there are two options: either they will cancel for all, or you need to reduce the number of persons in the “Edit Appointment” dialog.
Each appointment can be made through one of three booking forms in the regular process or through the WooCommerce checkout if you want to use some other payment method, connect WooCommerce invoices or include taxes.
Statuses are the appointment state indicator, that indicate whether the arrangement is approved, pending, cancelled by customers, or rejected by the employees.
Currently, there are 4 statuses:
In the plugin General Settings, you can set for all your appointments to have an Approved or a Pending status by default. If you choose Approved, all appointments will be automatically confirmed to the customer immediately after the scheduling.
If you choose Pending, you will need to manually approve all appointments after they are scheduled. The appointments can be approved by the administrator and by the manager, and if you enable notification for this action, both employee and customer will get informed about this action.
Cancel status allows your customers to cancel the appointments through the back-end of the plugin. Once they log in, on the Appointments list they will see Cancel button beside each future appointment. After they cancel the appointment on your list will get display Cancelled. If cancel notifications are enabled your employee will also be informed.
Last but not least, Rejected status allows Admin and Manager users (see user roles) the option to Reject Approved or Pending appointments. You can also set a notification for this action, so once the appointment is rejected, both customer and employee will receive an email notification.
You have two possibilities for changing appointment statuses: you can change it directly through the appointments page, or you can open the appointments dialog and change the status. For the first option, on the appointments list, click on the appointment status drop-down and change the status. For the second option, click the edit button beside the appointment, the Appointment dialog will open. Click on the status button, and you will see a drop-down where you will be able to choose a new status. The main difference between these two is that in group bookings, by clicking on the first option you are changing the appointment status for all members of the appointment, while the second option allows you to change the status for each member separately.
On the appointments page, you will see a status filter so at any point you can filter your list to see appointments with one specific status.
Appointments’ duration depends mainly on the service duration, and also on the duration of any added extras. If, for example, you have a service that lasts 2 hours together with an extra service that takes an additional 30 minutes, if your customer chooses the extra service, he or she will see 2 and a half time slots when they choose a time slot for their appointment. If they choose a service without an extra, the duration of the appointment will be the same as the service duration (2 hours).
Buffer time (before and after), that you’ve set when you configured services, is the time that doesn’t affect appointments duration but reduces the number of free time slots in the schedule. If, for example, you have configured a 30 minutes buffer time before for the service that lasts 4 hours, your customer will see 4 hour time slots during their booking, but they won’t see the 30 minutes buffer in the time slot. The next time someone tries to book the same service for the same employee, the next suggested slot will appear 30 minutes after the first appointment finishes.
Appointment price depends on the service price, the extras price and the number of customers. Price is calculated with a “service price+extra price” formula, and both are multiplied for every additional customer in the group appointment. Please note that you can set a different price for each employee, so the appointment price can depend on which employee is chosen.
More about appointments and how you can manage them on the “Appointments” page you can read on this link.