Let your customers schedule and manage appointments online with Microsoft Bookings.
If your business involves scheduling appointments with customers, you need to give the Microsoft Bookings service a serious look. This online service, which is part of Office 365, simplifies the process of setting and managing appointments with customers. It’s ideal for businesses such as medical offices, law firms, consultants, advisors, auto shops, hair salons, or anyone who provides services on an appointment basis. Customers can set appointments themselves or you can do it for them.
Bookings has 3 primary components:
- An online bookings page where your customers can schedule appointments with specific staff members. This page can be used as a stand-alone page or embedded in your website and works on desktop and mobile devices.
- An online backend where you can view and manage appointments, set a staff list and schedules, specify your services and pricing, record customer preferences, and customize how the service works.
- A mobile app you can use to view and manage bookings and access customer information from anywhere you can get an internet connection.
With Bookings, you can efficiently:
- Bring in Business 24/7 – You get a customizable public web page your customers can use to book appointments around the clock.
- Put an End to Phone Tag – Customers can view available times online and book the slot that’s most convenient for them. Customers who prefer to call can do so, and you can enter their information manually. Either way, confirmations are sent immediately and automatically.
- Reduce No-Shows – Send automated appointment reminders to customers, on the schedule you define, with date, time, and directions. You can set the system up to remind staff members automatically too.
- Offer Self-service Rescheduling and Cancellations – It’s easy for customers to change or cancel an appointment. All they have to do is click the link contained in the appointment confirmation email. You can control how much advance notice is required for cancellations.
- Manage Bookings on the Go – With the mobile app, you can add or view appointments and access or change staff and scheduling info when you’re away from the office. You can also view customer information and call or text customers directly from your mobile device.
How it Works
Bookings appointments can be made two different ways: customers can schedule an appointment themselves using the online booking page or staff can manually enter appointments. To make an appointment, the customer first selects the service they want. Then, based on the availability schedule you created, they can choose a day and time and enter their contact information to book the appointment.
As soon as the appointment is submitted, the customer is sent an email confirmation notice. The notice contains details of the appointment and a link for directions. It also includes a link the customer can use to change or cancel the appointment.
At the same time, the date is automatically added to your calendar or your staff’s calendar. Bookings work with Outlook calendar and Google calendar. Your customers won’t see your linked business calendars; they’ll only see the Bookings calendar you publish online.
The configuration is highly customizable and easy to configure. To set it up, you simply:
- Enter your business information.
- Set your scheduling policies, such as length of appointments, acceptable cancellation times, and automatic notifications.
- Define your service offerings, including service name, description, location, and pricing. You can also add internal notes about the service.
- Create your staff list.
- Set employee working hours.
- Schedule business closures for vacations or other reasons.
- Publish your booking page.
Bookings is available to Microsoft customers who have an Office 365 Business Premium subscription. The Microsoft Bookings mobile app is available in the Itunes and Google Play app stores.
For more information on Microsoft Bookings or help getting started, contact Centerpoint IT today!
Category: Atlanta IT Service Articles, Date: 12th April 2017, Author: Chris Chao