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Getting started with Bookings
Getting started with Bookings

Learn all about how to take appointments with this article on Waitwhile's Booking Features

Lindsey Gagnon avatar
Written by Lindsey Gagnon
Updated over a week ago

Are you a business that wants to incorporate appointments into your customer flow? Would you like your customers to interact with your business on a reservation basis? If you think that your business would benefit from letting your customers book appointments, enable the Bookings function for each of your Waitwhile locations.

Step 1: Turn Bookings On

To turn on the Booking function in your Waitwhile Location, go to Settings > Location > Bookings. Waitwhile will take all of the information you have provided for your Waitlist and arrange the dates and times to create a customized Booking page for your business.

  • Booking Times - Manage which times your customers can schedule bookings and how long each booking is

    • Booking slot size: define the default length of the appointments a customer can book. This can be overridden by the duration set up for the services. Learn more about this here.
      This setting also defines the view of your calendar slots.

    • Booking hours and Specific dates: Here you can define the bookable hours of each weekday or a specific date. Learn more about setting up opening hours for a specific date here.

    • Booking lead time and scheduling window: The booking lead time defines how much advanced notice you require before customers book an appointment, whereas the scheduling window determines how far in advance are customers allowed to book an appointment.
      For example if the booking lead time is 90 minutes, an appointment starting at 9:30am can be booked up until 8:00am (90 before it starts).
      If the scheduling window is 1 week, customers can only book appointments 1 week in advance. Meaning, on the 7th of July the furthest appointment they can book would be on the 14th of July.

  • Availability - Manage how many bookings can be made at the same time

  • Booking Rules - Control who is allowed to schedule and change a booking

  • Geo-fence - Allow signup only if user is within X feet of your location

  • Calendar Display - Customize how your calendar is displayed

  • Sync with waitlist - If bookings should automatically be moved into the waitlist to help you streamline walk-ins with your scheduled visits

  • Expiration rules - Automatically expire bookings after a set time

If you want your Guests to be able to make Bookings with your Business online, you can share the URL under Settings > Public > Online Bookings. This allows customers to make appointments within the normal business hours that have been set up for the Location.

Step 2: Create the Right Booking Flow for Your Team

There are a few different ways to use Bookings for your Team in Waitwhile. In order to determine which option is most appropriate for you, start by assessing the type of Booking Flow you would like to implement for your Business.

Option 1: Every resource has a separate calendar

A Resource is the person, place, or thing that is providing a Service to your guests. You can create Resources in Settings > Team > Resources.

When setting up Bookings under Location > Bookings > Availability, Waitwhile gives you the option to allow each resource to have their own calendar. This is a great feature for business models like Barbershops, Hair Salons, Nail Studios, and Recruiting Offices where there are many employees, and each individual wants to take their own bookings.

Screenshot of Booking settings, Availability section, Every Resource has a separate calendar option.

Option 2: Every resource has the same calendar

If you have created Resources, but you want them to all share the same Booking calendar, simply turn OFF Every Resource has a separate calendar under Location > Bookings > Availability. This will allow your Resources to share the same calendar and number of Booking Slots you have listed in that section.

Step 3: Set up your Booking Messages

If your Guest starts their experience with Waitwhile as a Booking, they will be sent Booking Messages throughout their experience at your business. You can customize the messages that are sent to your Guest (SMS or Email), to tell them what you want them to do to prepare for their visit or advise them when and where to go when they arrive. For more about configuring your Messages click HERE.

Step 4: Manage your Bookings in the Booking Tab

When your guests schedule Bookings at your Business, they will show under the Booking Tab accessible by clicking on the calendar icon called Bookings on the left side of the Waitwhile app. The calendar will be displayed for you and your employees based on the options you have selected under Settings > Bookings > Calendar Display.

Screenshot shows Booking settings of Calendar display.

How to Manage your Booking Flow

There are many different ways to manage the flow of guests with Bookings into your location - here are just a few suggestions based on commonly used options.

Option 1: Self Check-in

If you want your guests to check in by themselves when they arrive at the scheduled time, check out Settings > Public > Arrivals. Here, you can learn how to create an arrival kiosk for your Guests and download QR codes to make it easy for your guests to check in using their phones.

Option 2: Add Bookings to the Waitlist

If you want to add guests with a booking to your waitlist when they arrive at the scheduled time, you can do that manually from inside the Action Panel on the Booking tab:

If you want to have Waitwhile do it automatically for you, go to Settings > Location > Bookings > Sync with Waitlist. By default the Bookings will be added to the TOP of the waitlist based on the time frames you have selected.

Step 5: Tell the World About Your Bookings

When you’ve finished to set up your Booking Flow, share the Online Booking link found under Settings > Public > Online Booking with your guests. This page shows all of the options available for the public-facing portion of your Booking Flow.

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