Microsoft's latest cloud based service offering for their business customers is a unique scheduling portal that will let companies who provide routine scheduled services a means for their customers to sign themselves up for open appointments for those services.
The new option, which is already available to First Release customers on Office 365 Business Premium, is called Bookings and contains the tools that will allow business to fully manage every aspect of the scheduling for their companies services.
You, your staff and your customers are able to schedule, reschedule and cancel appointments through a web portal and do not require any special accounts on Office 365 to use the service.
Once an appointment is scheduled the system wil send reminders to your customers in order to prevent missed appointments plus your own staff will be kept up to date on the status of their scheduled services.
Everything is manageable through a web interface and eventually a mobile app will be released to give you the ability to manage your service calendar while on the go.
"All customer bookings are visible in a centralized booking calendar, giving you a complete view of upcoming appointments. You can reschedule, cancel or re-assign an existing booking to another available staff member. You can also quickly create a new booking if you’re talking with a customer in-person or on the phone and use the day “split view” to quickly see which staff is available at a given time."
If you are ready to begin using this feature under the First Release program for Office 365 then you just have a few steps to set it up:
..."sign in to Office 365, open Bookings from the app launcher and then click the Get it now button. You’ll need to provide a bit of information about your business and the services you want your customers to book. After that, just click the Save and publish button in the booking page tab to publish your scheduling web page. Your customers will now be able to start booking appointments with your business."
Visit the Office 365 Bookings announcement page to read more about the service including additional screenshots and a set of Frequently Asked Questions.
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