Community

How to set up Online Booking

SimplePractice Online Booking features a user-friendly client scheduling solution, which provides the ability for clients to view your availability and then request an appointment.

We have also integrated SimplePractice Availability Scheduling into Online Booking which allows you to set specific times of the day that you want to make available to clients, as well as setting specific service codes and our Call-to-Book feature. Click here to learn more about Availability Scheduling.

Note: Online Booking is only available with the Professional Plan. Click here to see all our SimplePractice plans and pricing.

 In this article


Make sure your Client Portal is turned on

Before we get started, make sure that you have enabled the Client Portal. Here's how:

  • Go to My Account > Settings > Client Portal.
  • Make sure the toggle shows a blue ON, as shown below.

ClientPortal.SimplePractice.EnableClientPortal.png

Creating your Client Portal Web Address

To get started with Online Booking, you need to create your Client Portal Web Address (Client Portal URL). This is the link that clients will visit to see your availability and request an appointment. You can also post this on your website so clients can easily access your Online Booking. Here's how:

  • Go to My Account > Settings > Client Portal.
  • You’ll see a recommended practice link, which is based on your practice name and available URLs, as shown below. You can edit to this URL if you would prefer something different, then Save & Lock.

Important: Once you lock your Client Portal Web Address, you won't be able to make changes to it directly. Send us a help request and we can unlock it for you.

Here’s what a locked URL looks like:

ClientPortal.SimplePractice.PracticeURL.png

Once the URL is locked, you can check out your Client Portal to see what it looks like to your clients.

homepage.simplepractice.clientportal.jpg

It’s best to lock your Client Portal before sending out invites to the Client Portal. Click here to learn more about inviting clients to the Client Portal.

Customizing your Client Portal

Practice Name

practicename.simplepractice.clientportal.jpg

The header of your Client Portal is pulled from the Practice Name in your Practice Details page. You can customize it to be anything you like.

practicename.simplepractice.practicedetails.jpg

Office location

officelocations.simplepractice.clientportal.jpg

Your office name and address are pulled from the Office Locations entered in your Practice Details.

officelocations.simplepractice.practicedetails.jpg

Enabling Online Booking

Now that your Client Portal is built, you're ready to enable Online Booking. Here's how:

  • Go to My Account > Settings > Client Portal.
  • Select Enable Online Booking. This opens more options to customize your Online Booking page. After setting your preferences, click Save Settings.

clientportal.simplepractice.settings.jpg

Here you’ll be able to determine how sessions are booked: on the hour, half hour, or by session length.

  • You can also select if you would like to allow new clients to book, select if you would like to request a credit card to book, set how far in advance your clients can book, and set the time limit for booking appointments online to prompt a client to Call-to-Book.
  • You can allow new clients to book online to make it easier for new clients to see you. When they request an appointment, you’ll still have the option to decline or accept the appointment. Also, you can set which specific services you offer to new clients by customizing your service codes. Click here to learn more about Service Codes.

If you would like to request a credit card for Online Booking, select Require credit card to book appointments. New clients will be prompted to add a credit card and existing clients without a credit card on file will be asked for one as well. If you haven’t setup your account with Stripe, you’ll be prompted with information about Stripe to setup a new account. You won’t be able to request a credit card without a Stripe account.

Note: You can learn more about Stripe by viewing this guide: Getting started with Online Payments in SimplePractice.

  • You can also limit how far in advance clients can request appointments. The default is set to 3 months but you can extend that to 6 months or even as little as 1 week out. This means clients will only be able to book an appointment as far into the future as you have limited.
  • In addition, you can set the time range where clients will need to Call-to-Book. The default is within 24 hours, but you can set this to as little as one hour or as far out as 5 days. You’ll also be able to set service codes to be Call-to-Book always.
  • When you make changes to this page, always make sure to click Save. You can always make changes to the settings above to figure out which settings work best for you!

How to set existing clients up for Online Booking

Before your existing clients can schedule through your link, they need to set up a password so that they can access the portal securely. There are 2 ways your client can set up their password:

  • Send the client an activation link so they can create a username/password for Online Booking. To do this, go to the client's Overview page > Edit details > Client Portal tab.

clientportaltab.simplepractice.clientoverview.jpg

  • Click Send Email. The welcome email will provide them with a Client Portal link and 4 digit temporary passcode to log in for the first time. 

welcomeemail.simplepractice.clientportal.jpg

  • When your client clicks the link within the welcome email, they will be prompted to enter their email and temporary passcode.

signin.simplepractice.clientportal.jpg

  • For clients that have already been invited to the Client Portal and set up with a login, they can use your Client Portal practice link to log in moving forward. You can find this by navigating to My Account > SettingsClient Portal
  • For these clients, they can select Existing Client and log in using their email and password.

existingclientlogin.simplepractice.clientportal.jpg

How to set up new clients for Online Booking

Option #1: Provide your client with your unique Client Portal Web Address, either by email or by embedding on your website. Here's how:

  • Locate your Client Portal Web Address link by going to My Account > Settings > Client Portal. 
  • Click Copy link to copy the link to your computer's clipboard so you can paste it wherever you need. 

copylink.simplepractice.clientportal.jpg

  • After a new client clicks your Client Portal Web Address, they will need to click New Client to request a session.

Option #2: After you speak to a client via phone, you can also quickly enter their basic info and send them the scheduling link.

  • Click +Create > Create Client.

createclient.simplepractice.calendar.jpg

  • Enter the client's name, email, and any other information you have, then click Create & Continue. An email address is required to be able to send the client a Client Portal invitation email. 

newclient.simplepractice.createclient.jpg

  • Select the documents you want to share and edit the default welcome email as needed. Click Share & Send Now to send the welcome email. 

sendintakes.simplepractice.createclient.jpg

  • Your client will receive an email prompting them to set up their Client Portal. They can log in and then request their first appointment. The new appointment request will show on your Calendar homepage so you can Accept or Deny it. 

appointmentrequest.simplepractice.accept.jpg

  • Once you have approved your client's appointment request, you will be provided the option to send additional documents and customize the notification email.

How your clients request an appointment

When your client clicks your Client Portal Web Address link, they will be taken to your Client Portal where they will indicate if they are a new client or an existing client.

  • A new client is one that you have not yet added to your SimplePractice account.
  • An existing client is one you have already added to your SimplePractice account.

New clients

A new client will immediately be presented with the option to schedule a session with you based on your calendar availability

requestappointment.simplepractice.onlinebooking.jpg

Once a new client chooses a time, they will be prompted to provide information to complete their request.

newclientinfo.simplepractice.clientportal.jpg

Once they click Request Appointment, they will see a confirmation page that allows them to put the appointment on their calendar and informs them that the therapist is required to confirm the appointment.

appointmentconfirmation.simplepractice.clientportal.jpg

You will receive an email alerting you to the appointment request and the request will also appear on your SimplePractice account.

How to confirm/decline appointment requests

  • After your client has requested an appointment, the request will appear in your SimplePractice account and you'll also receive an email alert.
  • You will see a list of requests on the left-hand side of your Calendar with the option to accept or decline each request individually.
  • Select Accept or Decline.
  • A new window will appear where you can select documents to share (if accepting) and customize the email sent to the client.

Appointment confirmation and decline emails are pre-populated with a standard message. You can edit these messages individually at the time you accept or decline the appointment. (In the next section, you'll see how you can create a custom message that will pre-populate these emails.)

This is what the standard accept/decline emails look like:

Accept Email

acceptappointment.simplepractice.onlinebooking.jpg

Decline Email

declineappointment.simpepractice.onlinebooking.jpg

Once you have selected to decline or accept, the appointment will either be removed or placed on your calendar.

Edit appointment email confirmations/declines

To customize the standard email messages:

  • Go to My Account > Settings > Client Portal.
  • Click the Emails tab at the top of the page.  

editwelcomeemail.simplepractice.clientportal.jpg

  • Here you can customize the message for each type of email. To offer more personalization, you can use the macros provided in the drop-down menus.

Note: What is a macro? A macro is a placeholder in the body of the email message that will dynamically pull information from your account. For example, you can choose to include the client full name or just your first name based on what you've entered in your Client's Details.

Important: Email is not a secure form of communication and these email messages to clients are not encrypted. We do provide the option to include some patient health information (PHI) like a client's name, address, phone number, and more in these email messages. Please make sure you use this feature appropriately based on your practice's HIPAA security requirements.

Important details to know

  • If your existing client forgets their password, they can always request a new one by clicking Forgot your password? from the scheduling portal homepage.
  • When accepting a client request, you have the option to send the intake documents to the client (even an existing client).
Have more questions? Submit a request