Manual appointment confirmation and waitlists in Acuity Scheduling

Acuity is designed to make online scheduling as hands-off as possible. Acuity tracks when you’re available then lets clients schedule only at those times. When clients book an appointment, Acuity automatically sends them a confirmation email.

If it’s important for your business to manually confirm each appointment time or to offer a waitlist for times that are already booked, you can use the techniques below to create that effect.

Tip: If your business has sporadic availability, such as a pop-up salon open a few days a month, consider creating an email list you can notify whenever you post new availability. For example, if you have a Squarespace website, you can create a mailing list and call it something like Availability notifications.

Manually confirm appointments

To manually confirm appointments, use two appointment types—one clients can select on your scheduler to request appointments, and another private appointment type to track confirmed appointments.

Step 1 - Set up appointment requests

To create a system for appointment requests:

  1. Create two appointment types: a public appointment type labeled as a request and a private appointment type labeled as confirmation. For example, you might create Request: Pet Instagram Photo Shoot and Confirmed: Pet Instagram Photo Shoot. Both appointment types should be the same duration.
  2. Customize the email templates for each appointment type’s confirmation email. Turn the request appointment type’s confirmation email into a message that the client’s request has been received, and leave the confirmation appointment type’s confirmation email as a confirmation.
  3. Disable all other automated emails for the request appointment type.
  4. Optionally, click Customize Appearance, then update the Scheduling Instructions field to tell clients that they’re requesting an appointment time that needs a separate confirmation.

Step 2 - Use appointment requests

Every time a client goes through your public scheduler, they’ll book one of your request-type appointments. The client automatically receives the email stating their request has been received, and the appointment appears on your Acuity calendar. 

To confirm or reject the appointment, click the appointment to open the appointment details. 

  • To reject it, cancel the appointment. The client automatically receives an email notification that the appointment is canceled.
  • To confirm it, edit the appointment to the confirmed appointment type and save your changes. Click the-gear-icon in the top-right corner of the appointment details, then click Resend Confirmation Email. Because ​​you’ve edited the appointment type, the client gets the confirmation email, rather than the request received email.
Note: Acuity won’t prompt you to review incoming requests. If you miss a request, it remains on your calendar as a request.

Offer a waitlist

To set up a waitlist, you can either create an extra waitlist calendar, or use a Squarespace or third-party form to collect appointment requests. 

Create a waitlist calendar

For this solution to work, you must use two calendars.

Tip: Acuity opens new appointment slots as new times fall within your scheduling limits. If you’re frequently fully booked, consider extending your scheduling limits to allow clients to book further in advance, or tell clients to check back frequently to see new times.

To set up a waitlist calendar:

  1. Create an extra calendar called Waitlist. Assign all your appointment types to it, and fill out the availability to match your main calendar, but allow multiple appointments at the same time.
  2. Edit the scheduling instructions of your main calendar to tell clients that, if the date and time they want isn’t available, they can book their desired spot on the Waitlist calendar instead. Be sure to include the direct link to your waitlist calendar in your scheduling instructions.
  3. Consider updating your automated email notifications to reinforce that the client has booked onto the waitlist but hasn't booked an actual appointment.
  4. If a client cancels an appointment on your main calendar, check for bookings in the matching time slot on the Waitlist calendar.
  5. If there’s a match on the waitlist, reschedule it onto your main calendar. This triggers an automated notification letting the client know their appointment is booked.
Tip: To set up a waitlist if you offer classes instead of appointments, first create an extra calendar called Waitlist. Duplicate the classes you want a waitlist for, then schedule them on your Waitlist calendar at the same date and time as your main calendar.  

Create a waitlist form

This solution relies on sending your clients away from your scheduler, to a separate form.

  1. If you have a Squarespace website, add a form to your site that collects the client's name and email address, and asks them which appointment type, time, and date they wanted but couldn’t book. If not, you can create the form in a third-party form application, such as Google Forms or Wufoo.
  2. Edit your scheduling instructions to tell clients to go to the waitlist form if they don’t see the appointment time and date that they want. You might want to emphasize, in both the scheduling instructions and the form text, that this is a waitlist request, and clients ​aren’t guaranteed appointments.
  3. When a client cancels, check your form responses for a match. If someone asked for that time slot, use the information in the form to book an appointment on the client’s behalf. The client receives a confirmation email notification, letting them know the appointment is booked.
Tip: If you use Wufoo, which integrates with Acuity, your clients’ answers are automatically available inside Acuity if they successfully move off the waitlist.
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