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ScheduleOnce 8.95 is live – Calendar integration enhancements and 24/7 support

We are excited to announce that we now offer non-stop 24/7 support!

With our latest 8.95 release, we are announcing more improvements to our calendar integrations. When your ScheduleOnce account is connected to Exchange Calendar, you can now cancel and reschedule bookings from within your Exchange Calendar. If you are working with Office 365, we have made it possible to connect your Office 365 Calendar with an app-specific password.  The app-specific password connection is a permanent connection that does not expire when you change your password in Office 365.

However, the big news of this release is our new 24/7 support. Starting January 2nd, you can reach us via phone and email any time of the day, no matter your time zone, no matter your location. Our new extended support hours are available to all users.

While our new year’s resolution is to provide full support coverage, providing the best customer support possible is something we have always been committed to. Since the very beginning, we’ve been the only ones in the scheduling space to offer phone support. In addition to phone and email support, we continuously invest in creating content that helps you make the most of ScheduleOnce, including a ton of help articles, videos and webinars.

We’ve rapidly grown over the years – today, ScheduleOnce serves tens of thousands of organizations worldwide. To provide responsive support, we’ve invested in every aspect of how we serve our users – from building a strong support infrastructure and using the right tools, to hiring team mates across five different continents and all time zones.

Our priority is getting you the right answer within the shortest possible time and we’re continuously working to make every support interaction better.

For more details about the 8.95 release and links to the relevant help articles please see the What’s new in 8.95 article.

As always, if you have any questions or feedback, we would love to hear it. You can add a comment to this post or use our Contact page

ScheduleOnce 8.9 is live – Meetings with multiple subject experts

We’re excited to announce ScheduleOnce 8.9!

Customers come to your organization with complex needs. To provide them with the best solution, you may need multiple team members to attend your meetings. This can lead to scheduling nightmares. You have to determine which team members need to attend–whether specific people or anyone from a specific department–and juggle each team members’ availability. After several rounds of back-and-forth, you find a time and the meeting is booked. But then, something comes up and you have to start all over again to reschedule.

End-to-end support for panel meetings
ScheduleOnce 8.9 eliminates this scheduling nightmare. We now offer end-to-end support for panel meetings, from the initial booking through to cancellations and rescheduling. With panel meetings, you can allow customers to simply book a time to meet with multiple team members simultaneously. When a client clicks on your scheduling link, they will see availability for all possible panel combinations. Panels can include specific team members that you have chosen, or alternatively, they can include team members that are automatically assigned from selected resource pools. Once a booking is scheduled, all attendees will receive a notification and an event will be added to their calendars.

Should something come up, panel meetings can now be canceled or rescheduled seamlessly. If a customer cannot make it, they can simply click on the cancel/reschedule link from any email notification and pick a new time. If a team member needs to reschedule, you can request your customer to select a new time. Customers will see all availability for alternative time slots and be able to choose one that works for them. All panelists will be notified and the calendar event will be updated.

Coordinating panel meetings will become effortless and your customers will appreciate how easy it is to schedule with your team.

To learn more about this release, watch our webinar or read our article on What’s new in ScheduleOnce 8.9.

As always, if you have any questions or feedback, we would love to hear it. You can add a comment to this post or use our Contact page.

Best practices for team scheduling scenarios

Over the last few years, online scheduling has become a critical component for customer-facing teams. Setting up online scheduling for multiple teams and team members can be complex, leading managers to ask themselves a few questions: How do I efficiently set up my team members to accept bookings? How can I distribute bookings among team members? How can I provide customers a good experience scheduling with my team? How do I manage bookings that come in and what should I do if there are schedule changes?

Ask no more! ScheduleOnce is designed for team scheduling scenarios and has the answers to your questions.

Get all your team members set up
The first step is to get all your team members set up to accept bookings. This means inviting them to your account and creating booking pages for each one. When you invite users, you can decide whether they will have access to all functions in your account, or only functions that are relevant to them. We recommend limiting your team members’ access, which will make it simpler for them to manage their booking page. Once invited, team members can already start accepting bookings. When team members sign in, they should each connect their calendar. Connecting their calendar will allow ScheduleOnce to read busy time and automatically add calendar events for scheduled bookings. Additionally, each team member should connect to the CRM and web conferencing tool your organization is using. This ensures that all bookings made with that team member are automatically updated in your CRM and that web conferencing sessions will be automatically created for their meetings.

Define your organizational scheduling scenarios
Now that all of your team members have their booking pages and integrations set up, it’s time to define the scheduling scenarios your organization needs. First, create the event types your organization offers. Each event type can have its own settings. For example, you can create one event type for product demos and another for paid support sessions. Then, group your team members into resource pools. Each pool can have its methods for distributing bookings among team members. Bookings can be assigned via round robin, ensuring an equal distribution. If providing maximum availability to customers is a top priority, pooled availability, or priority-based assignment can be used. Once you’ve created your event types and resource pools, it’s time to combine them into a master page where prospects and customers can schedule with your team members. If your meetings require the participation of multiple subject-matter experts, you can create panel meetings that include specific team members or resource pools.

Ensure a top-notch customer scheduling experience
Once your master page is all set up, you want to get it in front of prospects and customers to start receiving bookings. You can publish the master page on your website to allow visitors to schedule their meetings while browsing. Scheduling can be offered to all website visitors or you can be more selective by offering scheduling only to those who qualify based on web form submission. Additionally, you can share your master page link in personal emails and marketing campaigns. Email recipients can book a time in just a few clicks, without filling in any information your already have. Upon scheduling, prospects and customers will immediately receive a calendar invitation and email confirmation with all meeting details.

Manage your teams’ bookings
As a manager, it’s important to stay on top of all team members’ activities. In the activity stream, you can search and filter through all booking activities. You can locate specific activities via the free text search, and easily view daily meetings, upcoming meetings, and booking requests. You can also create your own filters, which can be saved for easy access. To see real-time booking distribution statistics, check out your resource pool metrics and stats for each team member. If one of your team members in unable to conduct a meeting or if you have a different team member who would be a better fit for a specific customer, you can simply reassign a booking from one team member to another. The relevant team members are instantly notified and the customer experience remains intact.

With these steps, connecting your team with prospects and customers will be easier than ever. Your customer-facing teams will be able to focus on providing your services, rather than scheduling them.

This post is a sneak peek of our webinar: Best practices for team scheduling scenarios. Watch now

ScheduleOnce 8.8 is live – Distributing bookings among teams

We are excited to announce ScheduleOnce 8.8!

This release is all about giving you more flexibility in distributing bookings among each of your teams. You may have multiple teams conducting meetings. For example, your account executives may be conducting sales calls, while your customer success team may be conducting onboarding sessions. Each team and each business scenario may have different requirements for how bookings should be distributed.

With ScheduleOnce 8.8, comes ground-breaking new features giving you full control over how bookings are distributed among team members. Resource pools are the foundation for this functionality. Resource pools allow you to group team members together and distribute bookings according to the team’s needs.

As bookings come in, they will be automatically assigned to pool members. You will have real-time visibility into the team’s booking distribution and be able to make adjustments as needed. You will be able to monitor the pool’s booking metrics and statistics for each pool member, including how many bookings each team member receives, and how many are canceledreassigned, or are marked as no-show. With our autocorrecting distribution algorithm, you can compensate team members for cancellations, reassignments, and no-shows. Any team member who falls behind will be moved to the front of the line until caught up.

With the use of resource pools, you can create a single master page with multiple distribution methods. This gives you more flexibility, helping you ensure an optimal booking distribution for every team.

What distribution method can each team have?

  • Round robin: This is an organization-focused distribution method that should be used if achieving an equal booking distribution is most important. When customers visit your page, they will only see the availability of the team member who is next in line to receive a booking. Round robin is great when distributing demos or initial consultations to account executives. Each account executive will have an equal opportunity to achieve their sales goals.
  • Pooled availability: This is a customer-focused distribution method and should be used if providing customers with the maximum number of time slots is most important. With pooled availability, your entire team’s availability will be combined into a single booking calendar. When customers select a time, the booking is automatically assigned to the team member with the longest idle time, meaning the team member who has not received a booking in the longest time. This is great for your customer success team, which may be conducting onboarding or support sessions.
  • Pooled availability with priority: This a hybrid distribution method that provides customers with the maximum amount of time slots while also giving priority to specific team members. With pooled availability with priority, your entire team’s availability will be combined into a single booking calendar. When customers select a time, the booking is automatically assigned to the available team member with the highest priority. This method is great for distributing bookings to tier-two support representatives. You want to provide maximum availability to customers in need of tier-two support, while ensuring your most qualified support representatives conduct your meetings.

Whichever method you choose, you will be able to provide more availability for meetings with your prospects and customers, be better able to utilize your team, and ensure an optimal booking distribution at all times.

In addition to resource pools, ScheduleOnce 8.8 includes other new features including panel meetings and dynamic assignment rules. To learn more about this release, watch our webinar or read our article on What’s new in ScheduleOnce 8.8.

As always, if you have any questions or feedback, we would love to hear it. You can add a comment to this post or use our Contact page.

Online scheduling for higher education

Today, students have more options than ever. They expect faculty members to be approachable and to be able to easily interact with them. In order to attract and retain modern students, higher education institutions must stand out by using the latest technologies and offering students a way to personally connect with their faculty members.

Online scheduling can be a powerful tool for higher education institutions. It can improve student engagement and the overall education experience for all students, including those with disabilities. For universities, using online scheduling can save a significant amount of time, improve efficiency, and make it easier to effectively connect with both prospective and enrolled students.

Here are some of the top benefits of using ScheduleOnce at universities, colleges, and other academic institutions.

Streamline the admissions process
During the admissions process, your institution is likely evaluating many different applicants. Once you have screened the applications you received, you may need to interview top applicants to move forward with your evaluation. Setting up these interviews can be difficult, especially when scheduling across time zones, juggling different faculty members’ availability, and differentiating between interview requirements for freshmen, transfers, and graduate students. With online scheduling, all interviews can be scheduled effortlessly. You can invite applicants to schedule the type of interview they need. Each type of interview has its own settings. For example, your freshman admissions interview may be conducted by any advisor via web conferencing, while graduate studies interviews must be conducted on campus by a panel of different department leaders and professors. Your admissions process will be streamlined and you will leave a great first impression on your top applicants.

Optimize office hours
Each professor has their own office hours to meet with students outside of class. The problem is that professors never know who is going to show up – one week, no students may come, while the next, there may be multiple students lining up to ask questions. With online scheduling, professors can allow students to book a time during their office hours, ensuring each student gets the attention they require and professors know what to expect in advance. Professors can set their availability for office hour appointments, determine meeting duration, decide whether a buffer between appointments is required, and choose how many appointments they want to accept per day or per week. For additional control, professors can opt to approve each booking before it is added to their calendar. If there is an upcoming exam, professors can add extra office hours and allow multiple students to book the same time slot, ensuring professors can meet with as many students as needed. Students will appreciate knowing exactly when they will meet with their professors, and professors will be able to optimize their office hours.

Guide students when they need extra help
Today, education doesn’t just take place in the classroom. Students are looking for additional resources to supplement their classes and get extra help from tutors and teaching assistants. With online scheduling, students can easily book tutoring sessions from within your student portal. Students can book single sessions or multiple sessions at one time. This is a great way to gain commitment from students and ensure they get the help they need long term. Tutoring sessions can also be in groups, allowing you to introduce students to others who are looking for help in similar areas and may be great study partners. Online scheduling will make it easier for students to take advantage of the resources your institution provides. You will be able to improve student retention and guide them to their educational success.

This blog post is a sneak peek at our webinar: Online scheduling for higher education. Watch the webinar now

ScheduleOnce 8.7 is live – Managing bookings within and across teams

We are excited to announce ScheduleOnce 8.7!

This release is all about helping multi-user accounts better manage bookings within and across teams. When setting up scheduling scenarios with multiple teams, it is critical that you have full control over how bookings will be distributed within each of your teams. As bookings come in, you need to stay on top of all booking activity and be able to adjust bookings when necessary. In this release, we focused on features that will make managing bookings easier than ever – whether that means managing bookings within one team or across multiple teams in your organization.

Distribute bookings according to your needs
Your organization may have different teams conducting meetings. For example, your account executives may be conducting sales calls, while your customer success team may be conducting support sessions. Each team may have different requirements for how bookings should be distributed. With our new resource pools feature, you will be able to define how meetings will be assigned within each of your teams. Resource pools group booking pages together according to department, skills, territory, or any other characteristic. Each pool has its own distribution method, such as round robin (great for sales teams, when you want to achieve an equal booking distribution) or pooled availability with or without priority (great for support teams, when providing maximum availability to customers is a top priority). As bookings come in, you will have real-time visibility into the pool’s statistics and be able to ensure an optimal distribution. (This feature is available in beta. If you are interested in testing it out, please contact us.)

Offer meetings with a team of subject matter experts
Your meetings may require multiple team members. For example, your sales meeting may require an account manager, sales engineer, and customer success manager. With our new panel meetings feature, you can allow customers to book a time to meet with all relevant team members simultaneously. Panels can include specific team members or resource pools, meaning that a team member will be assigned according to the pool’s distribution method. Once a booking is scheduled, a calendar event is created and sent to all panel members. Additionally, panel members receive all notifications, including the initial confirmation, reminders, and updates regarding any schedule changes. Panel meetings help you maximize efficiency and ensure your customers get the most out of meetings. (This feature is available in beta. If you are interested in testing it out, please contact us.)

Stay on top of your organization’s bookings
As a manager, you need full visibility into all scheduling activities and to easily manage them all from one place. Our new high performance activity stream has advanced searching and filtering functionality, giving you quick access to the information you require. You can locate specific activities with our free text search, and easily view daily meetings, upcoming meetings, and booking requests. You can also create your own filters, which can be saved for easy access. When viewing a specific activity, you will be able to view any related activities, such as payments, reschedules, and cancellations, and be able to perform actions such as refunding a payment or requesting a reschedule. Staying on top of all booking activities will be easier than ever. (The new activity stream is being rolled out gradually. You will see it in your account within the next two weeks.)

Easily transfer bookings from one team member to another
In large organizations, schedule changes are inevitable. For example, a team member may be sick or a different team member may be better able to serve a specific customer. In these instances, you want to be able to make the required changes, while ensuring that your customer experience remains intact. With our new booking reassignment feature, you will be able to easily reassign a booking from one user to another. The relevant team members are instantly notified and the process is invisible to your customers. You will have the flexibility you require to manage bookings, while maintaining a top-notch customer experience. (Booking reassigment is being rolled out gradually. You will see it in your account within the next two weeks.)

To learn more about this release, watch our webinar or read our article on What’s new in ScheduleOnce 8.7.

As always, if you have any questions or feedback, we would love to hear it. You can add a comment to this post or use our Contact page.

Best practices for scheduling virtual meetings with prospects and customers

As organizations globalize, virtual meetings are more common than ever. In fact, many people who are juggling busy schedules even prefer meeting online. Your organization may already be using web conferencing for internal meetings, but when conducting virtual meetings with prospects and customers, there are additional considerations to be made. For example, with internal meetings you may use your global meeting link. When meeting people outside your organization, you need to use a unique link for each meeting to ensure the privacy of your prospects and customers. Creating unique links for each meeting can be a hassle if you are not using a scheduling solution that integrates with your web conferencing tool.

ScheduleOnce offers native integrations with Zoom, GoToMeeting, and WebEx. With our web conferencing integration, you can automate the scheduling of virtual meetings. This saves you time and presents a professional image to your customers.

Here are a few best practices for scheduling virtual meetings with prospects and customers.

Eliminate time zone confusion
Offering virtual meetings allows you to meet with customers around the world. Scheduling across time zones can cause confusion and make it difficult to find a convenient time that works for both parties. ScheduleOnce’s comprehensive time zone support automatically detects and adjusts to customers’ local time zones. With our “clickless confirmation” feature, your customers will see your booking page in their local time without needing to do anything. To make it even easier for your customers to select a meeting time, you can opt to only show time slots in your customer’s local working hours, ensuring customers will not see available times early in the morning or late at night. This helps you provide an optimal customer experience and reduces no-shows caused by time zone confusion.

Maximize your availability
You may have wider availability for conducting virtual meetings than for conducting face-to-face meetings. For example, face-to-face meetings may require travel time between each session and access to a meeting room or other resources. With virtual meetings, you may be more flexible – all you require is a quiet space. Defining specific availability and settings for when you are able to meet online allows you to offer customers the maximum number of time slots for your virtual meetings.

Ensure access to all meeting details
When customers book virtual meetings, you want to ensure they have access to the web conferencing details. By integrating ScheduleOnce with your web conferencing system, web conferencing details become an integral part of the booking lifecycle. Upon scheduling, your customers will see the meeting link in the confirmation page. Additionally, the meeting link will be added to the the calendar event and all email notifications. This ensures customers have easy access to all the information they need. This will help reduce no-shows and create a seamless experience for your customers.

This blog post is a sneak peek at our upcoming webinar: Best practices for scheduling virtual meetings with prospects and customers. Watch now

ScheduleOnce 8.6 is live – Offer a localized scheduling experience

We are excited to announce ScheduleOnce 8.6!

You work hard to create a customer experience that is consistent and tailored to your customers’ needs. At ScheduleOnce, we want to ensure online scheduling can be an integral part of your overall customer experience – no matter where your customers are located. In this release, we launched the ability to localize scheduling. You can now offer scheduling in seven different languages, including American English, British English, French, German, Spanish, Portuguêse (Brazil), and Dutch.

See our localization demos: French | German |  Spanish | Portuguêse (Brazil) | Dutch.

What is a localized scheduling experience?
A localized scheduling experience means that from the moment your customers land on your booking page through to the actual meeting, they are presented with text in their language and style. On your booking page, all of the text including the instructions, tooltips, and buttons are in their local language. Not just translated, but using the right dialect and terminology. When the customer selects a time, the display is aligned with local standards, whether that means showing times in a 12-hour or 24-hour format and whether the day or month comes first in the calendar date. Once the customer makes a booking, a calendar event and notifications are sent to the customer in the same language. Should the customer need to cancel or reschedule the booking, the entire process is localized and consistent with what the customer expects. This ensures that online scheduling is intuitive and seamless with your overall customer experience.

How to localize online scheduling with ScheduleOnce
ScheduleOnce now allows you to localize scheduling by applying different languages to your booking pages and master pages. You can edit the text of any language we offer by using our localization editor. In the editor, you can create custom locales based on the languages we provide. A locale defines every line of text on your booking pages. Once you have tailored the language to your dialect, you can apply the locale to a booking page. If all your customers speak the same language, you can apply that locale to all booking pages. Alternatively, for a multilingual approach, you can apply different locales to different booking pages. This ensures that you can provide a localized experience for all your customers.

For an end-to-end localized experience, you can also customize email and SMS notifications in the language of your choice. Using our notification templates editor, you can create custom notifications templates. All dynamic fields will be automatically translated to the relevant locale. This ensures consistency in your communication throughout the booking lifecycle.

Don’t see the language you require? We are planning on adding more languages to our library. If you are looking for a specific language, please let us know.

In addition to our new localization feature, ScheduleOnce 8.6 includes other additions to our platform. We have released a number of common client-side API features and source tracking. We have also launched a beta program for our new activity stream and booking reassignment feature. Additionally, we have added a webinars page on our website. To learn more about this release, watch our webinar or read our article on What’s new in ScheduleOnce 8.6.

As always, if you have any questions or feedback, we would love to hear it. You can add a comment to this post or use our Contact page.

Scheduling through all phases of the customer lifecycle

Guiding prospects and customers through the customer lifecycle is an art form. It takes careful thought as to how you capture new leads and engage them at different stages on their journeys. Online scheduling can help accelerate time-to-engagement at each one of these stages. Follow these tips on how to best offer online scheduling throughout the customer lifecycle.

Lead generation
At this phase, prospects are just starting to learn about your product or service. Most likely, they are looking at multiple solutions to fulfill their need and will be browsing your website to see if your organization can provide the best solution. Quick engagement can make all the difference in helping prospects with their decision making. Online scheduling allows you to instantly engage website visitors. You can place scheduling calls-to-action on key pages, or offer online scheduling to leads who fill out your form. This gives leads a direct path to connect with your team, ultimately accelerating time-to-engagement, and increasing contact rates with serious leads.

Lead qualification
Once a lead has shown interest in your product or service, you need to qualify them to find out who is serious about becoming a customer. You can do this by offering leads online scheduling in your email marketing campaigns or via personal invitations. Each email recipient receives a personalized scheduling link. Leads can simply click the link, select a time, and the meeting will be seamlessly added to their calendar. Leads who are ready to engage will appreciate the easy method for connecting with your team and will be filtered for you. This saves you time, allowing you to effectively use your resources to engage and qualify your hottest leads.

Customer onboarding and success
When a prospect becomes a customer, a smooth onboarding process has the power to secure long-term trust and loyalty. You want to provide your new customers with all the tools they need to adopt your technology in the shortest amount of time. This means you need to offer setup, training, and installation sessions. With online scheduling, you can allow customers to schedule these sessions from your lifecycle email campaigns, from within your portal or app, or from an online training catalog. If you have VIP customers who work directly with a designated Account Executive, your AEs can schedule onboarding sessions on behalf of VIPs. This is a great way to ensure VIPs get the treatment they deserve and that no new customers fall through the cracks.

At every stage in the customer lifecycle, online scheduling can help you increase conversion rates, accelerate sales cycles and increase customer satisfaction.

Want to learn more? Watch our webinar: Using online scheduling with your CRM

ScheduleOnce 8.5 is live – Zoom integration and more!

We are excited to announce ScheduleOnce 8.5!

This release is all about giving you more options for integrating ScheduleOnce with your application environment and brand. We know that no two ScheduleOnce users are alike. Each one of you has your own scheduling scenario, application environment, and business processes. At ScheduleOnce, we want to give you the ability the customize online scheduling so it can fit perfectly with your specific needs. In this release, we focused on features that give you more power to customize both the scheduling experience and ScheduleOnce’s connection with the apps you use in your business.

Native Zoom integration
You can now seamlessly connect ScheduleOnce to the most popular video conferencing system. Our integration will ensure that Zoom is an integral part of all phases of the booking lifecycle. You can use Zoom with all meeting types. When a customer makes a booking with you, a Zoom session is automatically created. Zoom meeting details will be included in all ScheduleOnce notifications and in the calendar event, ensuring you and your customers have easy access to meeting details.

Editable customer interface text
You can now edit every line of text on your booking pages. You can edit the text to ensure your pages use the right terminology and your organization’s tone of voice. Text can be edited in our new localization editor. Using the editor, you can create locales that can be applied to your booking pages and master pages. Locales include the system text and date and time format on your booking pages.

We have released our Webhooks API, allowing you to build custom integrations with third party applications. Our API can be used to send booking data to your own web applications, services, or data warehouses. Developers or technically savvy users with scripting or programming knowledge can learn more about our API in our new Developer center.

GDPR compliance
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is coming into effect in just two months. ScheduleOnce is ready for the new regulation and is here to help you with compliance. We have added new account settings and released a GDPR center on our website. If your organization is regulated by the GDPR, you should record details about your use of ScheduleOnce in the account settings. You can also visit our GDPR center for information and resources to help you ensure compliance. To learn more about GDPR compliance, read our practical guide to using ScheduleOnce in a GDPR compliant manner.

For more information about this release, watch our webinar What’s new in ScheduleOnce 8.5 or visit our support center.

As always, if you have any questions or feedback, we would love to hear it. You can add a comment to this post or use our Contact page.

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