Office 365 is rolling out a new service designed to make it easier for businesses to interact with customers and let them schedule appointments.
Microsoft Bookings gives businesses a hub web page which customers can use to schedule appointments. It's designed to be simple to use, with the customer picking the service they want, and then being presented with available appointment slots which they can select from.
Customers can do this at any time, day or night, and it's obviously far more convenient than trying to arrange an appointment via email or phone. It's also easy for businesses to publicise their bookings web page, and you can embed links to it in emails for example.
Microsoft Bookings also makes it a snap to reschedule appointments – you just hop on the web page, and you're done in a couple of clicks. Businesses can set time limits on the amount of notice required to change an appointment, though, to avoid frustrating last-minute cancellations.
The system also allows a company to send a reminder email nearer to the time of the meeting, as well as the initial confirmation email the customer will receive.
And naturally, the business gets an overview of all appointments, and capabilities such as reassigning different staff members to bookings, or contacting customers directly (Bookings automatically creates an entry under contacts for each customer).
Microsoft Bookings has started to roll out now, and Office 365 Business Premium subscribers will get it over the coming months. You'll see it in the app launcher when it arrives.
- You might also want to read our feature which pits Office 2016 vs Office 365 vs Office Online