Online booking with vCita lets anyone schedule with your business directly from your website, your client portal, emails, or social media pages! To make sure that online booking is convenient for you, as well as for your clients, vCita's online booking options let you control scheduling settings, booking policies, the text displayed on the booking page, and more.
This article explains the online booking options and how to use them:
- Accessing and Enabling Online Booking Options
- Selecting Online Scheduling Settings
- Setting Your Booking Policies
- Choosing Booking Display Options
Accessing and Enabling Online Booking Options
Open the Online Booking Options page by selecting the Settings menu and then click Online Booking Options.
IMPORTANT: To be able to use online booking successfully, make sure the Online Scheduling checkbox "I offer online scheduling" at the top of the Online Booking Options page is checked. An unchecked box means that online booking is disabled. Changes you make on the page while online booking is disabled will be saved, but not applied until you reactivate the option (by selecting the checkbox).
Online Scheduling Settings
The Booking options & limits section has settings to help you maintain order in your calendar by providing options that avoid last-minute bookings, give you control over how you accept appointments, and more.
- Accept appointments: If you choose one of the Manual options, you will need to manually accept the appointment in your vCita. Once accepted, a confirmation email is sent to the client. When you select the Automatic option, appointments booked online for an available time slot will be entered in your calendar and confirmed automatically.
Note: The 3 time slot option is not supported on mobile devices.
- Advance notification: Lets you set the period of time that must elapse between time of booking and time of the appointment. Options vary from 15 minutes to 6 weeks.
- Limit future bookings: Lets you control how far ahead of time clients may book an appointment. Options vary from one day in advance to one year in advance. When Not set is selected, there is no limit on how far ahead clients may book.
Setting Your Booking Policies
The Booking policies options allow you to set rules and policies for rescheduling and cancelling appointments. You may also compose a message text that will be displayed to your clients immediately before they book an appointment online.
- Cancellations and Reschedules: Lets you set the period of time that must elapse between rescheduling or cancelling an appointment and the time of the original appointment. Options vary from Always (no limit) to 4 weeks.
After the set time limit is reached, clients will not be able to reschedule or cancel the appointment online.
- Booking Policy Text: This is the place to describe your policy in regards to cancellations, reschedules, arriving late and so on. You may also use it for instructions, terms or any other notes for your clients. The booking policy text will be displayed to clients right before submitting their appointment request, as well as on the appointment screen on the client portal. Simple HTML may be used.
- Terms of service: Select the checkbox if you want clients to accept your own Terms of Service before they book an appointment. When you choose this option, you will be prompted to enter the URL pointing to your Terms of Service.
Choosing Booking Display Options
The Display options settings lets you further customize how your Service Menu is displayed to clients who book online.
- Categories display: Choose whether the categories in the Service Menu are automatically expanded (so clients can see all services immediately), or whether clients expand the categories manually. See the figure below for an example.
- Scheduling order: Choose whether clients first select a service and then the preferred staff member, or vice versa. (This option is not relevant if you are the only staff member who provides the service.)
- Add title to service menu: Enter a line of text to be displayed above your Service Menu. (See the figure below for an example.)