No doubt about it: the pandemic expedited how consumers use digital tools—mobile banking apps, Amazon orders for essential goods, grocery delivery apps—to engage with businesses. For many, digital tools are the preferred way to interact and operate, and that includes online scheduling for salons.
Adding new technology may take a little effort, but the benefit of online scheduling is a win-win. Clients love the ease and convenience of scheduling appointments through their laptops, tablets or phones, and salon owners benefit by having more streamlined and organized operations. Here are some of the benefits of online scheduling for salons:
Online scheduling increases efficiency for clients, salon staff and business owners
Online scheduling allows clients to easily choose which date and time they want to visit a salon, receive reminders before the scheduled visit or make changes when needed. Salon clients are also able to make an appointment at any hour of the day, which means salons don’t miss out on appointments when staff aren’t available.
Lucas Renfroe, a founding partner of Salon.Marketing, writes in Salon Today about how digitizing scheduling systems increases efficiency for staff and owners. These tools can eliminate common manual scheduling errors, such as double-booking or scheduling appointments on the wrong day. They also optimize workforce management of staffing hours, reducing downtime or freeing up staff to devote more time to organizing other aspects of the salon, such as product displays.
Online scheduling gets ahead of the competition
Offering online scheduling at your salon can also give salons a leg up on their competitors, according to Renfroe. “Not all salons offer online booking yet. If you’re leaning towards being one of the salons that does, you will be more accessible on a whim to clients searching for those last-minute appointment slots,” he writes. “If a client is looking to make an appointment after hours, they’re going to go book with the salon that allows them to do so. Without doing anything, you’ve gained a new client and jumped in front of a local competitor.”
Make online scheduling a benefit for your stylists
And it’s not just customers who can use the benefits of online scheduling tools — salon staff can access it during check-out to schedule customers’ next appointments, strengthening relationships with repeat customers. If stylists are out sick or have an unforeseen emergency, they can access the online scheduling tool remotely via the cloud to make appointment changes if necessary.
Online scheduling tools also allow administrators to block off periods of time. One use of this function is to automatically block out “buffer times” for stylists to clean up after an appointment, set up necessary tools or just take a much-needed breather between clients. In today’s climate with busy staff and labor shortages, blocking off time is an easy way to ensure your stylists are happy and prepared to greet their next client as soon as they walk through the door.
Which online scheduling tool is right for your salon?
As you research which online scheduling tool works best for your business, one thing to consider is how the tool integrates with other operational technology you use daily at the salon. talech offers a modern POS system that includes an online scheduling tool.
Using an online scheduling tool that’s part of a POS system can streamline staff management, inventory tracking and financial management into one central location. In addition, the system can provide detailed customer histories and metrics, online staff profiles and loyalty program capabilities, among other features.
The pandemic has accelerated the digital transformation of many industries, and the trend toward online scheduling is just one of the many ways businesses are adapting to run more efficiently, do more with fewer staff and make easier (and stronger) connections with clients.