New plugin Beta: Appointments+

Hi all,

We are glad to introduce you our new plugin Appointments+ which makes it possible for your clients to apply for appointments from the front end or for you to enter appointments from admin side.

With its selectable off-the-shelf features, we believe it will be easy to use it in almost every kind of business working with appointments from a self owned one to that having several services and service providers/specialists/workers.

Features:
- Unlimited number of services can be created each having different capacity, duration and price.
- Optionally unlimited number of service providers can be created that can be assigned to one or multiple services and they can have different prices.
- Working and break time of the business can be set almost freely.
- Date, time and starting day of week follow WordPress settings, i.e. date/time localization is ready.
- Each service provider can have their own different work and break times.
- Holidays and exceptional working days (e.g. a specific Sunday business is open) can be defined in a user friendly manner for the whole business or for a specific service provider.
- Optional editing of work timetables and holidays by service providers themselves. Also editable from front end for BuddyPress, if set so.
- Selectable day limit that a client can make an appointment.
- Selectable allowance for overworks for services exceeding working and/or break hours.
- Front end output is completely generated by shortcodes by wide range of fully optional parameters, thus easiness of customizations.
- Selectable preset shortcode sets with weekly and monthly schedules can be automatically inserted, thus suitable for all businesses accepting appointments for the next few days up to several months.
- Possibility to add unlimited number of weekly or monthly schedules on the same page, e.g. schedules for the next 12 weeks.
- Selectable description pages for services and service providers that changes on the fly on the appointment page including featured image (thumbnail) and Gravatar support.
- Selectable preset color sets to match different themes. Custom color set creation is also possible.
- Selectable fields (name, email, phone, address, city, note) to be asked from the client. Each can be activated or deactivated individually. These are saved in a cookie, so regular clients do not need to refill them.
- Clients and service providers can follow their appointments from front end.
- Selectable login requirement.
- Front end login with Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and WordPress is possible.
- Integration to Google Calendar by Google Calendar button; no need for API key, permission or registration.
- Selectable payment requirement via PayPal to accept an appointment.
- Selectable full service price, fixed deposit or deposit over a percentage of the service price.
- Integration with our Membership plugin. So discounts and/or exemption from deposits are possible for selected level or multiple levels.
- Confirmation emails with editable text.
- Multiple or single reminder emails with editable text for clients and service providers.
- Logging of sent email records and critical setting changes.
- Built in specific cache for heavy traffic appointment pages. Also compatible with most other general purpose caching plugins.
- Javascript code and css file are only loaded to the front end appointment pages, thus no extra load for unrelated pages of your website.
- Appointments can also be created manually from admin side (e.g. for appointments accepted by phone).
- All appointment records can be fully edited, e.g. to reschedule, to assign a service provider or to add notes.
- Selectable automatic removal of pending appointments which are not paid for or confirmed within a selectable time.
- Widgets for services, service providers and monthly calendar.
- Full documentation on the admin side including tutorial, FAQ's and detailed explanation of the shortcode parameters.
- Lots of filter and action hooks for further customizations.
- Even some more :slight_smile:

You can visit our demo website here:
http://appointmentsplus.org/

Please test Appointments+ and share your feedback with us to further improve it.

Cheers,
Hakan

  • Mason
    • DEV MAN’s Sidekick

    Seriously folks, this is a big deal.

    For you savvy long-time DEV members, put this thing through it's paces. We have. We really believe we're delivering a high-class, quality product here that'll blow you away.

    Dig in. Let us know what you think!

  • amlan
    • WPMU DEV Initiate

    Awesome!Man this will be the best plugin in the market if you can please add Google calendar synchronization.
    Right now this is the only plugin for the WP which supports GCAl sync[http://is.gd/96wU7w] and the plugin is gross.So we are currently using a third party service through we don't want to.If you can add GCAL sync then it will just be a perfect solution for people using Google apps for business etc.

  • Timothy Bowers
    • Chief Pigeon

    Hey @ollie_allan

    This really depends on the feedback we get from users testing this beta. So the more feedback and testing we get the quicker it will make final. :slight_smile:

    @amlan

    That does sound pretty cool, I'm not sure of @Hakan plans for this but he will see your comments here. :slight_smile:

  • lee_down
    • Site Builder, Child of Zeus

    I love that you've got something like this. Now, one of my clients is using supersaas.

    I'd like to extract her appointments from that and import them into this appointment scheduler.

    Can you add that ability to import?

  • lee_down
    • Site Builder, Child of Zeus

    I have an exported CSV of a schedule that I'd like to map over to this appointment scheduler.

    Without an import feature, I'm in over my head.

    Anyone able to help me? I'd hate to have to manually enter these few months worth of appointments. :slight_smile:

  • aristath
    • Recruit

    This plugin is a BIG DEAL!!!!

    I didn't have time to fully evaluate it but I downloaded it, installed it, everything looked nice and I had no issues.

    However, I skimmed through its code and I have a suggestion:

    With a few changes (at least that's what I think from a quick look) this plugin could become a bit more "abstract".
    Why is this important? It's quite simple...
    The way it is now, I'd use it to build one of these:

    • A corporate office where users make their apointments online
    • A doctor's site
    • A school site
    • A car service shop
    • Probably a dozen more cases... :slight_smile:

    BUT if it were a bit more abstract, it would be a full-blown appointments+reservations+booking plugin, making it suitable for a larger audience. In other words, this plugin could dominate use-cases like hotels, restaurants and a lot more!!

    Right now it's an appointments plugin.
    What I am suggesting is more like an appointments-framework plugin.

    Hmmm.... Now that I phrased it like that, "an appointments-framework plugin", it looks like a lot of work. But can you even imagine the impact it would have? Wow...

  • Mark Wallace
    • Learn-ing-er

    Sound like this would work for a hotel or rental website as well.

    The reservation and payment system is always the client’s biggest concern.

    Wow!! Your right @aristath I just had a daydream type thought of the possibilities. lol

    Nicely done @Hakan!

    @James Glade to see you had a safe trip! :slight_smile:

  • lee_down
    • Site Builder, Child of Zeus

    Superb

    I just got it up and running at http://omcsocial.com/contact/make-an-appointment/

    I'd like to offer some help with the language - when I see some of the text that is published, the grammar and meaning is not how it should read.

    Example - "You can prefer a service provider:"
    ** this should read - Choose a service provider

    Please let me know if this has been identified, if you need some assistance, or what's next.

    Thanks, Lee

  • lee_down
    • Site Builder, Child of Zeus

    Notice the plugin error I'm getting at the bottom of the page in the link above

    It's hard to see without highlighting the text

    In the backend, just doing my menu and this error showed up in the dashboard

    "Warning: Missing argument 2 for Appointments::save_post() in /home/omcsocial/omcsocial.com/wp-content/plugins/appointments/appointments.php on line 660"

  • lee_down
    • Site Builder, Child of Zeus

    Got another twist to the booking system that makes things a challenge

    Tell me how we do this:

    one resource = one person show

    multiple services offered - different days of the week

    There's no way, as far as I can see, to specify one service is available Monday through Wednesday, and the other two any time Thursday & Friday.

    The way it works now, book any service any day.

    Thoughts?

  • Dean Kaus
    • The Bug Hunter

    Hey @lee_down I agree with you that there is a couple of things that will be different for different people.
    For example I offer three services, Photography, Video and Music/DJ Production.
    I'm currently (due to the economy) a one man shop. So I think I'm going to have to do it backwards where they book me is to book me (being the service) and then set up the services as vendors so they can then book the service.

    I believe that in your example we need the same functionality to set seperate schedules as is available with the vendors.

    That's what's great about beta mode is this is where we can get all ideas and suggestions out there and see which ones will work.

    Thanks for your input.

  • Hakan
    • The Incredible Smush

    Hi Lee,

    Thank you for pointing out the issue. Version is updated to BETA2. You can find it in the first post. You can upload the files using FTP; uninstall is not necessary.

    I changed the wording, but I want to note that almost all of the texts are customizable using the shortcode parameters.

    Please also note that a service provider preference is optional. Plugin will automatically calculate free time slot even without a named preference. For example, if you have 2 hairdressers for hair cut and for a certain time slot 2 hair cut appointments are already booked even without a preference of Hairdresser 1 or 2, that time slot will still be occupied for hair cut. Later on business owner can assign Mrs X to Hairdresser 1 and Mrs. Y to Hairdresser 2, if he/she prefers to do so.

    multiple services offered - different days of the week

    This is possible. It is explained in FAQ:

    I am giving a service only on certain days of the week. Is it possible to achieve this with Appointments+?
    Yes. Create a "dummy" service provider and assign the service only to it. Then set its working days as those days. That's all.

    If you are working by yourself, then you should remove service provider dropdown shortcode from the page too. So now, selection is only based on services.

    @Dean I think this covers your case too: Create 3 services plus 3 dummy service providers each assigned to a single service and set their working schedule according to the days you want to give that service. Also remove the service provider dropdown shortcode, as you are working by yourself.

    Please also note that even you can assign hours of the day to the services freely. For example Tuesday 10-12 Service A, 12-14 Service B, 14-16 Service A again, 16-18 Service C, etc. You just need to set that dummy provider's working hours accordingly.

    For more complex working hour schedules, you can define more than one dummy provider assigned to that service and set service capacity as 1. Even if it looks like there are more than one providers, since capacity is 1, only one appointment at that time slot will be available, which is what we want.

    Thanks for your feedback.

    Cheers,
    Hakan

  • amlan
    • WPMU DEV Initiate

    Yeah both the developer and James talked about everything but skipping Google Sync thing.You guys don't know how much I want to use this plugin but really it would be a no no if we have to wait 11 months for this feature(for example Membership plugin was about to get a coupon feature for last 11 months and I've been delaying a site launch just waiting,don't wanna repeat that with this plugin:slight_frown:)

  • _981
    • Site Builder, Child of Zeus

    I used "Create an Appointment Page" with current and next month.

    it appears that it skips displaying the month of September. Shows August and then October. If I click next, it shows November and December.

    Even if I show 1 month it displays August, then clicking "Next >>" it goes to October.

    Maybe because it's the last day of August?

  • Dean Kaus
    • The Bug Hunter

    Hello @Tyler BZ Not sure but I think that @hakan is aware of this problem. I believe that it was pointed out possible in another thread. Remember that this plugin is in the early stages and so far I believe that the fix's are coming fairly quickly. I doubt that it will take 11 months for @hakan to be able to implement the google calendar sync

  • _981
    • Site Builder, Child of Zeus

    @aristath exactly what I was thinking.

    @Dean Kaus yup I know it's just a beta :slight_smile: just trying to help

    Curious though.. The demo site displays September correctly. Is the demo using a newer version?

  • dscostu
    • Flash Drive

    Great plugin. I was able to play around with it today. I love how it works but was hoping to have a reservation type service included with it. I currently use the plugin Bookings for my school. We have computer labs, meeting rooms...etc. that need to be signed out by a teacher or principal for uses like student classes or parent meetings. The main issue is that teachers have different schedules so we can not just make each room availability for 45min. We found that we had to make the reservations for 15 min and allow each teacher to select multiple times during one reservation. I was hoping this plugin allowed for multiple appointments (really reservations) at one time. I also was hoping to find that that I could alter the form. so, I could ask for the teacher's name, grade level, email, room number and number of students. As I see it now it only allows for things like phone number, name, email,...etc. and cannot be adjusted or edited to other fields. I love it though, but guess that it will not fulfill my needs.

  • David H
    • The Crimson Coder

    Looking like a useful plugin. Most of my client base are photographers. This is a great tool for their customers to book up studio sessions.

    Think I can sell this but I think a demo site would be the best way to demonstrate its potential and value.

    Great work!

  • Hakan
    • The Incredible Smush

    Hi all,

    First of all I want to note that plugin is updated to BETA3. You can find the download link in the very first post. If you have previously installed it, you can just upload the new version using FTP. No uninstall is required.

    @Tyler BZ, @lee_down, thank you for pointing out "the last day of the month" issue. This is fixed in this version.

    @Dean Kaus, thank you for your support and your trust on me :slight_smile:

    @aristath, issue was similar to what you have pointed out; as humans, we think next month in terms of expressions, but computer codes do not think like that :slight_smile: Anyway, the issue will not be seen again.

    This new version also comes with Google Calendar Button integration which is a fast and practical solution for some of the Gcal requests. No API keys are necessary and no permission to access to client's calendar is required.

    It lets client to add the appointment to his/her Google Calendar he would select.

    I am aware that this may not cover all of the GCal requests here, as this a semi-automatic one, but at least client is now allowed to add an appointment to his/her calendar without too much effort and without the need for a registration and/or giving permission to the website.

    @dscostu,

    Although Appointments+ is designed for one-to-one appointments, i.e. a single service provider serving a single client, I think it can work in your case too:
    Try to define a classroom as a service.

    But once again, this is not a "Booking" plugin. It may not fully satisfy your needs.

    FYI, Bookings+ is our next project :slight_smile:

    By the way, altering the form is completely possible. On the front end it is made by shortcodes (please see app_confirmation section on Shortcodes tab) and on the back end it is done by filter hooks. So you can change "address" as "room number", but it is up to you what you will do with those values.

    Thanks for everyone who shared his feedback.

    Cheers,
    Hakan

  • _981
    • Site Builder, Child of Zeus

    Great :smiley: I'll update and explore more.

    Question.. When a user places an order and are required to leave their info (ex: name, address, city, note) is it possible to have a field for "Order ID", where it offers a drop down box of possible orders from MarketPress? I imagine this is much outside this plugin's intended function.. But I use MarketPress to offer a service, not a tangible product. The customer must then wait to be contacted to setup an appointment but I am trying to implement the use of this plugin. I currently allow 1 appointment request every 86400 seconds (24 hours), so that they can only request an appointment once, but they may infact have more than 1 order, and require more than 1 appointment.. So somehow setting up an order ID may allow me to restrict 1 appointment request per order.

    As I said I think this is outside the plugin's intended function, so if you have any ideas how I could go about hacking this plugin to implement this, that would be great. I'll be trying myself in the mean time.

    Thanks,
    Tyler

  • _981
    • Site Builder, Child of Zeus

    The "My Appointments" shown to the site visitor does not appear if they have a "pending" status requested appointment. The only time the list shows is once an appointment is set to confirmed. I think that it should display appointment requests in addition to the approved "confirmed" appointments. There is a column that says "Status", so you could specify that the request is pending.

  • Hakan
    • The Incredible Smush

    Hi Tyler,

    You can set the desired status(es) to be displayed using the shortcode status parameter, e.g. [app_my_appointments status="pending,confirmed,paid"]. Please see Shortcodes tab of the plugin for the description.

    BTW, I forgot to mention that Google Calendar button will be visible here too, if it is enabled. So, client can add the appointment to his GCal later, even if he missed it during booking.

    I am not sure I understood your first question. An appointment indeed has an ID. Using hooks, you can integrate the plugin to any other one during the booking and/or status change process, e.g. when it is confirmed or paid.

    I hope this helps.

    Cheers,
    Hakan

  • Hakan
    • The Incredible Smush

    Hi johnnymestizo,

    Integration with Membership is already included.

    For the other plugins, let's see the requests. I mean, integration of which property of A+ to what property of X plugin?

    Appointments+ comes with lots of action and filter hooks. I can provide samples to use them to integrate other plugins. Just ask them in the forums after the release. If the required integration is not an isolated, specific one, I can include it in the future versions.

    Cheers,
    Hakan

  • amlan
    • WPMU DEV Initiate

    Well,is there any plan for Google calender integration,even in future?Most of the users booking the appointment will hardly use any calendar apps unless they are very busy guy,on the other hand if I take appointments through 3 different site then having them sync with single google calendar will keep my appointments neat and will be real useful.Right now I use snippet provided by Google directly to avoid clash in all the three sites I take appointments from.
    Hope you guys are understanding the importance of Gcal sync for a site owners perspective.

  • Claire Wielandt
    • Design Lord, Child of Thor

    Oh, this sounds SO great, I've been looking for this.

    Would it be possible to throw in an "availability" widget, that shows the general availability visually, for i.e. 3-4 months at the time, like a graph or something?
    (you know, the more booked one month, the more red the pillar) - and maybe even with a small arrow to the right and left, for scrolling through the monthly availability view?
    This way, clients will not have to look through the weeks or months, but can immediately get a sense of how booked one is.

    Just a suggestion that I'd love to see as an addition :slight_smile:

    Looking forward to test it out :slight_smile:

  • Abaloo
    • The Incredible Code Injector

    Could this be used for a bookings system, so for example a campsite could use it to book out pitches for a number of nights at a time? With say 15 tent pitches on the campsite, people could login and book a pitch for x number of nights?

  • Hakan
    • The Incredible Smush

    Hi all,

    @designlabCPH,

    There is a Monthly Calendar widget whose free days are clickable. After clicking a free day, user is redirected to the appointment page with date adjusted to that day.

    You can use as many of this widget as you wish to display next months using the "Months to add to current month" setting.

    @PROPAGANDA,

    No, this is designed for one-to-one appointments, that is, one service provider serving a single client.

    However we already have Events+ plugin for that purpose:
    https://premium.wpmudev.org/project/events-plus/

    Another plugin, Bookings+ which will be suitable for movie theatres, concerts, restaurants, etc. is our next project.

    Thanks everyone.
    Hakan

  • Hakan
    • The Incredible Smush

    @PROPAGANDA,

    Sorry, I thought you are asking for booking for some announced dates. You are right; if there are no specific dates, then Events+ is not applicable.

    Bookings+ is being spec'ed at the moment. We are collecting requests like yours. I noted it :slight_smile:

    Thanks
    Hakan

  • Abaloo
    • The Incredible Code Injector

    Awesome, thank you :slight_smile:

    Just to be clear, the idea is that there are multiple instances of the same booking to be made on any day - So there could be an admin area to create each booking (say premium plot, standard blot and basic plot) and also how many instances there are of each (15 x premium, 10 x standard and 30 x basic, for example).

    Then the idea would be that someone could go onto the site and book, for example, two premium plots for ten nights.

    Thanks for your time :slight_smile:

    Andrew

  • Claire Wielandt
    • Design Lord, Child of Thor

    @Hakan

    Yeah, I noticed that one, which is cool :slight_smile:

    I was just thinking of (and with my occupation as a webdesigner in mind) the coolness of a widget that could display a quick "General availability" overview, for possible clients to see my general availability the upcoming months.
    This way they wouldn't have to check the specific months/days if (i.e.) they had a larger project in mind without having to click through the months - and I wouldn't have to display 4 months in a sidebar.

    Otherwise I suppose i could pay someone to create a widget, that simply auto-tapped into the info from this plugin and displayed a color-indicated graph pr. (somewhat like screenshot but cooler :slight_smile:

    Thx though - It's a great addition to the plugin directory :slight_smile:

  • aristath
    • Recruit

    I just had a client request a hotel booking site and I'm thinking of adapting this plugin to suit my needs...
    I'm thinking to change "Time base (minutes)" to days instead of minutes and use "services" as hotel rooms (it's a small family hotel in a Greek island that only has 6 rooms).

    What do you think? Would that work?

  • aristath
    • Recruit

    @James I'd be glad to!

    But do we know more-or-less when to expect it?
    I know it's not right asking for something like that, but I 'm between wordpress and drupal for this project, and if Bookings+ will be available in the next 1-2 months then it's wordpress. If not, it's going to be drupal... (I love both of them equally)

  • Mark Wallace
    • Learn-ing-er

    @aristath

    Hooray!! The project's deadline is Christmas so I'll wait. :slight_smile:

    I haven't had a chance to dig into this much, but from what i gathered it would not take much to make this work for a hotel/reservation type project! that is what caught my eye about it. There are almost 100 bed and breakfast/hotels with in and hr of my house, so these type of Jobs are all over CL. lol

    But the booking+ plugin. WOWser!!! The future here at WPMU Dev! :slight_smile:

  • Dean Kaus
    • The Bug Hunter

    @designlabCPH At first I thought that your idea of my clients being able to see my availability for the next couple of months

    I was just thinking of (and with my occupation as a webdesigner in mind) the coolness of a widget that could display a quick "General availability" overview, for possible clients to see my general availability the upcoming months.

    Was a great idea. I found out too late that it's really not a great idea, especially for potential clients to see how busy (or not) you are. My DJ business went to zero after I did that vs. having them check for a specific date. I found out that if a potential client would enter a specific date and I was booked at most they would enter 1-2 alternative dates. What ended up happening as with most business's especially DJ's is that you have down months (little or no bookings) especially since brides tend to book 3-5 months out vs. 16-24 like they used to.

    So when I wasn't getting any bookings or inquiries I asked a couple of brides that I thought were going to book me because I did their friends wedding. The reason they didn't book me was simply that when they checked it appeared that I must not be that good anymore as I had only a few bookings!

    on my other site I had a similar experience in that I would get a call and the potential client would say something like (this happened several times) well I see that you're not very busy so I thought that I could help you out with some business if you give me a really great deal. After all something is better than nothing right??

    So I took that off of all of my websites as soon as I discovered that problem. I put the control back into my hands. I still use an availability checker currently but make it clear that even if they pay a retainer online I still have 24 hours to confirm or decline that appointment as I may be at an event and have booked that time slot.

    I've also heard that Airlines possibly use some dummy appointments to make it appear that a flight is over half full even if you're the very first person to purchase a ticket. As the plane books up then the data is updated with the real data.

    Just some personal thoughts that may help avoid my costly mistake.

  • James Dunn
    • The Crimson Coder

    @Dean Kaus

    When I was in the financial services business and gave public workshops, we always handed out a paper registration at the end of the workshop On that registration form was a calendar with available dates to get an appointment with us. When I recruited new guys they always wanted to show "every date" as available because they had no appointments.

    I always told them to show the two days after the workshop as being filled and then randomly block out two days or so in the following two to three weeks. That way, they didn't look completely free - but like they had some things going on. That way they looked busy and people would not be put off by their inactivity. Plus, if you look busy, you look desirable and the crowd mentality will encourage them to seek you out. Plus, they're less apt to stand you up if you look busy.

    There's a lot of psychology to this - and probably much more than I've noted here.

    JDD

  • Hakan
    • The Incredible Smush

    Hi all,

    I really appreciate these experience exchanges. I believe several members of this community are having notes of your precious experiences.

    Here I want to note that with A+ you can set different break hours for each week day and you can disable Legend. So your clients cannot distinguish if you are busy or not working during those hours.

    You can also completely close a particular date or dates.

    Of course it is always possible to add your own dummy appointments for certain time slots.

    Thus, your schedule could be shown that you are busy enough, and I think random enough.

    Cheers,
    Hakan

  • NYCWW
    • Site Builder, Child of Zeus

    I'm receiving the following message in my Dashboard after installing the plugin:

    Warning: Missing argument 2 for Appointments::save_post() in /xxxx/xxxxxxxx/public_html/wp-content/plugins/appointments/appointments.php on line 681

    Any idea what might be causing it?

    BTW - I'm running Appointments version 1.0BETA3 and WordPress v 3.4.2.

  • Dean Kaus
    • The Bug Hunter

    Thanks for the follow up @JamesDunn

    There's a lot of psychology to this - and probably much more than I've noted here.

    So much truth and much more than anyone can imagine. ( I sure hope that none of my clients are members here) For example whenever I get a cold call for an appointment I always pause and give them 2 dates and times as options. If they have too many choices then you lose respect right away and totally confuse the clients. Also if you have a special say for the first 20 people who call, stick to it. If person number 21 or 22 calls and you let them slide you will lose the respect of the first 20. Now you can always make a new special for the next group but it better not be nearly as good as the first 20 who responded quickly. this will also make your value go up. Reason being that the first 20 won't go around bragging on the great deal they received nearly as much as the next 5 who just missed the best deal. they will tell everyone how they missed out but almost got the best deal.

    Here's a little tidbit for you. Did you know that probably 95% of women would cancel an appointment for just about anything else if their hairdresser calls with an opening! It's amazing at how many times over the years I've had to reschedule a photo session or other business meeting for this reason. It's crazy but true.

  • Dean Kaus
    • The Bug Hunter

    @nycwebworks not sure if that's the latest version of the Beta or not however I ran into a few problems after upgrading to WP 3.4.2 with some of my plugins.

    What I did was deactivated all of the plugins and then reactivated them and that took care of most of the problems automatically.

    Hopefully @Hakan is still online tonight and possibly have a quick fix for this or not.

  • Hakan
    • The Incredible Smush

    Hi nycwebworks,

    That's a good catch. This is fixed and will not be seen in the official release, which is very soon :slight_smile:

    This warning won't cause a harm. But please change "Use Built-in Cache" setting as No to disable that warning for the time being.

    Thanks for pointing out that.

    Cheers,
    Hakan

  • James Dunn
    • The Crimson Coder

    @Dean Kaus

    For example whenever I get a cold call for an appointment I always pause and give them 2 dates and times as options. If they have too many choices then you lose respect right away and totally confuse the clients.

    We did the same thing - not just on cold calls, but anytime we were calling them or they called us. Two gave them a choice and the choice was not "yes" or "no". Also, a psychology thing.

    We also used a funnel approach. First, we nailed down this week or next week, then a choice between two days (even if neither of them worked, we could now give them two more days to choose from), then we'd give them two times on they day they chose. We just kept moving them down the funnel until we got the appointment nailed and had them on the books. Worked like a charm.

    JDD

  • Dean Kaus
    • The Bug Hunter

    @JamesDunn Yup some great stuff, I probably forgot more than the majority of the new sales guys coming up nowadays. Remember the closer? Ok soo... If I can do this and get that for you that would meet all of your needs right? Then hand them the pen and contract and don't be the first one to speak. I always hated that part, especially when they do it to me.

    Anyway talk to you later...

  • Claire Wielandt
    • Design Lord, Child of Thor

    @Dean :slight_smile:

    Thank you for your great feedback - and yes, I absolutely see your point, especially when Dj'ing or the like - but actually my problem is the reverse, that I have to use a lot of time to actually decline possible work...
    But then again, most of what I do is not possible to do in a day or two (or an evening, like a DJ), but takes me quite a lot of time for every assignment.

    I've just grown weary of having to decline a lot of the time (not to say the hours I spend on still communicating back and forth, as I prefer to be polite to people - Maybe I should change that approach :wink: as I keep ending up doing more work than what is good for me, which has really stressed me out.
    I just thought it would be a lot easier for myself if people simply didn't contact me, if they have a project for "tomorrow" and immediately can see that if they want me to do their things, they'll have to book and wait a bit.

    But it's really great feedback you gave and I'll definably keep that in mind in the future. No-one says my availability is going to keep being so strung up :slight_smile:

  • Claire Wielandt
    • Design Lord, Child of Thor

    @ JamesDunn

    I always told them to show the two days after the workshop as being filled and then randomly block out two days or so in the following two to three weeks. That way, they didn't look completely free - but like they had some things going on

    Yeah, that was my next thought - That no one says that (in case of too much availability) you can't fill out some blanks yourself, so you don't have an empty calendar.
    And another advice (for the busy) would be to actually put in and use those "blank appointments" actively for personal things like half a day off, doing creative work for yourself, play with your kids or something else.

    I've gotten to know stress the hard way, and it really does not take a lot before you suddenly find you have taken on too much work in to little time - in my case because I'm really bad at saying no and truly want to help my clients out.

    One has to remember one self (and family) on the way.

  • Dean Kaus
    • The Bug Hunter

    @designlabCPH No problem I understand and this is how I handle my big jobs.
    Since a lot of my work used to be weddings (and everybody thinks that DJing is the easiest job) but for a 6 hour gig I actually work 16 man hours (some are less than others)
    For video editing even what will end up being a 30 second commercial I have to allow 20 man hours. So I have specific parts of the days or weeks that I block out for editing, certain times for follow emails/phone calls etc... so that all of the work gets completed. I used to have a message that if your wedding or event is less than 3 months away unless something happened to your original videographer or DJ then don't bother leaving your number. I find out that those who don't plan at least 3 months out are high maintenance and bring down my dollar per hour profits.

    Since business is slow (everyone who is unemployed now buys a cheep camera and are a professional and charge less than I can afford to charge) even though i know that they will be out of business within a year (after they figure out that they are really only making $4 per hour and it's a lot more work than they thought) there is a new group of unemployed people out there.

    I think your business is similar in the fact that you need a specific amount of time to consult and clarify your clients objectives and goals, then you have to turn their ideas into reality via design and programming. Then you have to set aside the time to learn and keep up with the new trends. (writing code for me now is like bunji jumping) the last time I really did any programming was in lotus, dbase and xbase. Thing have really changed so I had to forget my old logic and try to learn the new. Well better get that scheduled 4 hours of sleep.

    Later and thanks for your insite and input!

  • Dean Kaus
    • The Bug Hunter

    Of course I can always be available last minute for a really extreme fee. Enough to take me and the clients I'm putting on hold to a really nice night out on the town. I always ask their permission and end up coming up with additional great ideas. plus the added bonus of getting to know them better as well.

    OK so I'm really going to sleep now.

  • Mark Wallace
    • Learn-ing-er

    @Dean

    Well better get that scheduled 4 hours of sleep.

    Increase that to 4hrs 15min. It takes the brain 4 hours to reach R.E.M.; this is needed for full mental recover. The brain can "defragment" a days worth of information in 3-5 30 second dreams. The other 10-12 minutes are to fall asleep! << I was studying Psychology until it taught me i was not normal. :slight_smile: But 4realz "4hrs 15min" I've been doing it ever other day for almost 6 years now!

  • shineadmin
    • New Recruit

    @Hakan

    sincerest apologies for delay in coming back to you I dont have any broadband im on dial up LOL.

    I did install but had errors across the bottom of all pages of my site and had to remove I will try on a dev site later today !

    Looks amazing

  • Hakan
    • The Incredible Smush

    Hi aristath,

    Instead of using strtotime("+1 month") I am now using strtotime("first day of +1 month").

    If we are on 31st of August, in the first usage it gives a result of 1st of October (because +1 month means simply add one month to the related month and there is no 31st of September), but in the latter usage it gives 1st of September which I want.

    Please see a better explanation here:
    http://www.php.net/manual/en/function.strtotime.php#107331

    Cheers,
    Hakan

  • makenice
    • Flash Drive

    Hey, this looks great, just wondering if I can use this on my Buddypress site?

    I would like regular visitors to be able to book teachers (service providers) that are registered members on the site. Ideally allowing the teachers to manage their appointments individually with payments directed to one central paypal account, and individual appointments calendar to appear on their profile pages, if possible?

    Thanks!

  • Hakan
    • The Incredible Smush

    Hi makenice,

    Appointments+ supports BuddyPress.

    You can add an individual appointment calendar for each teacher, but it should be an ordinary page or post, not profile page. BuddyPress profile pages (tabs) are used, but for setting working hours, breaks, holidays and to display own appointments.

    Cheers,
    Hakan

  • FHConcept
    • Flash Drive

    Ok, so my first impression based on a case:
    instructor works from 2:30pm to 10:00pm in 45min increments (for a total of 10 slots)
    Pretty straight forward, but upon trying to set it up here are the issues:
    - No 45min increments.... I went to the php file and added it, pretty easy.
    - Working hours start the increment from 12:00am therefore I can't select the 2:30pm start... I got the 2:15 or 3:00pm. I looked in the php file but can't find what to adapt to change that.
    So my point here: could it be possible to set the start time from which the Time base (minutes) starts to increment? The way it is set right now makes it not very flexible.

  • Hakan
    • The Incredible Smush

    Hi FHConcept,

    Please don't directly edit the plugin files as you will lose your changes with the next update. There are filters to add the required time bases and to force start time of the schedule.

    Simply add these inside functions.php of your theme:

    // Add 45 minutes to the selections
    function my_new_time_base( $time_base ){
    	$time_base[] = 45;
    	return $time_base;
    }
    add_filter( 'app_time_base', 'my_new_time_base' );
    
    // Force starting time as 14:30
    function my_new_starting_hour( $start ) {
    	return 14.5;
    }
    add_filter( 'app_schedule_starting_hour', 'my_new_starting_hour' );

    Please see the result in the attached screenshot.

    Cheers,
    Hakan

  • FHConcept
    • Flash Drive

    Great, thank you Hakan.
    I don't intent on editing the php file once released, it was just for testing purpose.
    Those filters are great, I think there is room to implement them in the settings tab.

    Great work on the plugin, I'll let you know if I find any other plugin.

    I too +1 some sort of calendar integration.

  • FHConcept
    • Flash Drive

    Speaking about location, when customer booking appointment click on Add to Google calendar, he is redirected to the Add event in the google, Instead of a location we have a truncated version of the site description. It would be great if we could set an address.
    In reference to Morris' post, to deal with several locations, maybe the address could be set either per service provider or maybe service.

  • Hakan
    • The Incredible Smush

    Hi all,

    @morris, this version supports only one location, but a location parameter is already inside the codes and database. So, such a selection can be implemented in a future release with the user ideas and example cases clarifying in what way that parameter should be used.

    @FHConcept, Gcal location can be modified again using its filter hook, but I will add an admin setting for this in the next update.

    Cheers,
    Hakan

Thank NAME, for their help.

Let NAME know exactly why they deserved these points.

Gift a custom amount of points.