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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. Register 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.

Webhooks
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.

Nine tips for creating awesome lead forms in 2018

When scheduling is used in lead generation, often the scheduling process starts from a web form. An effective web form is key in ensuring that leads schedule with your team.

Are your lead forms converting? Are they resulting in meetings with serious prospects? Be honest. If the answer’s anything less than a resounding yes, you might be due for a web form checkup. Try these easy and doable tips today.

1. Test multiple form lengths

Traditional web form design best practices teach that shorter is better when it comes to lead forms, but in reality there are no hard and fast rules regarding what form length is best for all companies. Some companies may see a conversion lift from paring down their lead forms, while others may see more and higher quality leads when they increase the number of fields in forms. Test different lengths to find what works for your scenario.

2. Throw in conditional logic

If you do need longer lead forms, consider using conditional logic within your web forms to make forms unfold at a manageable rate or only display certain questions based on your users’ previous answers. Conditional logic is surprisingly simple to set up when it’s built in to your form solution, and your users will appreciate the streamlined form filling.

3. Prefill data when possible

Whenever leads fill out a web form from scratch for a company they have interacted with before, they think “Shouldn’t they already have this info?” When you prefill web forms with information from your CRM for users, it makes the form filling experience that much easier and more painless for them. They will be much more to schedule with you.

4. Speak conversationally

Inauthentic language. People can spot it from a mile away these days. Look at the language you use on form titles, labels, CTAs and other text in your forms and think how it sounds to users. Is it impersonal, or worse, does it have the trademarks of an untrustworthy website? If it’s not on point, take some advice from Copyblogger and “edit your text so it doesn’t sound like writing.”

5. Use a vertical, left-aligned layout

Web forms have come a long way over the history of the internet. What used to be acceptable in terms of design simply doesn’t cut it anymore. If your forms have rows of crowded, horizontal fields or multiple columns, consider a sleeker, one-column layout instead. Multi-column layouts can be needlessly confusing to users, who could each navigate the form differently, as shown in the image from the Baymard Institute.

(Source)

6. Use smarter drop-down lists

It’s the little things that matter. If you’ve got a list in your form, such as one that invites leads to pick the country they’re in, put the most common options at the top, so your users don’t have to do much to select the right option. This speeds up the form filling process, getting leads to the scheduling stage faster.

7. Make sure your form is mobile-friendly

Form fillers won’t necessarily be viewing your lead forms on a computer; they are likely to access it on the go. In fact, as of 2017, mobile web traffic counts for over 50 percent of all web traffic. Make sure your forms look just as impressive and clear on a mobile device as they do on a full-size laptop or desktop. To make this even easier, choose a web form solution with mobile responsiveness built in!

8. Use action-packed CTAs

Users want to know what’s going to happen when they finish your web form and submit their information. Adding scheduling gives form fillers an incentive to provide their information. Be specific about what will happen when users click that button with phrases like “Schedule My Demo,” “Get My Free Consultation,” and others.

9. Connect forms strategically

What you do with the information you collect with web forms is just as important as how you collect it. If you use Salesforce, find a web form solution that connects data automatically with Salesforce. If your sales cycle naturally leads to a meeting with your reps, allow your users to schedule that meeting right after they enter their information. If you want to add form fillers to an email list and send them your monthly newsletter, use a solution that integrates with popular tools like Mailchimp or Pardot.

(Source)

Building a great web form is key in successfully generating leads. When you follow these tips, your form conversion rates will skyrocket, leading to more meetings with serious leads. Leads will essentially qualify themselves and meetings will flow seamlessly into your calendar.

Want to learn more about creating engaging web forms? Watch our webinar, cohosted by ScheduleOnce and FormAssembly, to learn how to make your forms more effective and engaging with online scheduling.


Need a web form solution? Try FormAssembly and see why 4,000+ organizations trust their app for data collection.

This is a guest post by FormAssembly. FormAssembly is an enterprise web form solution built to help teams streamline complex processes and drive quality form conversions. Learn more on the FormAssembly website.

Establishing a lawful basis for processing: What you need to know

Does my organization need consent to process information from customers who schedule with me?

With the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) taking effect in just a couple months, our users have been asking this question. The short answer: most likely no, due to the fact that scheduling is customarily initiated by customers.

The GDPR requires organizations to establish a lawful basis for processing customer data. A lawful basis for processing means that your organization has a legal right for collecting, storing, or accessing data belonging to a specific person. Often, a lawful basis for processing relies on consent from the customer. However with online scheduling, because the activity is customarily initiated by customers, a lawful basis for processing can usually be established without consent.

Under the GDPR you can process information without consent if it is necessary to fulfill a business obligation to a prospect or customer. When a prospect or customer initiates scheduling, this creates a business obligation for you to conduct the requested meeting. For most organizations, this should be enough to ensure a lawful basis for processing information via ScheduleOnce without requesting consent.

However, there are some instances when you may need to establish a lawful basis by other means. If you engage in outbound scheduling activities, or if you collect sensitive data during the scheduling process, you may not automatically have a lawful basis for processing.

Outbound scheduling
Outbound scheduling is when you initiate scheduling by sending personalized links to prospects or customers. In this scenario, data is pulled from Salesforce, Infusionsoft, or URL parameters. This means that you are processing information for scheduling without any direct input from customers. While your organization may have a lawful basis for processing this data, it is recommended that you ensure that you have a basis for processing the information for the purpose of online scheduling. Depending on your business scenario, this can be established by the need to fulfill a business obligation or by obtaining consent.

Collection of sensitive data
For organizations that collect sensitive data in addition to basic customer data at the time of scheduling, it is recommended that you obtain explicit consent. This most likely applies to organizations in the healthcare industry, but other organizations may be affected as well. Data that is considered sensitive includes any information related to racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, religious or philosophical beliefs, trade union memberships, genetic or biometric data, health information, or a person’s sex life or sexual orientation. If you require this information at the time of scheduling, it is recommended that you add a field to your booking form to request consent.

Bringing it all together
To sum up, with online scheduling you most likely have a lawful basis for processing customer data due to the inbound nature of online scheduling. However, we recommend that you assess whether your scheduling activities are inbound or outbound, and whether you collect sensitive data in addition to basic customer data at the time of scheduling.

To learn more about the GDPR, visit our GDPR center and read our practical guide to using ScheduleOnce in a GDPR compliant manner.

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 8.5 is coming – Native Zoom integration

The countdown to the release of our native Zoom integration has begun!

We are happy to announce that we are releasing the ScheduleOnce connector for Zoom on March 24. Our integration will ensure that Zoom is an integral part of all phases of the booking lifecycle.

In today’s day and age, virtual meetings are more common than ever. Virtual meetings allow businesses to globalize and reach an international customer base. At the same time, customers expect flexibility in meeting with you where ever and whenever. For this reason, we are continuously investing in our native web conferencing integrations and will soon be releasing our native Zoom integration. This will ensure a seamless connection with today’s most popular video conferencing system.

With our native Zoom integration, a Zoom session is automatically created every time a customer makes a booking with you. Our Zoom integration supports all meeting types. For one-on-one meetings, a new Zoom session is created, whereas with group sessions, each customer receives the same Zoom session details. With session packages, a unique Zoom link is created for each session.

Zoom session details will be included in all ScheduleOnce notifications, ensuring users and customers have quick access to the information they need for their meetings. Our integration will also include full support for cancellations or rescheduling. If a meeting is rescheduled, ScheduleOnce will automatically update the Zoom session with the new details and ensure all relevant parties have the latest information.

We are very excited about our upcoming release! Stay tuned for more details about our native Zoom integration, and other features being released in ScheduleOnce 8.5.

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.

The road to GDPR compliance with ScheduleOnce

Compliance is not something we take lightly at ScheduleOnce. We strive to ensure all organizations, no matter their location or industry, can use ScheduleOnce without worrying about their compliance requirements. ScheduleOnce holds a comprehensive set of certifications and attestations, including Privacy Shield compliance, SOC 2 certification, and HIPAA compliance. This year, we welcome a new privacy era with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Taking effect on May 25, 2018, the GDPR strengthens the privacy rights of individuals and defines obligations of organizations that collect, store, and process personal data belonging to European Union (EU) residents. We stand by the GDPR key principles, including data protection by design, data protection by default, transparency, and accountability. Over the last few months, we have been working closely with an experienced privacy consultancy to analyze the requirements of the GDPR and what they mean for ScheduleOnce.

Working together towards compliance
GDPR compliance requires commitment from both ScheduleOnce and its users. ScheduleOnce safeguards user data and has published a Data Processing Addendum that will take effect along with the GDPR. We recommend you get acquainted with our DPA, which outlines the terms for using ScheduleOnce in a GDPR compliant manner.

Our DPA is just one step on the road to compliance. We are working on enhancing our platform to ensure that our users will be able to use ScheduleOnce in a GDPR compliant manner when the legislation goes into effect. In the meantime, we are here to help users on the road to compliance. In the coming weeks, we will be releasing a practical guide, a readiness checklist, and we will be hosting a webinar to help users understand their responsibilities under the GDPR relating to their use of ScheduleOnce.

Stay tuned! 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 the modern financial advisor

The modern financial advisor must be a good juggler. Clients are top priority, but appointments with them must be balanced with running a business. This, combined with a new generation of tech-savvy clients, requires financial advisors to use new tools to stay competitive.

Online scheduling can be a powerful tool to help you connect with clients and boost efficiency. Whether you conduct appointments with prospective clients, or periodical reviews with existing clients, online scheduling can be a game changer for managing your schedule in today’s day and age.

Here are three benefits of using online scheduling in the financial services industry.

Streamline scheduling for periodical reviews
Scheduling your periodical reviews with clients can be time consuming. You email them a reminder that it is time to schedule, and then they need to get in touch. Today’s clients expect a simple solution for responding to your reminder. With online scheduling, you can include a personalized scheduling link in your emails. Clients can simply click the link, and select a time that is convenient for both you and them. Your clients will appreciate how easy it is to schedule, and it will save you time.

Keep your calendar up-to-date
You are managing a packed calendar. You have client meetings, conferences, and internal meetings to attend. Keeping your calendar up-to-date is key to ensuring you are never double booked and never miss a meeting. ScheduleOnce connects with your calendar in real-time to block availability when you have other engagements and add calendar events whenever a client schedules a meeting. This makes it easy for you to effortlessly keep track of your schedule.

Save time with web conferencing
Virtual meetings are becoming more common. In fact, they are even preferred by clients who are juggling busy schedules themselves. Creating web conferencing sessions adds another step to your scheduling process. With ScheduleOnce’s web conferencing integration, you can automate the creation of web conferencing sessions. When a customer makes a booking, they will receive web conferencing information in their booking confirmation and in the calendar event. This saves you time and presents a professional image to your customers who will receive all meeting details in one place.

This article is a sneak peek of our webinar on online scheduling for the modern financial advisor. Watch the full webinar here

And the winner of the ScheduleOnce theme contest is…

A few weeks ago we launched a theme contest. We were impressed with the entries and the thought that went into branding online scheduling! We saw some breathtaking designs, and choosing a winner wasn’t easy. After much deliberation, we came to a decision. Without further ado…

The winner of the ScheduleOnce theme contest is RealZips!

RealZips is a territory management app for Salesforce that enriches all CRM data with geographic metrics. This helps sales and marketing teams align market data with their existing CRM data, and reach customers in the right locations at the right time.

RealZips uses ScheduleOnce to conduct product demos, customer onboarding, and support sessions. Customers can book sessions directly from the RealZips website, or from any emails from the company. RealZips founder Fred Widarsson says that the ScheduleOnce theme designer has helped the company align online scheduling with its brand.

“Everything we do is driving our brand name,” Fred says. RealZips’ master page design mirrors the company’s website, featuring a 3D globe in the sky with buildings. The master page uses a custom booking domain, ensuring the company brand is used throughout the customer online experience.

The ability to easily connect with a RealZips team member via online scheduling has been a conversion game changer. “Customers feel they can get in touch with us when they want to,” Fred says. “That’s why they want to work with us. That’s absolutely driving revenue.”

Want to learn more about the ScheduleOnce theme designer?
Read our blog on using themes to improve booking rates or watch our video: