From organizing client meetings to scheduling appointments with customers, Microsoft has options right for you.
Arguably the most aggravating part of doing business is setting up meetings and appointments. Whether you’re an IT specialist company, a communications agency, or a customer-facing business like a salon or restaurant, booking appointments and meetings can be a serious pain.
Thankfully, Microsoft has two new software options available to help minimize the stress and pains of arranging meetings and makes the experience as convenient as possible.
An add-on for Microsoft Outlook, FindTime allows you to do exactly as the name suggests. It allows you to pinpoint times to meet by looking at available information to see when people are free or busy and creates a poll where attendees can vote on times or suggest new times themselves.
The most useful part of FindTime is that it’s designed to work across organizations and works even if attendees your looking to organize don’t have FindTime themselves. They don’t even need Office 365 to be able to take part in the program.
Its functionality is simple. If you’re looking to organize a meeting, you just choose your attendees, suggest multiple times or dates. Once you’ve done that, you simply let your attendees vote on what works best for them.
Attendees will get a visual summary of the votes cast so far, helping them make their own choice accordingly.
Once a consensus is reached, FindTime will automatically send a meeting notification to everyone involved.
The best part? It’s a free add-on with Microsoft Office 365.
Microsoft Bookings is another organization tool, but is significantly more robust than FindTime. Bookings is designed specifically for small businesses, allowing customers to make appointments or reservations at their convenience.
The functionality for Bookings is robust enough that it allows customers to book not only a time, but also a service. Once they do, they receive a confirmation email and calendar invitation, allowing them to add their appointments to their personal calendars. Bookings will also send them automatic reminders to help eliminate no-shows.
While it’s largely meant to be a fast, easy and time saving alternative to phone-scheduling, customers who would rather call to make appointments can do so as well. It’s easy to enter a customer’s details into Bookings, and the program will still send them all the confirmations and reminders they would others.
Customers can just as easily reschedule or cancel if they must, and this will send you a notification. No matter what happens, everyone knows where they need to be, and when they need to be there.
Of course, the functionality of Bookings isn’t just for customers. You get your own private calendar to manage the appointment scheduler, get automatic confirmations and reminders to save yourself some time.
With heftier features, you can expect to have to open your wallet. Fortunately, getting access to Microsoft Bookings isn’t a standalone deal. It’s part of the package deal with Microsoft Office Business Premium which costs $16 per user per month with an annual commitment or $19.20 per user per month with monthly commitment. If you’re not sure if it’s worth the cost, you can get the first month for free and try it out.
Depending on the organization needs of your or your company, either of these programs could hold solutions and considering the hearty functionality of both, it’s well worth your time to look into them.
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