Hairstylist Appointment Book - Your Top Guide to Salon Scheduling

October 15, 2020

Table of Contents

Hairstylists have it tough. 

Balancing client expectations, complaints, payments and other front-end tasks with back-end tasks such as accounting and employee scheduling can be a nightmare. Stress levels can certainly reach critical mass quickly.

On top of all that, you need to manage appointments. Different times, no-shows, and cancellations are all big factors here. 

hair-salon-appointment-book

 

In order to manage all of these different aspects, you’re going to need a hairstylist appointment book. 

Now, when you think about a hairstylist appointment book, there’s a good chance that a pen-and-paper scheduling solution is the first thing that comes to mind. And that’s totally fair, considering all of the different types of schedulers that exist in stores and online. However, it’s important to keep an open mind with regard to different methods, such as online salon scheduling. 

But for now, let’s talk a little about hairstylist appointment books. 

Types of Hairstylist Appointment Books

Believe it or not, there are different types of hairstylist appointment books. And the type you choose depends on what you’re trying to schedule. 

The difference between hairstylist appointment books has to do with the level of scheduling you’ll be doing. 

For example, there are hourly appointment books with no specified dates separated in increments of 15 minutes, such as this one here:

Or, you can go with something a little more in-depth and specific to a certain year, such as this one for 2020:

Which one you go with is entirely up to you. However, it’s important to note here that you could technically re-use the book with unspecified dates if you write them in pencil and are willing to erase them after. Although that sounds like far more hassle than what it’s worth. 

Choosing a Hairstylist Appointment Book 

Now that you’re familiar with the few types of hairstylist appointment books out there, it’s time to take your pick.

The question is, how exactly do you choose the right one for your business? 

In this case, there are a few considerations to keep in mind whether you’re browsing in-store or online. 

Appearance 

While the look of a hairstylist appointment book isn’t really the be-all-end-all, it’s definitely something you should consider.

If you’re trying to maintain a professional atmosphere and you pull out an ordinary appointment book in front of a customer, that will certainly be something you’ll be judged for. Whether or not it’s a justifiable judgment is a whole new conversation, but it’s a consequence nonetheless. 

There’s also the branding aspect. If you’ve spent time building a brand look, it only makes sense to have your appointment book match your branding perfectly. Customers do notice things like this and will react positively to a brand that doesn’t miss a step. 

In short, appearances may not seem overly important, especially when we’re talking about a hairstylist appointment book, but chances are they matter more than you think. 

Different Sections

The scheduling portion of your hairstylist appointment book is one thing, but what if you need some other sections? 

With appointment books, you can search for books that include sections for different information such as: 

  • General notes
  • Customer demographic information
  • Customer appointment history

When you’re searching for the perfect book for your business, keep this in mind. Your hairstylist appointment book can potentially do much more than just organize your client appointments. 

Size 

How many appointments are you taking daily? Are you fairly new and trying to establish a clientele? Or are you a highly-rated salon that takes in loads of clients daily and employs several hairstylists?

It may be a silly thing to consider, but the size of your appointment book does matter in this case. 

Make sure the book you choose has an adequate amount of slots to match up with the size of your salon. 

If you’re employing several hairstylists, it may be wise for each stylist to have their own separate appointment book. Just in case you run out of room to pencil in appointments.

Common Problems With Traditional Hairstylist Appointment Books

common-issues-with-traditional-hairstylist-appointment-book

 

By now, you’re likely ready to choose the perfect hairstylist appointment book for your business. 

However, don’t be so hasty. There are a few more things for you to consider before you decide to pull the trigger on a traditional pen-and-paper hairstylist appointment book. 

The fact of the matter is, traditional hairstylist appointment books come with a host of different issues.

Double-Bookings

Double-bookings are all too common when using a traditional hairstylist appointment book. 

With the need to pencil in each and every appointment, there’s far too much room for human error. Especially as the phone calls and in-person bookings start to pick up. As it gets busier, stress levels rise and the potential for mistakes climbs with it. Even with the most organized staff member recording appointments, a double-booking mistake is bound to happen sooner or later. 

Double-bookings are detrimental to your salon business in two main ways:

  1. They paint a negative picture of your business with regard to customer service
  2. They hurt your bottom line by missing out on a potential client appointment

Double-bookings are one of the biggest (and avoidable) contributors to revenue loss in hair salons. It’s important to avoid them at all costs. 

Inefficiency

With all the advances in appointment scheduling technology, pen-and-paper appointment books are incredibly inefficient by comparison. 

First of all, when you need to pencil in all of your appointments, you’ll need to delegate an employee solely to taking appointments. Whether in-person or over the phone, that’s time you’ll never get back. And more importantly, time that could be spent on more productive tasks. 

Next, an appointment book does nothing other than keep track of appointments. If you’re looking for prepayments, text or email appointment reminders, or even analytical reports on your customer demographics, you’ll need separate software to accomplish these tasks. 

The truth is, hairstylist appointment books don’t really accomplish much besides, well, scheduling appointments. And they aren’t even efficient at that either. 

Limited to Business Hours

If your appointments need to be physically penciled in, then your customers are only able to book appointments during your hours of operation. 

This is incredibly restrictive for clients who are typically busy during those hours. 

The ability to book appointments 24/7 is an incredibly sought after quality in businesses these days. In fact, up to 35% of clients schedule their appointments outside of business hours. 

Starting to see how a traditional appointment book simply won’t work in this situation? 

24/7 booking isn’t just about when clients can book, it’s about where they can book from as well. With the old fashioned method, your clients need to either call in and book their appointment, or physically drive to your location and book in person. And with 81% of millennials saying they get anxiety before trying to make a phone call, there’s a good chance that call isn’t happening. 

With traditional appointment books being as restrictive as they are, it’s hard not to seek out more effective solutions. 

Considering Hairstylist Appointment Booking Software 

scheduling-hair-salon-appointment-online

 

“Oh, great,” you say to yourself. “So if appointment books are so awful, what the heck am I gonna do now?!”.

Don’t worry. We wouldn’t let you get this far without offering an alternative. 

While hairstylist appointment books can be the simple solution, as you can see, they’re loaded with different problems and deficiencies. 

This is where appointment booking software comes in. 

So before you panic, let’s talk about some of the benefits of adopting an appointment scheduling software for your hair salon. 

24/7 Booking 

Remember that restrictive quality we talked about with pen-and-paper schedulers? That doesn’t exist with appointment booking software. 

Once you set up your software, clients can choose to book their hair appointments at any time. Since the scheduler is automated and records the appointment info for you, there’s absolutely no need to talk to an employee. They just book from their computer or phone. Simple as that. 

When it comes down to it, more and more businesses in every industry are making the switch to digital and, in turn, offering 24/7 bookings. If you want to compete, you’ll want to offer the same service. 

 

Hairstylist Appointment Book

Appointment Scheduling Software

Restricts appointment booking to your business hours

Allows clients to book at their leisure, any time of the day

 

With the number of people who expect this service to be available, if you’re still using the traditional appointment book, chances are your potential clients will be looking elsewhere for their next hair cut. 

Fewer Mistakes

Nobody is perfect. Unfortunately, customers don’t always remember this when a mistake such as a double-booking happens. They can get irate and take their frustrations over to your review page, causing you even more headaches. 

Thankfully, with appointment booking software, you eliminate the need for human input almost entirely. And with it, the margin for human error. 

Since appointment booking software is largely automated, there’s no need to worry about double-bookings. Once an appointment slot is taken by a client, the option to book during that time is removed. We’ve already talked about what a detriment double-bookings can be to your hair styling business, so anything you can do to keep these pesky errors to a minimum would be beneficial. 

 

Hairstylist Appointment Book

Appointment Scheduling Software

Plenty of margin for human error, especially during busier times

Scheduling automation prevents detrimental mistakes such as double-bookings

Reducing Missed Appointments

Double-bookings are one thing, but clients just outright not showing up is another problem that can affect your bottom line. 

So how does appointment scheduling software reduce your number of no-shows? 

SMS and email reminders. 

Missed appointments have plagued service-based industries for a long time now. In fact, in the health industry, 23% of patients are likely to miss appointments without a reminder. With appointment scheduling software, SMS and email notifications prior to a scheduled appointment are core features. 

 

Hairstylist Appointment Book

Appointment Scheduling Software

No way to remind clients of appointments without a phone call or manually sent message

Automated SMS or email reminders help keep missed appointment rates low

 

Appointment reminders are one of the biggest advantages of switching to an appointment scheduling software. Keeping missed appointments to a minimum is crucial for your bottom line. 

Reporting and Analytics

An often overlooked feature for appointment scheduling software, automated reports and analytics are incredible benefits for your hair salon. 

The specifics will vary depending on the appointment scheduling software you choose to go with, but most appointment scheduling apps offer some form of reporting and analytics features. It’s essential to have a look at a software features page to help you decide if it’s the right one for your business. 

Take Skiplino Appointments, for example. Both our desktop dashboard and admin app give you access to valuable insights and the means to improve certain aspects of your business such as:

  • Staff performance
  • Customer satisfaction
  • Customer appointment history
  • Customer demographics

 

This data is crucial when you’re looking to make improvements to different areas of your business. For example, using the customer demographics you collect with your appointment scheduling software, you can fine-tune your marketing efforts to ensure you’re targeting the correct customer demographic. The data you’ve collected simplifies this effort immensely. 

 

Hairstylist Appointment Book

Appointment Scheduling Software

Provides nothing outside of manual scheduling

Gives you access to valuable insights such as customer appointment history, demographics, and even staff performance

 

Reports and analytics are two great reasons to make the switch from a hairstylist appointment book to scheduling software. Keep that in mind when you’re making your decision. 

Staff Efficiency

hair-salon-staff-using-their-time-efficiently

 

As we’ve mentioned previously, a physical hairstylist appointment book requires a staff member to actually be present and ready to take a client’s appointment. Not only does this make 24/7 booking impossible, but it’s a waste of resources as well.

Just take a look around your salon. How much extra work could you get done if you were able to pull that staff member away from the phones? 

Since your clients will be able to use your scheduling software to book their own appointments, you won’t need to delegate a staff member to answer phones and take in-person appointments all day long. This frees them up to complete other tasks around the salon.

Whether it’s taking more appointments throughout the day, or even cleaning out that old stock room that hasn’t seen the light of day for months, the point is that making the switch to appointment scheduling software can drastically improve your staff efficiency.

 

Hairstylist Appointment Book

Appointment Scheduling Software

Requires an employee to be present at all times in order to schedule appointments

Eliminates the need for an employee to pencil in appointments, allowing them to complete other tasks

FAQ

“How long does it take to set up appointment scheduling software?”

That depends on the software you choose to go with. Choosing software that focuses on ease of use will certainly cut down on this time.

For example, Skiplino Appointments can be set up in as little as 5 minutes. Our intuitive, easy to use platform lends itself to a quick set up and will have your clients ready to schedule online in no time. 

“Are hairstylist appointment books inherently bad?”

It’s not so much that a traditional hairstylist appointment book is bad, there are simply more efficient and effective solutions for scheduling hair appointments. 

With all the benefits associated with scheduling software, it becomes harder and harder to recommend a traditional pen-and-paper book for scheduling. You’ll simply be missing out on far too many crucial features that can help you improve your business in a variety of ways. 

“Is appointment scheduling software completely automated?”

The short answer here is sort of. 

You’ll have to do a little bit of tinkering in the beginning, making sure that your scheduling software is configured in a way that suits your needs. However, once you’re finished with that, your clients will be able to schedule their appointments without your input. The system will automatically store their appointment time and even ensure that no one else can book during this time. 

Different features like reports and analytics are also automated, but it’s on you to actively use this data to improve your business. 

Hairstylist Appointment Book Summary

hair-stylist-appointment-book

 

So, while you may have been on the search for a physical hairstylist appointment book, hopefully by now you’re well informed about the best alternative: Appointment scheduling software. 

The more you think about the benefits you’ll be missing out on with a traditional pen-and-paper book, the harder it becomes to recommend the traditional scheduling method. 

As the years go on, more salons are making the switch to scheduling software and throwing their old appointment books in the trash. Clients enjoy the convenience of scheduling appointments at their leisure, from wherever they happen to be at that time. Restricting access to appointment booking is likely to chase clients away to your competition. 

Before you purchase that hairstylist appointment book, stop and think: Would it be worth it for me to upgrade to appointment scheduling software? 

We’re willing to bet that the answer is yes.

Any More Questions About Scheduling Software?

Looking for one solution and stumbling onto another can often leave you with more questions than answers. Even with all of the information provided here, we wouldn’t blame you if you had a few more questions to ask before you make the decision to upgrade your scheduling method.

The good news is, we’re here to help. Why not reach out? We’re here for you. 

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