Expert Advice: Open your business 24 hours a day with online booking software
Jaime King suggests four ways that software and apps offering automated bookings, staff management and retailing can drive your business this season and beyond.
With summer just around the corner, customers are looking to freshen up their looks for the upcoming season. Ahead of this influx, what can beauty and hairdressing salons do to get a jumpstart on business this season?
Ireland's beauty and hairdressing businesses can drive business this season and beyond with appointments and scheduling software. It helps to cut down on admin, putting time back in their hands to deliver a great customer experience or grow their business. Here are four reasons you should look into automating bookings to stay ahead of the game.
#1. Spring clean the appointments process - no more empty seats or incorrect bookings
With a full schedule of client bookings, wanting a variety of treatments with different members of staff, it can be difficult to stay on top of everything! And it's critical to minimise down-time so that the salon and business is always booked and busy. Scheduling sessions using online booking software cuts down on admin time managing the business's busy schedule.
Top salon software provides online appointment bookings that are optimised to take into account stylists' and therapists' working days and available hours, ensuring that there are no errors, gaps or wasted time. This means scheduling is optimised for top business performance, cutting down time on admin and devoting this to organising other aspects of the salon.
#2. Let customer loyalty bloom this season
With fewer minutes and hours spent on admin, many beauty and hairdressing businesses prefer to spend more time with customers to deliver a brilliant experience. And, this is paying off big time - for businesses that use Square Appointments, data found that a quarter of respondents (24%) used automated technology to operate customer loyalty programs or incentives. Retaining customers is critical - and businesses can further boost retention by integrating loyalty tools to turn one-time bookings into repeat customers.
Email marketing helps to build loyalty among existing clients, whilst beauty and hairdressing businesses can reach new customers via social media. It's important to be visible on the channels that clients are on, and many businesses have integrated bookings directly on their social media channels. It's all about making the process easier for clients and potential clients, while providing brilliant touchpoints to engage with them both online and offline.
#3. Getting the right tools to drive business around the clock
With online appointment bookings, your beauty and hairdressing business is available to a client 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Even if a client is unable to speak with a staff member after working hours, they will be able to schedule an appointment online.
Interestingly, Square's research revealed that nearly 4 in 10 appointments take bookings via text, one-third are booked via the salon's website and nearly a quarter are booked through social media.
It also enables customers to book treatments or appointments at times that suit them best. With booking software, customers can even opt to prepay ahead of appointments, enabling businesses to make both bookings and business, no matter the day or time.
#4. Unlocking new revenue streams
There's always new hair and beauty trends clients are keen to try out, whether it's the “C” cut, 90s midi cut or magnetic eyelashes, and they're increasingly turning to their stylists, hairdressers and beauty therapists for tailored advice and products that they can trust.
As well as keeping things organised and giving consumers more choices when it comes to buying retail products, selling products online is a sure-fire way of driving additional business.
Appointment software that easily links up with an online store enables salons to more effectively manage inventory, but also sell new products to clients. As well as keeping things organised and giving consumers more choices when it comes to buying retail products, selling products online is a sure-fire way of driving additional business.
Recent Square data found that among Irish beauty and hairdressing businesses, 30% of beauty and personal care businesses used an online appointment system through the salon's own website. For beauty and hairdressing businesses, it's vital to unlock new revenue streams in today's challenging trading environment.
Springing business forward
One of the best ways to increase revenue, delight clients and ensure the business is driving bookings and even revenue while the salon is closed, is through an appointment booking software. It unlocks revenue streams for the salon, while also enabling clients to book at times that suit them best. It's the ultimate win-win, setting the business up for success this season, and beyond.
Jaime King is EU/UK Marketing Lead at Square, who offer web-based appointment scheduling software and app to salons for appointment bookings, client records, payments, retailing and staff management.