Need an easier way for your customers to schedule time with you? Microsoft has a new app for that.
Designed for companies that take appointments with their customers, Bookings recently hit the marketplace for Microsoft Office 365 Business Premium plan users. It connects to your Office 365 subscription with attractive calendars (for your customers) and calendars (for you) with a central calendar your customers, your staff, and you can use to collect and manage appointments.
This tool would be particularly useful for service-oriented businesses that live and die by their appointment books (think salons, housekeeping, groomers, etc.), but there’s a broader applicability here. Consultants could use this tool to book time with clients, and any company with account representatives could use Bookings to connect with their clients. Plus, Bookings looks professional straight out of the box, which means no programming, iframing or fiddling left for you to manage.
Some of the other benefits of Bookings include:
Self-Service Appointment Booking
Your customers can use a unique webpage to schedule appointments with you—even when you’re not available to respond in person. You provide the availability, and your customer selects day, time, and if necessary, which member of your staff.
Once your customer books an appointment with you, they get a reminder email that they can add to their calendar. You can also set up a reminder notice to help them remember their upcoming appointment.
If something comes up, your customers can reschedule or cancel their booking without your assistance. All they have to do is click on the link in your confirmation email or in the appointment on their calendar and select a different time and day on your appointment calendar. You can also set how much advance notice is required to avoid last-minute cancellations.
Centralized Booking Calendar
All customer bookings are visible in a centralized booking calendar, giving you a complete view of upcoming appointments. You can reschedule, cancel or re-assign an existing booking to another available staff member. You can also quickly create a new booking if you’re talking with a customer in-person or on the phone and use the day “split view” to quickly see which staff is available at a given time.
Really Easy Web Interface
You’ll get a link for your scheduling page that you can send your customers to from your Facebook page or website. The webpage where your calendar lives is mobile friendly, so it will look professional regardless of the device your customers are using.
Mini CRM Tools
It’s not fancy, but Bookings can help you stay in touch with your customers. When a customer creates a booking using your scheduling page, Bookings will add them to your Customers list inside of Bookings. It’s not the sort of thing you would want to use if you really want to drive revenue through email marketing or direct mail, but it does offer you the basics.
Don’t have Office 365 Business Premium? You can purchase a subscription from use at under $15 a user, plus support from our 24-hour help desk at no extra cost. Learn more here.