By Lauren McAlister
Featured in Mind Body Business
Scheduled appointments are the wheels that keep your spa or salon turning.
So, whether it be transitioning away from pen and paper or saying goodbye to Google Calendar—your hesitation for changing something so important is understandable.
That said, as you reopen your salon or spa, online booking will be even more important than before. Your team will be busier than ever, which means the more streamlined your processes, the better. (It can even help grow your clientele, like JBe Beauty in Denver, Colorado.)
With capacity limitations, heightened cleaning protocols, and PPE, you have enough to think about. Now’s not the time to be bogged down by a scheduling system that isn’t as efficient as possible.
Taking your scheduling online will make all the difference for both your staff and clients—as you reopen and for years to come. Online booking will:
Keep your clients—and team—safe
Online booking lets you know who’s coming when. In this new normal, it’s just too hard to try to accommodate walk-ins. You want to minimize risk for your customers and your employees, and online booking is the first step. Eighty-five percent of consumers say reducing the number of clients allowed at a time is an important factor in deciding to visit a reopened beauty business. Online booking can help automate your efforts to keep capacity down.
Having your clients book ahead of time also makes it easier for you to ensure proper time for cleaning your salon or spa, too. With Booker software, you can readily allow for cleaning time after each scheduled appointment. No need to worry about appointments being back-to-back with no time to clean. Booker automates this for you.
Help you determine demand
If you’re not yet reopened, you need a waitlist. A waitlist gives you an idea of the number of clients who are ready to return, when, and for which services. It also gives you a sense of which staff members will be in highest demand so you can start planning your schedule accordingly.
Rather than take down a growing waitlist on pen and paper, use your online booking platform to keep track of these future appointments. Booker has a waitlist functionality that gives your team the ability to plan for and schedule appointments when you’re ready.
Are you still hesitant to give full control of booking to your software? With Booker, you can set up services to be request only or call to request. That means you get all the benefits of online booking while still keeping the control you want and giving your clients a great experience.
Give your team more time to focus on clients
Perhaps your front desk used to be able to juggle calls while checking out clients, attending to maintenance issues, and helping other staff members. That’s no longer the case.
Instead, your team needs to focus their attention elsewhere—on reaching out to your most loyal (and highest spending) clients, managing client flow and social distance in your space, and maintaining sanitization protocols.
Although scheduling an appointment may only take five minutes, as clients rush to their phones to book post-quarantine haircuts, facials, and massages, it won’t be long before your team is dedicating hours to fielding and recording appointments.
With online booking, your team can focus less on the phone and more on what matters right now: creating a safe spa for clients and staff.
Eliminate scheduling errors
With reduced capacity, every appointment matters. A late arrival, a no-show, or a mistake on your schedule will cost your salon or spa, impacting your staff and your clients. These days, there’s no room for errors on your schedule.
Unfortunately, when you record your appointments by hand, human error is likely to happen which can lead to:
- Double bookings. With the right online booking system, though, clients won’t physically be able to book an appointment with a staff member or service that’s already been booked for the same time or during times set aside for deep cleaning. Instead, they’ll be prompted to choose a different time available.
- Coverage gaps. With online booking, your staff’s schedule is neatly and systematically laid out. You can clearly see every staff member’s shifts for the week, identify any unnecessary overlaps or gaps, and make any necessary adjustments.
Minimize last-minute cancellations and no-shows
Last-minute cancellations and no-shows are the bane of every spa and salon owner’s existence—especially now. Empty gaps in your schedule can add up and be crippling for business.
Any good online booking system will include some automated reminder functionalities to drastically reduce the number of empty seats at your spa or salon. With Booker, you can even customize with any updated protocols and policies as well as send client forms, pre-appointment, too. No more shared tablets or clipboards necessary!
With automation, you and your staff don’t have to worry about manual appointment reminders (Hallelujah!). Again, you’ll spend less time completing admin tasks and more time creating a memorable welcome-back appointment.
Make it easier to start upselling earlier
You need to make the most of every ticket. The more opportunities you have to promote product and offer add-ins, the better. When you allow your clients to book online, you can take advantage of automated email marketing that does the hard work for you. Let your clients know how you can make their appointment extra special!
Allow you to manage your business anywhere, 24/7
Whether you’re working from home or in and out of your salon or spa preparing for your grand reopening, your booking system should be as flexible as your lifestyle.
With online booking, you can take your business on-the-go—wherever you are. Any worthwhile online booking system should be cloud-based, which means you can view and edit your appointment book anywhere, at any time, off any device—all in real-time.
Need to alter a scheduled appointment when you or your team are away from the front desk? Just access your schedule from your phone and change accordingly. Want to run numbers from the couch? Log into your software from your tablet or phone. Being disconnected from your business can be a little unsettling for a devoted owner, especially during a time of uncertainty. Thankfully, with online booking, you never have to feel that way again.
These are just a few of the many reasons online booking is a worthwhile investment for your business—and we didn’t even get into the reasons your clients will love it too (hint: it’s convenient and easy-to-use).
About Lauren McAlister
Marketing Content Specialist
Lauren is the co-owner of a fitness studio and a certified Nutritional Therapy Consultant. Born and raised in California, Lauren has a heart for working out, traveling, and baking paleo-ish treats for friends and family. She’s also passionate about crafting meaningful content for others in the wellness space, which makes her role at Mindbody a perfect fit.