Configuring advanced settings in your Google Calendar integration
The Google Calendar app offers an array of advanced features so that scheduling can be tailored to the needs of your business. For example, you may want the operators to book more than 1 appointment per time slot, or you might want us to send appointment confirmation emails to your customers.
In this article we'll discuss:
- Appointment Padding - With appointment padding, you can include "buffer time" between appointments so that you'll have some time to regroup before your next customer arrives!
- Services - This feature enables you to add a number of services for the operators to schedule that can be different lengths of time and different pricing.
- Accepting Payments - Via your PayPal merchant account link, the operators can accept payment for services in advance.
- Appointment Emails - Once an appointment has been scheduled, rescheduled or canceled, we can send the caller a confirmation email.
- Adding an Outbound Mailbox - You'll need to create an outbound mailbox so that the system knows what email address to list as the Sender.
- Adding Appointment Emails - Choose from a default email template, or create your own custom message.
- Multiple Bookings - With this feature, we can book up to 9 appointments per time slot.
- Cancellation Limits - When it comes to canceling appointments, you can set a limit so that customers are not able to cancel within a certain time frame prior to the appointment.
- First Available - Selecting this feature will include a button for the operators that, when clicked, will immediately go to the first available appointment.
- Saving the Google Calendar Settings - Once you've completed your setup, you'll need to save the configuration.
In order to activate the Advanced settings section of the Google Calendar app, click the checkbox next to Show more options. The full menu of features will be displayed below.
Appointment padding gives you time in between each appointment so that you can relax a while before heading to your next customer.
If you'd like appointment padding to be displayed in a separate Color on your calendar, just click on any of the colored squares to the right of the padding time.
If padding is active, you'll need to set your Limitation to Unlimited. In addition, the time you select for padding must be equal to your appointment Frequency, or the duration of each appointment. If either of these is not set correctly, you'll see the pop-up below when you try to save.
Note that if you opt to add Services to your setup, both your Frequency and Padding will automatically change to 15 minutes.
Adding Services to your Google Calendar integration gives you the ability to list multiple services, each with a distinct duration, price and color. To get started, click the yellow Add new service button.
Then, you'll enter the service Name as well as the Appointment time.
Once you have those filled in, you can use the Color drop down menu to select a different color for each service. That way, you'll know what type of appointment is scheduled based on the colors you see in your schedule.
Below is an example of how your Services might look. While there is no limit to the number of services you can add with this feature, keep in mind that the more you enter, the longer it will take for the operators to locate the correct service in their calendar view.
Booking Multiple Services
The Services feature also gives your callers the option to schedule multiple services simultaneously. To activate this feature, click the box next to Select multiple services for each booking, located just below the yellow Add new service button.
When the operators schedule on your calendar, they will be able to check off multiple services, and it will block the combined length of time for the appointment.
This feature must be used in conjunction with Services. If you are currently using a PayPal merchant account or plan to create one, you can link your account to the Google Calendar app, and we can accept payments for you based on the cost of each service you list in the Services section.
Be sure to have the PayPal Account Optional setting activated in your account. Also, note that if the credit card the caller would like to pay with is associated with a PayPal account, PayPal's system will prevent checkout and we will not be able to schedule the caller's appointment.
Appointment Email Notifications
When we schedule, reschedule or cancel appointments for your callers, you have the option of sending them a confirmation email as long as we have asked for their email address in your call script.
Before you can complete this section, you'll need to configure an Outbound mailbox so that the system will know which email address to list as the 'Sender'.
Adding an Outbound Mailbox
In the upper right corner of the screen, click on Settings. Scroll down the Settings page to the section labeled Outbound mailbox.
Note that if you have already completed the main components of the calendar setup, you'll want to click the green Save configuration button before you continue to the outbound mailbox.
On the far right, click on the green Add new mailbox button.
In the Add outbound mailbox pop-up, you'll enter the From Name and Reply To email address. This is what the system will display in the recipient's email inbox. Click the blue Save button in the lower right corner of the pop-up.
Once saved, your entry will be listed under Outbound mailbox.
Now, click on Apps again from the left-side menu, and then click the yellow Configure button below Google Calendar. As long as you clicked Save configuration prior to configuring your Outbound mailbox, all of your previous settings will be intact.
Adding Appointment Emails
Scroll down to the Advanced settings section, check Appointment email, and select your mailbox name from the Sender name drop down list.
Each email option has a pre-written template and a blank message that you can select from.
The default setting is the 'Active default template' radio button with a default Email subject denoting whether the appointment has been scheduled, rescheduled or canceled.
For example, below is the 'Schedule' email. It contains form fields that will automatically pull the caller's appointment date and time into the message.
If you'd like to compose your own email, click the radio button next to Email subject. This will enable you to create your own subject and customized message. However, you'll want to include the form fields contained in the default template, as these will pull the caller's appointment details into your custom message.
This feature enables the operators to schedule multiple appointments per time slot.
For example, let's say that a medical practice has 5 doctors available for daily appointments. You would select 5 as the Number of appointments per slot, and the operators could schedule 5 patients based on your Frequency or Service.
Note that the multiple bookings can accommodate a maximum of 9 appointments per time slot.
If your scheduling policy does not allow cancellations within a certain time frame prior to the appointment, you'll want to set your Cancellation limit. This will prevent the operators from being able to cancel an appointment on your calendar if it falls within the limit you set.
First, use the drop down list to select minutes, hours or days.
Then, enter a number into the box to the right of Cannot cancel up to. In the example below, callers will not be able to cancel if they are calling within 1 day of their scheduled appointment.
Check the box next to First available to include a button for the operators that will automatically bring them to the first open time slot in your calendar.
Once you've completed the Advanced settings section, in addition to the basic setup, click the green Save configuration button in the bottom right corner of the Google Calendar app.
You'll know that your settings were successfully saved when you see the message below.
If you'd like to check out the operators' view of your calendar, click on the calendar name in the pop-up.
Now it’s time to integrate Google Calendar into your script.
Click the yellow Integrate configuration button, and right click on the link, or use your cursor to highlight it and press CTRL+C to copy.
Now, you'll need to email that link to our Customer Service team so that we can complete the integration in your call script.
If you completed the Appointment Data section in your basic setup, you can also integrate the link yourself by following the instructions in this tutorial.
Need help with your Google Calendar setup? Feel free to give us a call at 1-866-688-8912.