Start scheduling appointments with MS Bookings

Appointments are a way for businesses to run smoothly. An online appointment tool can actually help you boost your business by providing a smooth customer experience.

Microsoft Bookings can help you with that.

It is one of the most talked about meeting scheduling tools. So let’s find out what it’s all about.

Microsoft Bookings – its essence

MS Bookings is an online appointment scheduling application for MS 365 users. The software is aimed at small businesses to help them streamline the appointment booking process.

The software comes with unique appointment booking web pages that will allow customers to select their preferred service, appointment date and time, and staff member if specific.

Talking about what is happening in the backend, the administrator can define staff availability, define working hours, buffer time, service types and much more.

MS Bookings provides customization at almost every step to suit your specific requirements.

Let’s find out more about who can use MS Bookings, why they use it and how to get the most out of it.

Who can use MS Bookings?

MS Bookings is not a stand-alone application. So if you want to use it, you need a Microsoft 365 subscription. MS Bookings is part of the MS 365 suite. You don’t have to pay extra to use it.

But if you don’t have an MS 365 subscription, you need to subscribe to at least one of the MS 365 plans to use MS Bookings.

Why do businesses use MS Bookings?

  • MS Bookings simplifies the appointment booking process for both customers and businesses. Customers can book an appointment from the unique appointment schedule page and request the desired service. They can also choose the date and time of the appointment as well as the type of service.
  • An email is automatically sent to customers after booking confirmation. You can also set a reminder email to be sent just before the meeting.
  • There is an option to cancel or postpone the appointment. Whether or not you want this feature for your customers is optional. If you enable it, customers can change the appointment time during the given period. So you can use your time more efficiently, because the canceled slot will now be available for other customers.
  • Whenever a new customer adds an appointment, MS Bookings automatically adds the customer’s contact information to the customer list.

Features that make you choose MS Bookings

We know that MS Bookings allows you to customize the entire appointment schedule page from the backend. There are some features that are worth the investment.

  • Define roles for your staff members and allow customers to choose staff members based on their requirements. For example, you use MS Bookings for your salon business. Now you have two crews, one who does the hair and the other who does the hair coloring. You can add their names and their title, making it easier for clients to choose and for you to manage your staff’s schedules.
  • Staff can view everyone’s calendar, but cannot edit it. They can only edit their personal calendar.
  • You can customize your planning page with your logo and brand colors.
  • The administrator has a complete calendar view of all staff members’ appointments.
  • Add new customer contact information so your customer database is always up to date.
  • The app is mobile responsive.

Schedule appointments with MS Bookings

Let’s run through what you need to get started.

1. Enter basic business information

Enter basic business details

Source: Microsoft

When you start creating a calendar, the first step is to enter your business information. Basic information such as business name, business type, website and contact information.

You will add an email address if you want to receive customer responses. Add your business logo and hours of operation. You can add different time ranges for different days of the week and also show weekends.

2. Add your services

MS Bookings allows you to add different types of services and their details to easily differentiate them later.

Let’s continue this explanation with the example of our salon. So, if you have a salon business and offer different services, you can add all those services and their details like service name, description, location, price and maximum number of customers you can serve in a day.

You can keep a buffer time between two meetings so that your staff has enough time to prepare for the next meeting.

Assign different services to your staff members to make it easy to differentiate and use time.

3. Set a default scheduling policy

Set a default scheduling policy

Source: Microsoft

Schedule your availability to monitor booking events. For example, you can set until when customers can cancel an appointment, the maximum days you want to take reservations in advance, etc.

Once all the details are in place, it’s time to publish the booking page. You can also share the appointment link with your clients so they can easily book appointments in the future.

How much does MS Bookings cost?

If you already have a Microsoft 365 subscription, you don’t have to pay an extra dollar to use MS Bookings. It is part of the Microsoft 365 suite.

But if you don’t have a Microsoft 365 subscription, its basic plan starts at $6/month per user.

Is there a better alternative?

The above discussion makes it obvious that you need a Microsoft 365 subscription to use MS Bookings. Also, MS Bookings is not fully customizable. There are limitations to this. For example, if you want to integrate appointment booking with CRM, there is no direct way.

Calendar 365 – The best alternative to MS Bookings

Calendar 365 is a Dynamics appointment scheduling application designed specifically for Dynamics 365 CRM users.

If you’re already using Dynamics 365 CRM, you don’t need to worry about meeting scheduling, resource management, activity management, and more.

Furthermore, since the add-ons integrate directly with CRM, you don’t need to integrate through a third-party tool.

The plugin has all the features you will need for scheduling appointments. It is fully customizable which is best for your business branding.

Calendar 365 is worth a try if you’re a Dynamics 365 user.

We also have a blog on Calendar 365 vs MS Bookings if you want more insight.

Contact us for more information about Calendar 365 [email protected] or click here to explore Calendar 365.

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