Let’s face it. Running a hair salon can be incredibly challenging. Not only do you have to keep clients happy and provide exceptional service, but there’s all of the background work that the public doesn’t see. From accounting to managing employees, it can turn into a daunting endeavor very quickly.
On top of that, you need to manage client appointments. Constantly answering the phone to book, alter, and even cancel appointments can easily put a dent in productivity.
“Surely there must be an easier way to manage appointments,” you say to yourself.
It’s time for you to look into hair salon online scheduling.
Imagine being able to manage bookings and deal with cancellations within an online service or app. Giving your clients the freedom to book their own appointments instead of being tied up on the phone all day. Switching to salon online scheduling can give you exactly this.
Types of Salon Schedulers
Before you get started, it’s important to know what type of salon scheduler you’re looking for. There are many different companies out there offering an appointment-style service. However, many of them use different platforms for their service. These include:
- Browser-based services
- Calendar syncing (Google calendars, Apple calendars, etc.)
Browser-based services may have a lower barrier for entry but might not have all the features you want. An app may have some more complexity to it and is often packed with features. The type of scheduler you should choose will depend entirely on what you’re already familiar with and what the needs of your business are.
Key Considerations When Choosing a Salon Scheduler
There are a few different considerations to keep in mind when you’re ready to choose your scheduling software. As with many different aspects of life, you don’t want to dive in headfirst without some sort of plan.
While a salon scheduling software is a great investment, it’s important to note that there will be a cost tied to any software you choose.
It’s important to figure out how much you’re willing to spend monthly on your software. Each one will have different costs depending on how many features they offer. While there is a cost attached, you’ll soon learn why switching to digital is worth the investment.
Obviously you’re looking for an online solution for your clients to book their own appointments. But what other features does the software offer?
Well, two features you’ll likely want to capitalize on are notifications and analytics. Both of these are important to any salon business.
Notifications allow you to send reminders to clients about appointments, which can come in handy. Analytics give you insight into your client demographics which can go a long way towards marketing efforts and client history.
Adopting new software can be tough. Depending on the learning curve involved, it could take anywhere from a week to a few months to become accustomed to salon scheduling software.
To help make the transition as smooth as possible, you’ll want to go with a software ripe with support features. From guides on how to get started using the service to support through the company later on down the line if you run into issues.
Keep these considerations fresh in your mind when researching different salon scheduling apps. Proper planning can help ensure you’ve made the right choice.
Why Should You Allow Clients to Book Their Own Appointments?
Is it really that important to allow your clients to book their appointments on their own?
The answer is yes, in case you were wondering. But why is this the case? What makes self-booking so appealing to the masses these days?
Well, there are several reasons why you should start offering this service, including:
- It’s a time saver for you
- It allows clients to book appointments outside your regular hours
- Many people, especially millennials, don’t enjoy calling to book appointments
- Providing flexibility is attractive to potential customers
Allowing your clients to set their own appointments is not only convenient for them, but it works out in your favor as well. There’s really no reason why you shouldn’t set up an online scheduling service for your salon.
Encouraging Existing Clients to Use Your Salon Online Booking Software
If you’re switching to a salon scheduling software, you may have some people who are wary of it. This is normal. If clients are used to the old way of booking with you and it’s always worked well for them, why would they want to switch?
This means you’ll need to find ways to encourage these clients to use your online booking software. Luckily for you, there are a few different channels you can leverage to promote your self-booking software, including:
- Promoting it on social media
- In-person, after an appointment is finished
- Change your voicemail message to include information about your salon scheduling app
- Promote a discount or deal the first time someone schedules online
- Feature it in an email newsletter
You’ll always have people who hate change. However, as you can see, there are ways around that. Once your clients see how convenient it is for them, they’ll likely never want to go back.
7 Reasons to Use a Hair Salon Scheduling Software
So out with it. Why should you implement salon online scheduling into your business? What are the core benefits that really make the time and effort put into setting up online scheduling worth it?
Worried about spending too much time and effort into implementing an online scheduling software for your business? Skiplino Appointments can take as little as 5 minutes to set up.
Thankfully, we’ve compiled a list of several key benefits to help persuade you to take the leap and set up your salon online scheduling service.
1. Reduces Missed Appointments
In the salon business, what could possibly hurt your bottom line more than missed appointments?
Whether your client has forgotten about their appointment or simply shown up too late, missed appointments happen. And they’re a pain. Thankfully, you can significantly cut down on missed appointments using an online scheduler.
How does this work, exactly?
Well, using online scheduling helps to remedy this problem in two ways.
For starters, you’ll be able to schedule reminders to your clients. They can choose whether they’d prefer to be notified through text and/or through email. This way, your clients will be far less likely to forget an appointment.
You could even take it one step further and send a notification a couple of weeks after an appointment as a reminder to book another touch-up, but that’s up to you.
Second of all, with some online booking apps, you can choose to accept deposits as well. If your clients have to put a deposit down to reserve a slot at your salon, they’ll be far less likely to miss the appointment. The people who are turned off by the required deposit are likely the same people who will no-show their appointments anyway.
The key takeaway here? Missed appointments are bad for business. Use salon online scheduling to help combat them.
2. Clients Can Book 24/7
As mentioned previously, having to answer phones constantly while you’re in the middle of an appointment is going to hurt productivity. It can become disorganized quickly as well. Telling a customer you’ll call them back ASAP when you forgot to take their name and number down can be disastrous.
Not only does a salon online scheduling software help you out, but it also benefits your clients as well. After all, who wants to take the time out of their busy day to spend 15 minutes on the phone trying to see what times are available to them for a hair appointment? Wouldn’t it be far easier to book it online in under 2 minutes? Your clients will be able to see all the available times to them without you having to check your books.
24/7 booking is a win-win situation for both you and your clients. Implementing this will certainly give you an edge over your competition.
3. You Can Collect Data to Use in Your Marketing Efforts
Being able to schedule appointments online is great, but did you know you can use salon scheduling software to collect other data as well?
Skiplino’s appointment software, for example, allows you to go beyond simple appointment booking. You can create a form for your clients to fill out with details such as email, address, and other demographics to help with your marketing campaigns.
Using this info stored in your salon scheduling software, you can target relevant customers with your offers and discounts through email. This is the type of effort that can turn a one-time customer into a repeat customer.
In summary, don’t be afraid to think outside the box with your salon appointment software. Take advantage of every feature at your fingertips to reap the maximum rewards.
4. Increased Profits
Because who wouldn’t want to increase their revenue? Implementing a salon scheduling software can be a great way to increase overall revenue, even after the cost of the app or software is factored in.
“But how does scheduling software increase my profits?” You ask.
Well, there are two big reasons why your revenue will start to climb after introducing scheduling software into your salon business:
- Delegating tasks you used to complete yourself to the software, freeing up time on more pressing tasks
- Client appointment booking becomes more straightforward, increasing the likelihood of them re-booking
- Depending on the software, you can have access to beneficial reporting to help you develop a more refined marketing plan
When clients are able to book their appointments on their own, you’re eliminating an entire job. Gone are the days of dedicating time to answer phones and flip through appointment books to see what you have available. Your shiny new software can do all of this for you. In turn, this frees up either you, or whoever you have delegated his mundane task to, and lets them use their time more productively. In the salon business, time is money. Any time you can free up one of your stylists from the phones so they can take more appointments, you’re putting more money in your pocket.
As far as the second point goes, the easier it is for clients to book with you, the more likely they are to actually book the appointment. Nothing turns customers away quicker than a complicated booking process. Salon scheduling software is designed with ease of use in mind.
On top of that, you can schedule reminders to satisfied customers to re-book with you in the future. This is an effective way to create repeat customers. And with your booking process being as simplified as it is, there will be little resistance to book their next appointment.
Starting to see how a salon scheduling software can put more money in your pocket?
Making your appointment booking process as simple and painless as possible is an often-overlooked strategy for increasing revenue. Keep your stylists off the phones, keep your clients happy with how simple it is for them to make a hair appointment, and watch your revenue take a turn for the better.
5. No More Double Bookings
Even if you’re the most organized human being on the planet, mistakes happen. Maybe you penciled in the wrong time for a client. Maybe you forgot that you’ve already got an appointment at 2 PM on Thursday.
Regardless of the situation, double bookings happen. And they’re a serious detriment to you as a salon owner.
For starters, you’re going to miss out on revenue. One of those two clients will be unable to get their hair done at that time. Now maybe they’ll book another appointment and be reasonable about it, but you’re still going to lose money regardless.
Second of all, and possibly more crucial, you’ve left a sour taste in the mouth of your client. They expected to come in and get their hair done, only to be told that you were double booked and aren’t able to take them at this time. With some clients, sorry isn’t going to cut it. It’s your job to ensure your appointment book is organized and that this situation doesn’t happen.
Thankfully, double booking can be entirely avoided by implementing salon scheduling software. When your client goes online to book their appointment, they will only be shown times when their stylist of choice is available. As different times are picked by clients, they’re removed from the list of possible times. No more double bookings.
In short, if double bookings are something your salon struggles with consistently, it’s time to upgrade to a salon scheduling software. This problem will never show its face again.
6. Track Client History Without Fear of Losing Data
What happens if you lose your appointment book? Or if the excel sheet on your salon laptop accidentally gets deleted?
You lose all your past client history. That’s what happens. And it can all be avoided by upgrading to a salon booking software.
Keep track of all past appointments, transactions, and other pertinent information with an online scheduler. Many of these online apps operate using a “cloud” style service. This means that your client data is backed up online through the app. Much harder to accidentally delete or lose client info this way.
Your client history can be useful in situations such as figuring out exactly what service a client had in the past. If it was a cut or style they enjoyed, but can’t remember what it was, then the client’s history will come in handy.
Stop worrying about misplacing your appointment book or deleting files off your laptop. Switch to a salon scheduling software and always stay organized.
7. Digital is the Future
As we progress further into a new decade, more businesses are going paperless and switching to digital channels. Salons and stylists are no different. Many of them are already jumping on the switch to digital salon scheduling software. Do you really want to be left behind in the dust?
Take millennials and mobile usage, for example. A whopping 73% of millennials are using their mobiles to shop online. With this many young people already shopping with their phones, wouldn’t it make sense for your salon to make use of a mobile app for scheduling services? If you’re targeting the younger generation and want to make sure your business prospers in the future, you’d be wise to invest in a salon scheduling software.
Don’t get left behind. Join your competition in the future with a salon scheduling app.
Hair Salon Scheduling Software Summary
These are only 7 core reasons why you should implement salon scheduling software into your business. While there are others, these should be enough to convince you to take the next step.
At the end of the day, the good far outweighs the bad.
With salon scheduling software, not only will you be more organized and stop yourself from making silly mistakes like double booking, but you’ll actually save yourself time and money in the end. The revenue gained from attracting new clients with fancy digital software and freeing up your own stylists to take more appointments will certainly make up for the cost of the app itself. It’s a no-brainer.
Looking for a Reliable Salon Scheduling Software?
Scouring the internet looking for the perfect software for your salon can be both stressful and time-consuming. Why not look into Skiplino? Our appointment app is perfect for salon owners who want to put appointment booking into their customer’s hands. You’ll also have access to key features like push notifications, analytics, and touchless booking.
Have any more questions? Drop us a line. We’d love to help out.