Reschedule Appointments

We’ve simplified the process for clients to reschedule appointments.

reschedule appointment

Clients can now select to reschedule their appointment, rather than having to cancel and schedule a new appointment. We hope you’ll agree that this new option saves clients’ time and helps avoid confusion.

When a client reschedules an appointment, we’ll send a new appointment confirmation to the client and notify staff the same as if it were a new appointment.

We’ll still apply cancellation rules, so if the original appointment is inside the cancellation window, clients will be unable to make changes online.

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Different Access Levels for Staff

Did you know you can assign different access levels to staff with Full Slate accounts? Here’s how…

Go to Setup > Staff and either select an existing staff member or create a new one.  Next to “Allow this staff member to log into Full Slate?” click the drop-down to see available access level options.  You may choose:

  • Yes, with full access – This level is equivalent to ‘administrator’ privileges and includes access to all staff schedules, clients, messages, web tools, and account settings. An account has to have at least one staff member with full access, but you can assign it to others if you want to share responsibility for maintaining the account.
  • Yes, to all schedules – This level allows a staff member to make appointments for other staff members, but they can’t view or change account settings.  It works well for a receptionist or front office coordinator who manages the appointment book.
  • Yes, to own schedule – This level allows a staff member to view and manage their own hours and appointments.  They can’t see schedules of other staff and can’t see a full list of clients.  They also can’t see account settings.
  • No – Set the account to this level if you don’t want the staff to be able to login to Full Slate at all.  Clients may still schedule with them (if they are set to perform services) and they can receive appointment notifications, if desired.

Also, when setting up new staff, be sure to click ‘send invitation’ if you want them to be able to log into Full Slate.  This will send them an email with a link to create a password and log in.

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Instructions for Custom Fields

If you make use of custom fields on your scheduling form, it’s easy to provide your clients with instructions on what to enter. Just go to Setup > Booking Details and click the ‘add instructions’ link next to the custom field you want to update. Enter the desired instructions in the text box and then be sure to click ‘Save’ at the top of the screen.  Instructions will appear just below the custom field label on your scheduling form.

And remember, you can add a variety of custom fields to your scheduling form.  Use custom fields to capture address information, birthdays, ‘how did you hear about us?’, promotion codes, special requests, etc.  You can even create a multiple choice field that presents clients with a drop-down list of customized options.

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Encouraging Clients to Schedule Online

Every business is different, but many of our customers are seeing two-thirds or more of their clients schedule their appointments online.  Want to get more of your clients to schedule their appointments online?  Here are 5 things you can do to encourage online scheduling:

  • Email clients an invitation to schedule online.  You can do this individually or for a large group of customers.  Use our ‘Client Invitation’ email template or create your own.  Just be sure to include a link to your website or landing page.
  • Mention online scheduling to your clients before, during or after their appointment.  Let them know how easy it is and how other clients like the convenience.
  • Update your voicemail to let clients know that online scheduling is the fastest, easiest way to schedule their next appointment. Be sure to tell them the address of your website or landing page.
  • Put signage in your place of business. A window cling near the door and/or a small placard in your reception area serve as great reminders.
  • Update any printed materials to direct clients to schedule online: business cards, appointment cards, ‘thank you’ notes, stationery, invoices, receipts, etc.

We’d love to hear your ideas and success stories about getting clients to schedule online!

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Different Email Templates for Different Services

Ever want to send different messaging or instructions to clients based on the service they scheduled?  Now you can with service-specific automated emails.  When adding or editing an automated message (under Messages > Automatic Messages), you can specify which services you want the message to apply, as well as which message template to use and at what time interval.

There are a number of great uses of this feature:

  • Provide different instructions to new clients by creating a service (or services) just for new clients
  • Remind clients what to bring to appointments for specific services
  • Establish a different time interval for reminder or followup messages, based on the scheduled service

This is another example of a feature resulting directly from customer feedback.  Keep those ideas coming!

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Turn Off Email, SMS for Individual Clients

Have a client who doesn’t want to receive automated emails or SMS messages? We recently added new settings to allow you to turn off automated messaging for individual clients.  You can turn off automated emails, SMS messages, or both.

To update these settings, go to Clients > Details and find the client record you want to update. Check ‘No automatic email’ to prevent the client from receiving email reminders and other automated emails. Check ‘No SMS’ to prevent the client from receiving SMS reminders.

Also, notice the ‘Marketing opt-in’ checkbox next to these settings.  You can use this to track which clients have opted-in to receive marketing emails from you.  You can edit this setting yourself, or give clients the option to opt-in by adding the ‘Opt-in’ field under Setup > Booking Details.  When you send a marketing email from Clients > List, just be sure to check the ‘Opt-in only’ to only send to those clients who have opted in.

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Want to minimize gaps and idle time on your schedule? Our new ‘smart’ scheduling feature gives you the option to only show clients openings that are near other appointments on your schedule.  It’s designed to give you additional control and present openings the same way you might if a customer called in to schedule.

You’ll find this feature under ‘Setup’ > ‘Booking Rules’.  The default is to maximize flexibility for clients and show openings throughout the day.  You can choose to always display only those openings that are near other appointments.  Or you can combine the two: minimize gaps within the next few days and maximize client flexibility for appointments that are further out.

Minimizing gaps in your schedule let’s you make better use of your time and allows you to be more productive.  But don’t just take our word for it.  Here’s what Randy G. Sorter from Actualize Healing Arts in Denver says about it: “This new feature is a terrific solution to a professional dilemma: I can allow clients to book freely online and still be assured of an optimal schedule. I couldn’t be happier.”

Getting The Most Out Of Daily Deals

Daily deals aren’t for every business owner, but for those who decide to give daily deals a try, it’s important to do as much as possible to increase your return on investment and minimize disruption to your business.  Full Slate can help.  Here’s how:

  • Save time – Depending on the number of offers/vouchers you sell, you could spend hours – even days – answering phones to schedule (or reschedule) new customers.  That’s time you might otherwise spend serving other customers or managing your business.  Online scheduling can reduce that significantly – or eliminate it entirely if you require deal buyers to schedule online.
  • Enable add-on purchases – Full Slate allows clients to schedule multiple services and/or add-ons in a single appointment.  Each full-price add-on helps off-set the initial discount and make the customer more profitable.
  • Capture contact information – Not all daily deal sites provide businesses with the email address of customers who purchase vouchers and few of them share telephone numbers.  You can require one or both of these items in Full Slate, enabling you to communicate with customers before or after their appointment.
  • Encourage return visits – The best way to increase your return on a daily deal offer is to turn those ‘one-and-done’ customers into repeat customers.  With Full Slate’s automated follow-up messages, you can check-in with a customer days after their appointment (“how was your service?”), then a few weeks later encourage them to come back (“time to schedule your next appointment?”).
  • Reduce impact on your existing customers – Many businesses worry that daily deals will damage relationships with existing customers by making it more difficult for them to schedule appointments.  Full Slate allows you to control when daily deal customers can schedule by limiting days or hours that voucher services can be scheduled.  You can also assign vouchers to specific staff members (perhaps a new staff member who is trying to build his/her clientele).
Here’s a brief ‘case study’ of a Full Slate customer who has run several daily deals:
Rob Albiston runs a chain of laser teeth whitening clinics throughout the US.  Before using Full Slate, Rob ran an offer for his Denver location that sold over 400 vouchers.  All of the appointment requests came in over the phone.  “The phone was ringing constantly while I had clients in the chair.”  That’s when he decided he needed online scheduling.

A few months later, he ran another deal to launch his newest location in Washington, DC.  This time, the offer indicated that clients had to schedule online.  In 3 days, he sold over 1,400 vouchers.  A day after the deal closed, he had over 380 appointments scheduled and had only taken 4 phone calls.  He called to tell us “Full Slate is saving my life!”

We’ve had numerous Full Slate customers find success with daily deals.  Feel free to contact us to help you make the most of your daily deal.

Email Enhancement: Personalize the 'From' Field

A quick note about a cool new enhancement we released this week.  You now have the ability for system emails to have your business email address in the ‘From:’ field.  This applies to all emails sent to clients and staff including appointment confirmations and reminders.  Just enter the email address for your business on the Company -> Details tab.  That’s it!

Clients will more readily recognize emails from your business.  And replies will go directly to your business e-mail account, making it easier for you to correspond with your clients.

This is another example of a customer-requested-enhancement.  So keep those ideas coming.

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Helping small businesses grow – Intuit

A few of us here at Full Slate had the opportunity to attend ‘Entrepreneur Day’ at Intuit’s Mountain View, CA campus earlier this week.  Across the board, we were impressed with Intuit’s commitment to small businesses.Intuit logo

I think most people associate Intuit with ‘back-office’ functions such as accounting, taxes, payroll, payments, etc.  Intuit clearly offers valuable products to help small businesses with these functions.  The Entrepreneur Day events helped us realize that Intuit aspires to solve the biggest problems faced by small businesses.  Based on recent research, Intuit believes that the biggest challenge most small businesses currently face is growth – finding new customers and increasing revenue from existing customers.  Intuit is taking several steps to offer new or enhanced products and services that help small businesses address this challenge.

Entrepreneur Day also demonstrated Intuit’s commitment to new technologies and services – including online appointment booking – and their desire to find innovative partners that can help Intuit help small businesses.

We were impressed by what we saw.  You may want to check them out and judge for yourself.