If your business revolves around bookings, you will know what a hassle managing, chasing and reminding people of their appointments can be. Do it and you have to add an extra five minutes of billable time to each. Don’t’ do it and you end up with empty slots and lost revenue.

This is a common pain point for businesses of all kinds including vets, beauty salons, doctors, dentists, estate agents and anyone who books time for people. For those businesses, it seems Microsoft feels your pain, which is why it is releasing Microsoft Bookings.

Microsoft Bookings

Microsoft Bookings is an Office 365 app that acts as a virtual receptionist. It places itself between your business and your customers and aims to please both. It is a very neat piece of software that really could change the way you work.

Firstly, Microsoft Bookings offers a web page where customers can book their slot. This updates your calendar automatically so you can always see what’s going on. It also manages the schedule to avoid double booking and empty spaces. There is also the option for customers to reschedule or cancel their appointment from the app too.

This offers a lot of flexibility for the customer without costing you anything in terms of time or money.

Microsoft Bookings also confirms appointments with an email and sends a reminder email just in case. Reminders are configurable, so you can set it to a time that works best for your type of organisation. The system will take care of the rest. This should drastically reduce missed appointments, which is a significant benefit to businesses.

Manual labour

Microsoft Bookings automates as much of the booking process as possible and does a good job of it too. However, if you want to maintain a semblance of control over your schedule, you can manually move, add or change appointments through the schedule app.

You can also assign appointments to staff members and remind them of bookings too. If you use both a central calendar and individual ones, Microsoft Bookings can keep both synchronised so nobody misses a thing. As you would expect from Office 365, you can access Microsoft Bookings anywhere at any time through the cloud.

Currently available only to Office 365 Business Premium subscribers, Microsoft are planning a full rollout later this year. From what we have seen, Microsoft Bookings is a polished app that really could make a difference to small and medium-sized businesses.

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