Insider’s guide to online appointment scheduling for teams
Teams like yours are reaping the benefits of automated scheduling. Find out how they use appointment scheduling software to save time and increase productivity
11 min read
It’s Monday morning. You’re pumped up and ready to start the week!
You get in...
Megan is at her desk with a list of clients to speak to. They tried to get in touch but she wasn’t in the office when they rang. They can speak to her at 2:00, but she’s got a meeting then.
Max has been in a conference room for 20 minutes waiting for a customer to show up. He’s not sure if they forgot the meeting entirely, or they just weren’t able to reschedule.
Maisie has an exciting new prospect who wants to meet. She sends an email offering some dates and times. They reply. The next day. With different dates and times.
Back and forth...
Time to be honest. Is your team really doing its best work?
Finding a time to meet is an age-old problem. And for your team to succeed, it’s got to be done. But you hired this group because they are incomparable client managers, first-rate recruiters and hit-it-out-of-the-park salespeople. Why are they spending so much time organizing appointments when they could be actually having appointments?
“This allowed us to stop wasting time on tasks that don't add value. Now we’re focusing on doing what our clients care about most.”
Gregory Swedberg WittKieffer
An online appointment scheduling tool is the solution
Eliminate the back and forth emails and the waiting around for no-shows. Online scheduling means appointments land in your calendars without needing to speak, and rescheduling and cancellation happens automatically.
It gives your customers a friction-free experience that they can manage on their own terms.
And it gives your team members their time back, to focus on what they do best.
Consider these factors that make offering online scheduling a good choice:
Chapter 1: What is an online appointment scheduling tool?
Let’s start with the basics - and get rid of some common misconceptions about automated scheduling.
At the minimum, most online scheduling tools you’ll find today work like a wrapper around your existing online work calendar (usually Google or Microsoft). They give you an online booking page that shows your free and busy times, based on specific rules you’ve set around your availability.
“This has allowed customers to schedule on their own terms without sending any emails or phone calls.”
This means two things: you have complete control over when and where your customers schedule with you. And your customers can access your availability at any time, day or night, that suits them - a convenience that is increasingly expected in all areas of life.
Looking for more? Well, the more powerful online scheduling tools will give you an entirely customized experience, so your booking page looks just like your website branding, your booking notifications have the same tone of voice as the rest of your communications, and your customers experience friction-free appointment scheduling that takes them just minutes.
“You have access to a lot of great features that allow for customizing the appearance and look and sending automatic reminders and emails to everyone when you make an appointment.”
And, finally, the best online scheduling tools will do all that for you, and for every one of your team members - no matter where they work, no matter what kind of appointments they have, and no matter how complex your set-up is. They’ll also make it easy for you to monitor booking activity, evaluate booking data, and evidence the impact your team is making for your company.
“It empowers your team, saves you the headache of coordinating, and streamlines the process.”
Chapter 2: Does your team need an online appointment scheduling tool?
We’re not sure we can think of any team, in any organization, that doesn’t. But here’s a quick quiz to check for yourself.
1. Which of the following does your team spend the most time on:
Endless back and forth of calls and emails with clients trying to find a time to meet?
Waiting around for customers who miss their appointment because they were too busy to call and reschedule during your office hours?
Chasing down leads they know are interested in a meeting but they can’t get hold of?
Managing calendars full of double booked appointments?
Dashing between meetings with no break in between, struggling to remember who they’re meeting next and trying not to look so frazzled?
2. Which of the following is your team missing every week while they do all those things?
Consultations that let them advise and expand more customer accounts
Conversations that close more sales
Time to interview and place more candidates
Freedom to think strategically to develop innovative solutions that will help you meet your targets
“...it helps your organization become more productive and your clients become so much more satisfied with your output.”
If you checked just one of those boxes, your team needs an online appointment scheduling tool!
Call us biased, but there is no question that automating your scheduling with the right online scheduling tool will give new life to your team. It will:
give them back time by eliminating the back and forth of scheduling
boost their productivity
drive more meetings and make meetings more efficient
automate the low-value tasks
delight your customers
Seriously?! Can an online appointment scheduling tool really do all that?
All that and more. Would we joke about something like this? In a decade of working with organizations implementing online scheduling systems, we’ve heard over and over again from teams working in Sales, Recruitment, Customer Success, and User Experience how their online scheduling tool has delivered more focused work for staff, better planned projects, and an easy, friction-free experience for customers.
Won’t it be too hard to get everyone to change how we do things?
Introducing change can be a challenge. But when you see the benefits that an online scheduling tool can bring to your organization, you won’t regret it. And getting your team onboarded and taking bookings quickly won’t be hard if you select a tool that is focused on helping teams.
OK, which one should I use?
We’re so glad you asked!
Chapter 3: How do you choose the best online appointment scheduling tool for your team?
There are a number of online scheduling tools available so the first thing to do is to take a look at what you are already doing.
How is your team set up?
What other tools do you use?
How do you need things to work within your existing process?
Next, decide on your absolute requirements versus your nice-to-haves. Here are some ideas to get your brain juices flowing:
Bookings in different languages and across time zones
Separate branding for different clients
Unique meeting links for video calls
Multiple reminders & SMS options
Enterprise grade security and accessibility
Easy integration with the other tools you use
Great experience on mobile devices
Dedicated account manager
Multiple team members in the same meeting
Easy onboarding and role-based access for team members
Then, think of what has to happen to move your team from where it is now, to where you know it can be.
“My advice would be to first imagine the biggest possible win that you want to achieve and outline that as what you want this tool to do.“
Danny Ryel Portland State University
Spending a bit of time on those questions will help you to quickly identify your shortlist of potential online scheduling solutions. It also makes for a much better onboarding experience with the tool you choose, because you’ll already know what success looks like for your team.
Finally, get a demo from the tools on your shortlist. This is a really valuable step to take some time with. A live demo will not only demonstrate how well the tool can help with what you know you need. It may also reveal solutions that you didn’t even know you could dream of!
Chapter 4: What is YouCanBook.me?
“If you are looking for something that empowers your team, saves you the headache of coordinating, and streamlines the process, YouCanBook.me is for you!”
YouCanBook.me embeds a decade of experience into every booking. Over the years we have honed our features to offer the best available experience for teams, including easy team onboarding that scales as you grow.
YouCanBook.me is your team’s secret weapon for powering up productivity:
Stop the back & forth messages to find a good time
Have more productive meetings that get better results
“I encourage all professionals to use YouCanBook.me on a regular basis. I can swear that you will see your productivity skyrocket”
Our users love the customization and flexibility that YouCanBook.me offers. You get a unique booking experience that displays only your branding, and sends notifications in your voice. Customers are booking with you, not with us!
“The level of customisation within YCBM allowed me to create a user flow that was easy to use and communicated with our customers in a voice that represented us and our values.”
Create booking pages for every scenario: different languages, locations, client teams and booking options.
Powerful integrations allow you to sync YouCanBook.me seamlessly with the tools you already use, meaning more powerful data and better evidence of your impact.
“Managing a team of 20 can get complicated, with emails cluttering up your inbox. YouCanBook.me seamlessly integrated into our existing software and hasn’t failed us yet!”
For larger teams, a dedicated Success Manager will work with you to make sure we know your priorities and that you have what you need to be successful.
Chapter 5: Getting Started with YouCanBook.me
Getting your team started with a new appointment scheduling software doesn’t have to be painful.
In Chapter 3, you’ll have seen our advice on how to choose the best online scheduling tool for your team. If you’ve done that work, you’re already really prepared.
If you haven’t, it’s worth taking a moment before you start getting your team set up on YouCanBook.me to consider:
1. How does your team work now?
Moving to online scheduling doesn’t mean you need to change your existing processes. You just want to automate the parts that YouCanBook.me can do better, so your team can get on with doing what they do best!
Do you like to have a quick call with a prospect before a longer product demo?
Do you need to have a follow-up meeting with a client after the first appointment?
Will your team have their own individual booking link? Or will they all be listed on the same YouCanBook.me booking page?
Do you need to notify a different department about a booking?
Do you need to record the booking in your CSM or Sales tool?
All the things you do now, can still be done when you’re using YouCanBook.me. We recommend taking the time to map out your workflow so you can replicate it using online scheduling.
2. What do you want your customer’s experience of online scheduling to be?
Planning ahead what you want your customers to see and feel while they’re scheduling appointments with your team will help to inform all the areas that can be customized in YouCanBook.me.
Will you embed the booking page on your website? Or do you want to give it to people after they have already completed a previous step?
Does your organization have a distinctive logo or tone of voice that you can replicate in the booking experience? Should that be locked down so all your team members’ booking pages look the same, or will they be able to add their own personality?
Do your customers live in different regions or speak different languages?
How many confirmation and reminder emails do you need to send? Do you need to include information your client needs to prepare ahead of time? Do you need to give directions?
Will your bookers respond better to emails or SMS?
3. How will you measure the impact your team is making with YouCanBook.me?
You’re not making this change for nothing. Are you looking for
Time-saving for your team?
More sales calls?
Whatever your goal with online appointment scheduling, be sure to set up the metrics early so you can show yourself, your colleagues and your boss how productive your team is and the impact it is making for your business.
“This streamlined process has increased the number of candidates I am able to capture in any given week.”
Once you’ve worked everything out, it’s time to get stuck in with the YouCanBook.me settings.
Create a template
A great way to get your team up and running fast is to create one or several default booking pages. Create the kind of page you want your customers to see. This includes the logo, the message on the main page, any questions that need to be asked, and all email and SMS messaging.
When you have it the way you want it, you can just simply duplicate that page every time you need to use it.
Create a YouCanBook.me account with a separate login
Integrate their calendars
Integrate their Zoom or Google Meet account
Delight your clients
Now send out those links! Embed the pages in your website, add them to your email signature, post it as a QR code on an office door, add them to your social media. Wherever your customers are, you can be there too. Making it easy for them to get in touch with you in a way that suits them.
“YouCanBook.me is embedded in all our cold email campaigns, it's embedded in our website, it's in our email signatures. I have a lot of conversations on WhatsApp and I send the link through there all the time. It works really well and it drives leads.”
Deepak Pearl Lemon Leads
Chapter 6: Become a YouCanBook.me pro: master the advanced features
For many teams, YouCanBook.me works “straight out of the box”. But there’s a lot more you can do if you want to take it further.
Advanced control over team availability
Your team is unique. You may have colleagues in different states, or different countries. You may work in different languages. Some may work part time while others work overnights.
You can configure the availability for each team member so YouCanBook.me shows everyone’s availability at the right time, in the right time zone. Watch a video about how to do that here.
Use Padding to add time between appointments so your team can take a breath, take a break, or prepare for what’s ahead.
There’s no need for YouCanBook.me to sit apart from the rest of your systems. Use Zapier, webhooks or our public API to seamlessly integrate your booking data with your sales tool, CRM or whatever data crunching tool you use.
Send information about a booker - account number, sales rep, favourite product - into YouCanBook.me so it will be included in our data export, or in your own integrated systems. You can pass it through without the booker seeing it using hidden questions.
How can YouCanBook.me help your team to be more productive and reach its goals?
Schedule a call to find out how YouCanBook.me can help you take the first step towards giving your team what it needs to be the best it can be.
Kate was an early YouCanBook.me employee and loved supporting our Customers for almost a decade. She's now focused on spreading the word about online scheduling, how to improve productivity, and the Oxford comma.
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