How to set up a booking with multiple staff?

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Occasional Visitor

Our office just switched to Office 365. I'm used to using calendar/booking software like Calendly etc.

I find it easier to send people a booking link than to try to coordinate between multiple people.

I need to send a booking link to an external customer but I need the available times to book to be where there is overlap between multiple staff members, and for when the booking is made, it alerts these multiple staff.

For instance, I am trying to set up a meeting with an external client, my boss, and myself. I want the external client to be able to only book times that my boss and I are both available, and when they book I want it to include both my boss and myself in the booking.

I tried to set up a booking and turned off the "choose staff" option, but instead of booking both of us, it only booked one of us.

Is it possible to do what I want to do in the MS booking app?

13 Replies

@aslanfrench I don't think Bookings is capable of handling your scenario. You may want to take a look at FindTime (https://findtime.microsoft.com/) where you can send a poll suggesting multiple time slots to your customer. As long as you pick times that are available on both your and your boss's calendar, the customer's selection will then book all three of you.

 

You may also want to vote for this feature to be added to Bookings. It currently has 389 votes on UserVoice: https://outlook.uservoice.com/forums/314907-microsoft-bookings/suggestions/34994005-allow-appointmen... =)

@aslanfrench 

When you go into the service you can add staff by click/selecting that staff member. You can select as many staff members as you want and they should each receive notifications related to when that service is booked.

As you mentioned, I would deselect the option to have the attendee select a staff member so that neither of you is left out.

To be sure you are only booked for valid times when all staff are available, you need two things:
1) Each staffer needs to be using an Outlook/Office calendar linked to your staff member, and
2) Check this box on the staff members' configuration page - "Events on Office calendar affect availability" as this will only give the green light on the bookings page for times when all staff members are available. I believe this box is checked by default, just be sure it still is.

 

MitchS-SE_0-1592579070924.png

 

@MitchS-SE  - Are you saying that when you assign multiple staff members to a service, they all get booked when a customer selects that service? That is not the intended behavior. The ability to assign staff members to a service serves the purpose of limiting the pool of available staff members to which Bookings will assign an appointment when you don't let the customer choose a specific staff member, which is helpful when you have a team where members have specialties. If you don't assign staff members to a service, then Bookings will pick from all staff members that you added to your Bookings site.

@Kreera House 

What we found in our experiments was that if we didn't assign any staff member, Bookings grabbed one that was available (whether next or random I couldn't tell), but yes, the combination of selecting multiple staff members along with disabling the registrant from being able to choose a staff member had the effect of notifying all staff members of the appointment.

 

Picking multiple staff members but enabling the registrant to choose a staff member simply narrowed their options. If the registrant didn't pick/specify, then everyone got the notice (default behavior of the code as above I figured).

My guess was that then left the individual "shop manager" to determine which or all staff members notified should assist the customer. Sort of a "cover your bases" attempt to have someone qualified for a specific service be available for the customer in the event a staffer assigned wasn't available as planned (e.g. time overrun, out sick, etc.).

This assumption is based on the background that Bookings was originally intended for small shop keepers like hair salons, or personal trainers, or the like where there was always a F2F element assumed. Now with the addition of group bookings and such, we've got major scope and feature creep - which I'm having to explore to fit our needs.

 

I will admit that I'm finding out that there is quite a bit of disparity in what features are available in different regions worldwide as well as what behavior to expect with different levels of M365 vs O365 and SMB vs Enterprise deployments, so YMMV. We're using this to allow self-registration for B2C webinars where our staff member is the presenter/moderator for the group session, so we haven't attempted to use the multi-staff session live. I don't know if a recent update has broken my experience or not. If so, I'd like to know for future reference.

 

@MitchS-SE Very interesting ... I wasn't aware of any discrepancies in the available features or the behavior based on region or license.

 

@Radhika_Khetan_MSFT  - Would you please review this thread and provide some inside from the product group on these discrepancies? Thanks!

 

I have tried all the above and nothing has worked, adding staff to the services just allowes booking to be made to one of those staff if you stop customers from choosing that doesn’t make the booking for all staff members bookings will just choose one ... sending notifications to staff members it’s pointless i need automation.

@Rhys_hill, sorry to hear it didn't work. I'm almost curious that as they add new features and updates they didn't break something undocumented that was working because they didn't know it worked because the developers never thought it'd be used that way. ;) I find things like that happen ALL the time with software vs the real world.

 

Yes, it would be great if it worked (and was documented) for ALL to benefit.

 

@Kreera House, I'm working from a full-blown O365 install with global distribution and AAD with multiple levels of OUs. However, our internal IT department has selectively disabled/enabled elements (e.g. so far, I'm the only one on my team with Bookings admin access, everyone uses Teams, but we still can't really utilize Stream) based on balancing regional regulatory compliance (e.g. GDPR) with internal corporate policy (e.g. IPSEC or NDAs). As such, having pieces of the greater ecosystem "turned on/off" appears to be creating maddening interaction results. Lots of "what ifs" that seem to yield different results each time we try something out.

 

@aslanfrench 

 

I am also looking to do something similar, I have two meeting rooms that can be joined to one big meeting room by removing a removable wall. So our clients need to be able to book the 2 meeting rooms separately or as 1 joined meeting room.

 

But I think the only option is by creating a new calendar and then use microsoft flow to automatically copy every calendar item that is created in meeting room 1 or meeting room 2 to this new calendar and use this new calendar as the staff member for this.

 

@_MichaelVD_ 

Yes I tried this with a very complicated flow but I turned it off, it's just not the right way to handle it especially if meetings are rearranged. 

@aslanfrench When a customer books an appointment, I need the program to consider the availability of all three staff members assigned to that service. I have selected the three staff and disabled the option for the customer to choose the staff member but Bookings is just assigning to one staff member and we're resulting in conflicting scheduling.

 

Without the ability to consider multiple staff schedules, Bookings won't be usable for us. Surely there is a fix on the way, or someone has work-around. Surely?

 

I'm in the same boat. The only solution I can think of is 1) Create an email group; 2) add users to that group; 3) consolidate calendars into that group's calendar; and 4) use the group to schedule the appointments. Not sure if it will work, but it's an idea.

@Radhika_Khetan_MSFT

 

Can you please help with this. I also can't get the booking to appear on two people's calendars from the same mtg request. 

@widge19701665 Hi! did that workaround work for you??? Did you try?? We're so stuck because of this issue, really dying to find a solution!