Online booking form. What is it and how to work with it
Currently queue management system and online booking for an appointment or service have become more and more relevant. This is related to the fact that many medical institutions, services industries, for example, car-washes, beauty salons, saunas, cinemas, various town halls, drama theaters and concert halls, don’t want to lose customers if someone failed to reach them by phone, while one client was figuring out whether there are tickets or not and wondering about the showtimes or opening hours. It is also easier for a client who has his own daily plans and is scheduling his time, it’s more comfortable to use the online booking services and find out the free date and time, and properly plan his day.
It should be noted that it is much more convenient for administrators and service managers to control the working hours of their employees when they make notes of online booking in a simple form, for example in a calendar, where all working hours are displayed in readable form. They can see if time periods are reserved or free. They can also in a simple way provide time for the services, for example, they can book a massage for 30 minutes or one hour, or they can book a sauna for 4 hours. In this case, they can take an advance payment if online payments are set up in the service. In this way, it will be known exactly that the client will use the provided services.
Small business managers get an opportunity to regulate the booking process. Clients can use the services without making a call and leaving home. They can do it from a mobile application – just select the time on the necessary day. They can be sure that the service will be provided at the appointed time.
Clients can schedule an appointment at any time of the day and regardless of the day of the week, i.e. they don’t have to wait when it’s working time to call and sign up. They can immediately select the desired day in the form of an online booking and see what time is already reserved and what time is free. Then they can choose the convenient time, register personal details and make a reservation for themselves.
Client Registration Software
In order to organize an online booking of your services, you can use ready-made online services that provide all the ready-made tools.
What should be considered when choosing a service for online booking?
- User-friendly interface
- Possibility of feedback (e-mail notifications for clients, SMS-notifications)
- Timely received a notification from the client about the booking (by SMS, by e-mail or in the messenger)
- Trial period
- Ability to connect payment to the online booking form
- Integration with CRM systems
- Connecting different analytics systems
- Built-in web form constructor
- Ability to save contacts so that the client does not have to enter his or her details again at a later login.
- Ability to use the service on your site as a ready-made widget online booking
- Ability to use online booking service in social networks or by direct link, for those who do not have their own site.
- Widget layout and set up
- Mobile version
- Connection price
Create an online booking widget
Let's look at how you can quickly create an online booking for a site using the FormDesigner service. FormDesigner is a multifunctional online web form builder with which you can easily create your appointment scheduling widget for the site and social networks.
The first thing to do is to choose the subscription plan and sign up. To create an online booking form you need any paid subscription. You need to pay attention to the number of submissions per month you plan to get through this widget. There are also subscription plans with and without subscription fee. You can get a subscription plan with a certain number of submissions, for example, 50 submissions will cost only 7.5$. Or you can take Basic subscription plan for 5.45$ per month, which includes already 1000 submissions.
After a simple registration you will get to the personal cabinet of the web form builder.
Here you need to click on the button “Create form”, after which a window will open in front of you where you need to enter a name for the future form:
After you enter the name of the form, you must click on the “Create” button and you will be redirected to the “Fields” page:
Now we need to construct our online booking form from ready-made templates that are displayed to the left of the workspace. It is important to understand that you are not limited to any standard fields and can collect any web form that you need for online booking.
Let's try to create an online booking form for a car wash. In the car wash there are 3 boxes where cars are washed. The average washing time of one car is 1 hour.
To register for a carwash, you need to select the date and time, and also leave your contact details. Let's add the appropriate elements to the form for this:
I have marked all fields as mandatory so that it is not possible to send a form with empty data. Now let's take a closer look at the settings of the “Date” form element.
Setting up a calendar for online booking
In order to make it easier for the user to select a date and time, and to see at once what time is reserved, and what time is free to change the display of the calendar in the editing options of the “Date” item by selecting “Display directly in form” instead of “As a pop-up window”:
Далее в параметрах валидации нужно включить такие опции:
- Required field
- Display time
- Block the past
Date and time blocking setting
Since there are 3 boxes on our car wash, you can book for 3 times at the same time, after which this time should be marked as blocked and the client could not select it. To set up this, you need to select one more validation parameter “Enable date blocking”:
After that 2 more fields “Number of active blocks for the same time” and “Block interval in minutes” will appear below.
Since we have 3 boxes in the car wash, in the field “Number of active blocks for the same time” you should specify the number 3, and in the field “Block interval in minutes” you should specify the duration of the service in minutes. In our case, in this field you need to write the number 60, that's how many minutes on average one car washed. Once everything is set up, do not forget to click on the "Save" button.
Customizing the design of the online booking form
Once all the elements have been added to the form, you can go further to customizing the design of our form. To do this, open the “Design theme” tab:
Here you can see how your form will look. The standard theme is displayed by default. To change the theme you need to click on the “Select Theme” button:
After that you will see all available design themes. You can choose any design theme you like. You can change the background, font, color, frame, shadow, etc. in any design theme. You can read about how to do this in our knowledge base here.
Any design theme is adapted to mobile devices, so users who fill in the form using mobile devices won’t have any problems with it.
Setting up a company operating schedule
If necessary, you can set up operating schedule of your company. You can set a break and weekends. So at this time no one could leave a request. To do this, go to the “Statistics” tab in the “Calendar” section:
This is where all online requests that your customers will leave will be displayed. As an example, let's make Saturday and Sunday a day off. To do this, move the pointer at any time on Saturday or Sunday and click on the “Add” link, after which you will see the following window:
Here we select the blocking time, the repetition rate and specify that it is a non-working hours. Since we set the weekend to Saturday and Sunday, we set the blocking time to “All Day”. In the “Repeat” field select the value “Every week” and select the repetition days “Saturday” and “Sunday”. After that we press the “Save” button and these days will be immediately highlighted in color, as non-working days:
In the same way, you can set the opening hours and break. Let's set up working hours from 9.00 to 18.00, with a break from 13.00 to 14.00. It turns out we need to block these time intervals:
- 00.00 to 08.59
- 13.00 to 13.59
- 18.00 to 23.59
And they have to be repeated on workdays from Monday to Friday:
As a result, the work schedule in the calendar will be displayed in this form:
In fact the form of online booking for the car wash is ready and you can place it on your website or place a link to the form in social networks. But something we have not set up yet, to be exact: e-mail and SMS notifications.
Setting up e-mail and SMS notifications
In order for the administrator not to miss any requests, you can set up notifications by e-mail and SMS. To do this, go to form settings in “E-mail notifications” and “SMS notifications” sections:
Here you note the administrator's e-mail address (you can add a few) to which the notification will be sent, and point out the subject of the e-mail, the sender's name and e-mail, and the e-mail template. You can read more about it here.
In the same way you set up the SMS-notifications for the administrator. To do this, you should open the “SMS notifications” section:
SMS-notifications are paid separately. You need to top up your balance for any amount, after which these parameters will be available for you.
Here you also specify administrator's phone number (you can specify several) and text of SMS-notifications. Read more about SMS-notifications here.
If necessary, you can set up notifications for the user (voice response system), so you can automatically send SMS to the client, for example, with information that his request has been successfully accepted. Read how to set up a voice response system here.
Notifications in Telegram
You can also set up to send notifications to your Telegram channel or group. To do this, go to the modules tab and connect the integration with Telegram there. You can read about how to do this here.
Enabling online payment
If necessary, you can connect online payment to the online booking form. To do this, go to the modules tab and connect the “Payment Terminal” module:
After enabling the “Payment Terminal” module and sending the form, the user will be redirected to the payment system website to make online payment.
You can read about how to enable and set up the “Payment Terminal” here.
So here it is a simple way to create your own online booking form or some service using web form builder “FormDesigner.ru.”