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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:

ScheduleOnce 8.4 is live – Manage Zaps from within ScheduleOnce

We are excited to announce that you can now set up and manage Zaps from within ScheduleOnce!

ScheduleOnce has always heavily invested in enabling users to seamlessly fit online scheduling within their overall workflow. Integrations with third party applications is a key strength of our platform.

Two years ago we launched our Zapier integration, giving you the power to connect ScheduleOnce to many different applications. We have continued to develop our Zapier integration by adding new triggers, fields, and Zap templates. Recently, we added the ability to set up Zap templates right from within your ScheduleOnce account. This allows users to simply connect ScheduleOnce to more than 35 different applications with just a few clicks.

The feedback we received on our Zapier functionality proved that we were going in the right direction. For this reason, in ScheduleOnce 8.4, we further enhanced our Zapier integration by allowing users to manage their ScheduleOnce Zaps right from within the comfort of their ScheduleOnce account. ScheduleOnce communicates with the Zapier API to retrieve a list of ScheduleOnce Zaps and their statuses. Users can now simply edit, turn on, or turn off any of their ScheduleOnce Zaps without navigating away from our platform. This will help you more easily manage your integrations, ultimately saving you time, reducing administrative work, and allowing you to focus on your core business.

In addition to our new Zapier functionality, ScheduleOnce 8.4 includes other enhancements to our platform. We have added a Notification center, and have published our Data Processing Addendum (DPA) for customers regulated by the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). For more information, please see the What’s new in ScheduleOnce 8.4 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.

Streamline customer onboarding with online scheduling

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 being available to customers to conduct setup, training, and installation sessions.

For onboarding sessions to provide value, customers need to be able to schedule them immediately upon purchase. With online scheduling, organizing these sessions can be an integral part of your workflow. Customers will seamlessly be able to schedule their onboarding sessions, and you will conduct more sessions, reduce time to implementation and increase customer satisfaction.

There are many ways to offer online scheduling in your onboarding flow. Here are a few methods our customers have found successful.

Offer scheduling in your lifecycle email campaign
Your lifecycle email campaign helps new customers get started and learn about your product. With online scheduling, you can invite customers to book with you in your email campaign. Each email recipient receives their own personalized scheduling link. They simply click on the link, and select a time, without having to provide any information you already have. The process is quick and seamless, and new customers will be impressed with how easy it is to find a time to meet.

Schedule onboarding with top accounts
You give special attention to top accounts to ensure they know their business is highly appreciated. Account managers are in direct contact with these accounts to help them make the most of your product. With online scheduling, account managers can schedule onboarding sessions on behalf of customers, or send personalized scheduling invitations. You will be able to provide exceptional service and a seamless onboarding to top accounts.

Add a scheduling call-to-action in your app
Adding a scheduling call-to-action in your app is a great way to ensure customers schedule when they are already engaged. Customers who click on your scheduling button, widget, or embed are identified by their login and can quickly make a booking by selecting the best time for them. With this option, customers will be encouraged to take advantage of your onboarding sessions, and will be ready to learn how to maximize your product’s benefits.

Integrate scheduling with your online training catalog
Offering classes, webinars, and other training sessions is a great way to ensure adoption of your product. Whether your courses consist of single or multiple sessions in a private or group format, your customers can easily schedule sessions on the spot. If you charge a fee for your training courses, payment can be fully integrated into the booking process. Customers select the course, choose a time, pay for their session, and receive immediate confirmation of their booking and payment in a single action. Your customers will be impressed with the process and be more likely to take advantage of the resources you provide.

This post is a sneak peek of our webinar about using online scheduling for customer onboarding. To learn more, watch the full webinar here.

Using themes to improve booking rates

The importance of design cannot be underestimated. While the purpose of your web pages is to provide content, the real game changer when it comes to conversion rates is aesthetics.

This principle also applies to online scheduling. The purpose of your booking pages is to allow others to schedule with you, but the design of the page can significantly impact your booking rates. Recognizing this, we built a theme designer to give you the power to design your booking page and master pages from top to bottom according to your specific needs. The theme designer allows you to change the logo, call-to-action color, font, background image, and many other properties on your booking pages and master pages.

Creating themes allows you to tailor the look and feel of bookings pages for your audiences. Here are a few things you can do with the theme designer to improve booking rates.

Brand your booking page
When prospects and customers access your booking pages, you want to ensure that your brand is instantly recognizable. If your booking page visitors aren’t sure they are in the right place, they might leave without scheduling. You can brand your pages by adding a logo, or choosing a background image, font, and call-to-action color that represent your company. These elements will ensure your page visitors that they are in the right place and encourage them to make a booking.

Ensure maximum usability
If a web page is hard to read or navigate, chances are that your visitors will easily give up. With our theme designer you can design your booking pages for maximum usability by determining the opacity of the scheduling pane, the call-to-action color and the style of the booking form. Each of these elements can be customized to ensure your booking page visitors can easily read your page content, navigate through the scheduling process, and fill out our form.

Optimize for different access points
Your prospects and customers access your booking pages from different access points. They may be scheduling with you from their desktop or their mobile device; and may access your booking page as a standalone page or embedded in your website. With the theme designer, you can optimize your themes for different access points, by selecting on which access points your background photo will show. This ensures that your themes are optimized for different scenarios, making it easy for your prospects and customers to book, no matter how they access your page.

It’s time to show off your design!
Enter our theme contest for a chance to get featured in our blog and win a $100 Amazon gift card. To enter the competition, send us your booking page or master page link; tell us what you love about ScheduleOnce’s themes and how they have helped your business; and follow us on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. Contest ends February 10 at 11:59PM EST.

We look forward to seeing your themes!

Why health and wellness organizations should be using online scheduling for lead generation

Consumers in the health and wellness industry are becoming more reliant on online tools for making decisions and connecting with their health providers. To stay competitive, you need to ensure your lead generation strategies are aligned with modern consumer behavior.

Online scheduling can be a powerful solution to help boost your lead generation activities and easily engage with consumers. Whether you are offering consultations, treatments, or training, consumers will be able to connect with your team and book the appointment they desire. This ensures contact is established when interest is high and accelerates time to engagement. How is this achieved with online scheduling?

Here are some of the top reasons your organization should be using online scheduling for lead generation.

Be available to accept appointments 24/7
Consumers often think about health and personal care outside of normal working hours. In fact, approximately 70% of online appointments are made between the hours of 8 PM and 3 AM. If you want to capture these leads, you need to offer scheduling during these hours. With online scheduling, leads interested in your service can book their appointments when it is convenient for them. This eliminates the risk of losing leads who are unable to reach you.

Allow leads to connect with preferred team members
Consumers in the health and wellness industry want to know who is providing their service. They may prefer to meet with a specific team member whom they were recommended, or who has a certain specialization. With online scheduling, your leads can easily view a list of your team members and schedule with the provider they prefer. Allowing leads to establish this personal connection helps them convert into long time clients.

Remind and be flexible with schedule changes
It is no secret that no-shows are a big problem when meeting with new leads. People are busy and may forget about their appointment, or another obligation may come up. With ScheduleOnce, you can send email and SMS notifications to remind leads about their upcoming appointment. In the event that someone can’t make it, allowing them to easily reschedule gives them an incentive to find a better time, rather than skip their appointment altogether.

This article is a preview of our webinar on using online scheduling for lead generation in the health and wellness industry. To learn more, watch the full webinar here.

ScheduleOnce’s new and improved Zapier integration

Scheduling is just one piece of your workflow. Your organization also uses a CRM to manage leads and contacts, an email marketing app to communicate with customers, productivity tools to keep organized, and likely many more. Keeping all these apps up-to-date can be a nightmare if not fully automated. At ScheduleOnce, we do our very best to ensure online scheduling fits in with your application environment.

Two years ago we launched our integration with Zapier, allowing you to connect with many different business applications. Over the years, we have added new triggers and fields, and numerous Zap templates, making it easy for you to take advantage of this robust integration.

Fast forward to today, we are happy to announce that ScheduleOnce now integrates with 1,000 apps via Zapier. In addition, we have also made it easier than ever to set up Zaps with the most popular business applications. This gives you more power to transfer booking and customer data to the applications you require.

Boost productivity with popular ScheduleOnce integrations
You can now seamlessly set up Zaps with the most popular business applications right from within your ScheduleOnce account. With just a few clicks, you can add more than 80 ready-made Zaps to connect ScheduleOnce to more than 35 different applications. For example, you can set up a Zap to create new leads and contacts in your CRM whenever a booking is made, or to record booking activities as tasks or reminders in your productivity tools. This ensures that your application environment is completely in sync, ultimately saving you time, reducing administrative work, and allowing you to focus on your core business.

To learn more, check out the Zapier integration page on our website and Zapier’s blog. 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.