3 ways to offer different appointment types

If you offer different appointment types there are multiple ways to combine those, we show you how
Jan 16, 2024 6 min read
3 ways to offer different appointment types

Are you wondering how to offer different types of reservations or bookings in SuperSaaS? Do you teach group lessons and private courses, and would you like a way to schedule both? Let’s discuss a few ways to address that.

Combining different appointment types in one account

If you only have a single appointment type, or only teach a single class, then creating an account and setting up a schedule is straightforward. But what do you do if you offer several different services, appointment types, or classes? It turns out there are several different ways to approach that in SuperSaaS. We will show you the 3 most commonly used options.

Option 1 is best suited when you offer lessons and appointments with multiple resources, and you want to combine those into one view. Option 2 and 3 are more suitable if you want to keep your schedules separate, but differ in the approach. Option 2 offers a list of all your available schedules, while option 3 cross-links between your schedules. Depending on your needs and wishes, you might prefer one of the two.

1. Configuring one schedule to fit all needs

While this setup might seem the most straightforward, it can seem a bit tricky to configure one schedule for multiple class types. This is not to say it cannot be done! Before you start, we recommend that you take a moment to decide which resources and/or services you are offering and how you would like to present these options to your users within your schedule.

From that point on, you will create one or multiple resource schedules for all the resources you offer. Consider whether you need to add a separate schedule for teachers, equipment, locations, available seats or places. Depending on your needs, create a resource schedule per individual resource or create a schedule per kind – one for all equipment, one for all locations, and so on. With separate schedules you have more control over start times or differing holidays. If this is of no concern to you, it might be easier to stick with one resource schedule per resource type.

To illustrate: you run an organization that offers private lessons and masterclasses with a maximum of 15 seats. Your students can book multiple seats. Here, you might need a schedule for teachers, locations, and available seats. In this case, it can be best to create a separate schedule for each teacher. This is convenient if those teachers go on holidays at different times of the year, and if you want to give your teachers superuser rights to edit their availability. For the available locations and the available seats, you will create only one schedule each. You can still give each resource its own opening hours, in case the availability of your locations vary.

Once you are satisfied with the resource schedules you have set up, create a service schedule to combine the available resources. You will need to create services, in these service you combine all the resources that you will need for each appointment.

Going back to the masterclass example we used earlier, you have now created all necessary schedules. To give students a clear overview, you need to combine all resources into services offered in your service schedule. To provide students the option to book multiple seats at the same time, you create a service for each number of seats. For a pottery masterclass, your services and connected resources would look something like this:

Pottery masterclass with teacher Jane
Clayton Hall, 1 seat
Pottery masterclass with teacher Jane
Clayton Hall, 2 seats
Pottery masterclass with teacher Jane
Clayton Hall, 3 seats
Teacher Jane Teacher Jane Teacher Jane
Clayton Hall Clayton Hall Clayton Hall
Any of seats Any of seats Any of seats
Any of seats Any of seats
Any of seats

Imagine that teacher Jane also offers private pottery classes, you can simply add those to the list of services as “Private pottery lesson” with the resources “Teacher Jane” and “throwing room”. As teacher Jane will now be unavailable, all of the Pottery masterclasses become unavailable to book for the duration of the private lesson.

This is just a basic construction for a more complex scheduling need, and there are many ways to customize this setup. Please do not feel discouraged if the above does not quite fulfill your needs! It often takes a few tries to get it right. That is why we advise you adhere to the build-and-test cycle: After the initial setup process you test your schedule, make changes, and repeat, until your configuration works exactly the way you want.

2. Using the schedule overview page

If you want to keep your schedules separate but you do want your users to first see all your available schedules in a list, you can send them to a list of your schedules instead. A big difference with combining schedules is that this option requires that you maintain your multiple schedules separately. This way, you can configure each schedule to work for the appointment type it contains. You can then opt to send users a URL to a schedule list page, which lets the user to choose which schedule they need before proceeding to that chosen schedule, or you can send users a direct link to any of your schedules if you already know which one they need. The schedule list is disabled by default, you can enable it with the radio button “Show a list of schedules” on the Access Control page in your account. That will also show you the link to use.

Take the example from option 1, but here you are teacher Jane and you own the building in which you offer pottery classes. You offer group lessons which need a capacity schedule, but you also rent out the rooms in your building when they are not in use which requires a resource schedule. To let your users access the correct schedule without linking every user to the correct one manually or providing different links on your website, you can link them to your schedule list. Of course, you can customize how this page looks as well.

A schedule list might also be useful when you offer in-house services at different locations (e.g. chair massages at various offices) and you want users to choose their location before accessing a schedule. You might block users that work at company A from accessing company B’s schedule. This schedule list gives them the reassurance that they have reached the right SuperSaaS account, while a blocked schedule page might cause confusion or distrust.

3. Cross-link to separate schedules in your account

If you do not want your users to see a list of all the available schedules in your account, it might be a better option to provide users with the links to relevant schedules but not to those that are uninteresting to them. You can add the link to schedule B in the white space above schedule A. In the white space above schedule B, you can then add a link back to schedule A.

Taking the example of teacher Jane’s pottery group lessons and room rental. The space above your group lessons schedule can contain a text like: “Welcome to teacher Jane’s schedule for pottery group lessons! For room rentals, please visit www.supersaas.com/schedule/example-teacher-Jane/room-rentals”

Of course, you can customize this configuration as well. A way to do so would be to use auto text to personalize the message or to display a link only to superusers.

You have hired another staff member, Tom, that teaches pottery group lessons. He also offers private woodworking lessons. He schedules those himself for now, and users do not need to access the schedule. You could link Tom to his schedule with the auto text $if {message} where you replace “message” with the additional link, specifically for Tom. The full text to enter above the schedule would then be:

“Welcome to teacher Jane’s schedule for pottery group lessons! For room rentals, please visit: www.supersaas.com/schedule/example-teacher-Jane/room-rentals

$if admin {This section will only be visible to Tom: www.supersaas.com/schedule/example-teacher-Jane/woodworking}”

By providing a direct link to Tom’s schedule in the schedule for the pottery group lessons, Tom can easily visit his woodworking schedule. If you provide the link to the group lessons in that schedule, he can quickly switch back and forth.

SuperSaaS is extremely customizable, giving you the opportunity to create the exact schedule that you need. If you are still in doubt on which schedule type you should start with, or if you need a bit more information on how to set up it up, we have various set up guides and tutorials available to offer examples and help you through the configuration process. Are you stuck and do you need some advice? Our support team is here to help.