If you’re a business owner who relies upon clients being able to easily book classes or services on your business website, then you have a clear priority: Making sure that the process is as smooth as possible – for both them and and for you. Using an online scheduling software tool offers your visitors an easier and faster scheduling experience, thus increasing the chances they’ll actually follow through on that ‘Book Now!’ button (see best scheduling software to learn more). And on your end, customizing your online booking system lets you take full control of your workflow. That means, whether you are a yoga studio, a salon website, a healthcare website, a community arts center, or any other type of business, you can design the online booking experience that meets your specific needs and grow your business while you’re at it.
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Why you need an online scheduling tool
Before we get into the exciting new advanced Wix Bookings features, let’s start by refreshing our memories about why an online booking feature is a total must-have for your service-based website in the first place. Your underlying objective is for clients to book and pay for services (see our guide on how to start a service business). So you need a system that worries about all of the details for you, leaving you and your website visitors with the most painless online booking experience possible.
Thankfully, Wix Bookings offers an online scheduling process that can be set-up in just minutes to offer you an effortless, commission-free process, complete with professional aspects to amplify your business management. Here, you can showcase all of your business offerings in one place with vivid photos, categories, taglines, and descriptions. Then, personalize this further by allowing customers to book individual or group sessions. When it comes to receiving payment, this feature allows you to easily accept full or partial payment through well known, secure methods.
Your scheduled appointments can easily be synced with business’ and customers’ calendars. In addition, customers are less likely to miss an appointment because they are automatically sent an alert via email. For you and your staff, you will receive real-time booking updates when your clients schedule an appointment with you. This and the rest of your clients’ information (i.e., their appointment history, contact details, birthdays, notes) can all be found in one convenient place. If things couldn’t get any easier, you can manage your entire business on-the-go through the Wix Owner app, including sending invoices, live chatting with customers and accepting bookings.
In short, gone are the days of updating multiple calendars, taking appointments by hand, and missed leads. It’s innovations like this that remind us why we have the praise hands emoji on our phones.
The Wix Bookings scheduling tool let you do the following (and more!):
Accept online bookings 24/7 from any device.
Manage staff calendars.
Sync your Wix and Google calendars.
Offer group classes and membership plans.
Store and edit customer information.
Accept secure payments and deposits – all commission free – and send customer invoices.
All sounds great, right? But imagine being able to do even more, like allowing web visitors to easily filter through instructors or personalizing your post-booking ‘thank you’ page to extend the marketing funnel for your engaged customers. That’s where these new Velo by Wix APIs for Bookings come into the picture.
Customize your online booking experience with advanced features
Many business owners will find that the Wix Bookings app perfectly matches the purpose they require from an online booking tool. For those looking to take the customization and functionality of this feature to the next level, though, Wix has got your back. We recently released these two little features, called APIs, that will help you get the job done, whether that takes the form of greater design control over your service listings or adding in filters for visitors to browse your listings with greater ease.
When we say API, we’re talking about an application programming interface. (No need to hide under the covers! We promise it’s not as scary as it sounds.) An API is essentially just a fancy way of saying we’ve added a little something on to a large program in order to give you greater flexibility in how you use it. Still a little lost? Try thinking along the lines of a booster pack. Same item, but new expanded features. In this case, we’re talking about two new little add-ons that you can ‘snap into’ your Wix Bookings experience, using Velo, to widen the range of customization and functionality possibilities already available at your fingertips.
The first is called getServiceAvailability API. Its purpose is to enhance what you can offer through Wix Bookings in terms of display and organization. It achieves this by instantly fetching open time slots and staff member availability from your booking calendar to suggest to browsing potential clients. This can come into play in several locations on your website, from your timetable to services lists and pages.
The second is called checkOut API. Whereas you can think of getServiceAvailability as a design-related tool, this second API steps in as the functionality backbone. It’s the device that makes the actual booking and payment processing possible. It’s ready to step in at moments where you want to offer a quick-book form, for example, or let site visitors filter through booking options to make their selection.
Now that we have our definitions down, we’ll delve a bit more into what these APIs let you do:
Create your own timetable. Your calendar is what you live by. Why should it not work for you and your business goals? That’s why APIs gives you control over your timetable presentation. Here’s an example to illustrate when this could be important: Imagine you’re a popular personal fitness trainer with a packed calendar. When a curious customer-to-be arrives on your site, you don’t want to waste their time making them sift through your calendar until they find an open slot. Instead, this API forefronts these times for easy access. The faster this person can complete their booking with you, the lower the chance they’ll become discouraged and try their luck with your competitor.
Once someone has scheduled an appointment or booked a session on your site, these APIs make it possible to design personalized confirmation messages for each of your services. Instead of a generic ‘Thank you!’ message appearing each time someone completes a booking, perhaps reiterate important information participants should know before showing up to class, or suggest a relevant product for sale from the eCommerce section of your site. In other words, this is a feature that lets you creatively insert some of your brand’s personal touch into the booking experience.
Add filters and availability to service lists. As your business expands and you add in more times and staff members, don’t get lost in all of the little scheduling details. Opting to automatically sync all bookings done on your website with your Google calendar is the first move for simplifying your life. The next step is using these new Bookings APIs to add filters and availability to your service lists. Clients will love the ability to easily search according to their own time preferences, or by their favorite instructor. It’s just another way you can communicate how well you understand what your audience needs, and solidify your reputation for an excellent customer experience.
Offer fast checkout and manage appointments. One more way to deliver on customer satisfaction is providing a quick-book option. Eliminate any extra clicking or hunting around your website for your future client, thereby reducing the likelihood – especially if they’re on mobile – that they will get distracted en route to their goal. Instead, it becomes a one-track superhighway from arriving at your site to an initial consultation squared away in their calendar.
Of course, retaining control over all incoming requests, whether from the quick-book form or your timetable, is vital for you as a business owner. That’s why you get to manage and approve all pending requests straight from your admin panel.
Take advantage of these exciting new Bookings APIs to broaden what’s already possible with Wix Bookings and pave the way for a booking experience that leaves you calm and your customers raving.
Note: If you want access to these valuable features sign up for a Wix Premium Plan today.