When it comes to booking a flight, securing a hotel room, making restaurant reservations, even scheduling doctor appointments, most people are used to doing it online. Why not: Online Client Scheduling is fast, easy, and available at your fingertips 24/7. What’s not to love?
So, what makes you think things would be different for booking salon and spa appointments? Nothing – absolutely, nothing!
Here it is in plain English: Today’s consumers expect convenience. That’s why more and more people opt to schedule most, if not all, of their services online.
With the younger generation practically born with a cell phone in hand, you’ll find the trend growing. For example, currently, 66% of millennials book their travel arrangements online using a smartphone. Affinitiv, which provides marketing and software solutions for the automotive service industry, has found that millennials make 25% of all service appointments booked online, with an annual growth rate of 6.5%.
Reports Intellect states that the estimated compound annual growth rate of the appointment scheduling software market is over 15%. According to Allied Market Research, increased internet connectivity and the growing number of smartphones will drive this growth, with North America dominating the market.
Online Client Scheduling Provides a Competitive Advantage
Without online scheduling, it’s only a matter of time before your business will be at a severe disadvantage. As more salons and spas add online booking to their arsenal, your potential and even existing clients are likely to choose to go elsewhere just for the sake of convenience. Do you really want to lose clients to the business down the street over a software feature – especially one that could save you time?
That’s right! Online booking can save your team hours of work every day by simply automating the process. Clients essentially log on, choose their service provider, and search for openings that will fit the services they want. Software with Online Client Scheduling will know how much time to allow for each service, which services to book first (such as color then cut, and styling), and what timeslots are available to accommodate those services. With just a click of a button, your client’s appointment is booked, and a confirmation, even a reminder, is automatically sent.
Here are the top reasons your salon or spa should offer Online Client Scheduling:
Booking online will help your salon work more efficiently and free up your staff to do other things, like take care of clients. Just think, fewer phone calls to answers, appointments to book, and confirmations to send out all while your clients fill up your schedule for you. You just need to set the parameters, like service times and order of service, and the system does the rest.
Better Customer Service
Online booking provides better customer service. The feature allows clients to schedule appointments whenever they desire: day, night, or even 2:00 am if they would like, and it all happens behind the scenes with the salon even involved in the process.
Current Client Data
With Online Client Scheduling, the maintenance of your client information will happen automatically. Your clientele is more likely to update their own data when they make a booking online than they are to tell the receptionist they have moved or have a new phone or email address. It’s one less thing your staff has to manage.
Clients will also let you know how they like to communicate. For example, some people prefer email, others text, and many like both kinds of communication.
Opportunities to Sell More
Online booking allows the client to place products on hold through Product Reservations, which ensures that their favorites are always in stock. The feature will also help your salon stay stocked by knowing what to order.
You can also build customer loyalty by offering memberships, packages, and gift cards without being open for business. It’s all done online through Online Client Scheduling without any physical interaction needed.
Did you know that 35-40% of online appointment scheduling happens after hours?
One of the best reasons to offer Online Client Scheduling is the increased frequency of client visits. In an early study, we found that salons received more bookings per client when they could book their own appointments.
Here’s how it all broke down:
The average amount of time between client visits changes based on how the appointments are booked. If clients call to make appointments or pre-book in person during a salon visit, the time between appointments averages five weeks and six days. However, when booked online, that time between appointments drops to four weeks, five days. If you do the math, you’ll find an increase of over 22 percent, with two additional appointments per year for each client that books online.
So, how do you save time, sell more product, memberships, packages, and gift cards, fill every open slot, and increase the frequency of client visits? Offer Online Client Scheduling. However, you can only reap the benefits of such a service if you find salon software with this powerful feature.
With that in mind, here’s what to look for in online booking software:
- Look for software that understands the unique workflow of a salon. You want the flexibility to set up bookings your way, so it works effectively for your team. There should be no unwanted gaps, isolated reservations, or squeezing appointments in where they simply don’t fit. You want software that lets you set desired gaps and control precisely how appointments are booked.
- Find software that allows you to set the order of services versus leaving it to your clients to decide. If the service order is done right, a men’s haircut (for example) can slide in while another client’s hair color processes. To make this scenario work, the order for services for the first client must start with color, followed by cut and finishing services, not the other way around. Without the proper order, it would be hard to double book correctly.
- Online Client Scheduling should be easy to access and use. Not just on the backend when you set your preferences, but also for your clients. That’s why it’s suggested to go with cloud-based software, so your clients can access online booking through a link on your website, social media, or mobile web app. From there, client bookings can be made in real-time, anytime – when it’s most convenient for your clients.
The whole idea with online client scheduling is to provide convenience to your clients and save you and your salon time and effort. With the right salon scheduling software in place and Online Client Scheduling activated and personalized, you should get all of these benefits and more to help your salon stay fully booked, increase revenue, and streamline your operations.
So, are you ready to start booking online? It is, after all, the way of the future! If you are a Rosy Salon Software user, turn it on by following these easy steps. Not a Rosy user yet? Start your free 30-day trial now. You don’t even need a credit card on file to get started!