Taking appointments on calls and emails is long gone.
Businesses have now started using online appointment scheduling tools.
If you haven’t, you are wasting a lot of your valuable time on a process that can be simplified so much that you don’t have to invest any extra minutes behind it.
There are so many tools in the market, but MS Bookings has its own fan following.
Let us find out why, who, and how to use MS Bookings.
Microsoft Bookings – Overview
Microsoft 365 users can schedule appointments online with MS Bookings. In order to make the appointment booking process simpler, the software is designed to fulfill requirements of small businesses.
The tool has special features for scheduling appointments that let clients choose their preferred service, the date and time of the appointment, and the staff member, if applicable.
The admin can control a variety of settings, including staff availability, working hours, buffer time, service types, and much more from the backend.
Almost every step of the MS Bookings process includes basic customization to meet your unique needs.
Let’s find out more about MS Bookings’s capabilities, users’ motivations, and best practices.
Who can use MS Bookings?
MS Bookings is not a standalone app available to everyone. It is a part of the MS 365 package. So if you have MS 365 subscription, you will have it in the package ready to use without any extra payment. It becomes mandatory to have an MS 365 subscription to use MS Bookings.
Benefits of MS Bookings
- MS Bookings makes it easy for both customers and businesses to book appointments. Customers can request the desired service and schedule an appointment from a special appointment scheduling page. Additionally, customers can select the designation they want to speak to, along with the day, time and purpose of the meeting.
- Customers receive an email automatically after their booking is confirmed. You can also set a reminder email to be sent right before the meeting.
- MS Bookings has the option to cancel or reschedule appointments. Whether you want this functionality for your customers or not is up to you. If you enable it, customers can change their appointment times within the allotted time frame. As a result, you can use your time more effectively because the canceled slot is now open to other customers.
- MS Bookings automatically adds the contact information of each new customer to the customer list whenever they add an appointment.
Features of MS Bookings
- MS Bookings enables backend customization of the entire appointment scheduling page.
- You can create different services for different job roles so that customers can choose the service they want. For instance, you have a tattoo parlor and wish to use MS Bookings to book appointments. You currently have two employees, one who does small designs and the other one who does the bigger ones. You can include their names and explain their job to make it simpler for customers to make decisions. Customers will choose the staff members based on their requirements. It will be easier for you to manage your staff’s schedule as both have jobs that take different times to execute their work.
- Staff members can view each other’s calendars but cannot edit them. They can only edit their own. The admin has access to the entire calendar and can manage all the appointments.
- You can add your logo and brand colors to the scheduling page to match your theme.
- Adding new customers’ contact information will keep your client database updated.
How to use MS Bookings
The first thing you will do is create a calendar and enter your business details. The details will describe your business and have your brand logo to make it more familiar.
Once you have entered your business name, website, business type, and other contact details on your page, the business details form is completed. You can also add an email address to which you want your customers to reply.
You can add day-wise working hours and select days off when you are closed.
Once that is completed, it is time to add the services you offer. You can add different types of services and assign that to staff members to make it easy to understand customers as well as for you to manage their schedule.
You can set a buffer time between appointments for your staff to catch a quick break and be well-prepared for the next appointment.
To have more control over the booking process, you can set the time range till when the customers can cancel the appointment.
If you only wish to take bookings before 1 month, 2 months, or any number of days, you can add those while scheduling your availability for customers.
Once all the details are filled in, it is time to publish the booking page. You can have a preview of the same to see how the page will look. You can share only the meeting link with your customers via mail and messages or add it to your website.
Microsoft 365 users don’t have to pay any extra penny to use MS Bookings because it is part of the package. But if you want to use MS Bookings and you don’t have the subscription plan, their plan starts at $6/ month for one user.
Is there any better alternative?
MS Bookings has certain limitations when it comes to CRM integration, customization, and activity management. So, if you want more configurations and have a unique requirement that simple functionalities of MS Bookings cannot solve, we have a suggestion for you!
Calendar 365 – The Best Alternative to MS Bookings
If you are a Dynamics 365 user, Calendar 365 is the best choice in the market. You don’t have to worry about appointment scheduling, resource management, activity management, etc.
The plugin comprises all the features that you would require for appointment scheduling. Calendar 365 is fully configurable, which is best for your business branding.