A very often requested feature to fix appointment times (or have services start on only certain times) has now been added to the SimplyBook.me scheduling software. This feature may not at all be obvious for those who do not know what it is all about so I will do my best to try to explain this here in this article.
Why should you use Fixed time bookings? The reason is that the SimplyBook.me solution generally tries to offer the first available appointment for clients when they visit the user’s booking sites. This means that if a user has set a 12 hour lead time before it is possible to make a booking and it is now 9.15pm (21.15), then the next available appointment time maybe 9.15am in the morning (this though depends on timeframe of relevant system). However, the user may not want bookings to start at 9.15 but only on the whole hour, so in this case he may only want the booking available at 10.00am. Here is where the Fixed time bookings come to the rescue. If you enable the “Appointment at fixed time” plugin, you can go into the plugin settings and set when you want service times to start.
The Appointments at fixed time plugin is however much more flexible than you might think! First of all, you can set All your services to start at a fixed time on the hour. You can also set ONLY certain services to start at certain times of the hour. This is not all because you can also choose only certain hours and times that you want the service or services to start. This means that you can either have a service always start at certain time on the hour, like always at 15 minutes past the whole hour during the whole day while your business is open but you could equally set the service to start ONLY at certain times over the day, like at 11.30am, 1.30pm (13.30) and 5.30pm (17.30). Since the settings also allows you to play with the minutes, you could for example allow services to start at 11.30 or 11.45, 1.30pm or 1.45pm and 5.30pm or 5.45pm. Remember that this settings can be set per service or per all services. Also remember that company break times and provider’s work hours may interfere with available bookable times.
Here is an example of how the plugin settings could be used.
Here is another example of how the plugin settings could be used.
Third example of how the plugin can be used:
Resulting available times with this settings (also depends on opening hours etc)
To use this feature, you need to enable the plugin in the plugin section of the SimplyBook.me appointment and Scheduling software.
We of course know that our users will be finding ways to use this plugin in various other ways than we intended and we look forward seeing what they come up with 🙂