*** NOTE: ALL INFORMATION IS ACCURATE AT DATE OF PUBLISHING ***
In the first part of this Microsoft Bookings series, we walked through getting some of the basics set up. Now let’s look at adding and managing your services. This could be for a physical appointment such as a hair cut, getting your nails done, oil change etc. or it could be for something virtual like a consultation, tutoring or some other online service. Let’s look at how to add the services.
First, log in to Microsoft Bookings, then go to the Services section. If it’s the first time you’ve come to this area, you will see a service there as a starting point. You can click that one to edit it. Otherwise, click on Add a service.
Add in the name of the service being offered, then add your description. You can also add in a location for this service if applicable. One thing I love, is the ability to flag a service as an online meeting, which is great if you are providing a service that can be done virtually. You can then set the duration for the service. All of the staff members within your bookings calendar will automatically be shown. You can then select or deselect to show which staff members will be available to book with.
You can add a buffer either side of an appointment, which is great for making sure a staff member has time to prep before a client arrives, and then time to write up or complete tasks after a meeting has ended. You can make sure time is then blocked off before or after as needed. If you might book a customer in to an appointment for them, you may wish to give them the ability to manage that appointment moving forward. Turning on the option to let customers manage their appointment when it was booked by you or your staff on their behalf means they can change or cancel the appointment online. You can also set the maximum number of attendees per event to set a limit (more on that in another post).
Next we can set a price. There is currently no way to accept payments via the bookings page, so if you identify a price, it’s purely for informational purposes. Add in any internal notes if you wish. Custom fields give us the ability to not only request bespoke pieces of information but also determine which of the standard fields we want to display on the booking form. Clicking on Modify will give us more options.
We can see 4 fields at the top to capture Customer Information. Name will always be required, but you can deselect email, phone number, address and a notes field, or make them required if needed. For a customer field, clicking on Ask a question lets us add either a text question or a drop-down question.
We can then add text for the question, making sure the customer will understand exactly what you are asking for.
Once the new field has been added, make sure you click on it to select it, and also set as required if you want to make sure a response is provided when the booking is made.
Reminders can be set up to send to customers and staff, sending an email days, hours or even minutes before their appointment.
We can then see the online scheduling options. These will pull in from the scheduling policy set up on the booking page. If you haven’t already set up your booking page, the defaults will show as you see below. You can adjust these for this specific service that’s being created. We can determine the time increments, how many hours lead time are allowed for someone to make a booking, and how many days in advance a booking can be made.
Unticking the box for using the default scheduling policy will allow us to modify these to something that works more for our organisation or service being provided.
We can then determine if email notifications should be sent to let the business know when a booking is created or changed. This email will go to the booking calendar email address. In addition to sending a confirmation email to the customer when they have booked their appointment, you can also have a meeting invite be sent. More on that in a future post! There is also the option to allow customers to choose a specific person for the booking. Obviously this depends on the type of service being provided as to if you would want this approach to be taken. Finally, you can set the availability options to determine what times or appointments would be available for a customer to select on the bookings page.
We will look at managing your team and staff members in the next post. You can watch the video to go along with this post here.
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