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Optimize the scheduling process for maximum conversion

You work hard to optimize your sales funnel to convert leads into paying customers. Each step in your funnel is carefully designed and crafted to ensure you are providing maximum value to prospects and helping them convert.

Similar to the sales funnel, online scheduling also needs to be optimized to help convert leads through the process. Getting a lead to visit your scheduling page is just the first step. To ensure your leads complete the process and schedule a meeting, each stage needs to be carefully thought out.

There are many things you can do to optimize the scheduling process to maximize your conversion rate. Here are a few tips that our customers have found successful.

Brand your scheduling page
When leads visit your scheduling page, you want to assure them that they are in the right place. If they don’t instantly recognize your brand, they likely will leave the page without scheduling. Branding your online scheduling process is the key to assuring leads they are in the right place, and helping them convert. Leads visiting your page will instantly notice a logo, the page design and even the URL. You want to ensure that all of these elements are instantly recognizable, and your leads feel comfortable entering their personal information to schedule.

Inform, but don’t overwhelm
When a lead decides whether they want to meet, they really are deciding whether they think you can provide them with something of value. To maximize conversions, you want to provide leads with an incentive to schedule by giving them relevant information about the meetings you offer. Details and insights about the meeting will pique their interest about the upcoming meeting. Just be careful not to overwhelm. Too much information or too many choices can cause leads to bounce away from your page, without converting. Limiting the number of meeting types you offer and the number of available time lots makes it easier for leads to make a selection.

Minimize the effort to schedule
Every extra click gives your leads another chance to change their mind. To ensure they convert, you want to make the scheduling process as quick and simple as possible. You can do this by emailing personalized links to your scheduling page, using our clickless time zone confirmation feature, minimizing the amount of data your leads need to provide, or by automatically assigning the booking to one of your team members. Leads will visit your page, select a time, and they are done. They will appreciate your efficient solution for online scheduling.

This article is a sneak peek of all our methods for optimizing the scheduling process to maximize conversions. To learn more, watch our webinar here.

Cheers to a great year for online scheduling!

As the year comes to a close, we at ScheduleOnce have been taking this opportunity to reflect on how far we have come. When we started in 2006, online scheduling for business professionals was a new concept, and a controversial one at that.

How could online scheduling be controversial? Today, it seems silly to even suggest this, but 10 years ago things were different. This was a time before smartphones were popular – when friendships weren’t initiated through clicks, and conversations required talking instead of typing. Back then, things took more time. People were used to back-and-forth interactions to get things done.

With this in mind, imagine a person receiving a link to schedule an appointment online. People used to the personal touch could be insulted that someone who wanted to meet did not have the time to speak with them. At the time, the concept of online scheduling for business professionals was new. There were just a few companies braving the new market, including us, Timebridge and Tungle.me. It was a tough industry, and unfortunately some companies like Timebridge and Tungle.me, who were backed by venture capital firms, did not have the endurance to keep up.

Little did they know what was coming. Over the last few years, the trend of instant gratification started growing. Customers became more demanding, wanting to be able to do everything from their phone at a time and place convenient for them. This trend set the stage perfectly for online scheduling.

Fast forward to today, online scheduling is becoming a critical component for businesses looking to engage with their prospects and customers. It helps a company present an efficient and sophisticated image, and provides customers with the self service abilities required in this day and age.

We at ScheduleOnce spent the last decade working hard to be at the forefront of the online scheduling industry, so we were ready when the market caught up. We have continually worked to adapt, and provide a cutting edge solution for today’s online scheduling needs. We are proud of how far we have come, and how we have grown over the years.

Now, as we finish 2017, we want to take a look back at some of our major accomplishments this year.

1. More branding and customization features
This year, we put a special emphasis on branding and customization features. We launched our new theme designer, allowing customers to fully brand their booking pages. We also added features for customizing the scheduling experience such as our improved automatic redirect feature, or the option to use “clickless confirmation” for time zone detection.

2. Greater emphasis on design and usability
While having a feature-rich solution is one thing, the real challenge is creating a platform that is intuitive and easy to use. This year we focused on design and usability with our launch of ScheduleOnce 8.0. We revamped our entire platform with a new clean and uncluttered design both in the user interface, and the customer front. In this release, we also redesigned our booking pages and master pages to be fully accessible for your customers with disabilities.

3. Increased security measures
Security has always been our top priority. This year, we added multiple new security features to further safeguard your customer data. For example, we added new controls for encrypting customer data, released a feature allowing users to send a hidden copy of all outgoing customer notifications, and added a new layer of security for booking forms with prepopulated data, just to name a few. We are continuously working to strengthen security and become compliant with additional industry standards.

2017 was a great year for us at ScheduleOnce. We worked hard to showcase what we are all about and what we have become over the last decade. Cheers to a wonderful year! We look forward to powering your scheduling scenarios in 2018!

Engaging prospects with online scheduling

Engagement is the key to turning prospects into new customers. When someone shows interest in your product or service, you want to connect with them as quickly as possible. Today’s methods of engagement usually focus on collecting customer information through web forms. Customers who fill out the web form will then receive relevant content, or will be offered a free consultation with a sales representative. While this method can successfully move prospects through your sales funnel, it takes time, causing leads to go from hot to cold.

The best way to shorten time-to-engagement and ensure you connect with leads while they are still hot is to use online scheduling in your sales funnel. Instead of letting your customers wait around to be engaged, you can give them the power to immediately connect with your team. This accelerates time to engagement and ensures contact when your lead’s interest is high.

There are many ways you can use online scheduling to engage prospects. Here are a few methods that our customers have found successful.

1. Offer scheduling on your website

One approach is to allow website visitors to schedule demos and consultations directly from your website. By strategically placing scheduling calls-to-action on key pages, you can show customers that you are willing and ready to meet with them. This adds a personal touch to your website calls-to-action, giving website visitors a way to connect with one of your team members.

Online scheduling can be offered to all your website visitors, or to visitors who fill out your web form. When offered to visitors who fill out your form, you can choose whether to offer scheduling to all form fillers, or to top leads based on their form submission.

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2. Offer scheduling in your mass email campaigns

Online scheduling can be offered in your mass email campaigns. When sending marketing campaigns, you need a strong call-to-action that will make your email stand out. Inviting prospects to schedule demos, consultations and discovery sessions, is the perfect approach.

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 you will discover that serious leads have essentially qualified themselves.

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3. Personally invite prospective customers to schedule

Your business may already have specific leads who are waiting to be contacted. Rather than trying to catch these leads on the phone, or sending back and forth emails, your sales team can send personal scheduling invitations. Your lead will receive their personalized link and be able to pick a time for their meeting, without having to provide any information you already have.

This presents a professional image to your customers, giving them a great impression leading up to your meeting.

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Which ever method you choose, online scheduling can be a game-changer in converting prospects into new customers. Want to learn more? Visit our solutions section to read how ScheduleOnce can help you engage your prospects.

Introducing our Partner Directory

We are excited to announce our new Partner Directory!

At ScheduleOnce, we work hard to provide a best-in-class scheduling solution. Our customer success team excels at providing top notch support to help users get the most out of our platform. By partnering up with outside experts we are able to take our support one step further. Our partners are able to provide industry-specific support to help you effectively integrate ScheduleOnce into your existing business processes and application environment.

Who are our partners? They are Infusionsoft Certified Partners, marketing ninjas, and small business consultants. All specialize in different fields and industries, such as coaching and consulting, real estate, or financial services. Our partners’ expertise allows them to provide tailor-made solutions for our customers’ different scenarios.

Our partners are all great at what they do, and we ensure that they are of the highest caliber. Each partner goes through one-on-one training with our Channel Partner Manager, who teaches them how to provide an end-to-end scheduling solution. This ensures that they uphold the same standards that we hold ourselves to.

We are very happy to welcome all our partners to the ScheduleOnce family! We look forward to working with them to help our customers succeed.

Interested in finding the right partner for you? Check out our Partner Directory

Want to become a ScheduleOnce partner? Get in touch

ScheduleOnce 8.1 is live – Enhancements to ScheduleOnce 8.0

They say time flies when you’re having fun! It’s already been over one month since we released our biggest release to date – The all-new ScheduleOnce 8.0.  We are excited to say that our revamped platform has been very well received by our users and their customers.

Together with the compliments, we have also received a lot of valuable feedback and suggestions for improvements. Our customers’ feedback is always carefully considered and used to make a tangible impact on our product.  We are committed to continuous improvement and we believe customer feedback is the best stimulant for growth.

So today we are releasing an updated and improved version of ScheduleOnce 8.0 – ScheduleOnce 8.1, which includes a number of small enhancements that together add up to an improved user experience for you and your customers.

An improved customer scheduling experience
In ScheduleOnce 8.0 we introduced a new and improved scheduling experience. Our mission was to design simplified booking pages that minimize the effort required to make a booking. In ScheduleOnce 8.1, we continued with these efforts.

We further improved the scheduling, rescheduling and cancellation processes. For example, previously if you had time zone switched on, your customers would be prompted to confirm their auto-detected time zone during the scheduling process. We now added the option to use “clickless confirmation”, allowing for an even faster and smoother scheduling process.

We have also made improvements to the rescheduling process. Now, when customers reschedule on your page they will first pick a new date and time and will only then be required to provide a reschedule reason. Previously, since the first step was to enter a reschedule reason, customers would have submitted their reason and only then may have realized that no time slots suit them.  This change in the order of steps results in a smoother, confusion-free rescheduling experience.

In addition to these scheduling process enhancements, we have also added more functionality to our automatic redirect feature. You can now automatically redirect customers to different webpages after they schedule, reschedule or cancel a booking. The ability to create different flows depending on the customer’s action allows you to customize the entire customer experience and lets you accurately track the effectiveness of your campaigns.

An improved user interface
In ScheduleOnce 8.0, we introduced a completely redesigned interface that simplifies setup and user management. Our goal was to create an easy-to-use interface that will save you time building your optimal scheduling scenarios. In ScheduleOnce 8.1 this motive continued to shape our vision.

We have now made integrations and tools even easier to access. The new side bar we added in ScheduleOnce 8.0, which provides quick access to integrations and tools, is now accessible from all areas of the app. Our setup lobby page has also been improved. It is now easier to understand who is the owner of a booking page and what level of access the user has to that booking page. Additionally, we have made public links visible from the booking page and master page list views, making it even easier to share your links with your customers. Finally, administrators are now given more power to manage their team. Administrators can now add profile images to new users they create and edit profile images of existing users.

These are just some of the main improvements we made in ScheduleOnce 8.1. For more information about this release and links to specific articles, please see the What’s new in version 8.1 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.

Payment integration success stories

ScheduleOnce payment integration allows you to easily collect payment from your customers as an integral part of the booking lifecycle. Whether you’re a large technology company offering paid product training courses, or a small consulting firm providing advisory sessions, this robust feature can help you take care of all payment activities in an automated and secure manner.

From the initial booking, through to rescheduling and cancellations, our end-to-end payment integration can help increase sales, create new revenue streams, and reduce administrative overhead.

Hundreds of our users, all from different industries and different sectors, are already enjoying the seamless integration. By simply connecting their ScheduleOnce accounts to PayPal, our users are able to manage payments along with their corresponding appointments.

Could you business benefit from using payment integration? Read below to see what some of our customers are saying.


Case study 1: The Headshot Guy – professional photography company

The Headshot Guy is the UK’s leading brand for professional headshots of executives, business professionals, and teams. Founded in 2008 by John Cassidy, the company has seven studios across the UK.

Customers book photography sessions directly from the company’s website. John says using ScheduleOnce has helped eliminate the administrative work of scheduling sessions, increase revenue and save time.

Stop no-shows by getting commitment from customers
“Before we had payment integration we were getting a number of bookings in, but a lot of no-shows. We would contact people, they would book a session, but they might not turn up, which ends up costing us money,” John says.

“Now, with payment integration, they have to pay before their session, so they all turn up. By stopping no-shows, ScheduleOnce’s payment integration has helped increase our revenue and stops us from having to chase down customers who didn’t show up.”

Save time by simplifying the payment process
“Payment integration has also saved us time managing payments from our customers who do show up. It makes everything easy for us, we just see the bookings come in, and the money goes into the bank. Because it’s all automatic, all we need to focus on is providing our service,” John says.


Case study 2: Self-employed art instructor

Rebeca Garcia-Gonzalez is a San Francisco-based artist who focuses on painting landscapes and portraits. Rebeca also teaches art classes and mentors other aspiring artists looking to find their voices.

Rebeca says before using ScheduleOnce, scheduling sessions could take up to 12 back-and-forth emails. Today, Rebeca’s students schedule with her directly from her website, making it easy for her to juggle her different classes and appointment types.

Never awkwardly ask for money again
“Payment integration is quite important for a business like mine. I had students who would sign up for classes and forget to pay or say they were going to bring payment to class. That made it really awkward,” Rebeca says.

“I didn’t want to interrupt my class to remind people to pay me, so I needed something that would enable people to sign up for class and pay immediately. If I missed payment at that time, it became difficult to charge them later.”

Present a professional image
“When customers can pay for classes on my website, it gives them a different image of who I am. They know that I am professional, that I mean business, not like a stereotypical artist. Some people have told me that they were very impressed with the process to book and pay for a class,” Rebeca says.

Rebeca has many customers who regularly attend her classes. With session packages, her students are able to schedule and pay for multiple classes in one single action. This results in a seamless experience and creates commitment from customers.


Could your business benefit from using the ScheduleOnce connector for PayPal?

Give it a go today. Watch our video to learn more about the feature:

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 all-new ScheduleOnce 8.0 is live!

We are excited to announce that the all-new ScheduleOnce 8.0 is live!

ScheduleOnce 8.0 is our biggest release to date. It celebrates what we have become since 2006 and showcases what we are all about – a feature-rich application that is simple and intuitive to use.

Watch this video to get the highlights on the improvements we have made:

Over the past years, we listened carefully to our customers and have continuously added functionality to the product to support their needs. As time passed, the product became stronger and better, attracting larger customers with more sophisticated demands. This was a great achievement for us, but it was just a step in our evolution. We quickly understood that while offering a comprehensive and feature-rich solution is important, laying it out in a simple and intuitive way for users to understand is just as important. After all, our mission is to help you make more connections without the hassle.

For this reason, over the last year we have been working hard on revamping our platform inside and out, to bring you and your customers an improved user experience. We pride ourselves on delivering a best-in-class product that solves real-world scheduling problems with elegance. We concentrate on optimizing every aspect of scheduling so that you can focus on your business and what really matters.

Our guiding principle in this release was to “keep it simple”. For the customer side, our mission was to design clean and uncluttered booking pages that minimize the effort required to make a booking (read our previous blog on the new customer front). For the user side, our goal was to create an easy-to-use interface that will save you time building your optimal scheduling scenarios and will help new users joining your organization’s account catch on faster (read our previous blog on the new user interface).

We didn’t just stop there. In this release, we also added important new features that help you better tie in ScheduleOnce with your existing processes and brand.

Actions speak louder than words. It’s time for you to test drive the new platform and take a look at your new and improved booking pages! We hope you and your customers enjoy the changes we have made.

For more information on this release, please see the What’s new in version 8.0 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 8.0 will be released this weekend

We are happy to announce that ScheduleOnce 8.0 will be released on September 2nd. For this release, we have completely revamped our platform to improve your user and customer experience. You can read about the new features in our previous blog posts on the new customer front and the new user interface.

The release will start on September 2nd at 12:00 AM Saturday (midnight between Friday and Saturday), Eastern US time. Since this is a major release, we expect downtime of 180 minutes and service may be intermittent for up to 24 hours thereafter.

We will do our best to make the migration to 8.0 as seamless as possible. Your account, booking pages and master pages will be automatically upgraded to ScheduleOnce 8.0. We also want to give you a heads up to a few process and design changes that you should be aware of and be ready to review when the release is live:

Booking page themes will be updated
All of your booking pages and master pages will be automatically updated with new out-of-the-box themes. This includes all pages, whether standalone or integrated onto your websites.

We encourage you to take a look at all of your pages to see how the new themes look. You will be able to customize our system themes, or create your own from scratch with our new theme designer. This will give you greater flexibility to ensure all your pages are in line with your branding.

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Privacy protection for stored customer data 
We are committed to ensuring that your customer data is kept safe and secure. We have added a new layer of security for bookings made with contacts stored in databases, such as your CRM, or your ScheduleOnce account. In these cases, customer information will not be visible on the booking form and we will only indicate that the data is used for making the booking.

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Categories will be their own step on the customer interface
If you use categories to organize your booking pages and event types, you will see that they are now a separate step in the booking process. Your category labels and selection instructions will by default say “Category” and “Select a category”. Once the release is live, you will be able to change the text to what your categories actually represent like Location, Department, etc.

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Have questions about the launch?
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.

 

Updates to our Terms of Use

We have updated our Terms of Use (now known as a Master Service Agreement) to better reflect our expanding product solutions and growing security and privacy obligations.

At the start of this year, we announced our acquisition of Reschedge, the world’s best algorithmic scheduling engine. With this acquisition, we are now a multi-product solution helping our customers better connect with their prospects, customers, and candidates. This broadening of our solutions portfolio, meant we had to revise our Terms of Use. This is one of two primary reasons for the update.

The second reason? Our ever-growing commitment to security and privacy. We hold ourselves accountable to the highest standards and undertake significant efforts to ensure customer data is kept completely private and confidential. We apply sophisticated security measures to help protect our systems from evolving threats and work with industry experts to help ensure our ongoing compliance with leading global privacy regimes. As a result of these efforts, we are happy to accept much more rigorous privacy and security obligations under our contract with you.

We worked hard to ensure that our updated Terms of Use are clear, fair, and do not leave any doubt in the reader’s mind. A team of privacy and security experts, lawyers, marketers, and company executives collaborated to make this happen. We appreciate that legal documents can sometimes leave you blurry-eyed and confused. To help you easily navigate through our new Terms of Use, we added a “simply put” version besides each section of the agreement. Everything is laid out for you to follow: no guessing required and no hidden terms. We are confident in the fairness of our agreement and have gone the extra mile to be as transparent as possible.

We encourage you to read through it! We are excited to now offer our customers a beautifully simple way of contracting with us for our products and services.

Read our new Master Service Agreement

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.

Introducing our improved user interface – ScheduleOnce 8.0

Over the years, the brains behind ScheduleOnce have worked hard to add and refine all the features necessary to provide a complete out-of-the-box scheduling solution that fits your business needs.  Offering a comprehensive and feature-rich solution is one thing, but laying it out in a simple and intuitive way for users to understand and effectively implement is the real challenge.

With ScheduleOnce 8.0, we will be introducing a completely redesigned interface that simplifies setup and user management, allowing you to focus on what really matters.

Simpler Setup
We have rebuilt our interface to clarify the relationships between booking pages, event types and master pages. These three entities are now grouped together in the main setup page.

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When drilling down into any of these entities, there is now an overview screen, allowing you to quickly see the associations between the different entities. This remodeling makes it easier for you to configure new scheduling scenarios, as well as manage existing ones.

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Another improvement streamlining configuration is the new side bar. This menu provides quick access to integrations and tools, allowing you to easily build the optimal configuration for your specific business needs.

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Simpler user management
Our user management has also undergone a facelift. All your personal settings are now consolidated under your profile. Each user can now add a profile picture, making it easier for admins to manage a long list of users.

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We have also made it easier to assign or change booking page ownership. Ownership can now be managed directly from the relevant booking page rather than from the users tab.

Reach your customers
In addition to simplifying set up and user management, we have also made it easier for you to promote your booking pages. The main menu now includes a share and publish tab, which brings together options for integrating scheduling into your website, web forms, campaigns, and emails. All the share and publish options are now centralized in one place so you can quickly access the links and embed codes you need to reach your customers.

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In ScheduleOnce 8.0 we will also be introducing new important branding features. We have developed a theme designer that can be used to customize the look and feel of your booking pages. You can customize our out-of-the-box system themes or create your own themes to reflect your branding. Customers who schedule with you will have a seamless experience, resulting in more bookings and higher conversion rates.

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Scheduling for all
We’re committed to providing a great experience to all our users. Our new interface is ADA compliant and follows the internationally recognized best practices in Section 508 of the U.S. Rehabilitation Act and the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 Level AA.

Can’t wait for the launch?
We can hardly contain our excitement for ScheduleOnce 8.0! Stay tuned for more details in the coming weeks and get ready for the launch!