Online Appointment Scheduling Best Practices: Using Custom Fields

When clients go to schedule appointments with you online, there will be some services or classes that you offer for which you’ll want to collect some custom information from them ahead of time. If it’s a first time visit, you may want to know how they heard about you. If it’s a service where you need a bit of background info, you may want to ask them upon booking instead of having them fill out a form in your waiting room.

You can use the custom fields option to do this through TimeTap. There are several types of custom fields you can apply and you can attach an individual one to each service or class that you have. To get started, go to:

  • "Settings" > "Client Information" > "Define Field Labels"

From here, we'll walk you through each custom field type.

Go to Settings > Client Information > Define Field Labels

Go to Settings > Client Information > Define Field Labels

Adding a Simple Text Field

If you would like to ask your clients a question or for a small amount of information, the text field is the way to go. You'll be able to choose where to assign the text field - whether to the Client Profile where yourself and other staff members can refer back to the information or to the Appointment Details page where you'll see your client's answer for a specific appointment.

Additionally, you'll also be able to:

  • Add your field label
  • Choose whether or not the field is required for completion
  • Whether or not to show the text field on your web scheduler
  • Add a field hint to provide clients with additional information on what they should do

Once you're satisfied with your selections, click the "Save & Add New Field" button.

Adding a simple text field

Adding a simple text field

Adding a Text Area

A text area is similar to the Text Field except there is much more room for adding information. It looks just like the “Comments” section that comes as the default on the Your Information page. You have the same controls for assigning the field's information, giving it a label, whether or not to require its completion, show it on your scheduler, and add a field hint.

Adding a text area

Adding a text area

Adding a Dropdown

When you have a list of selections that clients can choose from for your services or classes, using a dropdown is the best field to use. You can list your values in the "List Values" section by pressing enter after each option (1 options per line) and tailor the other form fields as you choose.

Adding a dropdown field

Adding a dropdown field

Adding a Date Selector

If you want to ask clients for their date of birth, the last time they had a service completed, or even for them to provide a follow-up date, then I’d recommend using the date field type which will present users with a calendar dropdown. When they select a date, they can easily click on the month and the year (ex. October 2016) to step back and select another month or even another year if necessary.

Adding a date selector field

Adding a date selector field

Using the Yes/No Checkbox

The Yes/No checkbox is a popular option if you’re asking the client to agree to something (like the policies and procedures in the bottom of your mini website or whether or not they'd like to receive your newsletter) before confirming the appointment. It’s not overly complicated, but is helpful if you need to ensure they understand things like your cancellation policy or if they're willing to receive information from your business.

Adding a checkbox field

Adding a checkbox field

Adding a File Upload Field

Do your clients need to provide your business with specific information before completing an appointment, receiving a service, or participating in a class? Adding a file upload field would be great to use in this case, and if you missed our previous post, there's a really nice example that walks you through the steps of using this field. One way to use this field is if a client needs to complete a disclaimer form showing that he/she understands some risk is involved in your service or class.

Adding a file upload field

Adding a file upload field

Where to Find the Custom Information Your Clients Have Given

After clients have booked the appointment, you can find the custom field information they filled out in several places.

  1. From the Appointments tab you can click on the "Appointment Lists" button and then view the details for a client's appointment by clicking the "View" button under the "Actions" column. You'll then see your client's custom information.
  2. Click on the Dashboard tab > "Reports" > Select the information you'd like a report on > Select the appropriate type & format > Generate & download your report
  3. Also, if you sync with Google Calendar you’ll see that you’ve got the custom fields showing up there as well:
View custom fields through your synced Google Calendar

View custom fields through your synced Google Calendar

And those are some tips on best practices for using our custom fields feature for online scheduling. Like these tips and want to see more? Let us know by liking our post and commenting below. 

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