In its drive to provide its customers with the best of both worlds, Microsoft has launched a brand new service that will allow businesses to schedule appointments with their clients through an easy to use online software.
Called Bookings, the service will take care of tasks like making appointment between customers and businesses, sending out confirmations and reminders, handling re-scheduling and cancellations, updating the business staff’s calenders and so on. The system forms a part of Microsoft’s Office 365 suite of services.
Speaking on the topic, the company said,
To help make appointment scheduling simpler and more efficient for you, your staff and your customers, we’re introducing a new Office 365 service called Microsoft Bookings.
Appointments have formed a pretty important part of today’s business scenario. From doctors to restaurants, from movies to meetings with clients, bookings are almost everywhere. As such, it was only a matter of time before a dedicated service arrived to take care of all of a business’s appointments.
Microsoft’s latest addition to its office 365 suite seeks to plug this gap by providing subscribers with a single stop to manage all the appointments made with a particular business. In this scheme of things, businesses are provided with a unique web page that lets customers pick the dates and times of appointments based on their current availability.
The customer first selects the service they want and, based on availability you provide, chooses a day and time when you or one of your staff is available, enters their contact information and books the appointment.
Once the customer has made an appointment, the system takes care of everything else and makes sure that there are no conflicts. Folks whose appointments have been confirmed, receive an email confirmation along with a reminder email ahead of their chosen appointment time.
What’s more, customers can also change or even cancel their appointment schedule simply by clicking a link provided to them via email. The facility is provided to businesses as well. Since all the bookings are synced to a centralized booking calendar, businesses can reschedule, cancel or assign bookings to particular staff members.
The appointments are synced to various places including Outlook in Office 365, Outlook.com and Google Calendar, making sure that the staff responsible for a particular appointment can’t really miss it.
Interesringly, Microsoft has juxtaposed Bookings with yer another service. Every time a booking is created for a particular customer — wheather by you or.by the client himself — Bookings automatically creates a contact for them in your customers list. This makes sure that you have a handy list of clients in case you want to get in touch with them.
You can access Bookings from the office 365 navigation bar. Microsoft will also be launching a dedicated mobile application in the coming months to ensure that you can manage your bookings and also contact your customers within a few taps. We did mention that the service works equally well on mobile and desktop, right?
As your business grows, you can easily create multiple booking pages and even add additional staff members to handle the incoming appointments. Even better, the staff members aren’t required to have Office 365 subscriptions, your subscription will suffice for them as well.
The service is meant to be available for all Office 365 Business Premium subscribers. It is currently rolling out for all those premium members who are in the First Release program and will roll out to all other Business Premium subscribers worldwide, soon. If you are a premium subscriber with access to first release, you can get the service by signing in to Office 365, opening Bookings from the app launcher and then clicking on the the Get it now button. Cheers!