Should a Salon Use Online Booking Software? Pros & Cons

Did you know that 35% of clients prefer to schedule appointments outside of regular office hours?Furthermore, 25% of millennials (those under the age of 35) only make appointments online.

If you have an established website for your salon or spa, introducing online booking could increase appointments by 25%.While no complete study has been conducted on the impact of introducing online booking, the figures appear to demonstrate that an increasing percentage of consumers prefer to book online and outside of work hours.

Before we look at the benefits and drawbacks of online appointment scheduling, let’s take a look at two popular scheduling services and who they’re most suited for.

Booker is the best online booking software for many stylists.

Booker is an excellent choice for salons with multiple stylists.
The marketing network of Booker connects a scheduling tool to Google, Yelp, Yellow Pages, MapQuest, SpaFinder, and other sites.In search results, you’ll also see an “Online Booking” widget on your profile.It’s an excellent method to bundle marketing and online booking into one convenient package.

Square Appointments is a free online booking software for individuals.

Square Appointments enables your clients schedule online 24/7 at no cost to you, and interacts with a cloud-based calendar so you don’t have to spend time responding calls and emails or dealing with scheduling conflicts if you’re a one-person business or renting a chair at a salon.Square Appointments also works with Square POS, a popular free point-of-sale system among salon owners.

Online Bookings: Common Concerns

Will internet booking result in less time spent talking with clients and, as a result, fewer sales?

Offering online booking does not have to be a replacement for scheduling appointments over the phone.Clients can schedule appointments through phone or online via salon websites or apps.Some clients will want to schedule over the phone, while others will prefer to do it online.You can cater to both types of customers.When a client schedules an appointment over the phone, you enter the details into the online booking system to maintain everything in one place.

By offering online booking, your salon may be able to increase business from clients who prefer to book over the phone!Offering only phone booking when the salon or spa is closed implies that clients will be unable to schedule appointments if no one is available to pick up the phone and check the calendar.While clients can leave a message and expect a call back, this is inconvenient if they need an appointment the next day.According to Acuity Scheduling, more than 40% of bookings are made one day or less in advance and during non-business hours.You’re missing out on appointments from individuals who phone the night before or early in the morning if you don’t offer online booking.

Additionally, online booking allows staff to have more in-depth talks with clients who call in via phone.Instead of dealing with scheduling logistics, salon personnel will have more time (and fewer interruptions) to talk to potential clients who want to learn more about the salon or existing clients who need assistance deciding which services to book.

Will online booking be unable to handle the complications of scheduling an appointment?

Salon and spa operators understand that, while scheduling appointments isn’t rocket science, it isn’t as simple as putting someone’s name on a calendar.
When it comes to arranging appointments, there are various aspects to consider.
It’s impossible to predict that the average visit would last 40 minutes.
A blowout will take far less time than trimming and adding highlights to your hair.
The following are some of the considerations that go into scheduling:

The availability of a specific beauty professional with whom the client has a working connection.

The services that will be rendered

The requirements of the client in terms of scheduling

Scheduling is difficult.Underbooking (lost revenue) or duplicate booking will result from bad scheduling (creating poor client experiences).Many salon and spa proprietors are concerned that online software isn’t designed to handle such complications.

The good news is that online booking software has evolved significantly.
Acuity Scheduling, for example, has been operational since 2006 and has gone through numerous stages of growth.Clients can make appointments with individual beauty professionals, with separate time slots set out for the treatments they choose.
Salons can even show clients the cost of each service when booking with Booker.

The Biggest Advantage Of Online Booking — Fewer Appointments Missed

Both clients and beauty professionals will receive text message reminders via salon booking software.Text messages were demonstrated to minimize no shows for medical appointments by 50% in a report by online scheduling service Appointment Plus.
One of the reasons text messages are so effective is that most people check their messages multiple times a day.It’s extremely unlikely that they will miss the message.

Phone calls and emails are two older methods of informing clients that they have an appointment.Unfortunately, due to the large amount of emails people receive and the fact that many do not make it into their inbox, this reminder strategy may be ineffective.
While clients may not be overwhelmed by incoming phone calls, salon personnel must devote a significant amount of time to this reminder approach, which frequently results in reminder phone calls not being made.Both phone conversations and emails offer advantages over automatic text messages!