“It’s crazy that some salons are still working off a book. They have no concept of who is coming or going.” – Meghan Harrah, EYEFUL Beauty
With all due respect to the Old School, it’s time to bring your salon booking online. We’ve outlined five of the top reason below, and not in any particular order. I’ve been in the salon business for decades and have weighed the pros and cons of every new product, trend, and technology that has made its way into our industry. I have yet to find a downside to online salon booking.
Here’s why you should ditch the book and go with online salon booking:
1 | Convenience
Everything is online. According to a study by Pew Research, eight out of 10 Americans shop online, which means 80 percent of your customers are already comfortable with using their credit cards to make purchases on their phone or through the web.
If you’re still forcing your customers to call your salon to book an appointment, you’re missing a huge opportunity. What’s more, you may be turning potential customers away. It’s clear that our communication preferences in this country are trending away from dialing it in. Studies show that U.S. smartphone users spend only about six minutes a day making voice calls, as opposed to 26 minutes a day texting. When given a choice between texting and talking, 75 percent of millennials chose texting. Online salon booking accommodates this preference for digital interaction by cutting the phone call out of the process.
With online booking a customer can login to their secure account, navigate to their stylist’s schedule, and quickly find and book an opening. No more voice messages. No more waiting for a returned call.
What’s more, online booking is available 24/7, so the customer doesn’t have to wait until you’ve opened in the morning or worry about calling before you close.
And if that’s not convenient enough, you can set up your Facebook business page to link a “Book Now” call-to-action button with your online salon booking – social strategy at its best.
2 | Save time
Time is money, right? When the front desk doesn’t have to book appointments over the phone it frees up an enormous amount of time to focus on other important salon tasks. Think inventory, running reports, executing on marketing initiatives, maintaining a social media presence, assisting employees, and most importantly…
3 | Improve customer service
How many times is a customer forced to wait when a phone call comes in? We’ve all had to step away from the chair to answer a ringing phone, and we’ve all seen customers at the front desk waiting to pay and check out while the receptionists deal with an over-the-phone booking.
When you take the ringing phone out of the equation (or at least greatly reduce its presence) you can better focus on servicing the customer in front of you.
Better customer service = better customer retention. That’s bottom line stuff.
4 | Eliminate human error
The salon is packed. Calls are coming in left and right. Customers are coming and going. Somewhere in that maelstrom of activity the receptionist or your employees are scribbling names and numbers in a fraying appointment book. Is it legible? Is it accurate?
Bringing your salon or spa’s booking system online eliminates the chances of human error. Customer information – Name, contact information, even payment info – is securely stored in the cloud, and each employee’s schedule is clearly laid out. Re-booking can happen in a matter of clicks and the salon can set up text and/or email reminders to reduce no-shows or last-second cancellations.
5 | Stay organized
An online appointment schedule and booking system reduces physical clutter at the front desk and keeps every employee on the same page. Employees can check their schedules from their phones, while salon owners and managers can view cancellations, confirmations, and individual employee schedules within a matter of clicks. All from any internet-enabled device.
Ready to make the switch? Contact us today to learn how SalonTarget’s online salon booking features can help your salon or spa grow.