Office 365 - Bookings

Office 365 - Bookings

Microsoft Bookings is an online and mobile app for small businesses who provide services to customers on an appointment basis. Examples of businesses include hair salons, dental offices, spas, law firms, financial services providers, consultants, and auto shops. *Note: Bookings is only available for Microsoft Office 365 Business Premium subscribers or up.

Bookings has three primary components:

  • A booking page where your customers can schedule appointments with the staff member who should provide the service. You can show this page on Facebook, where your customers can schedule appointments, or your own web site.
  • A set of web-based, business-facing pages where business owners can record customer preferences, manage staff lists and schedules, define services and pricing, set business hours, and customize how services and staff are scheduled.
  • A business-facing mobile app where business owners can see all of their bookings, access customer lists and contact information, and make manual bookings.

This is Microsoft Office 365's best kept secret feature for small businesses. It works seamlessly with your Outlook calendar, can capture data about customers to use later for marketing purposes and allows clients to schedule their own appointments, letting you know what services they need to discuss before they even show up. Microsoft is even working on an improvement to the service where Office 365 Bookings customers can require payment (supposedly per the representative from Microsoft I spoke with) from different Credit Card Processors or Payment Gateways (think PayPal or before the appointment can be scheduled (this will be an optional feature).

I've taken several screen captures of how this integrates with a Facebook Business page to illustrate how it works below:

This screen shot shows off the placement of the Book Now button on our Facebook page and where the user should click has an arrow pointing to it: