How clients can be self-sufficient with online scheduling

In the future, appointment management and availability will exist entirely online. The companies who are adopting online scheduling early are paving the way toward a future where appointment management exists in the background. Small business owners and receptionists will no longer have to spend hours of every day taking calls and rearranging appointments.

Some might say that online scheduling software is eliminating opportunities and decreasing the number of jobs for long time assistants. While we are eliminating a few of the job responsibilities receptionists typically take on, I like to think with the time they save, they can add on work tasks that aim at growing the business.

For this to become a reality, however, scheduling softwares have to get to where clients can be fully self-sufficient with managing their own appointments.

One of the ways clients can achieve that self-sufficiency is by logging into a business’s web scheduler so they can manage their upcoming appointments, view past appointments, and book new appointments. With TimeTap’s free online scheduling tool, clients can do all three depending on what your business requires.

If you allow clients to login to your appointment manager, they’ll be able to:

  • View all appointments they individually have set with your business (including upcoming completed, no show, and cancelled status appointments)

  • Reschedule or Cancel any upcoming appointments (within your allowed cancellation hours)

  • Book new appointments without having to re-enter their client information

  • Switch between themselves and family members/connections who have booked appointments with you using the same email address

As you can see, allowing clients to login greatly increases their self-sufficiency in being able to manage their own appointments. While there are some businesses that do not want to allow clients to login to their scheduler for various reasons, I think most businesses will find great benefit in it.

Within your online scheduling account, you can change your client login settings so that you either:

Allow your clients to login to your web scheduler

Allow your clients to login to your web scheduler

  • Don’t allow clients to login

  • Allow clients to login

  • Require clients to login to book an appointment

  • Pre-register which clients can book an appointment

We’ll go through each of those settings on this blog post and also talk about why you might want to apply each of them.

Login Setting 1: Don't Allow Clients to Login to your Net Scheduler

This setting removes the “Login” button and “Register” link from the top left of the welcome page of your scheduler:

Not allowing clients to login to your scheduler

Not allowing clients to login to your scheduler

Clients will not have a way to login or register for your scheduler to see a historical view of their appointments. They will still be able to cancel or reschedule their appointments from the link in the confirmation or reminder emails that they receive, but they will not be able to do that just by visiting the web page your scheduler is on.

Clients will still be able to click through and make appointments, so long as appointment time slots are available. They will just have to enter in their information each time as it is not stored with a client login.

This option is ideal for businesses who do not have repeat clients. It’s great if your clients really only ever visit you once and don’t need access to their appointment records with you.

Login Setting 2: Allow Clients to Login to your Appointment Manager

This is the default setting. It essentially places the “Login” button and “Register” link in the top left of the welcome page of your scheduler as an option for clients who want more control:

Giving clients the option to login to your scheduler

Giving clients the option to login to your scheduler

This option does not force your clients to either login or register in order to make an appointment; it just gives them the option. Clients have the choice to:

  1. Just click through the scheduler and reserve an appointment time, entering in their information on the last page or

  2. Login to view existing appointments or book a new appointment. If they book a new appointment they won’t have to enter in their information on the last page as it will pull from the logged in client data or

  3. Register and enter in their information. When they can book a new appointment the data they registered with will populate the last page of the scheduler

This option makes the most sense for businesses that have some new and some repeating clients. The new clients won’t want to have to register & login because they’re not sure whether or not they’ll be booking again in the future. The repeating clients, however, may want to see a historical view of all of their appointment records and may not want to have to enter in their information every time they book.

Login Setting 3: Forcing All Clients to Login to your Scheduler to see Appointment Availability

If you set your scheduler to this, then when clients click the “Next” button on your Welcome page, they will be prompted to either Register (if they’ve not made an appointment with you in the past) or Login if they do already have a registered account on your scheduler:

Set Client Login to required to force clients to create an account before logging in

Set Client Login to required to force clients to create an account before logging in

This option is nice because it decreases the risk that clients will accidentally mis-type their name on the last page of the scheduling process thus creating duplicate client records. It also lets clients fully realize the control they can have over their appointment management since as soon as they login they see that they can either book a new appointment or view their existing appointments.

Using this setting is ideal for businesses that have mostly repeating clients and want to make sure that those clients know that they can see their appointment history and make appointments for family members or connections.

Login Setting 4: Pre-register Clients and Provide Them with Login Information to Access your Scheduler

When you select this setting, it makes it so that only clients that you have added to your TimeTap account are allowed to login and book with you. After you select this as the client login option, the “Register” link is removed and clients only see the “Login” button:

Pre-register your clients so with an email address and password for appointments

Pre-register your clients so with an email address and password for appointments

If clients try and click “Next” they will receive the message that:

You must be pre-registered by us in order to book an appointment through this scheduler. If we have provided you with your login credentials already, please enter them below. If we have not, please click the retrieve password option below and a reset password link will be emailed to you.

This is great for businesses that want to limit the clients who can book with them to people that have pre-paid or members of their business. It will keep businesses from having unknown clients from booking with them and ultimately just give the business a lot more control over who they are servicing.

Hopefully after reading through the purpose and use cases for the client login options we have, you have a better understanding of what you might want to set it to for your business.

It’s important to make the right decision here based on what your objectives for using online scheduling are. Need some help formulating those objectives for your business? Sign up for a free web scheduler today and talk with one of our support specialists about how we can meet your online scheduling needs: