Client attraction and retention are crucial to your success as a salon owner. You want to make sure new clients are trooping in a while, ensuring that existing clients remain and come back for more. These are no small tasks, and this is why I am writing this informative guide. Using salon scheduling software to keep track of your clients' nail salon appointments and sending reminders when they have missed their hair salon appointment time is a guaranteed way to run your salon business smoothly. And in this resource, I will show you how to manage and optimize the salon scheduler.
What is the salon schedule?
Every salon owner knows how tedious it is to retain clients. This is because it requires a certain level of skill and technicality to ensure everything is weighed and balanced on a scale. A salon schedule is simply the act of appropriately balancing schedules with clients and stylists. To achieve this, a salon owner will need the right set of tools and tricks, which I will illustrate in this guide.
Why do you need to optimize salon schedules & appointment book for salons?
Before moving further, know several reasons you need to optimize the salon scheduler and salon appointment books. To name a few are:
- Retain existing clients
- Attract new clients
- Save time
- Increases salon revenue
How to optimize the salon scheduling
The following are the most effective ways to manage hair salon appointments at your salon so you can maximize your bookings.
1. Being more efficient with your salon services
Making judicious use of time is crucial to optimizing your salon schedule. There are certain tasks they that will warrant the client to wait before completion. For instance, when applying tint, a client must wait for it to dry before anything else. During the waiting period, your stylists can attend to other services that will not take much time, e.g., cuts or trims. Each stylist has enough time to shuffle between different tasks/services. Using the salon appointment app is a great way to manage processing time. Simply add different variations of your services in your salon appointment app and make them available for booking in your calendar for other clients.
2. Choose your time slot wisely
Timing is everything when it comes to business. The more efficient you are with time, the more clients you will attract and the more money you will make. For instance, if two salons cut hair for $30 and one has efficient stylists who can manage 15 cuts per day, the other only manages ten cuts per day. Who do you think will earn more? Who do you think will attend to more clients? The first salon, of course. However, it is essential to examine all of the services your salon offers before segregating each service based on time allocation. Once you understand the time you spend providing each service, you can easily optimize the salon scheduler app.
The following questions can help you optimize your resources to increase bookings:
- Are there limited resources that may prohibit the number of bookings?
- How many treatment rooms or stations do you have available?
- Can you add resources or equipment to help run your salon more efficiently?
- Can you run multiple shifts in your salon or spa?
- Are there any obstacles you need to take into account?
Answering these questions correctly will help make your salon scheduling efforts much more profitable.
3. Start using salon scheduling software
Salon scheduling software is a time-saving, productive tool that every salon or spa owner should adopt. You probably have a receptionist who handles nail salon appointments and responds to client's needs; there is a smarter way of doing things: employing salon management software. Business management for a salon business can be overwhelming for an individual to handle. Even if you have a team responsible for this task, their overall efficiency can be questioned. With a salon mobile app or salon scheduling software, you can:
- Access your schedule
- Book clients' appointment
- Check your salon business performance
- Change staff working hours
- Keep your calendar up to date, and so on.
Employing salon scheduling software will make it easier to point out any deals and problems in your business.
4. Use communication tools
Owning a fancy salon or spa isn't enough; communications tools can help optimize the salon scheduler. What are communication tools? These are tools that salon owners use to reach out to their clients, notifying them about new products, services, or appointment book for salon schedules. For example, sending reminder emails and SMSs to clients is proven to keep them on time and drastically reduce or even eliminate "no-shows." Thanks to technology, communication tools are offering more features than ever.
Now, automated features enable clients to receive automated emails and texts each time they get closer to their hair salon appointment date. You can integrate communication tools with salon scheduling software to make the most of your efforts. One beauty about automated communications is that they are a huge time-saver as they eliminate the need for confirmation calls. Instead of calling and reminding the client to fill in your salon client appointment book, a message is automatically sent to them via email or text.
5. Enable online booking
If your salon or spa has not yet adopted online booking, you are a century behind. In this digitally-inclined era, clients cannot afford to always come to your salon to book appointments and schedules. Life is easier. Instead of battling with too many booking requests, allow your clients the freedom to take care of their booking needs themselves! How? Offer free (24/7) online booking on your social media or salon website, or sign up with Google My Business. Online booking comes with several functionalities, including:
- Client self-booking
- Rescheduling appointment book for salon
- Canceling appointment
- Group booking
- Book recurring appointments
Enabling online booking comes with enormous benefits; for example,
- Saves time and resources for both clients and your staff
- Your staff won't stress over missed calls
- Your team will save energy since they will focus on other essential needs
Booking online is so streamlined that your clients can check their availability, avoiding future cancellations and rescheduling. While salon scheduling software helps you optimize the salon scheduler app, online booking gives your clients the freedom to book appointments.
6. Upsell additional services within services
Selling additional services to a client patiently waiting for your stylist to get done might be a good idea. While a client who has just finished his haircut may be waiting to trim his nails, you can consider offering additional services, especially if they are inclined to upgrade. That is upselling. When it comes to upselling, every party involves winning. The client only has to pay a token for the service while they get more value. Salon owners who upsell add-ons within services usually record more sales and profits and eventually optimize the salon scheduler app.
7. Send appointment confirmations and visit reminders
Imagine scheduling appointments for different clients; over 50% either canceled or did not show up. That isn't good for business revenue. How often do you get these disappointments from clients without giving notice? Late cancellations and no-shows can create a bridge in your salon calendar, but there is a way out. The first is to decode why your clients are missing their appointments. For some, it might be sickness; for others, they forgot, and a few may not want to come back. Whatever the reason, savvy salon or spa owners take cognizance of these cancellations or no-shows before introducing a strategy to mitigate them.
Talking about a mitigation strategy, an effective way to handle late cancellations and no-shows is to use SMS or email appointment confirmations & reminders. This method has proven to reduce those losses by up to 70%! Sending reminders to your clients via email or SMS 24 or 48 hours before their appointment allows them to confirm, cancel, or reschedule appointments using your salon app. This way, you can easily fill out empty spaces with other clients. Sending appointment confirmations and visit reminders effectively optimize the salon scheduler and reduce the chances of losing revenue.
8. Enforce a cancellation and no-show policy
If you discover that clients often cancel their appointments for no legitimate reason, you can adopt a cancellation policy. This policy will charge clients a fee if they cancel an appointment less than 6 hours before time. Adopting such a policy gives your clients a clear idea of what will happen if service appointments need to be changed or called off at the last minute. Remember to state your cancellation policy clearly and display it on your website and in your salon. Set this up so that clients will first view and agree to the cancellation policy before booking an appointment. Try this and see the number of no-shows and cancellations reduce. Clients will take you more seriously, and this will help with your salon's time management.
9. Create a waiting list
Do you want to deal with last-minute cancellations? Creating a waiting list is always a great idea. A waiting list helps keep your schedule filled even if cancelation occurs. It is like an insurance policy that secures a spot for another client when one fails. Fortunately, many salon scheduling software and apps automatically suggest the next person in line should a cancellation occur.
This is how to start a list of clients waiting for a scheduled opening
- Write down their names and contact information
- Provide the services they want
- Indicate their preferred stylist
- Specify any time or other limitations, e.g.
- What time of the day will they be available for appointments?
- Do they have a complex treatment or set of services they need to do?
- Do they have a favorite stylist?
- Physical limitations should be taken into account too.
Gather any other information you can lay your hands on to help you find an ideal replacement.
10. Streamline your appointment management
Beauty salons require a high level of customer service and attention to detail. As a result, many salon owners struggle to manage and streamline their schedules efficiently. Being a competitive business, you want to eliminate any factor that will place you down the food chain. And, what better way to mitigate this than by optimizing/streamlining your appointment management through a combination of these three methods we have highlighted above:
Online bookings + sending out reminders + creating waiting lists
Combining these three methods is a guaranteed way to optimize salon scheduling, improve customer service, reduce cancelation, and ultimately boost salon revenue.
11. Manage payment for appointments
How you handle the payment for appointments plays a huge role in making your salon business orderly. In this century, don't expect your clients to come to your spa to make payments before booking appointments. Why don't you accept payment online and leverage credit cards?
Accept online payment: Thanks to the salon appointment app, you don't need to worry
about payment processing. Salon software comes equipped with efficient point of sale (POS) systems that help to speed up the checkout process. Clients can securely, quickly, and conveniently book appointments using their credit cards. Having their credit card details makes it easier to charge late cancellation fees or last-minute appointment cancellations to reduce revenue loss.
12. Account for breaks and book your resources
Salon scheduling apps allow you and your staff to set up not just services but break, time off, etc., when needed. The effort of your hard-working staff plays an integral role in the smooth operation of your salon. Not reserving breaks for your staff may cost your business. As much as you want clients to get booked as often as possible, you should also consider reserving extra time breaks for your staff and team members. This way, they will always feel refreshed and give each client excellent service.
13. Make the most of marketing tools
Many salon owners stop creating and filling their schedules using salon scheduling software. No, it doesn't stop there. Every business thrives with marketing. How can you own a product or service and expect to make sales when you don't let the world know what you offer? Impossible! SMS and email campaigns are for starters. Advance to social media posts, guest posts, and blogging. Create and send weekly newsletters and announcements to your client list to keep them updated on the latest promotions, trends, and other topics of interest. Leverage social media channels to run contests, engage your followers with interesting posts and offer discounts to make them come back for more services. With time, you will discover that empty spaces in your schedule will fill up.
14. Let your staff/stylist manage their schedule
Your staff plays an integral role in your business. Every successful business owner knows this and carries their staff along. Good management teaches business owners to unite their staff, bringing them together to map out an ideal schedule for the business. From determining their unique skills to arranging shifts, scheduling your staff according to their skills is important to avoid scheduling conflicts. Some good ways to manage your staff's schedule are to occupy the busiest time of the day and reduce breaks to a minimum. But, remember to compensate for break periods during the slow time to avoid overworking your staff. Plan together with your staff! Figure out the best way to optimize salon schedules while bringing out the best in everybody.
15. Conduct daily schedule reviews
Make it a practice to review your salon scheduling software daily. Reviewing your schedule gives you a glimpse of its potency and helps you optimize your salon schedule with minimal risks. Check out the following:
- Booking conflicts
- Missed or late appointments
- Appointments running longer than scheduled, and so on.
Optimizing your appointment book for salon can help you retain existing clients and attract new ones, but your salon furniture and equipment can provide the required comfort for your clients while in your studio. Getting quality salon equipment plays a crucial role in your business's success. At OmySalon, you can get quality and durable equipment and furniture for your hair salon, nail salon, spa, mani-pedi center, massage parlor, and skin-care businesses at reasonable prices.
Visit https://www.omysalon.com/ to discover more.
Running a beauty salon involves balancing the needs of your staff members and satisfying your clients. That is not an easy feat. Optimizing the salon scheduler allows you to balance and adjust your needs to run a smooth and successful salon. Once you have considered the strategies above, you will start experiencing an increase in productivity and income.