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Configuring the booking process

Should users be allowed to make repeat bookings or not? Do bookings require payment or approval? Should new bookings be confirmed? To whom? And what about reminders and follow-up emails? The SuperSaaS system offers you fine-grained control over each of these aspects of the booking process

Repeated bookings

By default users can create only one booking at a time. However, both Resource and Capacity schedules can be configured to allow repeat bookings, so that users do not have to create each booking separately.

Resource schedule

  1. Navigate to Configure > Process
  2. Select Add a “Repeat” option to the dialog box for new reservations
  3. Press Save changes

When booking, users will now have the option to repeat their booking daily, weekly, bi-weekly, monthly by date or monthly by day, all until a (mandatory) end date.

Capacity schedule

When creating a new slot on a capacity schedule, the administrator (or superuser) can make it repeat on a daily, weekly, bi-weekly, monthly by date or monthly by day basis, all until a particular end date. This makes it easy, for example, to create a course schedule with weekly classes. Only when a slot itself repeats and the schedule is configured accordingly, can users make recurring bookings.

Repeat bookings for Capacity schedule

To allow users of a capacity schedule to make repeat bookings, follow these steps:

  1. Navigate to Configure > Process
  2. Depending on whether users should be able to pick their own repeat frequency or have to sign up to all instances of a repeating slot, i.e. all classes of a course, select the appropriate option under Can a user make repeating reservations?
    • Yes, if the class repeats the user can sign up for more than one, or
    • Yes, if the class repeats the user has to sign up for all of them
  3. Press Save changes

Please note that the scheduling system does not allow you to repeat slots and bookings more than 35 times. This is to prevent users from creating an endless series of bookings, which could cause you to exceed the appointment limit of your package. To repeat bookings more than 35 times, users can simply edit their last booking in the series and begin to repeat it again (and again, if needed). Similarly, to repeat slots more often, go to the last slot in the series, click on Edit slot and you will be presented with the option to repeat again.

Note that in case bookings require payment upfront, the system will add up the price of each individual slot or booking. The user will then be charged for all the bookings at once (after applying any remaining credit the user may have).

Payment and approval

Depending on how you plan to use your reservation schedule, you may want to approve bookings before they are confirmed to users. Or maybe you require payment upfront. Via Configure > Process, under Require payment or approval?, you can configure your schedule accordingly.

Payment and approval

The option No payment or approval required is selected by default. If you would like to approve bookings manually, select the option Require approval from the administrator before confirming instead. Now appointments are booked tentatively only and the administrator (or a superuser) will need to confirm the booking before it is committed and a confirmation is sent. On the schedule, pending bookings are shown with a lighter shading and are marked with a P in list views such as a user’s agenda. Upon selecting this option, a new option, Send an email to the administrator for each approval request, will appear. Check this option if you want to be notified by email of every new booking pending approval.

If you also want to notify one or more superusers or prefer to receive a daily overview instead, you can do so under Should we notify anyone else of a new or changed reservation?. See below for more information.

Note that the option to automatically approve reservations created by a superuser or administrator is set by default.

Alternatively, you can ask for (partial) payment and automatically approve (and confirm) reservations upon receiving it. You can do so by selecting Complete payment before continuing. If you also want to offer your users the option to pay later, select Ask for payment, but allow the user to pay later instead. For more information on how to set up the payment process itself, please refer to the Payment section.

If a user has been given “unlimited credit”, then their reservations will be approved automatically. This is a useful shortcut to allow people you trust to bypass the approval system. To give someone unlimited credit, first switch on the credit system via Payment Setup.

Confirmations and reminders

The SuperSaaS reservation system allows you to send email and/or SMS notifications and reminders. These can be used to confirm bookings to users or notify yourself of new or updated bookings.

Confirmations

By selecting Send a confirmation under Configure > Process, you can choose to send a confirmation to users once their reservation is approved. Users will also be notified of any subsequent changes they make to their bookings or when they delete them altogether. If you want to leave it up to users themselves whether a confirmation should be sent, select Let the user choose whether or not to send a confirmation instead.

Confirmations

To ensure notifications can be delivered, you may want to verify the email addresses users provide upon registration; this can be done via Access Control. If you do not work with registered users, then at least make sure that the users’ email address is collected upon booking. Also verify that the option Use email address as login under Access Control is not checked.

Please refer to the Daily use section for more information on confirmations when acting on a user’s behalf.

Note that most messages are not sent when logged in as administrator, since that would quickly flood your mailbox while working on the system. In order to check whether you receive the appropriate messages, first log in as a regular user, as explained in “testing the schedule”.

Reminders

In addition to email confirmations, you can send your users a reminder some time prior to the start of their appointment or booking, ranging from 2 weeks to 15 minutes. If you have set up an SMS gateway (see below), you can choose between email or SMS reminders. In case of the latter you need to make sure that you collect users’ mobile phone numbers upon registration and/or booking.

Reminders

The booking software also allows you to send users a follow-up email, some time after the start of their appointment or booking. Once you have activated this option, you can edit the content of this message via Configure > Layout (see also Customizing messages and notifications).

You can use the follow-up email as a second reminder by entering a negative number of minutes, hours, days, weeks or months relative to the start of the booking or appointment.

Setting up an SMS gateway

In order to send SMS notifications, you need to have an SMS gateway set up. SuperSaaS does not sell SMS credits, but offers integration with numerous national and international SMS providers (see below for a selection of such providers).

Note that several SMS notification options will be hidden unless you have an SMS gateway set up.

Once you have created an account with one of them, you need to provide your account credentials such as your user name and password under SMS Gateway Settings. If your SMS provider requires you to specify a gateway type, then select HTTP

SMS providers
If the SMS provider of your choice is not available from the dropdown menu, feel free to contact SuperSaaS support

Make sure you enable the SMS gateway by checking Enable the SMS Gateway and saving your changes. The SuperSaaS system will then verify your account credentials with your SMS provider. A status message at the top of the page will indicate success or failure.

Other notifications

Irrespective of whether you work with administrator approval or not, you can configure the system to notify you and others of any new or updated bookings. You can choose to be notified by email of every individual change or receive an overview once a day. In order to send these emails to several people at once, enter their email addresses as a comma-separated list in the related text field.

Other notifications

If you have set up an SMS gateway (see above), you can also send notifications of new or updated bookings to one or more mobile phone numbers. This is especially useful when you want to be notified of last-minute changes to your schedule.

Process upon completion of a booking

Via Configure > Process you can also control where users are taken and/or what page they are shown upon completing a booking. By default, a user will remain on the schedule page after completing a booking. The new booking will be highlighted on the schedule and above the schedule a message is shown, saying that the booking was created successfully.

Process upon completion of booking

Alternatively, you can send the user to his agenda, where he finds an overview of all his upcoming bookings. Another option is to provide a URL where users will be redirected to upon completing their bookings. It is strongly recommended that the page users are redirected to clearly shows that their booking was completed successfully. Redirecting to your homepage without any confirmation as to what happened would be confusing for your users and PayPal actually explicitly forbids it in combination with their payment process.

To aid tracking of successful bookings, you can use the ‘magic words’ $name, $id, $price, $slot_id, $email or $full_name in the URL, which will be replaced by the appointment’s login name, ID, price, slot ID, email or full name respectively. You would then extract that information with a script on the page where you send the user to, or store it in a server log for later processing.

Via Layout Settings you can specify the URL where users are taken when they log out from SuperSaaS (or click your logo, provided it is shown). This can be a different URL and using your homepage would be appropriate here.