Note: Swapping out members with locations can be helpful for some organizations. However, please note that Appointlet provides a location property on all meeting types. If you do want to keep the "member" format in place, consider adding a location to your services so people know how or where you will be meeting: view instructions here.
We tend to think of appointments as a meeting between two people. Doctors meet with patients, sales reps meet with clients, teachers meet with students, and so forth. This human to human relationship represents the cornerstone of scheduling at Appointlet.
That being said, not all organizations are using Appointlet to connect their audience with team members. Sometimes it makes more sense to book a place than a person. Appointlet provides the option of changing the word "member" to a term that better reflects your use case. In this article we'll touch on a couple of those scenarios.
Booking Rooms in a Building
Imagine that you run the music department at a college and have a limited set of practice rooms. To avoid student conflict, you require that people sign up prior to using a room. Initially you set up a system where students can sign up on a sheet of paper in some common area. However, you find that students consistently forget what time they booked and you decide that email reminders would be helpful. To avoid the hassle of manually emailing reminders to students, you seek out an automated solution.
Appointlet is able to meet your needs, provided you understand how to configure the account. Organizations come with the concept of meeting types and members by default. The music students need to book a location, not a team member. By replacing the concept of "members" with "rooms", students can now choose a room number and the length of time that they will be practicing. The concept of booking an appointment with a member has been removed completely, but the app works in exactly the same way.
We see similar situations in massage studios and spas, where the staff is interchangeable and the rooms are the main attraction. For example, there may be a sauna and an aromatherapy room, neither of which require a licensed practitioner. Changing members to rooms will allow clients to schedule time in their spa room of choice.
Choosing from Physical Locations
If your organization has multiple physical locations, then your goal might be to bring clients in the door without consideration for who they will speak to. This is common when companies have several offices and want to book people based on the neighborhood where they live.
One of Appointlet's most successful organizations has eight physical locations across three different states. Their clients call for a variety of reasons, all of which can be handled by meeting types. Staff meet with clients on a first come first serve basis, and so it makes more sense to organize the booking page according to office locations. This allows people to reserve a time and place, without consideration for who they'll be speaking with.
Technical Instructions for changing Members to Locations
Imagine for a moment that you are a business owner with a couple of rooms that you want to rent out in a building. Perhaps you own a massage studio and massage therapists will use Appointlet to book times for their clients. In this example, all locations can be set up by a single account administrator. Your staff will select the room and the length of the massage.
Creating Sub-Calendars for Each of Your Locations
Before getting into configuring the Appointlet account, we create sub-calendars in our email calendar service of choice (Google or Office 365). Appointlet will use these to read availability, write events, and prevent schedule conflicts. In this example, the calendars are called Room 1 and Room 2 for simplicity's sake.
Configuring Your Appointlet Account for Member-Locations
Now that our sub-calendars have been created, we navigate to the Appointlet dashboard and open up the Members and Availability section.
Begin by editing the wording so that "member" becomes "room". Next, click on the existing profile and update its name. In this example we call it Heat Therapy Room.
Scroll down and expand the Calendar section. Here we can see that the sub-calendars created in Google Calendar are now visible in the Booking Calendar and Availability Calendar region. We select "Room 1" from the dropdown menu and check the "Room 1" box from the availability calendar list.
Navigating back to the "Rooms and Availability" section, we clone the room and update its name to Aromatherapy Room. In the calendar section, we select "Room 2" from the Booking and Availability Calendar sections. Room 1 and 2 are almost done now. We just need to assign the update meeting types.
On the app's left nav bar, click on Meeting Types and edit the existing record. For this example, we create a generic one-hour meeting type and clone it to produce a second two-hour meeting type.
Next, we will update the meeting types accepted for each room. Open the first room profile and navigate down to Available Hours and Meeting types section. Select the meeting types that are applicable and hit save. Repeat this step for each room.
You should be good to go. The final step is to click the Test icon to ensure that the booking page is displaying as expected.
Training Your Staff to use Appointlet
Once your account is configured as desired, you can use the share button to generate links to your booking page. Share these with your staff and they can book the meetings as needed. If you prefer, you can invite them into the account and let them use the Test icon to book from within the app.