How to create an appointment schedule for a language school
This tutorial uses an online appointment schedule for language lessons that require the availability of a number of teachers from a separate resource schedule. It is an example of a service schedule that is connected to a resource schedule.
If you require group events like classes, the capacity schedule tutorial is a better option. If you are planning to schedule only one person’s time, you can still use the service schedule as a standalone or you could have a look at the resource schedule tutorial.
Note that there are a few differences and some of our customers prefer the service schedule’s appearance. While the resource schedule allows repeating appointments and arbitrary appointment durations, the service schedule enables services to take into account the availability of multiple resources.
This tutorial also applies to services such as car repairs or teleconferencing that require the availability of separate resources. You can adapt the configuration to suit your particular needs.
Booking a service
If you offer a number of services, your customers will be able to choose from a list.
Use the steps that follow to learn how to create an appointment schedule for several types of language lessons requiring the availability of different teachers (as resources).
This tutorial demonstrates the following customizations:
- Using the schedule to offer a number of services
- Connecting the service schedule to a resource schedule
- Collecting payments with each service booked
You can view the end result on the language school demo page.
Setting up the schedule in 5 easy steps
Once you have set up a new account, the most efficient way of setting up an appointment schedule is with a build-and-test cycle:
Setting up a basic schedule using the New Schedule WizardStep
Before you begin
In order to follow the steps in this tutorial, you need to set up an account and create a separate resource schedule. It’s free and all you need is a valid email address. Log in to your account to reach your Dashboard.
Select the type of schedule
Click New Schedule in the menu on the right side of your Dashboard. You will be directed to the New Schedule Wizard where you can select the correct default settings for your appointment schedule.
You first need to create a separate resource schedule containing the availability of the teachers. A resource schedule (which allows people to book one-on-one time with a person, item or specific space) is the ideal schedule for scheduling teachers’ time so that they do not have two appointments that overlap.
After selecting Resource schedule, select Log in to make changes, which requires clients to sign up to make a booking. Then opt for More than one to add multiple resources. For this tutorial, add “Any teacher”, “Maurice” and “Michelle”.
Next, name the schedule “Teachers”. Make sure the time constraints are set according to the times you would like to have for your service schedule.
The resource schedule tutorial will explain how to set one up. You can also follow the steps provided in this tutorial, but name your schedule “Teachers” instead of “Therapist”.
You are now ready to return to your Dashboard to set up your appointment schedule. Click the New Schedule on the right side of your screen. Since the availability of the language lessons relies on the availability of teachers from the separate resource schedule, select Service schedule from the list of options.
Decide if users need to log in
You can require users to create a username and password on your schedule, or you can simply allow anyone who visits the schedule to create an appointment. For this tutorial we’ll select “No log in necessary”.
Name your schedule
The title you give to your appointment schedule in combination with your account name forms the URL that your clients will see in their browser when they use your schedule. Provide a short but descriptive name for the schedule.
You can always change it (as well as your account name) later. Note that if you do so, the schedule’s web address will change accordingly and you will need to inform your users. For this example, enter “Conversation lessons” and click Next.
List your services and connect resources
You now have the option to list your services and apply default duration values if needed.
If you have already created a resource schedule, you can use the selector next to each service to define which resource(s) are required for the service to become available. If you have not already done so, you can set it up now by following the resource schedule tutorial.
Enter “English conversation Beginner” as the first service and connect it to the resource schedule “Teachers”. If all the teachers speak English, you can enable the resources to link to “Any teacher”. You can also determine opening hours and time constraints.
Enter a second service, for example, “French conversation Beginner” and because only Maurice teaches French, you can select resource “Maurice” from the “Teachers” schedule.
Alternatively, if you define a single service the user interface will adapt to hide the service selector widget.
Clicking Finish activates the schedule online. Step 2 will help you test your schedule to ensure that it works as expected.
Trying out the schedule to see if it works as expectedStep
To use your schedule as an administrator, click Use in the menu. This is only visible when you are logged in as administrator.
Regular users will see the same appointment schedule but with fewer options. You can also find Use on your Dashboard.
Booking a lesson
If you have created more than one lesson, you will see them in a column on the left side of your Dashboard. To book a lesson, click one of the available time chips and edit the details.
When you click Create reservation, the schedule updates to show your booking and adjusts the availability accordingly. If you would like to edit an appointment, click on it again to make changes. Be sure to click Update reservation before closing it, otherwise you will lose the changes.
Appointments that are linked to resources will show up on the resource schedules, but note that they cannot be edited there. Clicking on a resource will provide a popup with a link to the schedule where it can be edited. If the same appointment shows up in multiple schedules that are linked, it still only counts as a single appointment in your subscription usage.
Adjusting the configurationStep
You now have a basic appointment schedule for your conversation lessons and can begin configuring it to suit your requirements.
Click Configure to go to Overview for a summary of the different options you can adjust. Here, you can temporarily block the appointment schedule or delete it entirely.
The Services tab lists the services available and how they relate to resources. The top half of the screen lets you create and update your services. You can click and drag the rows to change the order in which the services are listed.
Create a new service
When you click New Service, or click the edit icon of an existing service, a window appears where you can change the details. You can also change the color of a service by clicking the colored box in the top right corner of the window.
The radio button Hidden (next to Normal) lets you create a service that is only available to the administrator and superusers. Hidden services do not appear in the service list that your clients see.
In the field at the bottom of the editing window, you can enter a description of the service that will appear when the service is selected. It can contain formatting and pictures but note that you can only link to pictures that are available online.
If your account contains any resource schedules, the service editing window will also contain a section marked Resources where you can indicate which resources from these schedules need to be available when making an appointment. For example, you could specify that a lesson needs both a specific teacher and a specific classroom. Or, if more than one teacher can give a lesson then you can click the “or” button and list each one.
To add new resources, go to your Dashboard, click New Schedule, and select the Resource type schedule. You can also add additional resources to an existing resource schedule via the Resources tab.
Configure general settings
Under Term used to describe an entry, you can customize the term you want to use in place of “reservation”. You can select a term from the list or use your own custom term that will describe your service appropriately. In this example, “lesson” is the most suitable term. This term will be used in all dialog windows, help text and email confirmations.
You can also change the term used for “user”, for example changing it to “client”, under the Layout settings.
Limits per user
Next, determine the number of appointments a client can make on your schedule. After the maximum is reached, appointments can only be changed or deleted.
When a service depends on one or more resource schedules, any limits set there apply here as well. If the checkbox Multiple reservations can take place at the same time is not selected, the schedule will behave as if there is a single shared resource needed for each appointment. You would check this box if you offer a service that can be booked multiple times simultaneously (e.g. a lesson that can take place in any meeting room).
Constrain start times
Creating a grid consisting of predetermined available times usually provides a better user experience than leaving the time unconstrained. You can enter suitable start times in the Constrain start times to field. Students can then pick a time by simply clicking on a time slot.
If you offer a service that depends on an interchangeable resource, the system can show the client a drop-down menu of available resources from which to choose. In this example, students can select a preferred teacher.
If you offer more than one service, you can select the order in which services and/or available resources will be presented under the heading Service selection.
Add a price
The Price field allows you to charge a fee for a booking. By clicking Setup pricing you can create advanced pricing rules that change the price based on particular conditions. This is discussed in detail under Adding payment to your schedule.
Testing the schedule from a visitor’s point of viewStep
Test the scheduling process from a client’s perspective to make sure it behaves as expected. You will need to switch between administrator and user access, which is discussed in more detail under Testing the schedule you created. You can add lessons as a user and delete them once you have checked that the appointment schedule works.
Every schedule has its own web address, which can be viewed under Overview. If you want to direct a client straight to a specific schedule, you can copy/paste this link to an email or SMS.
Integrating the registration system into your websiteStep
Once you are happy with the way your online booking system looks and have tested it to ensure that it behaves as expected for someone visiting your schedule, you are ready to direct people to it.
There are a few ways you can share your schedule:
- Put a link on your site that redirects people to your schedule
- Embed the SuperSaaS page inside a frame on your own site
- Add a ‘Book Now’ button to your own site and/or social media channels
- Put a widget on your own site that allows people to stay on your site while they book
You can find out more about this in the documentation outlining how to Integrate a schedule in your website.
Your appointment schedule can be displayed to users in several ways. It can be integrated into your website using an iframe, used on a mobile device or simply linked to SuperSaaS.