3 Smart Scheduling Bots, and why you should (or should not) be using them
Adding to the many popular scheduling softwares already out there- Calendly, Appointy, Acuity, and more- the last few months have marked the rise of scheduling bots, a nifty new method to schedule meetings. They offer a simple solution to the pain that comes with the tedious back-and-forth of looking for good meeting times: simply forward a meeting request to a bot, who will conveniently take over the rest of the scheduling process. A few hours later, like magic, a calendar invite slides into your inbox.
Here is a quick landscape on 3 trending scheduling bots:
- x.ai is one of the early pioneers of the scheduling bots space, and offers two personal assistants, Amy and Andrew. Amy and Andrew both act as executive assistants that manage your calendar to learn your availability and preferences. Once receiving a request to meet, simply cc Amy or Andrew onto the message, and reply with something like “Amy, can you find a time for my friend and I to meet next week?”. Then, Amy would proceed to find a time that works best for you and your friend, and will get it on your calendar. I have been using x.ai for over a month now, and I can say their technology works in over 95% of cases, which is surprisingly great. My only criticism of x.ai is that their waitlist for signup can last months!
- Caramel is a scheduling bot designed specifically for recruiters to handle the back and forth process involved with scheduling interviews with candidates. Caramel is useful in that it sends the scheduling messages as you, based on a template customized to your tone, so candidates never realize that they are scheduling with a bot. As a recruiter, I have been using the tool for my outbound over the last few weeks, and have found that it does its job well. The drawback with Caramel is that it handles only a few specific cases, and often asks me to hop in and take over the scheduling process.
- Clara is the only scheduling bot on the list that is powered by both human intelligence and machine intelligence. Handling scheduling is only a matter of adding Clara to the cc line of the email, and watching her schedule the meeting nearly flawlessly. However, the added benefit of having a backend staff checking to make sure everything is correct comes at a price: Clara’s professional version costs $199 a month, and $499 a month for the executive version. I tried out Clara for free though, and was very impressed.