Let’s be honest, we all live very busy professional lives. Why would we waste our precious time communicating back and forth – or even pick up the phone! – with a potential client to book a consultation – we wouldn’t! Microsoft Bookings allows both you and your customers to save time and efficiently get that first meeting booked in your respective calendars.
What is Microsoft Bookings
Microsoft Bookings is an application available to you through a Microsoft 365 subscription, enabling you to create a booking page for your business, a specific department or individual. It’s a scheduling tool where customers can manually choose a meeting date and time that works best for them. This appointment is then set automatically into your chosen calendar. This application is customizable to suit your organization’s needs since you can choose to ask anything your organization needs to know about your leads or clients’ information in the registration form on the booking page. Microsoft Bookings is both relevant and suitable for any industry, whether it’s healthcare, non-profit, education, legal… you name it! Any service provider can benefit from implementing Microsoft Bookings into their operations, as it helps their sales team stay organized and allow the potential clients the flexibility to engage with you on their schedule.
How to Get Microsoft Bookings
Now that we know why Microsoft Bookings is so great at scheduling meetings through a dedicated landing page, the next question is how can this be added to my organization? Microsoft bookings is accessible through your organization’s Microsoft 365 subscription to a Business plan. Microsoft Bookings is available in the following subscriptions:
Office 365: A3, A5, E3, E5, F1, F3
Microsoft 365: A3, A5, E3, E5, F1, F3, Business Standard, Business PremiumA quick stop about Microsoft Licensing
If you need help to delve in to – see what we did there? – Microsoft’s ever-expanding and complicated licensing ecosystem, there is a great tool developed by Aaron Dinnage, available at https://m365maps.com. Here is a visual map of the apps available in M365 Business Standard and M365 Business Premium as a reference:
Microsoft Bookings from the customers’ perspective
Once your organization has implemented Microsoft Bookings, customers and leads will be able to access it from a link. You can publish this link on your website, email signature, LinkedIn profile, Newsletter or wherever you see fit. They will be prompted to select a date and time, and in a specific use-case, you can ask them to choose which staff member they would like to meet. Here’s a look at a Bookings page example:
Once they have chosen and confirmed a meeting time, the customer will need to add in their contact information in the appropriate fields, such as their name and email, as well as any additional information that you require.
For example, Creospark helps its clients implement new Microsoft technological solutions in their workplace. Therefore, it makes sense for us to choose to ask potential customers questions like “what Microsoft Cloud services are you interested in?”. As an organizer, you can change this form to best fit your business needs and asking for this additional information will help you gauge the theme of the meeting. Adapt your email follow-up communication to the lead’s chosen services or add a product score to your CRM platform to better nurture your leads. You can even push it further by connecting PowerApps and PowerBI to your Microsoft Bookings form and creating some profiling processes for your potential clients. You can then use Microsoft business apps like Dynamics 365 Marketing to send automated email campaigns. There is very little you can’t do through automation and artificial intelligence in the Microsoft Cloud.
Once booked and confirmed, customers will receive an immediate confirmation email including their meeting details (time, date, location etc.). If the customer selected a virtual meeting, the link to join the Microsoft Teams meeting will be provided in this email as well. The confirmation email will allow the customer to revisit the main booking page, where they can reschedule, cancel or book a new meeting. One of the best parts about this: the meeting the customer scheduled is automatically added to their Outlook calendar as well as yours – no extra work or phone calls required!
A few tips on leveraging Microsoft Booking to its full potential
Microsoft Booking is a powerful software and with these tips, you’ll become a power user in a jiffy.
Utilize email and SMS text notification reminders to help limit the number of no-shows at your scheduled meetings
For scheduled online meetings, take advantage of the flexibility of attending Microsoft Teams meetings through a web browser, mobile dial-in, Skype, or the Teams App
Download Bookings within your Teams application in order to schedule appointments without having to leave the application
Alert your customers of the simplicity to book a meeting by sharing your web-based scheduling page via a direct link, on your website, or through your social media accounts
Keep your branding consistent with strong customization features
The Booking Page is where you set up what your client-facing booking page looks like.
To customize your booking page, sign in to Office.com, and then go to the Bookings > Booking page. You can customize the appointment setting page with suggested colour themes or make your own. You’ll be able to connect to your social media, choose your scheduling policy, add a logo, etc.
Once you customize and publish your booking page, people will use it to book appointments with you. Customize your booking page to further improve your brand awareness and brand consistency.
Visualize booking activity with reporting data
Bookings provide the option to view any four months of your Bookings calendar over the course of a year.
To retrieve this data, go on the main Bookings page, then select export and specify your desired date range. The data can be exported into an excel file and can contain information such as customer contact details, duration of the meeting, event type etc.
This data can be analyzed however you see fit and will assist you in visualizing your customer activity. Reporting data from Bookings can provide valuable insights as to where your business operations can be improved.
Define your service offerings for booking
Service offerings in Microsoft Bookings are the information that customers see immediately when scheduling an appointment. This information can be tailored to your business, but often includes features such as service name, pricing, description, and duration of the service.
To add service details, sign in to Office.com, navigate to Bookings > settings > manage services page and select add a new service. On the basic details page you can customize and add the service details you would like to be present when customers are booking an appointment.
Defining your service offerings in Bookings gives customers a clear understanding of what your business provides to ensure that all appointments booked are relevant prospects for your company.
Manage your staff through Microsoft Bookings
When customers schedule an appointment through your Bookings page, they often have the option to select a staff member that they would like their appointment to be with. To provide this flexibility, a staff list must be created with each member’s details and working hours.
To manage your staff through Bookings, go to the manage staff page and click add staff. From here, you have the option to customize your staff’s details.
Once staff have been added to Bookings, customers will be able to choose their meeting preferences. Adding staff to your Bookings will create flexibility and clear expectations for future meetings.
With Microsoft Booking, scheduling a meeting is easier than ever! By taking control of your meeting booking process through automation, you can drive more business for your organization. Don’t know where to start with your Microsoft Booking implementation, or are you looking to automate your booking process? Book your consultation below:
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