Yes statistics recently published on Finance Online are something to go by, we could see the online reservation software market grow at a compound annual growth rate of 15.1% over the next three years.
This would mean that the total market value would reach around 360 million dollars (317 million euros) by the end of 2024. Now you may be asking yourself: what is all this hype now? on online booking, in particular for companies by appointment? Well, the answer is simple: it is because online booking offers better solutions for these businesses.
Let’s reduce that to the salon and spa industry. Most of the salon’s clients are online. They hate the inconvenience of calling and probably being put on hold. They trust online reviews more than any form of traditional marketing. They will first search for your salon online before deciding to make an appointment with you. In addition, they get impatient a little too quickly. You have to impress them fast enough or they will bounce back. Welcome to 21st century!
Do you now agree that online booking deserves all the hype it gets? Great! Next, let’s take a look at some of the reasons why your salon should jump on the online reservations band.
It’s perfect for making a good first impression on customers
Nothing beats a flawless customer experience when it comes to attracting new salon customers and retaining existing customers. Delivering a great customer experience starts long before a customer walks into your salon. It starts with the very first contact a customer has with your business. In most cases, this happens on your website.
The ease of making or canceling appointments in your salon is an integral part of your first impression online. Your online reservation system for hair salons will help you create the perfect first impression in many ways.
- Thanks to it, clients can make an appointment anytime of the day, wherever they are. You should be aware that many people, including you, are very busy during the day and therefore prefer to make appointments outside of standard business hours. You will disappoint and frustrate many potential clients if you make them wait until you are open just to make an appointment.
- Everything a customer needs to know regarding slot availability, billing options or payment methods is clearly stated on your reservation system. And because a lot of people don’t like inquiries over the phone, getting everything they need on the first contact can be pretty overwhelming.
- It is possible to link your reservation software to your social network pages. Linking it to Facebook, for example, means you don’t have to wait for customers to show up on your website. You are able to bring the services of your salon closer to the convenience of the clients.
- Modern customers appreciate (and love to give) reviews, ratings, and comments in general. A good booking system comes with a built-in feedback system that makes it easy for customers to give feedback or access existing reviews. Perfect for a good first impression!
A proven income booster
It goes without saying: by improving the first impression of your salon, booking online increases conversions and therefore revenue. There is more.
For starters, booking online minimizes the number of bookings you miss when you can’t reach the phone. It does this by reducing phone traffic first and freeing up your time to answer the few calls that still come in. It then gives you more room for creativity to spice up your response message. Instead of the traditional “leave a message and I’ll call you back” message, which you may not even have time to recall, you can use this space to walk callers through the process of booking your services online. Plus, you can focus better on customers at your fingertips when phone interruptions are less.
Most importantly, online booking software ensures that you don’t lose business due to double bookings and / or poor planning. It gives you access to your calendar anytime and on any device, making it easier for you to plan. Finally, online reservation systems increase revenue generation by minimizing no-shows and cancellations. They do this by sending automated appointment confirmation messages and reminder messages to clients.
It makes living room management easier and more efficient
Ideally, online booking solutions are designed to minimize the hassle of business management. A good system will do just that, especially when it comes to inventory management, personnel management, financial management, and customer management. This is how:
- Inventory management: Your online booking software can tell you which hair and beauty products are in stock, which need to be renewed, and which are about to expire. It will tell you which products have low unprofitable demand so that you don’t stock too much.
- Personnel management: The software will tell you which employees attract the most / the fewest appointments. You can also use it to check which employees are free at any given time and distribute tasks wherever you are. In addition, the software makes it easier for management to detect waste, theft and, in general, to empower staff members.
- Customer Management: You can easily track customer appointment history, expense patterns, communications and other specifications through your booking software. This makes it easier for you to respond to reviews, personalize your services, and reward loyalty.
- Financial Management: Some reservation systems come with accounting tools that you can use to track payments and control your salon’s finances, especially when you have multiple salons in different locations. The tool also helps you calculate commissions and keep a database of them.
Invaluable for your digital marketing efforts
The more you know about an individual customer or target market, the easier and more effective your marketing efforts will be. Your reservation system is invaluable to salon marketing because it creates a database of detailed personal customer information for you, without being intrusive at all. It will record phone numbers for you, birthdays, social media profile details, email and physical addresses, and customer age information, among others. You can use all of this information to engage with customers on a personal level, personalize your email marketing messages, and reach out to customers on social media.
You now understand the essential role of online booking in the hairdressing and beauty industry. The last thing you should do is be skeptical about investing in booking software because even if you fear change, your customers aren’t. You have to put your money where your mouth is!