Does your business rely on scheduling appointments with customers? Most do, and this process of booking customer meetings or appointments can be an intensely manual one. You, your sales agents, or a scheduling assistant spend precious time (and, therefore, money) figuring out your own schedule, asking customers or clients about their availability, and trying to align the two to find the ideal appointment time.
Scale this up across dozens if not hundreds of bookings in a given month, and you’re looking at a significant resource investment.
Microsoft Bookings is a powerful app within Microsoft 365 that can greatly improve the process of booking customer and client appointments. Find out what this tool can do for you in today’s blog post.
Microsoft Bookings: Overview
Microsoft Bookings is more than just a calendar or scheduling tool. It’s, well, a booking tool. It helps you and your customers and clients book appointments, just like you might do on a paper calendar. Only, instead of relying on a paper calendar or someone in your organization to sync up schedules and figure out appointment times, Microsoft Bookings lets your clients take care of this themselves.
Bookings is a way of inviting your customers and clients to schedule appointments with you at their convenience and on their own timetables.
How Bookings Works
When you open up Bookings (as a business-facing web app or mobile app), it’ll look a lot like an Outlook calendar at first glance. But look a little closer, and you’ll see that there’s a lot more under the hood.
If you’re a calendar owner or admin, you can see appointments and calendar info for yourself (and in some cases your team). You can also access lists of customers, create and define appointment types (haircuts and sales presentations might have different parameters, after all), see and set staff availability and business hours, and so on.
That’s on the business-facing side, and of course it’s important to get those features and settings configured appropriately. But where Bookings really shines is with your customers or clients.
Within Bookings, you can generate a shareable link that you can drop into emails, chat messages, or even through social media channels. That link takes anyone who clicks it to your customized booking page. From there, customers and clients can schedule appointments with the relevant staff members, seeing a calendar with blocks indicating previously scheduled events. This calendar updates in real time, and the customer or client can choose from available timeslots and schedule their own booking.
Customers also get access to email and text-based reminders about their booking, keeping your no-show rate low. You can also allow clients to reschedule within whatever parameters you set up.
With Bookings, as long as you keep your Outlook calendar up to date, you’ll never end up double-booked again. Clients can only select times you’ve made available, keeping your schedule manageable and organized.
Microsoft 365 Integrations Come Standard
Best of all, Bookings is designed to integrate with the rest of your Microsoft 365 ecosystem. It pulls in your team’s Outlook or Microsoft 365 calendars automatically, and you can include Microsoft Teams links in bookings that are intended to be virtual or remote.
There are other booking tools with similar features, but none have the level of integration with the rest of your Microsoft suite. And, assuming you already have a Microsoft 365 license, you can’t beat the price.
Looking for guidance on setting up, managing, or navigating your Microsoft 365 subscription? Need a way to simplify your IT operations and normalize your IT spend? Blue Ridge Technology is ready to serve you as a managed services IT provider. Reach out today to see what we can do for you.