Anyone who schedules and manages appointments for a business knows how tedious it can be, especially when personnel have limited or irregular availability. Online appointment booking systems significantly reduce the tedious back and forth of setting and confirming appointments.
With a booking calendar, clients or co-workers can schedule appointments and meetings right on your WordPress website. It’s a self-service system that can make life a whole lot easier.
Business owners can also charge fees for appointments and collect payments online, so you no longer have to worry about receiving payment on appointment day. They can also use a booking system to offer rentals or events and allow those interested to easily schedule. Viewing booked appointments in a calendar can also help businesses stay organized.
Here are some of the key features needed to build a successful online booking system, in no particular order, as seen with the CM Appointments Booking plugin for WordPress.
7 Important Features for Online Appointment Booking
#1. Payment Support
As mentioned, a handy feature for any booking system is the ability to accept payments. With WordPress, this means integrating with a cart system, such as WooCommerce or Easy Digital Downloads.
After integrating with a cart system, customers can pay for events or rentals without ever having to contact your team. And you won’t have to worry about whether customers have paid because it’s part of the registration process.
#2. Multiple Appointment Calendars
The ability to have multiple booking calendars on a single WordPress website comes in handy for those who offer different types of appointments and services with different availability.
Here’s an example of how this works:
Say you run a hair salon that offers different services like hair cuts, color, and waxing. Employees have different availability for each service and the services take different amounts of time. A website for this salon powered by WordPress could have calendars that allow customers to schedule each service.
With multiple calendars, people can choose the specific type of appointment they want to book. Each calendar has its own event duration, notification email, description, appointment form, etc.
#3. Customized Booking Information
Different businesses might need different information from customers upon booking appointments. Getting the right information will help employees decide to accept or reject an appointment, as well as know what to expect before the meeting.
For example, if you have a calendar for customer support appointments, it would be good to know what problem a customer is having and with what product, as well as basic contact information.
With CM Appointments Booking Pro, WordPress admin can customize forms with an easy drag and drop interface that includes 7 different fields.
#4. Set Appointment Length
Another important feature of a good online appointment booking system is the ability to specify appointment lengths so both parties know exactly how long the meeting will last.
With CM Bookings, WordPress admin can specify the length of appointments for each calendar.
#5. Define Availability
If you’re a professional with a busy schedule or specific availability for different services, it’s helpful to be able to define your schedule in a booking calendar. This way, customers know what days and times are free to schedule and are not able to book appointments when you’re busy.
Not only can admin define time availability within the CM Appointments Booking plugin, they can also specify days off.
#6. Appointment Approvals
There are several reasons admin may not want to approve a booked meeting, so having the ability to easily do so is important.
Some issues can be solved via email and don’t require an email. Maybe you just need more information before the meeting.
Whatever the reason, CM Bookings plugin gives you the option to reject, accept, or discuss appointments. Admin can also send customized email responses to customers to share the reason for rejecting an appointment.
#7. Mobile Booking
The importance of having mobile-friendly booking calendars cannot be understated. Since so many people use their phones to schedule meetings an appointments, your WordPress site must be able to keep up.
With the CM Bookings plugin, viewing on a mobile device changes the calendar to day view so availability is easy to see. This makes it possible for clients to schedule appointments on the go. Also, payment via mobile is also supported.
Appointment Booking with CM Appointments Booking Pro
These 7 features of a good appointment booking system not only make employees’ lives easier, they also provide a better user experience for potential customers. This can encourage more people to register, which can directly increase sales.
If you’re not using the booking system to directly receive payments, it can also promote a more positive customer service experience, encouraging customers to buy more products.
The possibilities for using a booking system on your WordPress website are endless. Make sure you use a plugin like CM Appointment Bookings to have all the features you’re looking for to make your life easier, as well as your customers’.
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