Since 2007, we have been using an appointment-booking system called Appointment-plus, to book appointments with all our clients. It reduces no-shows, cancellations, and even follows up with clients regularly to make sure we stay on track. In fact in all the time we have been using the system, over 6 years, with over 1000 appointments, we have had less than 10 no-shows.
I was going to write an article on the system, but Eric Richard, Appointment-Plus‘s in-house PR guy, is far more eloquent! This system is fantastic for many businesses including:
Coaches – Personal Trainers – Chiropractors – Hair Salons and spas – Accountants – Careers departments – Consultants – Mechanics ….in fact anyone who books meetings by the hour, but have many many clients, will find this software a life-saver.
(This article, written by Eric Richard has been reproduced with kind permission from Appointment-Plus)
Salon Scheduling Software: The Way to Grow Business, Decrease ‘No-Shows’ – By Eric Richard
The ultimate goal of any salon owner or operator is to develop a successful business that provides stellar service to its customers and generates increasing revenue. But like other service-based small businesses, the ability to efficiently manage operations and streamline necessary processes can be a roadblock to reaching this goal.
This is especially true when it comes to managing appointments, which for many salons is a tedious and time-consuming task. But for those salons that have implemented online salon scheduling software, this one-time burdensome process is now a vehicle for increasing sales and running a more effective business.
A WAY TO GENERATE REVENUE
Salon appointment software takes the pain out of manually scheduling customer salon appointments by taking the process into “the cloud”, instead of relying on outdated methods such as taking appointments by phone and managing them in a paper appointment book. By cloud, we mean utilizing Internet technologies instead of programs confined to an individual desktop computer or network. Online salon scheduling software is securely housed on external servers and accessed and managed in the same manner as e-mail, social media pages or Web pages.
And it’s this characteristic that creates a tremendous value to salon operations, as it gives them the ability to automatically schedule customer appointments online, 24 hours a day.
Regardless of the type of business, today’s customers are utilizing their laptops, tablets and smartphones to connect with service providers. And they’re looking for more than just basic information. They want the ability to conduct transactions with the business, whether it’s purchasing an item, chatting with a business rep, or, in the case of salons, scheduling an appointment online when it’s most convenient for them.
Salon appointment software accomplishes this by giving salon owners and operators the ability to place a “Book Now” button or link on their business Web site, social media page, newsletter, e-mail or any other Web form. Once a customer clicks on the button or link, they instantly access a scheduler page that typically allows them to choose their stylist of choice, specific service, and day/time of the appointment.
Once booked, the system will automatically confirm the appointment details and send the customer a confirmation e-mail. The information is instantly registered within the system, without any action on the part of the salon staff.
This makes salon scheduling software a true customer benefit. It can also be a revenue-generator, as it enables a salon to stay open 24 hours a day. Many customers simply do not have the ability to pick up the phone during a salon’s normal business hours. Without an online scheduling solution, their options are limited. They must either leave a message and hope that a salon staffer will return their call or try to make time during their busy workdays. Either scenario has the potential for creating lost revenue, as convenience is key when it comes to service-based businesses. These same customers could quickly view availability and book their appointment times online if offered an online way to do that.
The result: more booked appointments, less staff time devoted to managing appointments, happier customers, and more revenue!
Another benefit of salon appointment software impactful to operations and revenue is its ability to dramatically reduce ‘no-shows’. As any salon owner or operator can attest to, filled appointment slots mean revenue, and when customers fail to make their appointments, the result in lost revenue, as that slot could have been filled by another customer. It also impacts staff assignments and pay, as missed appointments leave stylists with an empty chair and missed revenue.
Salon scheduling software is a no-show slayer, as it automatically sends a booked individual an e-mail or text message reminder prior to his or her scheduled appointment time. Not only is this a convenience for the scheduled person, studies show that it can decrease the no-show rate by as much as 75 percent.
This feature is dually-beneficial: customers are reminded of their appointment time, and businesses help reduce the dreaded no-show rate.
When it comes to properly managing appointments, salon owners shouldn’t leave it up to chance. Implementing salon appointment software takes strain of booking appointments out of the hands of salon staff and into an efficient online process.