How to Setup Online Booking and Payment
practiceQ offers a simple and affordable appointment management solution which includes an online scheduling widget, payment processing and appointment reminders.
What is a Booking Widget and How Does it Work?
A booking widget is a self-contained application that you can place anywhere on your website to enable your visitors to book appointments with you.
It works by copying and pasting a piece of code into one of your website pages. But before you do that, you need to set up what the widget will display, such as what services you offer, what times you are available, how customers will pay you, etc.
This guide will show you how to set up your booking widget and how to get the code that you need to paste in your website.
1. Go to Your Booking Settings
- Click on the "Bookings" main menu item.
- Click on the "Bookings Settings" button in the upper right corner of the screen.
On the settings screen you’ll see multiple tabs. Let’s go through each one of them and fill out the needed information.
2. Setup Your Locations and Hours of Operation
practiceQ supports multiple locations, so in case you work at different clinics, you can set the hours and services separately for each location. When you first open the booking settings, you’ll see that a location was added by default. All you have to do is to enter the address and hours of operation, as you can see below.
In case you have more than one location, click on "Add Location" and repeat the same process.
3. Setup Your Services
The next thing you’ll do is to enter the services you offer. Clicking on "Add Service" will open a form where you can enter the details of a service.
These fields are self-explanatory, but pay special attention to the "Form" tab. This is where you tell practiceQ which intake form (if any) you want your client to receive once he/she books this service.
Once you set up your services, you can always go back to edit or delete them.
4. Connect practiceQ to a Payment Provider (optional)
If you want to receive online credit card payments from your clients, you need to connect your practiceQ account to a Payment Provider. If you don’t want to receive online payments, skip to the next section.
See the following article for the payment providers we integrate with depending on your location: Supported Payment Providers
They all offer an easy way for businesses to accept credit card payments online. They are free to set up and you’re charged a fee on every transaction, just like any credit card provider.
Connecting with a payment provider is simple. Under the "Payments" tab, select the payment provider you will use and follow the instructions. Assuming everything goes smoothly, you will be redirected back to practiceQ and you should see a success message in the "Payments" tab.
There are a couple of payment options you should set up here, as shown below.
This section will impact the scheduling workflow. You can require a credit card number, make it optional, or not ask for a credit card.
You can also choose what to do when a credit card is provided in the "Automatic Charge" field. The default setting will charge the client's credit card a few hours before the appointment, but you can choose to charge the card immediately upon booking or to not charge the client automatically at all.
This is where you determine when your client can cancel the appointment without paying a cancellation fee and how much their credit card will be charged if they cancel irresponsibly.
IMPORTANT: Please note that if you manually cancel an appointment for a client, you'd need to manually issue an invoice if you want them to be charged. The automatic change only works if the client cancels the appointment themselves and had a credit card on file when the appointment was scheduled.
5. Tweak your Widget Settings
The Settings tab has several options that allow you to tweak how your booking widget behaves. Most of them are self-explanatory, and you can use the tool tips in the screen that describe some of the options.
"Fake it till you make it"
This is a useful feature for professionals who are starting out and don’t have many clients yet. When your clients go to your website to book an appointment, they won’t see that your whole day is empty. practiceQ will make it look like you’re busy by randomly making some time slots unavailable.
You can choose to look super busy, moderately busy, or disable the feature.
To learn more about how to set up appointment reminders, please refer to this article: Appointment Reminders
6. Sync with External Calendar
Connecting practiceQ to your external calendar (Google or Outlook calendar) offers two great benefits:
- Every appointment made through the booking widget will automatically be created in your external calendar.
- The booking widget will use your external calendar to determine your availability before displaying your open spots.
To give practiceQ permission to access your external calendar, go to "Bookings > Booking Settings" and then select the "Sync" tab. Once inside, click on the button "Connect with Google Calendar / Outlook Calendar".
practiceQ will ask you to authenticate your Google / Microsoft account and give access to your calendar. Once permission is granted, you should be redirected back to practiceQ and see a success message in the Sync tab.
7. Preview and Test Your Widget
You can now test your widget in the "Preview" tab.
8. Place the Widget in Your Website
In the last tab you’ll find the code snippet that you need to paste in a page in your website. The widget background is transparent, so it will naturally blend with the background color of its container in your website.