Booking Management System 2.0
Version 2.0 of the Booking Management Add-on for the Cab Grid Pro WordPress plugin has been released. It includes a number of new features including;
- Calendar view with daily itinerary
- Add, edit & duplicate bookings from the admin
- Checking for timing conflicts
- Customisable messaging
Manage Cab Grid booking requests from the WordPress Admin
In it’s standard form, Cab Grid expects users (taxi companies) to have their own booking processes. Therefore, booking requests are simply emailed to the website administrator, whereon they are dealt with manually. (See: Managing taxi booking requests. Note: v4.4 introduces raw data CSV attachments in notification emails.)
The Booking Management add-on for Cab Grid Pro adds online booking management to the Cab Grid Pro WordPress plugin. This means that bookings are stored in the WordPress database and can be processed (accepted, declined, cancelled, deleted, etc.) from a page on your website.
Installing the Cab Grid Booking Management Add-on
The Booking Management Add-on ZIP file is downloaded once payment is complete. It will then need to be uploaded to WordPress. This is the same process as adding the main Cab Grid Pro plugin. The first part of the Cab Grid installation tutorial video shows how it is done, however here are step by step instructions:
- Log in to WordPress admin
- Click PLUGINS > ADD NEW (from the left side menu)
- Click UPLOAD PLUGIN
- Click CHOOSE FILE or BROWSE. A file browser window will open.
- Navigate to the folder containing the Booking Management Add-on ZIP file and click it to select it.
- Click OPEN or CHOOSE to select the file. The file browser will close and the file name will appear in the file field.
- Click INSTALL NOW to upload the ZIP file.
- Click ACTIVATE PLUGIN to activate it.
A new BOOKINGS item will appear as a tab on the Cab Grid Pro admin page or as a sub-menu item in the main Cab Grid Pro menu (on the left). Settings & bookings will appear in this tab.
Processing bookings with the Cab Grid Booking Management Add-on
With this add-on enabled any new bookings will be stored in the WordPress database. Email notifications will still be sent as set in Cab Grid OPTIONS.
If a payment is completed via either Paypal or the Stripe Integration Add-on, this will be recorded against the booking in the WordPress database.
The list of bookings is shown when clicking either the ‘Bookings’ tab on the Cab Grid Pro admin page or by clicking the ‘Bookings’ menu item under the main Cab Grid Pro menu in the WordPress admin section.
The right column of each booking displays a set of action buttons. Which buttons are displayed depends on the status of the booking.
The terms ‘ACCEPT’ and ‘CONFIRM’ are interchangeable here and are taken to mean the same thing: confirming or accepting the booking request.
- A PENDING booking may be ACCEPTED or DECLINED
- An ACCEPTED booking may be CANCELLED
- A DECLINED or CANCELLED booking may be DELETED
- An UNPAID booking can be set to PAID
Full details of the booking including any custom form field and extras can be viewed in a separate window by clicking DETAILS. These are formatted to be printed and there is a PRINT button at the bottom.
Within the booking table itself, supplementary details are shown as the mouse hovers over certain cells. These include status, payment info, address info, and modification dates, amongst others.
The customer can be contacted directly via email or telephone. Clicking the customer’s name will open a new email addressed to them. Clicking the phone number will initiate a telephone call (if the device/browser supports calling).
For CONFIRM, DECLINE and CANCEL action buttons a custom message can be entered that will be sent to the customer along with the relevant message.
Include a payment link
To enable this, tick the box above the custom message field labelled, “The link will be included below the custom message.
Sorting, Filtering and Searching Bookings
On the Cab Grid Bookings page/tab, booking requests can be sorted by clicking column headings. The list will then be sorted by that column. Clicking the same column again will reverse the order.
The ‘Filter by‘ drop down menu allows only bookings with the selected status to be displayed. This is useful if only pending requests or accepted bookings should be shown.
The search box at the top left of the bookings table will look for bookings by name, email or system reference. For name searches a partial name can be entered (e.g. typing ‘Will‘ will return results for customers who’s name contains ‘wil‘ like ‘Wilson‘ or ‘Williams‘). If the search text contains an ‘at‘ (@) symbol, custom email addresses will be searched. For system reference numbers, the search text matches the starting characters, so entering ‘210‘ will return all bookings whose reference number begins ‘210….‘
Pressing the Return (or Enter) key submits the search text and returns results.
A CONFIRMED and PAID booking will offer an ‘Add to Calendar’ link icon displayed in the Pickup Date column. Clicking this link will download a calendar event file (.ICS). This can be added to a device calendar. Hand-held devices will often add events automatically.
Exporting/Backing Up Bookings
To export bookings:
- Insure all the bookings to export are in view on the BOOKINGS page.
- Optionally, use the filter or search function to limit the bookings displayed.
- Use the ‘records in page‘ links at the bottom to show ALL if necessary.
- Select the bookings to export. Either:
- Click the SELECT box next to each booking to be exported, or
- Click the SELECT ALL box in the top right row of the bookings table to select all displayed records
- From the ‘With Selected’ drop down menu above the bookings table, choose ‘EXPORT AS CSV’
- Click OK in the confirmation dialogue if ok to continue.
- The CSV file will be processed
- You will be prompted to download the CSV file to your computer.
For the technically inclined, this could also do this directly using a mySQL client application. Bookings are stored in your database in a custom table. It’s name will depend on how you have WordPress configured, but look for ‘cabgridprobookings’
It is possible to process a group of bookings in one go. When this is done, the same supplementary message will be sent to each of the selected customers. However, if the payment link option is selected, each customer will receive their own dedicated link.
To use this feature a group of bookings must be selected. This can be done either by clicking the SELECT box next to each booking, or using the SELECT ALL button at the top of the table. The SELECT ALL function will select all bookings currently displayed, thus it is advisable to search or filter bookings and insure all matching books are in view by selecting ‘ALL’ by ‘Bookings per page:’ at the bottom of the booking table.
Once the required group of bookings is selected, choose the action from the ‘With Selected‘ drop-down menu at the top of the booking table. You will be asked to confirm your choice before the action is started.
You can ACCEPT (CONFIRM), DECLINE, CANCEL, DELETE or EXPORT.