Beauty salon Booking software is a valuable tool that will improve the client experience of your salon by making it more accessible to your clients. Essentially your salon calendar is accessible to your clients online so that they can book appointments at their convenience typically using their phones. According to industry surveys, well over 60% of bookings are made when your salon is closed. In addition, because a lot of time is wasted in a typical salon managing bookings there is a large productivity benefit to the salon once a system is installed. Estimates put this benefit to be as much as 20% or 1 full day of each member of staff's working week. Typically Beauty Salons are charging an average of €65 per hour for treatments. The average cost of a good booking system is around €40 per month so the investment business case really is a no-brainer yet why is it that so many small and medium-sized salons seem frightened at taking this step? In this blog, we will cover in more detail what you should look for in Beauty Salon booking software.
Overall a good booking software is a powerful management tool that will bring many benefits to your Salon. The financial investment is low and while it does require some changes in working practices to make the most of the system it will ultimately make you a more profitable client-friendly business.
Your clients can book the treatment with the clinician of their choice when they want to by using their phone. See our Blog “ The Best Mobile Apps For Salons” numerous Industry surveys confirm that the bulk of appointments are made out of hours once a booking software is installed and would indicate strongly that it is a service your clients want.
Reproduced from salontoday.com
Using automation the system will send SMS and Email confirmations and reminders which all help to reduce “no-shows” and enable your client to reschedule or cancel if their original booking is no longer convenient. The booking and any subsequent changes will be automatically reflected in the appropriate clinician's calendar.
Periods of low demand are the bane of all salons where you have to incur costs but do not necessarily have the appointments booked to generate the revenue to cover them. Now you have complete visibility of your salon calendar months in advance you will be able to determine where you have the unfilled capacity and start developing marketing campaigns and services that can attempt to address these. This can be achieved by offering promotions and discounts to loyal clients. Move low-margin services to off-peak times and/or bundle them with other complimentary high-margin services or offer discounted “introductory” high-margin services to new customers that don’t ordinarily buy these from you. Improve turnover by 20% to 40% Read “How a Beauty Salon Booking Software Can Fill Your Empty Time Slots”
Marketing gift cards to your existing clients is a very effective way to attract new clients. Typically they are bought for friends and family of existing clients which means they do the selling for you. Better still research shows that when a gift card is used the client will typically spend 20% more than the face value of the card. Read “How to Develop Your Customer Base Using Gift Vouchers”
“ No Shows” are an industry menace that you should not have to suffer. Your booking system can make your clients acknowledge your policy regarding not shows and enforce it on your behalf. You will be able to configure the system to charge a deposit for expensive treatments and charge for a % of the balance where the client has been unreasonable. This can increase your turnover by up to 15%. Read “Plug Salon Profit Leaks”.
The system will lead your client through a logical process of collecting the necessary information to make the appointment and over time this information can become a valuable source of marketing information. Most booking systems handle the GDPR (privacy requirements) on your behalf when they initiate the process with the client. You will be able to use this data to create cheap and effective, low-cost email and SMS broadcasts offering discounts and promotions.
Many people do not know that most good Beauty Salon Bookings systems will also manage your inventory for your in-salon retail sales. Ordering can be managed with suppliers from within the system and product quantities are automatically updated When a product is sold. Through reporting, you will be able to see your sales for a given product and monitor low or slow-moving stock. Read how your booking system can help you manage your inventory
With some beauty Salon booking systems, you will be able to set staff targets for retail sales and easily manage commission payments due to staff for products that they have sold during the appointment.
Good booking systems will help you retain existing clients by enabling you to Introduce a loyalty scheme, recognise clients who visit regularly and reward clients that recommend your services to others. You will be able to Acknowledge special yearly events in your client years such as Birthdays and Wedding anniversaries and connect these occasions with your marketing initiatives. Most booking systems can record authorised clients' personal information such as date of birth and other key data.
Many of the Salon Booking Software options available also offer payment processing solutions. These include point-of-sale card machines, online payment processing capabilities and in some cases, the ability to pay using apple and google pay via a mobile phone. Care needs to be taken here as some of these services are a condition of using their software for free and can be expensive when compared to other providers.
There are many, many booking systems available to you to choose from. When you are researching a system for your business make sure to look at all the popular Hair Salon Booking Software options as well because these systems will have the same key functionality as you will need. Some are free, providing you use their payment processing services and others are charged out using a variety of pricing approaches ranging from the number of transactions processed, the number of staff using it or just a flat monthly fee. Beware of hidden extras. Many offer a basic or cheap package, to begin with, but you soon rack up numerous extra charges for essential functionality. Most providers offer a free trial period in which to evaluate the system and you should take advantage of this to road-test the system to make sure it will meet your needs. Choose software that suits your requirements and is not overly complicated. Make sure there is a good support service available as setting up and maintaining these systems is not as simple and straightforward as they would like you to believe. For a detailed checklist of functionality get our checklist
Investing in Beauty Salon Booking Software will repay itself year after year. The new capabilities that you will be able to leverage in your salon together with the enhanced customer service and productivity benefits make it an essential tool for any salon business. Do not be put off by any technical apprehension you may have help, is always to hand. For a more detailed guide read our blog Successful Salons Use a booking system