This post has been republished via RSS; it originally appeared at: Microsoft Bookings Blog articles.
Last March, at Ignite, we gave you a preview of the new powerful and customizable Bookings experience and starting today, we are rolling it out to everyone!
To turn on the new experience, toggle the switch on the top right corner of the Bookings home page.
Look for the toggle on the top right corner of the Bookings web experience
Once you’re in the new Bookings view, you’ll see the new experience which introduces many new capabilities in Microsoft Bookings.
The new Bookings has more options to customize and better controls on each staff's role
If you need to go back to the classic version, you can flip the toggle back and forth as often as you need.
Now that the preview is live, we wanted to highlight some of the key features of Bookings and what new experiences you’ll be seeing.
Compliance, Privacy and Tighter Controls
We understand that each organization is different and has varied needs for managing appointments. Bookings now has stricter administrative controls, and each user within Bookings has varied levels of control over how calendars are created, edited, and shared as well as how appointments can be booked.
Microsoft 365 Admins
Admins can now control who has access to Bookings, whether external users can book appointments, and if staff details can be shared with customers.
Admins can also control the privacy of the customers' booking appointments and can restrict what information can be collected when making a booking, like phone numbers, email, or contact address. Additionally, they can prevent staff members from requesting customer information by blocking the creation of custom fields.
Admins can control the information required in a booking and even block custom fields
To ensure that the correct staff members have the adequate access to Bookings’ pages, two new roles have been created.
- Team Member - this role allows a staff member to view and edit their own calendar but not anyone else’s.
- Scheduler - this role allows staff members to schedule appointments without being able to modify services or settings. In addition to ensuring tighter access control, these roles unburden the Bookings admin from day-to-day operations.
New roles for staff members
Customization & Branding
Bookings allows organizations to customize their Bookings page with their own logo. A color theme that best suits the organization can be chosen as well. Confirmations, cancellations, and reminders can be customized using a rich text editor.
Choose a color and add your logo for your Bookings page
Set your services' details
We’ve strived to make appointment scheduling as simple as possible. Admins can add multiple staff members and get a unified view across all their calendars and availability. Switching between multiple calendars is made easier with an option to filter by staff members and services. There is also an option to pin a specific calendar for easier tracking.
Unified calendar view across staff members
Admins can navigate to a staff member profile directly from the calendar and get a comprehensive view of their scheduled meetings, contact information, and services offered.
See a comprehensive view of staff's details
Custom availability can be set for each staff member with multiple slots in a day and certain days marked as non-available. This is synced with the staff’s Outlook calendar to avoid double bookings. Additionally, appropriate lead time can be configured for each service to ensure that staff members are well prepared before an appointment. There’s also an option to add buffer time before and after an appointment to provide sufficient breathing time.
Today, Microsoft Bookings is used by thousands of organizations globally to manage their appointments inside and outside their organization. It is used across various industries to enable different scenarios like virtual classrooms, financial consulting, and tele-health.
To read more on how customers are using Bookings for these scenarios, please click here.
As Bookings continues to grow and evolve, we are committed to building new features and capabilities which can further improve the Bookings experience and empower organizations to manage their calendars and appointments better.
We want organizations to have more control over how Bookings is used by their staff members. The admin toolkit will provide admins with granular control over the naming policy, logo, business hours, staff availability and other aspects of Bookings within their organization.
We talked about scaling Bookings for large demand in an earlier post here. We are working hard on improving Bookings to handle more scale so that Bookings continues to work well across various scenarios like virtual meetings, consultations, and other types of appointments.
Availability of staff members keeps changing based on personal and business needs. We want to provide granular access to admins and staff members to customize the staff availability for appointments well into the future.
While we continue to improve Bookings, we also want to allow organizations to build on top of the Bookings platform and develop custom solutions which are more suited to their needs. Bookings APIs are currently available in preview as part of Microsoft Graph APIs and will soon be generally available.
As always, we welcome your feedback. Let us know if you have any scenarios you’d like to see us support in the future.