Many businesses today need to meet with their clients. What could be better than giving clients the ability to schedule an appointment based on real-time availability? The process makes it easier for both clients and the business. Microsoft Bookings is here to help businesses provide this type of access to their clients.
Bookings went through a major update in 2021. It no longer looks dated, and it’s not clunky to use. Today, the app offers a modern look and easy functionality.
If you’re looking for a new booking app, then you may want to consider Microsoft Bookings. We’ve put together information about the app and why it could be what your business needs.
What is Microsoft Bookings?
Microsoft Bookings is an Office 365 or Microsoft 365 app that makes it easy for customers to book appointments with employees in the company. There’s no need for them to go through the process of seeing who may be available on specific dates and times.
Instead, customers can easily view and book appointments directly to your employee’s calendars or request a meeting with anyone who is available. The appointment is then automatically entered into the requested employee’s calendar (or that of the next available person).
The bookings page can be embedded on your company website, or a button can connect to your Microsoft Bookings site, or even on your company’s Facebook page. You can also show company hours and a list of employees with whom customers may book a meeting.
The customer making the booking then receives an email to add the booking to their calendar. The message also includes options to reschedule or cancel the meeting, making it all very handy for the customer.
What is the Updated Microsoft Bookings App?
The updated Microsoft Bookings app maintains its original purpose to provide a real-time appointment booking system for your business. It allows you to create customer-facing portals that sync with your team’s Microsoft 365 calendars and provide real-time availability for meetings.
In addition, booking admins can add services, assign appointments directly to specific employees, and get an overview of the company’s external meeting schedule. The app also works with Microsoft Teams, allowing appointments to be viewed, edited, or deleted quickly. Virtual meetings can also take place in Teams, even allowing external users entry to the meeting.
So, what’s been updated in Microsoft Bookings? Let’s take a look.
Updated Microsoft Bookings Features
In this section, we’ll take a look at four main feature updates that your business can use.
- Unified Calendar View
Bookings now has an updated user interface. The older version was clunky and rather outdated. Today, Bookings users can now see a unified calendar view of all appointments, with information about the employee assigned to each meeting, their department, and more.
- Easier Scheduling Options
The updated Microsoft Bookings app also offers simplified scheduling options too. Admins who manage appointments for the team can use the unified calendar view to add staff members to check their availability. They also have the ability to use filters to switch between services and staff. It’s even possible to pin specific staff, services, or individual meetings, making them easier and quicker to find.
Admins also have the ability to manage individual staff members’ day-to-day experience through hourly time slots for availability. Because this is based on Microsoft 365 or Office 365, users also have the ability to show their availability, which may also help admins.
- Better Brand Experience for Customers
Bookings offers customers an easy interface on the web to book an appointment. In the past, the interface wasn’t closely tied to an organisation’s brand. However, the updated version of Microsoft Bookings now makes it easier to use custom brand colours, logos, and more.
What’s more, Bookings also provides admins with the ability to create customised service offerings to customers through the portal. So, if a customer needs product support, billing, or another department, these services can be added to the portal. And it’s possible to enable these and other options through Microsoft Teams.
- Better Control for Microsoft 365 Admins
Bookings integrates with the Microsoft 365 platform; admins have more control to make changes to user management. The updated app has given admins more control options to make it easier to create a consistent booking experience for customers:
- Admins can control search engine visibility for the appointment booking tool
- They can control who can access the bookings app
- They can choose whether or not external users are able to make an appointment
- They can enable the option to share staff details with customers (such as who the customer will be meeting)
What’s more, admins also have the ability to assign roles to users to make management easier:
Team Members: can view and edit their own calendar, but not those of other team members.
Schedulers: can add and edit appointments to the calendar of any staff member, but they don’t have admin access.
How to Start Using the Updated Microsoft Bookings Today
Microsoft Bookings is only made available with a Microsoft 365 subscription. This is not a standalone app. The app comes with business subscriptions above the Basic plan; however, the two most popular options are:
- Microsoft 365 Business Standard: starts at £9.40 per user per month, with an annual commitment
- Microsoft 365 Business Premium: starts at £15.10 per user per month, with an annual commitment
Summing It Up
Microsoft Bookings is not the app of yesterday. It’s been updated to meet the demands and needs of today’s modern companies and customers. The app is easier to customise and makes it simple for customers to make a booking. In addition, admins have more control over security and profiles, and more.
What’s more, Microsoft Bookings and Microsoft 365 offer many benefits for your company. If you’d like to learn more about how Microsoft 365 and Bookings can help your company, reach out and contact us today. We’ll be happy to answer your questions and see how Microsoft 365 & Bookings can assist your business.
23rd February 2024
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