ScheduleOnce review: to tell it sweet and short
ScheduleOnce focuses on compliance, security, customization, and control more than any apps that I have reviewed so far. The feature set is not vast but each feature is like a mini product, with many options. The user interface is clean sprinkled with clear help documentation and language. Throughout the onboarding, there were reassuring messages like ‘You can change this later’, ‘Did we get your time zone right?. Change it if needed’. It also looks beautiful. The help documentation, the error, warning, and supporting messages are the best in terms of clarity and intent. Not just that the UI text like directions, field labels also help you in doing the right thing the first time. There is nothing confusing about anything.
ScheduleOnce does things a bit different.
- The Booking Pages get an importance that is not common. While on other schedulers, you set availability for services, staff or independent of both, here you set availability for staff and that is tied to booking page. If a service gets assigned to that booking page, the service follows the availability of the page. In that way, a service can have multiple availability depending on the booking pages they are on.
- Resource pools – When you want to allot bookings among your team in a round robin or another algorithm, you have to create a resource pool, which is a pool of booking pages. Customers can then book an appointment from a master page which displays multiple booking pages of your choice – the bookings get allocated to the pool based on the algorithm that you choose.
- The owner of the account is not allowed to change parameters of the staff’s booking page unless they add themselves as an editor to the staff page where the staff is the admin. Also, the owner cannot change the calendars that need to be synced for the staff. This is needed if the entire team’s appointments are to mapped and retrieved from a common calendar.
ScheduleOnce is also complex but they didn’t mean it that way. I think it is their effort to give fine-grained control and flexibility and a helpful user interface that makes the tool complex.
Appointment scheduling apps are generally straightforward. That is one reason for the success of Calendly. Usually, these apps grow larger when they try to cover more use cases, like that of the needs of health and wellness industries.
ScheduleOnce’s complexity does not come from excessive features but from trying to give every possible option in their features. For a simple field, there will be a field label, help documentation, and placeholder text when the field label can do the job of three elements. Or, a pop up window will have Save, Cancel and Close buttons. If you want to simplify the UI, you can take off either the Cancel or the Close button.
Yes, more options are good but they make the product UI so busy the learning curve is steep.
ScheduleOnce review: Who is it ideal for
As I said earlier, you should use ScheduleOnce if you have a greater need for control, customization, security, and compliance in your industry and use cases. ScheduleOnce(SO) targets sales teams.
ScheduleOnce review: Who will find it limiting ?
Yes, sales teams will find this useful. However, ScheduleOnce’s priorities appears to be elsewhere. Rather than trying to focus on integrations, routing algorithms, sales-focused reporting, plug-ins or AI that will keep salesperson’s tryst with appointment scheduling app minimal, SO has placed undue emphasis on customization. That level of customization will be appreciated in the health and wellness industry where the business has to project the brand also to keep the customers.
What is their business model?
ScheduleOnce is popular among anyone who needs appointment scheduling. They frequently come up in Youtube video reviews. However, I have not seen them much on Google search. They appear to be facing tough competition from Calendly when I see reviews online. I saw that they significantly modified their pricing plan to match the $10 baseline for appointment scheduling apps. They allow a 15-day trial during which you can contact their sales team for a demo or call.
Viability of the company
Oncehub, the parent company of ScheduleOnce, was founded in 2011. They are run by brothers, Rami Goraly and Gilad Goraly. The company is bootstrapped and adopts remote work. I could not find company-acknowledged revenue figures. Owler, and similar websites quote it as $25 million. When I checked them out 2 years ago, they had another product called InviteOnce which is missing now.
ScheduleOnce review: How do they fare on the basic features of a scheduler?
- Calendar sync – SO syncs with GCal, O365, Outlook, Exchange and iCloud. There is a booking calendar on which new appointments will be marked, another calendar from which busy times can be retrieved, and you can have additional calendars which are meant for guests.
- Availability – You set the staff availability which is then adapted for the staff booking page. Services follow the availability of the booking pages they are part of. You can set your work hours, splitting them into intervals each day, add an exception to availability by adding a day-off. The options are limited for setting up complex schedules where you are available only on specific days/dates of a month or if you want to open up slots biweekly.
- Appointment types – You can create one-on-one meetings, group booking and classes – where customers have to book a set number of slots. It is possible to set up approvals for one-to-one and group bookings. The difference that SO offers here is that you can give more than one choice for customers to show their interest, for one-to-one and group bookings, and confirm the slots you are comfortable with. I think it is handy when organizing group bookings, you can look at the slot that gets the maximum votes and confirm that. Though SO does not call this the Poll feature as in Doodle, this is almost that.
- Sharing – You can share the booking page as a URl, share in on your email using the chrome plug in or embed it on your website. The website embed can be a button, a pop up or as a scheduling window. The URL can be personalized for each customer when you know their details before which makes it easier for them to book without filling in all the details again.
- Online Meeting – ScheduleOnce has integrations with Google Meet, Zoom, Microsoft Teams, GoToMeeting, and Webex. Google Meet and MS Teams are connected automatically when you sync Google Calendar and O365 calendar, respectively.
ScheduleOnce review: What are the differentiating features
- Theme designer – ScheduleOnce has more than themes for you to choose from for the booking page. If you need another one, you can create them in their ThemeDesigner, which allows you to control almost 16 different parameters of the page. These include changing the color, background images, layout, logo, images, button colors, fonts. This is a good bet because you can customize the booking page without knowing html and css.
- Localization editor – ScheduleOnce allows you to manually translate almost every aspect of your interaction with your customer to any of the following languages:
- English(US), German, Spanish, French, Portuguese, Dutch.
- You can cover translation for the booking page, booking process, cancellation and reschedule, payment and other customer facing aspects.
- Bookings form editor – You can create custom fields based on the various field types offered, add them to the library, and use them when needed. You can create booking forms using these fields for the booking pages.
- Notification template editor – There is immense flexibility in creating notifications that represent your brand, style, covering the necessary information. You can add fields dynamically, which are based on booking data, customer date, booking page data, event type data, cancel-reschedule-reassignment data, reminders and follow-up data, CRM data, website widget data, payment, user management, custom fields. You can be sure of making your emails action-oriented.
- You can ask customers to suggest more than one time slots that are convenient to them. Then you can approve the slot most convenient to you. This is an alternative to the regular way of auto-confirming the slot chosen by the customer.
- You can opt for the time slot duration to be entered by the customers (within a set limit). Ex. Choose 30 when the interval is between 25 and 40.
- G Suite and O365 resource calendar sync – If you are running meetings that need a meeting room or another resource along with a staff, you can pool the availability of that resource calendar along with the staff. Only when the staff and the resource is available the common time slot will open for booking.
- Booking restrictions
- Don’t display all slots on the booking page but first X days where one or more slots are open
- Display only a few slots per day and wait for it to be booked before opening the rest.
- Set a limit to the maximum bookings for each user per day and week.
- Separate Redirect URLs for booking confirmation, cancellation and reschedules.
- Get booked even without a service with customer defining the agenda/subject
- Asking reasons for cancellation and reschedule, and making that mandatory, optional or not needed.
- Every user gets a booking page and they are the default owner of the page. If someone else needs permission on that booking page, they have to be added as the editor of that page.
- You can set permissions for users that covers more than 10 aspects of the booking page. Check those permissions that you want to allow for each user.
- Mail Merge – Form custom booking URLs with parameters from Salesforce, Infusionsoft, and send to customers via email. No need for customers to fill fields that are known to you already.
- Reporting – Create account activity reports based on almost every data in the app
- Password policies: Set up expiry dates, password complexity levels, and others
- SSO: OnceHub supports SAML 2.0 for setting up SSO with your identity provider.
- Account lockout policies: You can enable this, and set criteria for when and why accounts should be locked out.
- Session policies – Enable this to time out session after a set time interval.
- Compliance – you can enter details of your data protection officer, about how customer’s data will be processed, etc, and display it on your site.
- Personalize booking page URL for customer – if you know customer details, you can pass parameters to prefill the booking form saving time for the customer. They can just select the time and confirm the meeting.
- One time links – a variation of booking page URL but only one booking can be made through that. Multiple links can be created concurrently to send to different customers.
ScheduleOnce review: What are the Niche features?
- Emails from your domain – Usually, emails will go from the Oncehub domain. With this feature you can se the sender email address to be from your domain which will add to your branding and customization efforts.
- Chrome plug in – Copy-paste your time slots into you gmail composer and make it easier for customer to book directly from the email.
ScheduleOnce does not have mobile apps.
ScheduleOnce has detailed help documentation for developers. They give access to their APIs, Webhooks and Client-side libraries.
The API offers two types of data for you to access:
- Data related to your bookings, including the booking creation time, appointment time, customer data, and more.
- Internal account data.
ScheduleOnce review: Booking experience for customer
- Customers book from the default booking page that SO offers or from the page where it is embedded. It can also be from website button or pop up. ScheduleOnce offers a clean and neat booking page. It is minimalistic with emphasis placed on the right elements.
- Appearance – The booking page can be customized by choosing one of the many built-in themes. You can use the theme designer to edit one of the themes and create new ones.
- Customer Experience – ScheduleOnce allows you to modify the booking page in many ways. By using parameters, you can enter details in the registration form without asking customers to do it again. You can create multiple booking pages that differ in the services listed.
- Services can also be listed as categories which help to organize the page better. However, there does not appear to be a way for customers to select a staff of their choice from a master page.
- You can set different redirect URLs for booking confirmation, cancellation and reschedules and even set a few seconds of delay before redirection. Customers and staff will get confirmation emails. Overall, booking experience for customers will be pleasant.
Ease of use
ScheduleOnce has the right intentions, but the product is difficult to work with. There are too many options to deal with and with the good intention of making it user-friendly, they have made the UI crowded. There are many elements that could be removed, trimmed down or revamped to simplify the number of settings you need to work on.
Help and support
The help documentation is one of the best in the market. They are good because the documentation tells you why a feature is needed, how it works, where to find it, and the restrictions. There is a support portal, team, developer documentation, video library and in-app help. The help links and videos are contextually placed in the UI and they open as a right pane. The help documentation is so good that I did not have to contact the support team even once during my evaluation.
I did not come across any bugs during my evaluation.
ScheduleOnce review: Pricing model
Schedule Once has only two paid plans other than the Free plan: The Teams plan and the Enterprise plan. The Teams plan starts at $9 per user per month. The Team plan and the Enterprise plan do not have many differences except for the Security and Compliance settings in the higher plan.
Total cost of ownership
The total cost of ownership for ScheduleOnce will be the sum of subscription costs of the app and other integrated apps including Zapier.
ScheduleOnce review: What will you get for FREE, for $10, for Custom pricing?
|One-on-one, Group, Session packages||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Meeting history||For 6 months||Unlimited||Unlimited|
|Team assignment algorithms||No||Yes||Yes|
|Custom theme styling||No||Yes||Yes|
|Custom domain branding||No||Yes||Yes|
|APIs and Webhook||No||Yes||Yes|
|Advanced security configurations||No||No||Yes|
|Advanced compliance options||No||No||Yes|
ScheduleOnce review: When pitted against the segment leader – comparison page and table
ScheduleOnce’s closest competitor is Calendly. Here is a comparison of ScheduleOnce vs Calendly.
Summary of other ScheduleOnce reviews found online
Almost every review online says that ScheduleOnce is a good tool but hard to work on. People wish that if the learning curve was not so steep, they would have explored more features. Other than this, there are not many negative reviews about ScheduleOnce.
People also wish that ScheduleOnce had mobile apps. There were complaints about the product being expensive but I think the team has addresses that because the current pricing starts at $9 per user per month billed annually.
ScheduleOnce review: Rating
ScheduleOnce is useful when you need control, compliance, and security. It is not user-friendly but is cost-effective at $9 per user per month for the features they offer.
ScheduleOnce long term review
Often, you will find that the product that you started using with full conviction is not the one you need now, after a few years. The reasons could be that it is not able to scale, or the total cost of ownership goes enormous, the support is bad, there are no updates.
Our long term review is a way to observe how a product and the company behind it behaved in the last one year. This is an important read if you are buying the product for a longer term. Read our long term review about ScheduleOnce.