How Real-Time Scheduling Revolutionizes Bookings
Author: Jérémy Bourhis
15th June 2017
At Cronofy our mission is to help businesses transform their approach to scheduling. We are always working on new ways to leverage the incredible potential of online calendars as communication interfaces.
Our new exciting scheduling plugin, Real-Time Scheduling, perfectly reflects this commitment. It transform how businesses and their users approach booking meetings or appointments. Real-Time Scheduling uses the Cronofy Availability API to connect software with users’ calendars and reveal their availability in real-time.
Software users can then automatically create and send out a scheduling link to the person they want to meet with.
Meeting attendees can choose from a set of time slots that represent the real-time calendar availability of everyone attending. The beauty of it is that this link is kept up to date in real-time, meaning the free time slots are always accurate and there’s no risk of double-bookings.
Today I wanted to discuss how Real-Time Scheduling can be used. Some use cases are obvious – we built the feature specifically to solve HR challenges – others we didn’t consider at first. And there will be some that we haven’t thought about yet!
This was the most obvious use case for our development and product team. We first started developing Real-Time Scheduling to solve specific challenges our HR clients discussed with us.
One such issue focused on scheduling interviews and allowing hiring managers to save time and focus on higher value tasks.
By integrating Real-Time Scheduling into their recruiting software, hiring managers can generate and send a scheduling link to the candidate based on the availability of members of the interview panel and meeting rooms. Once a slot is selected, a calendar event is added to everyone’s calendars.
The candidate experience is seamless – there’s no need for long email threads or awkward phone calls during work hours. Candidates can pick the time that suits them, when and where it works best for them.
An automated booking process frees up hiring managers to prepare for the interviews and provide feedback to the unsuccessful applicants, which builds up the organization’s employer brand and helps fill future vacancies.
Developing employees’ skills and knowledge is critical to any company’s growth. It is also complex to organize, especially for larger organizations. When you have external mentors coming in your offices, to give a talk or run a workshop, and dozens of busy employees, it can get messy quickly.
Aligning the schedules of team members usually means that these training sessions need to be booked months in advance, delaying the impact these newly acquired skills could have on the organization.
Integrating Real-Time Scheduling to a company booking system solves these scheduling issues. The system will automatically find a time when all the trainees are free. The HR team can simply send the link to the trainers so they can pick the time slot that fits into their planning.
When booking training sessions is quick and easy, companies can organize more of them, increasing their staff skills and improving the entire employee experience. It’s a win for everyone!
End-of-year appraisal are usually a hectic time in large organizations. Dozens of managers are trying to find a time and a meeting room to hold one-to-one sessions with hundreds of employees. They also need to work around deadlines, after which personal development plans and team objectives need to be agreed, signed-off, and submitted.
With our Real-Time Scheduling plugin, this process is transformed. The HR teams coordinating and keeping track of the appraisal meetings can simply send a scheduling link to the employees. One click is enough for them to then book one-to-ones when their managers are free.
Organizations can use our Enterprise Connect feature to connect their HR tools to the calendars of their staff in one go.
Sales meetings and demos
Making sure you meet with potential clients in a timely manner and through a painless process is important. It’s part of building a strong relationship with your prospects and ensures that they don’t lose interest in your product.
If you are Cronofy-enabled you can already access the calendars of your teams. For example, you can see when your sales engineers and product managers are free to meet or give a demo to potential clients. By connecting our Real-Time Scheduling plugin to your CRM, you can start displaying scheduling links on your website or your email signature.
These links are updated in real-time. It means prospects can book their demos in one click, without having to pick up their phones or fill a form.
Flats or houses in desirable locations always generate a lot of interest. Come spring, so does student housing. It can be difficult to arrange viewings in a timely manner when dozens of potential buyers or tenants want to view a property on the same day.
Real-Time Scheduling solves this issue. Simply generate a scheduling link based on the real-time availability of your real-estate agents and send it to interested viewers. You can customize the length of time slots depending on the property – they might not need more than 15 minutes to visit a flat – and there won’t be any danger of people walking on top of each other to look in the cupboard under the stairs.
It’s also possible to add a scheduling link on online properties profiles, allowing people to book their viewing straight away without having to send an email or request a phone call.
Medical practices often deal with cancellations or with patients needing last-minute emergency appointments. The way this is currently handled has been the same for decades. Patients pick up their phones and wait for a secretary to answer, then they try to find a free time slot in doctors’ schedules. Unfortunately, this doesn’t always work seamlessly.
In the UK, tens of thousands of medical appointments are missed every day, which costs British taxpayers £162 million every year.
Real-Time Scheduling can’t ensure that every patient will turn up on time or at all but it can help. By allowing patients to book their appointments online, based on their doctor’s real-time availability, medical practices can reduce the amount of time wasted. When a time slot is freed up, it becomes instantly available.
I hope these few examples inspire you. If you need to get several people together based on their availability, Real-Time Scheduling is the solution you need. We would love to discuss how your business can benefit from this new Cronofy plugin. Get in touch now!