Customizable APIs for Online Scheduling Software

Learn how developers can use APIs for online scheduling software to deliver seamless scheduling features that drive retention and revenue.

Andrew Slate | September 3, 2021

Companies lose a staggering $1.6T each year due to poor customer experience. It’s little wonder, then, that customer-centric companies are 60% more profitable than those that aren’t. Customers expect companies to understand their needs, and a recent survey found that nearly half of respondents strongly prefer booking their appointments online. 

But many companies still haven’t implemented online scheduling into their applications. In healthcare, for example, only 17% of respondents say they currently have the choice to book online. Whether you’re building an app in healthcare, business, recruiting, law, or any other field, ensuring a standout customer experience with online scheduling software will keep your app competitive. 

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But what if your engineering team doesn’t have the bandwidth to implement scheduling features? Luckily, modern online scheduling software APIs can reduce operational challenges, making it much easier to build scheduling into your application, enabling your customers to book and manage their appointments online any time and from anywhere. In this post, we’ll take a look at how the best online scheduling software can help you deliver seamless scheduling features to your customers.

Drive Retention and Expansion Revenue with Online Scheduling 

The Nylas Scheduler pairs a front-end, feature-rich calendar widget with our universal Calendar API, making it easy to add robust (and fully white-labeled) calendaring features into any app with minimal time and effort. 

How a Great UX makes your products stickier

A study by PwC reveals that customers are willing to pay more for a great experience. In fact,  86% of customers will pay more for a better customer experience. By providing the functionality of easy booking, branded to suit your needs, you can deepen customer loyalty and reduce churn.

Looking for the fastest way to add full calendar functionality to your application? The Nylas Scheduler comes out of the box with customizable themes, including brand colors, logos, and unique meeting URLs. Our schedulers allow your users to create scheduling pages— pre-built, customizable web pages where attendees can easily book meetings with organizers. Now, attendees and organizers alike can easily view availability and book meetings inside your application, without needing a third-party scheduling solution.

In short, the Nylas Scheduler provides a seamless, in-app integration that fully matches your branding and product UI.

Take a look at the full suite of features—such as Round Robin rotation scheduling to maximize availability or fairness, depending on your needs— offered by the Nylas Scheduler here.

Integrating Zoom with your Online Scheduling Software 

Since 2019, Zoom usage has grown 2,900%. Increasingly, video conferencing tools such as Zoom are used alongside scheduling software to book virtual meeting rooms and appointments. This rapid growth, alongside increasing demand for virtual scheduling, means that users expect their software to seamlessly integrate with Zoom.

The Nylas Events endpoint empowers you to seamlessly create events and generate Zoom conference links with omnichannel reminders for upcoming meetings via email, SMS, Slack, and MS Teams. This endpoint not only reduces a tedious business process to a single API request, but it helps save you money and time.  You can set up text reminders with a simple POST request such as the following:

curl -X POST \
  https://api.nylas.com/calendars/events \
  -d '{
    "title": "Your appointment with Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell",
    "when": {
        "start_time": 1577829600,
        "end_time": 1577844000
    },
    "calendar_id": "{calendar_id}",
    "location": "New London School",
    "participants": [         
     { 
            "email": "[email protected]"
     } 
    ],
video_conferencing: { type: "zoom"},
       "reminders": [
            {
                "type": "email",
                "time_before_event": "600",
                "subject": "Don't forget",
                "body": "Reminding you about your appointment",
                "file_ids": [
                    "string"
                ],
                "tracking": {
                    "links": true,
                    "opens": true,
                    "thread_replies": true,
                    "payload": "string"
                }
            },
            {
                "type": "sms",
                "time_before_event": "60",
                "message": "Don't forget!"
            },
            {
                "type": "sms",
                "time_before_event": "300",
                "message": "Don't forget!"
            },
           { 
            "type": "sms",
                "time_before_event": "300",
                "message": "Don't forget!"
          },
      {
                "type": "webhook",
                "time_before_event": "60",
                "url": "https://hooks.slack.com/services/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",
                "payload": "{\"text\" : \"Your Slack reminder goes here!\"}"
            },
      {
                "type": "webhook",
                "time_before_event": "60",
                "url": "https://hooks.teams.com/services/T01A03EEXDE/B01TBNH532R/HubIZu1zog4oYdFqQ8VUcuiW",
                "payload": "{\"text\" : \"Your MS Teams reminder goes here!\"}"
            },

}'   

Building Online Scheduling Software Yourself is Costly and Time-intensive

While the benefits of implementing online scheduling software in your application are clear, it’s also important to discuss the challenges of building these features yourself. Building your own online scheduling software is a costly endeavor that takes time away from your engineering team that they could spend developing differentiating features. Before building online scheduling software, you should consider the following:

  • Calendar Connectivity – Ensuring secure authentication for real-time bi-directional sync for every calendar provider in the world; automatically identifying primary calendars for booking, and incorporating different defaults for each provider.
  • Recurring Events – Complex protocols differ from provider to provider; navigating one-off changes and timezone transitions.
  • Availability Logic – Verifying that pre-fetching and caching availability of participants is resilient to downtime and latency spikes while using provider webhooks and event streams to keep caches up-to-date.
  • Time Zone Support – Deducting time zone information given a complex array of data from the provider and normalizing for time zones across hemispheres.
  • Event Reminders – Accounting for the many common complexities of scheduling; everything from language consistency to ensuring you notify guests upon meeting cancellation, even if they haven’t already declined.
  • Building Scheduling UI –  Considering all the edge cases your users may run into and ensuring each workflow is intuitively designed.
  • Race Conditions – Implementing instant synchronization so that users don’t get double-booked when two people try to book the same slot simultaneously. At the same time, making sure that the solution doesn’t impact sync speed.

Takeaways

The Nylas Calendar API not only connects you to 100% of calendar providers, but it comes with pre-built security features that provide a more secure, reliable connection than you’d get integrating with the service providers directly. We’re SOC 2 certified, GDPR compliant, Privacy Shield certified, HIPAA compliant, and FINRA ready. With Nylas, you can build your employee scheduling software in just 18 days with one engineer. Sign up and try the API for free today, or schedule time to speak to a platform specialist now.

Andrew Slate

Andrew is a Product Marketing Specialist at Nylas who covers topics ranging from productivity APIs to data analytics. He's passionate about digital and film photography, camping, and backpacking.