The Microsoft Bookings Update You Don’t Want to Miss!
Last year, Microsoft released Microsoft Bookings to customers in the U.S. and Canada, which introduced an easy way
for SMB to schedule and manage appointments with their customers. Today, Microsoft has announced that they’ve began to roll out the service to Office 365 Business Premium subscribers around the world. Plus, new features that has made Microsoft Bookings a much more powerful application.
New features added to Microsoft Bookings:
Connect Office 365 Calendar to Bookings – You can add your Office 365 calendar to Bookings, so once you’re busy those times will be automatically blocked in your public Booking page.
Since the official launch of Microsoft Bookings late last year, Microsoft has received feedback that is being implemented now and in the future of Bookings. Like, adding integration between Office 365 Calendars and Bookings, to help businesses avoid booking customers meetings during time’s you’ve set aside for personal appointments, staff and partners meetings or other business related tasks/meetings you’ll need to attend.
To add Office 365 calendars to Bookings, click the Staff tab on the left navigation panel. On the staff details page, select the Events on Office 365 calendar affect availability checkbox. Once you activate this option, the system will automatically block out busy times on the Bookings calendar and on the self-service Bookings page your customers see, so you won’t run the risk of getting double-booked.
Add buffer time before and after your appointments – Do you need prep time before and or after an appointment? If so, adding buffer time to a service automatically blocks that time in your Bookings page as well.
Some appointments need prep time before and after for travel, research, set-up and other business reasons. Without this option, some Bookings users were having issues customize the services they deliver. So, Microsoft has made sure to add in the ability to set buffer time between appointments.
To add buffer time, you’ll need to click on the Services tab in the left navigation column and either edit a current service or create a new one. Turn on the toggle below the Buffer time your customers can’t book and you’ll see buffer time selections that can be applied before and after the appointment.
Bookings apps for both iOS and Android phones – Now that Bookings is available for iOS and Android phones, you can book an appointment, contact a customer or check a staff member’s appointments while you’re out of the office.
Once you’ve downloaded the Bookings app on your phone, you can use it to:
- View and manage your Bookings calendar.
- Create and edit Bookings.
- See real-time availability and whereabouts of your staff.
- Respond to customers with Bookings quickly and easily.
- Get directions to your next booked appointment.
- Access your customer list.
Bookings page customization – Microsoft’s added more color customization options, so SMB can better personalize their Bookings page.
Your Microsoft Bookings page should have a similar look and feel of your website and reflect your brand.
To help businesses achieve this, Microsoft’s added options for customers to customize their Bookings page. Some of the customization options are a bigger color palette and an option to add your business logo.
To customize your Bookings page, click Booking page in the left navigation list and select the colors you want. Adding your business log is optional and not mandatory.
These new features will automatically start showing up in Microsoft Bookings over the next coming weeks.
How to get started with Bookings
Microsoft has included Bookings in all Office 365 Business Premium subscriptions, which has immediately made Office 365 Business Premium much more valuable to SMB. Bookings has been added to Office 365 Business Premium to assist in simplifying the work of customer scheduling for small businesses.
Sign in to Office 365 and click the Bookings tile in the App Launcher. If you don’t see the Bookings tile, Microsoft may still be in the process of rolling out the service in your region, so continue to check back in.
More information about Microsoft Bookings: https://support.office.com/en-us/article/Say-hello-to-Microsoft-Bookings-47403d64-a067-4754-9ae9-00157244c27d?ui=en-US&rs=en-US&ad=US