PLEASE NOTE:
The majority of the contents in this guide apply to both StudioPlus Spectra AND myStratus Desktop.
In most cases, instructions referring to "Spectra" also apply to myStratus Desktop.
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Home > Online Booking (myStratus ONLY) > Setting Up Online Booking
Setting Up Online Booking

    
NOTE: This feature is available in the Standard, Professional, and Enterprise versions of myStratus Desktop. Spectra does not include this feature.

Setting it up in myStratus

HERE'S A FLASH FOR YOU!

As you set up online booking, you may find it helpful to see how your choices will affect your client's online booking experience. Open The Online Booking Experience in another tab (right-click) and use it along side these setup instructions!

Complete the following steps to set up online booking: 

  1. Activate the Online Booking Feature
  2. Choose your Preferences
  3. Enable Session & Appointment Types for Online Booking
  4. Create Online Time Slots
  5. Miscellaneous Settings
ATTENTION!

Online booking must be set up in myStratus Desktop. If you don't have the desktop app installed, check out Installing myStratus Desktop for more information.

Step 1: Activate the Online Booking Feature

  1. In myStratus Desktop, go to Maintenance > Preferences > Online Booking Preferences.

  2. Activate the feature by checking the Activate Online Booking checkbox.

Step 2: Choose your Preferences

Now complete the settings on each of the tabs in Online Booking Preferences.
ATTENTION!                                           

If a setting says it is shared with the Referral Program Preferences, then if the setting is modified in one menu it will also change in the other.               

GENERAL TAB

 


 Complete the following items on the General tab:
  • Online Booking Style - Choose one of the following options:

    • Link - Use this option if you simply want to add a link to your website that directs your customers to our website. If you choose this option, you also need to set the Redirect URL (your website), so when the customer is done with their booking, they can click on a link to get back to your site.

    • iFrame - We recommend using this option. You can embed the online booking process right into your website. No redirect URL is necessary.

  • Default Username and Password - When a customer visits your online booking page, they will be given the option to create a new account. This will create a new client in your database. However, we also give you the option to auto-create logins for your existing clients. This gives you a way to send an email to your existing client/prospect/student and instruct them to visit your website to book their session, merging their user name and password in the email. Choose what you would like to use for their user name and password. Click Set for all existing clients now to have the default username and password assigned to all the clients in your database that don't already have one. Note: If a client has set up their own username and password by creating a new account, this routine will NOT replace them.

  • Get HTML Code - In the Sessions and Appointments sections, click Get HTML Code and we will construct the link or iFrame code for you and copy it to your clipboard. You will need to paste the code into your website HTML code

  • Location Display Name - Enterprise clients will also have an option to enter a display name for their location. Customers visiting your online booking page will be presented with a list of locations to choose from. Here you can choose how you want to display the name of this location.

LOGO TAB



Complete the following items on the
Logo tab:
  • Show Logo - We recommend you only use this option for the "Link" booking style. This way your company logo will appear on the top of each page. If you're using the "iFrame" option, the logo is not necessary.

  • Upload New Logo - Upload any JPEG image for your logo.

CLIENTS TAB 



Set default values for new client records we create in your database, including:
  • New Client Defaults - If you don’t want Clients to have the ability to create a new account during the online booking process, then click the checkbox to Disable New Account Creation Online.  For example, a school photographer who already has the students set up in his/her system may not want new accounts created.

    For new clients booking online, set the default values for new client records we create in your database, including Client Status and Lead Source. You may want to choose a unique status to show this is an online booking client and also allows you to follow up accordingly (i.e. "Client - Booked Online"). Use the Lead Source to keep track of Clients through your website/online booking. To create a Lead Source, go to Maintenance > Client > Lead Sources. See also: Client Statuses and Lead Sources

  • New Client Options – Choose the fields to complete a personal profile for each new Client such as texting or emailing options. Check the box Hidden for a field to be hidden from a clients view, and check the box Required to require a new client to fill out the corresponding field. The May we text you? field is linked with the SMS checkbox for the Mobile phone number line of a client record. The May we email you marketing material? field is linked with the Do Not Market checkbox on the General tab of a client record.
Utilizing Lead Sources:  To assist in tracking where your Clients come from, check the box to set up the online option “How did you hear about us?” This option is linked to the Lead Sources you’ve set up.  To create a Lead Source, go to Maintenance > Client > Lead Sources.  By utilizing the checkbox labelled “Show Online”, this allows for this particular Lead Source to appear in the online Drop Down.

Here’s what the Lead Sources look like:



Here's how it appears online to clients (It will only show when a Client chooses to create a new account):


When this option is selected, it will automatically add the Lead Source that the Client selected online to their new Client Record.

SESSIONS TAB



Set the defaults for any new sessions we create in your database, including:
  • New Session Defaults - Enter a Default Description for these sessions. For example, "Session booked online." Also, choose a staff member to be noted as the Default Booker.

  • New Session Options - Select fields for clients to fill out about the SessionCheck the box Hidden for a field to be hidden from a client's view, and check the box Required to require a new client to fill out the corresponding field.

  • Scheduling Options -This option provides the ability to prevent clients from booking/rescheduling/canceling too close to the SessionFor example, if it is alright for a Client to book a Session for the same day, then leave that box blank.

Utilizing Session Promotions:  To assist in tracking your Session Promotions, check the box to set up the online option “Why are you Booking?” This option is linked to the Session Promotions you’ve set up.  To create a Session Promotion, go to Maintenance > Session > Session Promotions.  By utilizing the checkbox labelled “Show Online”, this allows for this particular Promotion to appear in the online Drop Down.

Here’s what the Session Promotions look like:




 Here is what the Client sees online:



APPOINTMENTS TAB



Set the defaults for any new appointments we create in your database, including:
  • New Appointment Defaults - Enter a Default Description for these appointments. For example, "Appointment booked online." Also, choose a staff member to be noted as the Default Booker.

  • New Appointment Options - Include optional fields.  This allows the client to provide notes for you regarding the AppointmentCheck the box Hidden for a field to be hidden from a clients view, and check the box Required to require a new client to fill out the corresponding field.

  • Scheduling OptionsThis option provides the ability to prevent clients from booking/rescheduling/canceling too close to the Appointment. If you don't want to use any of these limits, then leave them blank. For example, if it is alright for a Client to book an Appointment for the same day, then leave that box blank.

INVOICES TAB



Set the default values for new invoices and payment records we create in your database, including:
  • Default Description - Enter a description for invoices created through online booking.

  • Default Status - Choose a default status for online booking invoices.

  • Default Classification - Choose a default classification (if desired).

  • Default Sales Rep - Choose the sales rep that should be listed on these invoices.

  • Default Payment Method Choose a default method for paying clients.  This option can only take clients if Cayan is utilized. See Also: Cayan Credit Card Processing


TIME SLOTS TAB

Set up the Time Slot tab in order to have the Control Center handle creating your Time Slots. See also: Scheduling Time Slots



Go to Maintenance > Preferences > Online Booking Preferences > Time Slots (tab).
  • Dates – Select the Source Week (choose the week that already has Time Slots created as a “template” for the creation of future Time Slots). Next, determine the first week to create the Time Slots.
  • Schedule – Schedule the day for the job to be run.
  • Options – Check boxes to prevent a time slot from being created, i.e. if a Session/Appointment is already created or if the studio is closed.
  • Notification  – Select preference for the job notification to describe whether the job was a Success/Failure. Notification: a notification will appear on the home screen of selected User.
  • Email – An email will be sent to the selected email address describing if the job was successful/failed.

CUSTOMIZATION TAB

Customize the look and feel of the online booking page to match your existing website. Just blank out the color to set it back to the default. You can also paste a custom hex color.






Step 3: Enable Session & Appointment Types for Online Booking

Next, choose the online booking settings for each of the session types you want to offer online. See Appointment Types for detailed instructions on setting up online booking settings for appointment types.

  1. In myStratus, go to Maintenance > Session > Session Types. See Also: Session Types.

  2. Double-click to open a session type you want to offer online.

  3. Open the Online Booking tab.

  4. Complete the following Online Booking settings for this session type.

    • Available for Online Booking - Check this box to enable online booking for this session type. This will include it in the list of session types your clients can choose from during the online booking process. It's important you only enable session types you plan to actually create available time slots for. (This will make more sense when you get to Step 4: Create Online Time Slots below.)

    • Online Description - Enter the name for this type of session as you want it displayed online. Note: This can be different than what you use internally.

    • Marketing Description - We encourage you to enter a longer description here. Let the client know what to expect with this type of session.

    • Auto-Remove conflicting time slots upon booking [NEW 2017!]- Check this box if you want Stratus to automatically remove any conflicting time slots if one time slot is booked. For example, let's say the you have one 60 minute time slot with two 30 minute time slots in the same time period. If a client books the 60 minute time slot, then the two 30 minute time slots should now get deleted. If later the session is cancelled, all three time slots should reappear.  

    • Display Price - Check this box if you want a price displayed online for the session type and enter the price. Note: This price field is purely informational for your clients -- there is no connection to the price list or any invoice that may be generated. Make sure the display price accurately reflects the amount of any invoice that may be created. 

    • Auto-Create Invoice - Check this box to have a session fee invoice automatically created when someone books this type of session. You'll choose what items are added to the invoice on the Price List Items tab, described in the next step.

    • Online Payment - Check this box if the online booking website should require a payment when a session is booked.

    • Payment Options - Choose how you want to handle payment. There are two options:

      • Require invoice payment - This option is only available if you've checked the Auto-Create Invoice box above. Enter the payment amount required. The payment will be applied to the created invoice.

      • Require customer deposit - This option will create a customer deposit in the specific amount you specify. The deposit will be linked to the client and can be applied to an invoice at a later date. See also: Customer Deposits

    • Session Statuses - Choose default session statuses for booked sessions, canceled sessions, and rescheduled sessions. 

    • Location Address - After clients book their appointment online, their confirmation page will display the location for their session. Choose from this drop-down which location should be displayed to the client.

  5. On the Online Booking Image tab, you can choose to upload a marketing image that will be displayed as an example of the appointment during online booking.



  6. Here's how your choices appear online:

  7. Before you close the session type maintenance, click the Price List Items tab. If you checked the option to auto-create a session fee invoice (above), then use this tab to choose which item(s) should automatically be added to this new invoice. Note: If you don't choose any items on this tab, an invoice will still be created, but for $0. 

    HERE'S A FLASH FOR YOU!

    The option to automatically add items to a session fee invoice is not limited to online booking. You can also use this feature to auto-add line items any time a session fee invoice is being created for this session type! See more in the Session Types topic.

  8. Click OK to save and close the session type.

  9. Repeat steps 2-6 for any other session types you want to offer online.

  10. Close the Session Types maintenance window when finished.

Step 4: Create Online Time Slots

There is one more important step before you can start booking sessions online! You need to create individual time slots that are available for online booking. This is something you'll continue to do as the weeks and months go by. Create online time slots in Maintenance > Sessions > Scheduling Time Slots or right on the calendar. For complete instructions, see Scheduling Time Slots.

We give four simple ways to create your new time slots:
1. One at a time using the Scheduling Time Slots Maintenance Form.
2. One at a Time on the Calendar
3. Using our Bulk Create/Copy Tool.
4. Using the automated weekly control center job.

WHY DO I NEED TO PICK SPECIFIC DATES AND TIMES?

Creating specific time slots gives you control over when sessions are booked. For example, you may not want a 2-hour session booked at 4:30 when you close at 5:00. Or, you may only shoot a certain type of session on a specific day (i.e., "Pet" sessions on Mondays). Also, even if your schedule is totally open next week, you may not want your prospects to know that. If you only make a couple time slots available each day, you appear busier than you actually are.

Step 5: Miscellaneous Settings

There are a couple additional settings to be aware of related to Online Booking:

  1. Security Options - The following security settings are specific to the Online Booking feature. See also: Setting up Security

    • Scheduling Time Slots - Controls who can create and modify time slots. Options include: "No Access," "Modify Overridable," "Create New," and "Full Access." 

    • Preferences - Online Booking - This setting controls access to the Online Booking Preferences. Users can be given "No Access" or "Full Access."

  2. Resources - Make sure you enter the address for any resources/locations you may use. This way, the client know where to go for their session. See also: Adding Resources to the Calendar


WHAT'S NEXT?

Still need to set up your Session Types? Visit Session Types for detailed instructions on setting up your session types for online booking.

Need more help with creating your Time Slots? Visit Scheduling Time Slots for full instructions on working with time slots.

Do you work with organizations that each have different booking settings? Visit Online Booking for Organizations to see how to set them up to book online.


See also


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