COVID-19: How Bookedin Can Help Manage Your Business

There’s a rapidly shape-shifting elephant in the room…

…its name? Coronavirus, aka COVID-19.

It’s an intense time. The future feels unknown and it’s OK to feel uncertain.

That’s a normal reaction.

We all need to remain calm when we’re surrounded by confusion. As many of you may have already witnessed {toilet paper showdowns anyone?}, panic doesn’t serve us, our communities or our businesses well.

Your Bookedin scheduling app is a valuable tool that’s going to help you take back control over the calendar chaos you may be facing right now. As experts in appointment scheduling, we understand it’s time for businesses to be proactive… not reactive. Reach out to your clients now and let them know how you’ll be handling appointments over the next few weeks.

Here are seven tips on how to manage your calendar, reschedule appointments and communicate the changes to your clients during COVID-19.

1. Add an announcement to your online booking page

This will let your clients know what changes are happening and what to expect in the next few weeks.

online booking announcement for covid19

  1. Log into Bookedin web: scheduler.bookedin.com
  2. Go to Settings > Services
  3. Select your first service in the list to Edit
  4. Type your *announcement* into the Description field or Category field. Here’s an example:“Attention clients! We will be closing shop for the next while, please check back at the beginning of April. All existing appointments will receive a reschedule or cancellation email from the booking system. Thank you.”
  5. Click Save

2. Add special instructions to client emails

If your business has decided to stay open during the coming weeks, or if you’re rescheduling everyone to a future date, you may want to notify your clients on:

  • New cleaning procedures
  • Asking your clients to cancel their appointment if they’re sick
  • Changes to your refund/cancellation policy

To automate this, you can include this information in a custom client email. Just follow the below steps. This messaging will get added to all client emails (reschedule, confirmations, reminders). You can even create a special message depending on the service they booked.

how to add a custom message online booking confirmations and reminders

  1. Sign in to Bookedin web
  2. Go to Settings > Email/Text Reminders
  3. Under Personalized Emails, choose either *Add a message to all booking confirmations and reminder emails* or *Add a unique message for each service.*
  4. Write your personalized message in the text editor.
  5. Click Send Test Email to send yourself a test and see what it will look like
  6. Click Save Changes
  7. You’ll need to repeat steps 4 & 5 if you selected *Unique message for each service.*

3. Reschedule appointments online

If you’re fielding calls and emails left and right with worried clients looking to reschedule… no need to panic. Close your eyes and take a deep breath. Bookedin makes it easy to reschedule appointments on the web or mobile app:

Method #1: Web Drag-and-Drop Rescheduling

  • Log into Bookedin web: scheduler.bookedin.com
  • Find the appointment in your calendar
  • Click & drag appointment to a new time or date. Once you’ve made the change, your client will automatically receive an email and text message alert with the new appointment details.

drag and drop rescheduling with bookedin

Method #2: Mobile Reschedule via “Change Appointment”

reschedule via appointment details

  • Click on the appointment, then click change (top-right)
  • Adjust the date
  • Click confirm change to reschedule the appointment.
  • Your client will automatically receive an email and text message alert with their new booking details

4. Close shop for X number of days

If you’re only closing for a set amount of time (ex 14 days) follow these steps to close your online booking page availability. This will prevent clients from booking online, but still allow them to book beyond the closure dates. This can be done using the web or mobile app:

Block individual days using web app:

  1. Log into Bookedin web: scheduler.bookedin.com
  2. View the calendar by Month (top-right)
  3. Click the Business Hours button
  4. Click “Day off” on each day of the week you will be closed.
  5. Click Done again to save
  6. Repeat if you have multiple staff calendars

block individual days for your calendar covid19

Block individual days using mobile app:

  1. Launch the Bookedin Android or iPhone app
  2. Tap the Hours menu
  3. Choose the calendar you want to edit (if applicable)
  4. Tap Change Hours by Day
  5. Find the day you want to edit (use arrows, or date-picker)
  6. To mark a day off, tap “Available on this day” toggle to the OFF position
  7. Repeat this for each day you’ll be closed
  8. Done!

5. Completely close your available hours

So, you’ve made the {incredibly} difficult decision to close up shop and you’re not sure the specific date you’ll open back up. Now what? You need to update your online booking page to prevent your clients from booking new appointments online. Follow the below steps and definitely go back to tip #1 above to add a note for clients.

Closing your hours can be done on the web or mobile app:

Close Business Hours via Website:

  1. Log into Bookedin web: scheduler.bookedin.com
  2. Click “Business Hours
  3. Select “Change Weekly Business Hours” from the drop-down menu
  4. Now you can edit your hours for each day of the week. If you remove all time slots, that means clients will not be able to book online at all.
  5. Click Save
  6. Repeat if you have multiple staff calendars.
  7. Then later once your shop is back up and running, simply repeat the process above to re-open your business hours.

close your online booking page hours

Close Business Hours via Mobile App:

  • Launch the Bookedin Android or iPhone app
  • Tap the Hours menu (choose the calendar name if applicable)
  • Tap “Change weekly business hours
  • Tap on a day of the week to edit
  • Tap remove to close that day of the week completely
  • Then later once your shop is back up and running, simply repeat the process above to re-open your business hours.

updating hours in bookedin mobile

edit hours for the week in online appointment booking

6. Create an all-client email blast

We’ve all been receiving emails daily from businesses keeping us updated on their COVID-19 status. If you’d like to reach out to all your clients at once to let them know:

  • You’re staying open
  • Closing until X date
  • Making changes to your hygiene practices

Follow the steps below to export your client list:

  1. Log into Bookedin web: scheduler.bookedin.com (NOTE: must login as account *owner.* Staff and admin users do not have the ability to export)
  2. Click Clients in the left menu (note this may appear in your screen as Patients, Customers)
  3. Click Exports button in top-right
  4. You’re done! Your list will include name, phone number and email address.
  5. Once you’ve exported your list you can use the email addresses within your email service provider of choice to send out an email blast. Example Mailchimp, or just a plain ol’ BCC email.

exporting a client list for COVID email blast

7. Switch to “remote” appointments only

Are you a business that has the option of  *going remote* for the next little while? If so, you’ll be looking to set up Zoom or Skype calls to replace face-to-face meetings. Once you’ve gotten your online meeting link sorted out (we’re a big fan of Zoom) the next step is adding it to your custom client email.

Here are the steps you need to take to “go remote” with your Bookedin appointments:

  1. Log into Bookedin web: scheduler.bookedin.com
  2. Go to Settings > Email/Text Reminders
  3. Under Personalized Emails, choose either “same message for all services” or “unique message for each service”.
  4. Write your personalized message in the text editor. Then paste in your Zoom link or Skype ID within the body of the email.
  5. Click Send Test Email to send yourself a test and see what it will look like
  6. Click Save Changes
  7. That’s it! Note: You’ll need to repeat steps 4 & 5 if you selected *unique message for each service* in step 3.

adding zoom link to online bookings

Got questions about handling appointments during COVID-19?

We’re here to help. Bookedin is a 100% remote team. That means we’re all cozy at home, working online and ready to serve your business as you need us. Remember, we’re all in this together. And as a community we’ll get through this by helping each other, wherever and however we can.

Your Bookedin scheduling app is here to give you the power to take back control over the calendar chaos you’re feeling right now.

We’re not experts on viruses {as I’m sure you’re aware}.  But it goes without saying, no matter how worried you are about what the future may hold, if you’re feeling unwell… stay home. Your clients will thank you for protecting their health as will the community at large.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed or unsure of the most effective ways to manage your calendar you can reach out to us and we’ll be there to answer your questions. Or, you can leave a comment below with a topic you’d like us to tackle.