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102
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Completed

Online Bookings: Set Time Slots

102
votes

Online Booking Slot Efficiency: Reducing gaps between bookings. Creating "Sticky Bookings" and prioritize time slots before & after existing bookings, opening & closing times / Usually asking about for set time slot intervals

34 comments

  • Official comment
    The most efficient way to populate your calendar and easiest use for clients, especially for last minute bookings is through 15-minute time slots. We are, however, still researching and as always, considering users feedback so we have taken note of this request.

    The online widget is currently standardized to 15 minutes time slots but if your services are 60 minutes long then 60 minutes will still be blocked from the calendar, plus, set time slots only work if all of your services are the same duration. 

    Having said that, our number one priority is to achieve maximum efficiency of calendar bookings so we're exploring new technology which we're calling "Sticky Bookings" to ensure that online bookings are made back to back.

    We've found most clients book on the hour regardless and you can also add a message into the Confirmation message to say that appointments "may be rescheduled up to by 15 minutes for optimization". Then also enable your Reschedule notifications.

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  • I don't think rescheduling clients is going to be an option.  I do kid's haircuts, so most parents schedule their kids for 3:45 as that is when they get out of school plus 15 minutes.  If I reschedule it to 4:00, they would have to wait around for 15 minutes, and in this day and age, people don't like to wait.  People also don't like to be rescheduled.

    I, for one, would LOVE to see a "sticky" booking to make sure that the bookings book back to back!  Good idea!

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  • Will love to have 30 mins interval not 15. My time messes up everytime a customer books on a 15 mins interval. Lets say My appointments are alway on the hour or halve our. If a customer books on a 12:15 I lost 12 or 12:30, so instead of doing 2 I will do just 1 in an hour!!! 

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  • Agree with Alberto, I have to maximise my working time which means booking back to back. But my treatment times aren't all the same length (mainly 30 or 60 mins)

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  • I also agree with Alberto.

    I need patients to book on the hour or half hour. This is the main reason that I don't use the online booking option in Fresha.

    Sticky back to back appointments would be great for me also.

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  • The Sticky Bookings function would take Fresha from good to great. Our business is high volume and most services are done in 20 min intervals. As it stands now, our time is not maximized to its full potential. Sticky Bookings would be a HUGE benefit in increasing our revenue and we’d never have to turn clients away.

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  • I agree... we are losing time each day with 15 mins here and there because of online bookings. Each of our practitioners has different appointment lengths so a feature that automatically allocates the next time slot or 'sticks' it to the one before would be incredible.

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  • I would like if clients can book only on full hours. With 15min time slot is making a mess in my personal fitness studio.

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  • Totally Agree with everyone...
    Letting clients book when they want nearly destroyed my business and we stopped using Fresha for 12 months. was hoping to see some improvements since we have been away a while, hoping to see a lot more features adding because like it or not, Not one size fits all here, a good software means many options for many business types. not just a majority vote!

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  • It is nice to see you guys improving every time I check out Fresha. The only thing holding me back from using your software full time is the booking intervals. I too would love it if you could give the option to book in 1/2 hour intervals instead of or along with the 15 minute intervals. I am considering rescheduling people as per your suggestion but I'm not sure that would be okay with every one of my clients. Please consider this addition in the future. Thank you.

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  • I don't use Schedul yet for this exact reason.  In another booing system I currently use, there is a trick to enable a set schedule.  The system allows you to input multiple availabilities on each day (rather than just two in the Schedul system).  For example on Mondays a user can set up available times as follows:

    9:00 - 10:00

    10:30-11:30

    12:00 - 1:00

    1:30 - 2:30

     

    4:00 - 5:00

    5:30 - 6:30

    etc...

     

    This allows for a set appointment schedule that clients simple chooses from, and for the user to determine ideal starting times and varying breaks between appointments as well.

    Could be a useful and easy fix.  

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  • Sticky bookings could then be added to encourage cluster booking of available set times...

     

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  • I agree with Lisa Molloy. I operate 1hr appointments but must have 15mins in between clients for notes etc. I therefore stipulate my appointment times. Another system i've used allows you to book multiple breaks (not just 2 'shifts'); this might solve the issue?

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  • Hi everyone, thanks for your continued feedback. 

    Good news! If you already have your online bookings updated to Fresha, you can already have 15 minute or 30 minute time-slot intervals for online bookings. Head to "Setup">"Calendar Settings" to update to 30 minutes. Additionally, in the first half of December, we're also adding 60minute time-slot intervals for online bookings so you can take appointments on the hour. 

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  • Online Booking Time Slots ⏲️

    We've done it! We've updated the online booking time slots to allow for 15, 20, 30 mins and 1h intervals!

    This way, you can be more flexible on how granular your online booking availability shows.

    To set this up, head to "Online Booking" > "Settings" and remember to save your changes.

    If you haven't been upgraded to Fresha yet, email us at hello@fresha.com for your upgrade so that you can make the most of these features!

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  • Is there a "sticky booking" option yet? That's exactly what we need to make this online booking work for us. We have back to back appointments for the whole day, and they range in time lengths, so this would solve the problem for us. 

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  • Please instead of saying UNAVAILABLE can we use the words FULLY BOOKED?! 

    Clients think that i am not working or on holiday or just generally not around and although its great to be busy and fully booked for weeks ahead, its not great for new clients thinking i am just not availble, whereas fully booked looks great!!! 

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  • Is back to back bookings going to be an option in the near future? Would love to see online bookings only offer next available so there are no gaps. E.g. online bookings are available from 9am-12pm I wish clients could only book 9am as first available not any time between 9 till 12.

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  • @renae

    There's no perfect solution right now. 

    Some sticky booking features leave you with big gaps in the middle of your day and other hides appt times from clients for when they actually need/want to book and set time slots can also cause gaps as they only work if all of your services are the same duration. 

    We're definitely researching this further. For the time being, you can simply update your client notifications and online 'important info' to let clients know that appts may be reschedule but up to 15 minutes. 

    This way, you can let the system do 90% of the work and you just need to tweak for calendar efficiency :) 

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  • This issue is holding me back from using online booking too.

    Something like this looks like it would be good.

    https://www.gettimely.com/blog/the-worlds-smartest-online-booking-only-available-with-timely/

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  • @peter Thanks for sharing! Interestingly, we're calling that feature "stick bookings" and actually, Timely haven't nailed it either because you hide the slots clients actually need and your calendar ends up with huge gaps. There's no perfect solution so I wouldn't hold back from online bookings just in case you might have a gap. 

    Best thing to do is let clients book online and add a note saying "appts maybe rescheduled by up to 30mins for studio optimisation".


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  • @Fresha, thanks for your response. Any news on when "sticky bookings" are likely to be available?

    I understand there may not be a perfect solution, but I think I'd rather have one huge gap than lots of little gaps spread throughout the day. And if there's no perfect solution, perhaps the best solution would be to give practitioners options for the way they set up their online booking system -- i.e. the option to turn sticky bookings on or off, the option to restrict certain types of appointments to certain times of day, etc. The more options we have, the more likely it is we'll be able to set things up to suit our needs.

    The other thing that's holding me back from using online bookings at the moment is that I don't want patients to be able to see my full availability. I'm not particularly busy yet, and I don't think it fills prospective clients with confidence if they see so many availabilities when they book online. I know I can reduce the number of options available by setting the schedule to 60 mins instead of 15 mins, but then that sets up the problem above of having lots of little gaps throughout the day instead of back-to-back appointments (which also increases client confidence if they see other people in the clinic before and after them). With this in mind, another *option* for practitioners to turn on/off depending on their needs would be to allow patients to nominate a time that best suits them, then they are shown a small number of options that are closest to the time they want. That way, they get their preferred time, but they don't see the whole schedule. If desired, this option could be combined with sticky bookings.

    I hope that all makes sense. Thanks for working hard to build a great service. I hope my feedback helps move Fresha in a positive direction that makes it more useful for more people.

    Cheers!

    P.S. I don't think patients would appreciate their appointments being moved "for studio optimisation". I could be wrong, but that's my feeling. I don't think I would like it if I were the patient. It might mean that I can't make it to the appointment and then have to go to the hassle of rescheduling.

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  • @peter always love ideas and suggestions!
    If I may, I'd suggest to not over think online bookings. Let it help you.  If you'd like clients to see less availability, you can show them less availability by adjusting your working eg. only work mornings, or add some block time to your calendar. Although you then might be hiding times that they actually want. Plus, sticky booking is only most valuable when you're already working at 90% capacity. 

    Best thing to do is enable it and see how your clients respond. They might LOVE that fact that you have great availability. 

    PS from experience, most people don't mind having appts reschedule slightly :) 

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  • This app needs a feature to make set time slots for appointments. Most of my clients are continuous bookers so I follow a set schedule with full sets in the morning and fills in the afternoon. Without the feature of selecting what time slot is available for a specific treatment than new clients can book at any time messing with my regulars 

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  • Hi Fresha Team,

    I was just wondering if you are still considering implementing sticky bookings? I love your system so much but the lack of this particular feature is making me consider moving to another system. I seen Acuity and Calendly utilise this feature and I think it's an important one especially when your hours are only part time and you need to utilise your time as effective as possible, without constantly moving people around. As Peter said even if its not perfect the user could decide if it works for them or not, by turning it on/off depending on preference.

    I'm crossing my figures that this is coming soon, I really don't want to move away from you but it is a super important feature for me to have.

    Many Thanks,

    Louise 

     

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  • Hi, I just want to say again that we're really hoping the sticky booking feature gets worked out soon. We have a very busy shop and having 10-15 minute gaps between appointments is really hurting us. Our receptionists find it's more work trying to reschedule everyone than just booking by phone in the first place. We'd rather risk not booking one client if their desired 15 minute window isn't available, so that we'll have a 30 minute slot available for someone else. 

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  • Any news on this? Can we have a 45 minute time slot interval please please please 🙏 would make my life so much easier and would mean no lost 15 minutes all over the place...

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  • First of all thank you Fresha team for this amazing booking system works perfectly .

    My only request to give us the customization option to decide how many minutes of slot intervals we want to use .

    For me 40mins slot intervals works best ., but that might different for other people .

    By addiding custom option everyone can decide for them selves what suits them best .

    Sticky bookings sounds great if you guys can work it out .

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  • We have the same issue. My other half who runs a home salon on her own would massively benefit from sticky bookings and Fresha's lack of support for that is leading us to look at moving to another provider that does (We've also seen Timely's implementation of this which we do think is brilliant). Everything else in Fresha is great, but this is a huge opportunity lost. If there's a 3 hour gap and someone books a 30 minute cut right in the middle, then that entire slot is lost where someone else could have booked a 2 hour colour appointment and the cut could be right before or after. We like to use the analogy of a badly parked car that encroaches into the next bay, meaning another car is unable to park there. Everyone knows how frustrating that is!!

    Fresha - I agree with others. You guys may not see the benefit, but your customers are asking for it because they do. Listen to their feedback and give them the option! They don't have to use it, but for those that need it, it's a huge win. 

    I think this could also tie in nicely with online bookings being tentative rather than immediately confirmed. That way if everything is ok, it can be confirmed, if not, a new time could be proposed with a custom message. It's just more elegant and personalised than telling clients they may be rescheduled for "optimisation"

    Tentative bookings discussed here if anyone else agrees and would like to upvote it - https://support.fresha.com/hc/en-us/community/posts/115002883309-Tentative-Online-Bookings

    I will say that aside from this, we've found Fresha to be fantastic, so please keep up the great work!

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  • I have just switched from Timely and they had this feature. It was an absolute God-send!!! Appointments just fitted together like Lego. It doesn't matter how long the appointment is....it just bolts on to an adjacent appointment and reduces 'white space' on the columns. I will be so excited to have this feature back. Also, when people are booking online, it looks like you are busier than you really are. Instead of listing EVERY 15 minute slot, it only lists the few which are adjacent to another appointment of a break.

    It is an absolute no-brainer!!!

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