How to Shift Your Online Scheduling Availability for Summer

Businessman adjusting online scheduling availability to schedule annual leave

The summer season is upon us, and you’re likely looking forward to taking some time off or adjusting your schedule to enjoy the extra warmth and daylight.

Whatever the reason for your schedule change, it’s crucial to update your online booking pages now before any changes go into effect. Waiting until the day of or after to adjust your availability means you’ve waited too long! That new appointment waiting for you next Friday at 4 PM might stymie your getaway plans.

With Apptoto, shifting your schedule for summertime (or anytime, really) is simple. Learn why it’s essential to proactively adjust your seasonal schedule and how to keep everything running smoothly.

The Importance of Proactively Updating Your Online Scheduling Availability

To keep clients happy and eliminate countless headaches for yourself, you should add any seasonal schedule changes to Apptoto upwards of two to three months before your availability changes.*

Why? Imagine a regular client who schedules an appointment with you every other week at 8:30 AM on Thursday mornings. You’ve decided to adjust your business hours from 10 AM to 4 PM during the summer months. But, since you haven’t updated your booking page yet, the client successfully schedules six new appointments at their regular time. Not only do you have to reschedule all six appointments, but if you wait too long to ask the client to move them, you might not have the availability they need.

By shifting your availability ahead of time, you create a safeguard that prevents anyone from booking appointments with you when you’re unavailable. It also helps protect you against scheduling issues that could lead loyal clients to look elsewhere. Of course, you’ll likely want to notify your clients via a mass message and by updating your website and social media platforms as well.

*Time range dependent on industry and how far out clients typically book future appointments.

Steps to Shift Your Online Scheduling Availability in Apptoto

Using Apptoto’s robust scheduling platform, you can easily adjust your availability to reflect seasonal changes. Your current availability will continue to show on your online booking until the date your availability override starts. Then moving forward from that start date, it will automatically reflect your new availability.

Apptoto booking page showing a provider's availability changing due to seasonal availability

Below is a step-by-step guide for adjusting availability for your calendar. Your new availability will be reflected on any booking page linked to your calendar.

For instructions on implementing this for individual booking pages, check out our Knowledge Base Article on Seasonal Availability. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to do it:

  1. Accessing Your Availability Settings

    • Log into your Apptoto account.
    • Navigate to the Appointments tab, where all upcoming appointments are listed.
    • Under Calendars, find the name of the Calendar or Person whose availability you want to adjust.
  2. Creating Seasonal Availability

    • Click the Edit button (pencil icon) to adjust Calendar Settings.
    • Under Calendar Availability, find the Overrides section and click +Add override.Setting dates and times a calendar will accept scheduled appointments in Apptoto.
    • Select whether you want to change your availability for a single day or a date range.
    • Find the Availability section. Your availability will automatically default to Unavailable for the date range you selected.
    • To adjust your hours of availability, click the + button next to “Unavailable.”
    • Your availability will now default to 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM every day of the week.
    • Uncheck the checkbox next to “All Days of the Week.”
    • Uncheck the checkbox next to the days you are closed/unavailable
      • On the days you are available, adjust the hours to the new times you want clients to be able to book.
      • You can add more than one availability block per day, and they can differ between days.Adjusting dates and times a practitioner is available to take appointments on their booking page in Apptoto
    • Click Done once you’ve updated your availability.
    • Click Save to ensure your booking page reflects the new schedule.
    • Confirm your Overrides are correct. Then, repeat for any additional calendars needed.Apptoto interface showing dates on online booking page that availability has been overwritten.
  3. Adjusting Booking Pages Availability (Optional)

  • Setting availability at the Booking Page level can be helpful if you use different Booking Pages for different purposes.
    • For example, imagine you have two booking pages: one for virtual meetings and one for in-person meetings. There may be days you need to block off “in-person” meetings (sickness, travel days), but you still want clients to be able to book virtual meetings.
    • In this case, you’d only add overrides to my “in-person” booking page.
  • Directions here: Seasonal Availability.

4. Communicating Changes to Clients

  • Use Apptoto’s SMS messaging features to inform your clients about the new summer schedule. Send automated emails or message blasts highlighting the changes in your availability.
  • Update any relevant information on your website and social media channels to keep clients informed.

Best Practices for Managing Seasonal Availability

Be Transparent and Proactive

Inform your clients well in advance about any changes to your schedule. Transparency builds trust and helps avoid any confusion or frustration.

Monitor and Adjust

Review your availability settings regularly to ensure they align with your needs. Make adjustments as necessary to accommodate any unforeseen changes in your schedule.

Utilize Automated Reminders

Leverage Apptoto’s automated reminder software to send timely notifications to your clients about their upcoming appointments and any changes in your availability. This strategy reduces the likelihood of missed appointments and enhances client satisfaction.

Have a Seamlessly Scheduled Summer with Apptoto

Adapting your online scheduling availability to match your seasonal hours is essential for maintaining smooth operations and keeping your clients happy. With Apptoto’s flexible scheduling tools, you can easily make these adjustments and ensure your business continues to run efficiently. Start preparing for the summer season now by updating your availability and communicating changes to your clients.

Need more detailed guidance? Connect with our expert Customer Support team. Or, if you’re ready to streamline your appointment scheduling and improve client communication, sign up for a free trial of Apptoto today!