Best Practices For Group Or Pack Walks
If you offer group walks or pack walks we have several features that you can utilize to make scheduling and booking easier for admins, office managers, staff, and clients.
Disable Conflict Notification
When enabled, Time To Pet will show you warnings if you have one staff member scheduled for multiple events at the same time.
Companies that schedule multiple events at the same time (like pack walks, group walks or daycare) will often times disable this tool. This can be found in the Scheduler Settings section:
Staggering Events On The Scheduler
While it's not possible to schedule multiple clients to the same single event, it is possible to schedule multiple events at the same time. This way, each client would have their own event to be able to see their GPS data and get a personalized update. This is also so the client's invoicing is correct as each client will have their corresponding event added to their invoice.
When multiple events are scheduled at the same time, the order they are displayed on the app is based on the order that they were added to the Scheduler by time. If you want them displayed in a different order (like the order that you will be picking dogs up for your group walk) you will want to change the times. What some of our customers do so that they're still scheduled for approximately the same time is just change the times by five minutes, like scheduling the dog you will pick up first at 12:00 pm, scheduling the one you will pick up at 12:05 pm and so on. This also staggers the end of each visit which correlates to the drop off order for each dog.
Many of our customers who manage group walks schedule events in Time To Pet in something similar to this, a staggered schedule:
Individual Events for Visit Reports and Invoices
Each event must be scheduled as an individual event for each client for end of walk visit reports and client invoices to be generated. It's not currently possible to schedule multiple dogs for the same event or to set a max number of dogs per hour or schedule block.
Filtering Events on the Scheduler Page
In order to quickly view events on your calendar, Time To Pet has filtering options on the Scheduler. The important filters to note here are Filter by Staff, and Filter by Service type. This is useful if you want to see how many events you, or a staff member, are scheduled for. Or, if to filter by type of service. For example, if you wanted to see how many "60 Minute Pack Walk" events were on the scheduler or how many events were scheduled for a specific staff member.
Portal Banners or Portal Service Request Notification Messages
Some of our customers use the Portal Notification feature for general announcements. When activated, you can add a custom message that will show at the top of every page in their client portal. You can change those settings here: Client Settings -> Portal Settings
Some of our customers also use the "Portal - Service Request Form" in Company Settings -> Messaging. This message will only show when the client is requesting services. For example "If you are scheduling a pack walk, please use the "Pack Walk" selection". Or "Pack Walks Available Monday-Friday, between 11 am and 2 pm"
The "Quick Re-assign" feature allows you to view up to four staff member's schedules side by side and drag and drop clients from one person's schedule to another's. We have a great help doc showing this tool here.
The "Geo Schedule" tool shows all your staffs' scheduled clients plotted on a map and allows you to change the assigned staff member on any one of them so you can easily group clients to a staff member based where they're located. You can see more on Geo Scheduling here.
As mentioned above, portal banners and notifications and portal service request notification messages can be helpful to add specific instructions for clients booking services like group or pack walks. For example, you can add a specific message such as "Group Walks are available Monday-Friday between 11 am and 2 pm.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I run multiple events at the same time if I'm doing a pack walk?
Yes! You can have multiple walks in progress at the same time on the app. You can click "Start Timer" when you're ready to start each event, and "Stop Timer" to add visit report details. This is best used for starting each individual event when you pick up a new dog in your pack walk. You can also complete events each time you drop off a dog.
How can I encourage clients to book in the correct schedule block, we only offer pack walks in a specific time?
What most companies will do is set up "Pack Walk" or "Group Walk" as a service in their Services List and then create a "Pack Walk" or "Group Walk" schedule block for clients to book it in to cut down on any confusion for the client booking services.