Could Microsoft Bookings help you save time?
Microsoft Bookings is a web-based, “public” calendar that is part of the family of products created by Microsoft Office. In essence, it is a piece of scheduling software. Released in 2017, the system allows customers of small businesses to book in appointments and time with a company.
Bookings can be fully integrated with your Microsoft 365 or Office 365 calendar. This helps your customers to instantly identify your availability, taking away the back-and-forth, and helping avoid double-bookings. Your time is important and, with Bookings, you can take more control of it.
When you use Microsoft Bookings for the first time, you will be asked to set up your company. This consists of answering a few basic questions to provide information such as your company’s name. However, take care when submitting your company name as this will be the email address that booking are sent from that is used to send out the Booking information. Moving on from this, you are then able to customise your screen, logo, and colours.
If you provide multiple services run by a variety of staff then you can set this up, too! For example, you might notice that quite a few of the blogs on our website are written by Cameo (including this one!), who deals with all things media. For appointments pertaining to this, we have the ability to set up Bookings to only show her availability should a client be looking to schedule in some time.
We set up Bookings to show both Claire and Luca (our technical assistant and sales representative) as available for initial consultations. Microsoft Bookings works with identified staff member’s calendars. You can see from the links in this section that there are a lot of ways to use services in Bookings. Each link will take you to a different service we offer. Whether you’re after a 30-minute coffee/tea chat on Microsoft Services or a free Microsoft License Review, we’re able to create the separate Bookings pages to reflect this. The free/busy times in Outlook allows Bookings to automatically identify which staff member can run individual services. So, as long as we maintain our Outlook calendars, there is nothing left for us to do!
The Geeky Benefits
Following the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, more and more of us have been taking to meeting online. With Bookings, you have the ability to book virtual meetings as well as in-person ones. If you offer online appointments, then every one booked by a client will be created with a unique meeting link. This link will be sent with the confirmation to all attendees, ensuring your experience is great no matter how you connect.
One of the most useful things about Microsoft Bookings, however, is the ability to create buffer zones. This is where customers cannot schedule a meeting within a pre-designated time-frame of an already scheduled appointment. So, whether you are meeting in-person or online you can ensure that there are never any overlaps!
The Customer Experience
We’ve already mentioned how easy it is for customers to sign up, but what we haven’t said is that they are also able to manage any re-scheduling of their appointments! When they first create their appointment, customers are sent an email confirmation. This comes in addition to the calendar invite. In the email confirmation, the customer will have a link to manage their session. However, if you prefer to book /amend your client’s appointments on their behalf, then you can enter the details into Bookings. This will send out confirmations and reminders automatically.