Your clients are using their computers, tablets and phones to book flights, hotels, restaurant reservations, concert tickets and more, on a daily basis. And if they aren’t doing so already, they’re going to expect to be able to go online to book their hair services, too. If you’re on the fence about offering online booking, Rosy Salon Software Founder Jim Bower says these are the advantages to consider:
Clients can schedule appointments whenever they want. Not only does online booking add convenience for the customer, and it also provides better customer service.
Booking online frees up your front desk staff if you own or work in a salon. More bookings made online gives front desk team members time to do other things to help the salon run more efficiently.
Automatic Record Keeping
If a client moves, changes email addresses or gets a new phone number, she’s more likely to update her information when it’s in front of her as she makes an appointment rather than tell a receptionist in person or on the phone. This helps towards keeping your database up-to-date.
Additional Sales Opportunities
Online booking gives you the opportunity to sell memberships and gift cards, and recommend or reserve products for the client's next visit. And all of this can run 24/7, without you having to be open for business. The bonus? This kind of service helps build customer loyalty.
Frequency of Visits
The average amount of time between client visits changes based on how the appointments are booked. For example, if clients call in or pre-book in person, the average time between appointments is five weeks and six days. However, when appointments are booked online, that time drops to four weeks and five days. That's a significant increase of 25 percent. Using this model, you gain two additional appointments per client each year.
Are you sold yet? If so, check out Bower’s musts for online booking software:
- Look for software that understands the unique workflow of your salon and gives you scheduling flexibility and control. Great software will prevent gaps, isolated reservations and won’t squeeze in appointments where they don’t fit.
- Find software that allows the order of services to be set versus allowing your clients to do it for you. Think of it as adding in a men's haircut or a fringe trim, for example, when another client's hair color is processing. To make this scenario work, you will need the correct order of services for the client, such as hair color, cut and then finishing services, not the other way around. Without the correct ordering, you will not be able to correctly double book.
- Choose software that’s easy for your customers to access, and to use. If you go with cloud-based software, for example, all your client needs are an internet connection and a porthole, either through your website or a mobile web app. From there, bookings can be made in real time, at any time of the day.
Most salon software programs are equipped with online booking options. Start investigating your options and your online booking will be up and running in no time.
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