In our last blog, we touched on how technology is reshaping the financial planning sector, including scheduling tools for financial advisors. Online scheduling allows financial advisors to keep up with their clients’ changing needs and gain a competitive edge.
Financial planning firms and individual financial planners have one thing in common – client meetings. A larger firm might have more complex requirements for setting up meetings than a single financial planner, but both businesses can benefit greatly from using scheduling tools for financial advisors. You can connect with clients faster and make yourself more accessible to potential and existing clients.
Financial advisors must leverage technology to stay relevant. OnceHub co-founder and CEO Rami Goraly shares his advice for financial advisors on using ScheduleOnce and InviteOnce to their advantage.
The rise of robo-advisors and online financial sites make it easy for clients to source unbiased recommendations without a middle man. Financial advisors are still a trusted source of information. The advantage you have over online sources are the long-standing relationships you build with your clients. When it comes to financial planning, face-to-face meetings are the norm. Online scheduling eliminates the back and forth and allows clients to schedule meetings with you quickly and conveniently.
With this release, you will be able to use InviteOnce with iCloud Calendar. This is the final step in our migration of calendar integrations to the OnceHub platform. InviteOnce now supports all mainstream calendars on the market, including Google Calendar, Office 365 Calendar, Exchange/Outlook Calendar, and now iCloud Calendar.
As InviteOnce is an organizational tool and iCloud is not an organizational calendaring system, you may find yourself wondering how you can make the most of this recent development.
If you are a solopreneur using iCloud Calendar and need to use InviteOnce to schedule meetings for yourself only, InviteOnce brings additional flexibility by enabling you to quickly create a unique scheduling configuration that perfectly matches each meeting scenario.
If you are looking to use InviteOnce to schedule meetings with or for other users, the recently added support for iCloud Calendar will allow you to work with a user community that might not be part of the same organization. This is relevant if you are working with a community of independent vendors, contractors, advisors, mentors or any other group of independent professionals. In these scenarios, each member of the community may be using any of the main calendars – Google, Office 365, Outlook/Exchange, or iCloud Calendar. By enabling the connection to iCloud Calendar, we are now fully supporting any community scenario in which InviteOnce users need to connect to their calendar of choice.
In our 9.4 release, both ScheduleOnce and InviteOnce now support Microsoft’s latest OAuth 2.0 connection with Office 365 Calendar.
OAuth 2.0 is the industry-standard protocol for authorization. It focuses on simplifying a secure connection between web applications, desktop applications and mobile phones.
Aside from increased security, the greatest advantage of the update is that your connection to Office 365 Calendar no longer needs to be renewed every 90 days.
The OnceHub Office 365 Calendar connection provides a real-time view of your calendar. Bookings are automatically created and busy time immediately blocks your availability, eliminating any chance of double-booking. All communication with your calendar is encrypted and your data is kept secure.
With version 9.4, we have also moved calendar integrations to the user profile in your OnceHub account. You simply connect once, and both ScheduleOnce and InviteOnce use the same connection to your Office 365 Calendar.
Updating your Office 365 Calendar connection
Due to Microsoft’s plans to deprecate the old OAuth API, you will need to update your OnceHub calendar connection before October 23rd to avoid any service disruption. Updating the connection will not affect previous bookings and future bookings will be added as expected.
With ScheduleOnce one-time links, you now have complete control over your ScheduleOnce bookings. Customers can make a single booking only without being exposed to your underlying booking page link. One-time links can be personalized, allowing the customer to pick a time without having to fill out the booking form. Learn more about one-time links.
One-time links are not new to OnceHub. Earlier this year, we released InviteOnce which allows you to create a specific configuration for each booking. Since each InviteOnce booking is meeting-specific, it uses one-time links. In fact, all InviteOnce meetings always use a link which is good for one booking only.
With this release, we are now extending the use of one-time links to ScheduleOnce, allowing you to take advantage of the generic links you are already using, and use them under tighter control.
ScheduleOnce one-time links key features:
Good for one booking only – One-time links are good for one booking only, eliminating any chance of unwanted repeat bookings. One-time links can be easily generated from different locations in your OnceHub account. When created, the link is automatically copied to your clipboard with one click, allowing you to quickly generate multiple one-time links that can be sent to different customers.
Keeps your booking page link private – One-time links take the form of an eight-digit code that does not reveal your underlying booking page link. A customer who receives the one-time link will only be able to use it for the intended booking, eliminating any chance of unwanted repeat bookings.
Personalized for a specific customer – One-time links can be personalized for a specific customer, allowing the customer to pick a time and schedule without having to fill out the booking form. The one-time link pop-up includes a built-in link builder, allowing you to quickly personalize the link using plain text, without having to create the full personalized URL.
Complete reschedule support – With one-time links, the customer is given the right to make one booking only. It is important that the customer does not lose this right if there is a need to reschedule the booking. As such, one-time links can be rescheduled by both the user and the customer, subject to the user-defined cancel/reschedule policy.
During the Product Led Summit in July 2019, OnceHub Co-founder and CEO, Rami Goraly discussed the key considerations when planning a product-led MVP. Topics included market analysis, MVP scoping, pricing, onboarding and how to set realistic expectations for a Minimum Viable Product.Read more below and/or view the full presentation here:
Planning a minimum viable product (MVP) is always a significant challenge. When planning an MVP under a traditional high touch sales approach, an organization has many stakeholders who work with your customers to ensure the success of your product; from developers and product managers to sales engineers and marketing teams. It is a very different situation when planning a product-led MVP. In this scenario, once your product is released to market, you have limited control for influencing a positive outcome for your customer. The product must be able to stand-alone and sell itself without the support structures of a traditional sales model.
In order to prepare a product-led MVP for success, you can not rely on product performance alone. There are a number of key considerations for planning a product-led MVP including market analysis, pricing, customer onboarding, precise website messaging and the overall customer experience. What’s more, the maturity of your chosen market and the use case/s you serve have a significant influence on the number of features your MVP needs in order to gain market traction.
Key Considerations for Planning a Product-led MVP
Differentiators vs. Table Stakes – a product-led MVP must comprise of features that are both differentiators and table stakes. Differentiators are those unique features that set you apart from the competition and table stakes are those core features that your customers expect. Without table stakes you will not gain any traction in the market, and without differentiators, you will have no unique, competitive advantage.
Table stakes are your worst enemy – the ideal window of opportunity for entering a market with a product-led MVP is close to the stage of early adoption. Once a market matures, more vendors emerge offering similar features (table stakes), early market differentiators quickly migrate to table stakes, and your ability to deliver unique differentiators decreases.
Number of features required for MVP – when you enter an emerging market at the optimal time you don’t require a large MVP. The later you enter the market, the more features you require to gain traction – differentiators are hard to identify and table stakes are plentiful. If you’re entering the market late, then your MVP will need to be much larger to accommodate the required table stakes.
An MVP is not always small – when it comes to an MVP, there is no one-size that fits all. Depending on the use case and the maturity of the market, an MVP can vary in size from very small to very large. If you intend to enter a market with a small MVP, you need to find an emerging market with a single scenario use case. The more scenarios you serve and the more use cases you automate, the larger your MVP needs to be.
Remove price as a point of friction – when planning your product-led MVP you should seriously consider taking pricing out of the equation in the first instance. Early release under a ‘free in beta’ model, or long free trial allows you to focus your attention on improving your product features and eliminating pricing as a point of friction.
No need to overdo your launch – If you’ve done everything right then you shouldn’t need to invest too much time or money on your launch. Ensure the right measures are in place so that you can make corrections quickly, and let your user base grow naturally.
With our 9.2 release, we’ve made scheduling during conversations even more accessible with the InviteOnce copy links to clipboard feature. This feature lets you invite a customer or prospect to self schedule by copying and pasting InviteOnce links into your existing email thread or instant messaging conversation.
Timing is everything when it comes to engaging with new prospects. When a prospect or client shows interest in your product or service, you need to schedule a time to meet with them at the point of engagement. Many times you only have one opportunity to schedule a sales demo, follow up call or meeting. Traditional methods of scheduling a time to meet over the phone or via email can be messy and inefficient, especially when multiple parties are involved. Miss your opportunity or leave it in the prospects hands, and valuable prospects could fall through the cracks.
Don’t let prospects go unless there’s a meeting scheduled
The best way to ensure you get leads into the funnel while they’re highly engaged is to schedule during the sales conversation. Whether it’s via email or phone, using the right calendar scheduling tool means you accelerate time to engagement and ensure the booking is made at the peak of interest.
ScheduleOnce and InviteOnce enable scheduling during both email and phone conversations for multiple use cases. Instead of putting your customers through the back and forth of many emails, you can immediately connect them with your team. This ensures booking when your prospect’s interest is high and also means you can schedule according to your, and your team’s, requirements.
Scheduling during a sales conversation
There are many ways you can use online scheduling during sales conversations. For example, with InviteOnce, a salesperson scheduling a discovery call or an account executive scheduling a demo can quickly and easily schedule on behalf of a customer while they have the prospect on the phone.
Scheduling as part of an email conversation with ScheduleOnce caters to all types of scheduling scenarios. From simple prospect scheduling with a single sales person to more complex scheduling scenarios including dynamic and static panel meetings. Instead of letting your customers and prospects wait to be engaged, you empower them to immediately connect with your team.
Whichever booking scenario you require, scheduling during sales conversations is a must for capturing your prospects at the peak of their interest and accelerating time to engagement.
As some of our Users may be aware, we experienced a periodic issue during the month of May that caused slow loading and timeout error messages when accessing certain administrative sections of the ScheduleOnce User application.
This issue has been fully resolved, but we’d like to offer some insight into the root cause of the issue, and the steps that OnceHub has taken to address it.
After a thorough investigation, we were able to determine that the issue arose due to an error with an App Service hosted by our upstream provider, Microsoft Azure. We started to notice timeout messages the first week of May and immediately began investigating with the help of Azure support staff.
The issue was difficult to diagnose as Azure support staff were unable to immediately see the cause of the error. We continued the investigation throughout the month, and discovered a correlation between timeout errors in our application and the timing of updates pushed out by the Azure Service.
In light of this, our development team made an adjustment to our application architecture to discontinue use of the affected App Service. Further comparative testing was then done to confirm the Azure Service as the cause of the issue, and we have seen no further errors since the change. Fortunately, Customer facing booking page links were at no point affected, and no bookings were lost as a result.
We do apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused affected ScheduleOnce Users, and we hope this explanation serves to provide transparency into the cause of this behavior, and our commitment to providing the highest level of service possible.
As always, if you have any questions or feedback, you can add a comment to this post or use our Contact page.
Zapier’s Apps at Work: The Fastest Growing Apps Report honors the year’s 25 fastest growing apps out of the 1,500+ in Zapier’s ecosystem. In the report, Zapier has named ScheduleOnce as one of its top scheduling apps.
The report finds that ScheduleOnce has grown 169% since 2018. This places ScheduleOnce as the 13th fastest growing app on Zapier’s platform and the only scheduling app to appear in the top 25 fastest growth category.
ScheduleOnce offers a wide range of features allowing you to create almost any scheduling scenario as well as connect with over 1,500 apps via Zapier.
With the ScheduleOnce Zapier integration you can automate your workflows by connecting ScheduleOnce to your CRM, email marketing application, productivity tools and many more. Automatically send booking and customer data to your apps and ensure your app environment is in sync throughout the booking lifecycle.
Connect to 1,500+ apps
Use ready-made Zap templates
Set up integrations right from within the ScheduleOnce app
For more details, check out the Zapier Fastest Growing Apps of 2019 Report here. And if you’re ready to try out one of Zapier’s fastest growing top scheduling apps of 2019, sign up for a ScheduleOnce free trial today.
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.
To learn more about why ScheduleOnce is the go-to scheduling app of choice for sales teams, read our blog post where OnceHub CEO Rami Goraly shares his golden rules for improving conversion from online scheduling.
We’re pleased to announce that Exchange and Office 365 calendar integrations are now available in InviteOnce. We’ve also released two-factor authentication for extra account protection.
With our latest 9.1 release, we’ve made calendar connection improvements for InviteOnce including connections for both Exchange and Office 365 calendar users. What’s more, we’ve improved the functionality of the Google Calendar integration.