Online Booking for salons, spas and other professionals
Learn how to use online scheduling to grow your business and save you time.
Online scheduling is my best business booster.
When I started out on my own, I was excited about setting up online booking because I would get to control how my clients were getting booked in.
It gave me anxiety when other people booked clients with me. I was worried that they were not booking the proper services, upselling add-on services or writing down the wrong appointment times.
I have a rule that I never answer the phone when a client is in my room. So, I was constantly returning phone calls. I was losing potential new clients because of the annoying games of phone tag.
I toyed with the idea of getting an online scheduling program for a long time, but I was scared of handing appointment control over to my clients. There is a specific way I like to book, and I did not think that software could replicate it.
Finding the best salon & spa online booking system
When I started my research, I had a long list of “things” that the program needed. Easy, quick, and effortless were the top 3 most essential requirements. But there are tons of other features that some schedulers offer too.
There are hundreds of software providers, so searching through the internet was very time-consuming, but I found this website that has a great comparison chart.
Most online scheduling companies have free trials so you might want to give one of them a try before committing to one online booking system.
*TIP* This is one of the fastest grown salon scheduling software. It’s FREE and dependable.
After I found the best software for me and it was all set up, I invited a few regular clients to give it a try. They love that it is easy and convenient—no more phone tag.
I was so excited that I saved time in my day by not booking appointments I didn’t even realize the other ways online booking in my spa was improving my business.
I didn’t know it, but the online booking was a “selling feature” when new clients pick me over another esthetician.
Why your salon or spa should get online scheduling
•It is convenient for new and current clients to book appointments 24 hours a day without playing phone tag.
•You can save money on receptionists. Many salon and spa online booking systems’ features run so seamlessly that you may cut back on receptionist hours. Your receptionist can now spend time and focus on clients who are physically in the studio at that moment. This could mean more chances to sell retail.
•Many offer time-saving features that allow you more face-to-face time with clients.
How online booking increased my business
Without even trying, my business increased by 50%. That more than paid for my online booking program.
My clients love the convenience of booking anytime or anywhere. In just a couple of months, clients who only came for an eyebrow wax started to book pedicures or facials. It was easy for them to pull up their schedule and my schedule and find times that work.
What online booking features you should look for
Online booking will be one of your best investments. When you are looking for companies, think about the features that are important to you.
Important features to look for:
Many clients will ask you to just “charge it” to their credit card. If you have an integrated system, it’s a huge bonus.
*TIP* if your scheduler does not offer this, Square Reader lets you accept any type of payment method, including debit tap and chip & PIN.
Mobile apps are essential. You’ll want to be able to manage appointments, create new ones, and communicate with your clients anywhere, anytime. Over 75% of my clients book using their phone app.
You will be surprised at how well email marketing works with your customers. Let them know about your new address, a new location opening, a sale or special, new hours, an appointment opening, or say hi to your clients.
*TIP* If your scheduler does not have an email marketing system, consider using a 3rd party.
Offering packages of service is a great way to keep your clients coming back. It’s a significant asset if your spa or salon scheduling provider offers this as a part of their service.
*TIP* If they don’t offer it, consider implementing your own loyalty program. Read more here.
✔Automatic text/email reminders
Automatic text and email reminders for clients will reduce no-shows. Having it done automatically through your service provider is a big time-saver.
✔Social media marketing services
Many systems offer one-click social media blasts and deal managers. You will run your social media accounts and set up offers to get clients to come in.
*Tip* If I have a slow week coming up, I send out an email blast with current sales, tips and openings. Many clients say that getting those emails reminds them that they need to book in soon, and often my schedule will fill up.
As you can see, online booking is an essential part of your business. It’s critical to find the best software for your business.
If you cannot find the one company that does everything you’re looking for, you may want to add third-party integrations to help boost your business.
These are some of our favourite third-party integrations:
•Create Your App and Publish on App Stores in minutes – No Coding Needing – Get Started
•Easily post content from the Social Content App directly to the social media channel of your choice