Take bookings through your website - straight into Commusoft

Paul Hewson
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Commusoft understands how vital it is for customers to have easy ways to request and book jobs. You can do almost everything online nowadays, so why not be able to book a boiler service, fire alarm test, or gas safety check online too?

Field service businesses out there may already be using contact or booking forms on their website. However, now (thanks to our hardworking developers!) you can utilise our Online Booking Form feature to add the job and customer information it collects straight into your Commusoft database. Let me tell you what it can do and how to set it up.

*Update* - We made some updates to this feature in September 2018, see this new blog post for the details: Online booking form improvements

Please bear in mind that these features are only available on the Paperless Office plan and higher. If you are not on this plan, have a chat with our sales team on 0203 0266 266 about upgrading today.

The customer's experience

The customer can simply click a button on your website and fill in their details about the job they need completing.

mini app booking portal

They will be asked to select a job type, or if you don't have this set up, they can simply type in their own text. You can customise which jobs are available to choose from within the online booking form, (I'll go over how to do that later).

The customer will then choose a date and preferred time, either morning or afternoon. They also have space to add any additional comments required.

Next, the customer is asked for their email and postcode. This allows Commusoft to check whether the customer already exists in your customer database. If they are a new customer, they will be asked for their contact details and address.

Mini app contact

If Commusoft recognises a returning customer based on the initial postcode and email address provided, they will be presented with an address and asked to confirm if it's correct. This will allow the customer to bypass filling in their details again and will link the new job to their already existing customer record.

Mini app returning customer

Next, the customer is asked whether they wish to provide a credit/ debit card for later payment - note this is optional for the customer, and this prompt can be turned off entirely.

Mini app card

Finally, the customer will be presented with the full booking request and asked to confirm.

Mini ap confirm

Once they do so, the process is complete - the confirmed job request is displayed and they are informed that they will receive a confirmation email (this is optional and customisable).

Booking form emaiThe business's experience

Our Online Booking Form is more than just a form. It's a little bit of Commusoft embedded directly into your website. This means our booking form can access data stored within Commusoft, such as job descriptions. You can customise which job types are presented to a customer and available to request through the online booking form. You can turn this on per job description from System Settings> Jobs> Job descriptions.

Mini app job selection

You can see the dropdown menu of jobs above, as they appear in the online booking form. The job descriptions page is below, with the required tick box highlighted.

Job description settings

Once the customer completes the booking, the mini app will take the information provided and create a corresponding job in Commusoft. So, if you already use a booking form online, you no longer need to monitor responses and manually transfer the job and customer details into your job management software - Commusoft will do it for you.

Commusoft can also create a new customer within your customer database, using the information provided. As we saw above, the online booking form can recognise returning customers, as long as they use the same email address and postcode as is stored in your database. This allows Commusoft to attach the new job to the existing customer - without creating a duplicate record.

Let's imagine a customer has just filled out the online booking form. What next? First, you'll receive a notification in Commusoft to let you know a request has been made through your website. The notification will contain the booking details, including the requested date and preferred time of day for you to consider when booking the job into the diary.

mini app notification
The notification above and the expanded notification details below.

Mini app notification info

Finally, as we know that communication is key to great customer service, you are able to set up an automated confirmation email to let customers know their request has been received. You can use this as an opportunity to specify how you will be following up with them, when they can expect to hear from you, and any other next steps. Remember this email will be received by all customers who use the booking portal, so ensure it is general enough to apply to multiple job types.

Embedding the booking form into your website

Okay, time to get technical. I promise not to overwhelm you, but we're going to have to talk about *dreaded* HTML code. If you have someone who is responsible for IT or your company website, then this is the part they will need.

To start, head over to System Settings> Online Portals and click Set up online booking form. You'll be presented with a settings page like the one below.

Online booking form settings

This page gives you access to the HTML code needed to create the online booking form, allows you to write your confirmation email, and edit the payment card settings. The first thing to do is click the button 'Generate HTML'. This will fill the text box below with HTML code, which you will need to copy and paste into the appropriate place on your website.

Websites vary quite a lot, so naturally this exact process may vary too - you'll need to discuss this with your website designer/ provider. Understandably, Commusoft's support team will not be able to assist in incorporating this code into your own website.

mini app html

Should you ever wish to deactivate the online booking form, you can do so on this page. Simply click 'Remove access to booking form' and confirm via the prompt to turn off the feature. Remember, you would still need to remove the code from the website to remove the visual button from your website. If you accidentally revoked access to the booking form, you will need to generate new code and update your website with the new code, as the old code is permanently inactivated.

Set up confirmation email

While on the Set up online booking form settings page, you can set up an email notification to be sent to customers. Simply fill out the email subject and body text. You can click the 'Use tagging' button to add tags such as customer name or job description, which will populate from their booking details. Make sure to click Save once complete. Check out the simple example below, with the resulting email.

Booking form email

Store payment cards

On this settings page you are also able to set up credit/debit card functionality within the online booking form. This will add a prompt in the booking process for customers to add a card to their account (this is optional), the card details will be stored in Commusoft alongside the customer record for when a final invoice is issued. Simply choose from the dropdown box whether or not the customer will be asked for a payment card.

Booking form payment setting

That's everything! We know this a lot of information to take in, so take your time and read through it all. As mentioned before, Commusoft's support team won't be able to assist with your website development and should you need help incorporating the online booking form, we recommend you reach out to a web developer or tech-savvy friend.

We hope you find this feature useful and leads to an increase in bookings and a decrease in admin time!

If you have any feature suggestions, please let us know here. We're always making updates to the system and are all ears to your thoughts.

Fancy leaving us a review? We'd love to hear your thoughts. You can do so right here.

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