What do all the major players in the service industry have in common? They are offering a flawless mobile experience for their customer base. Companies such as Starbucks, Uber Eats, and Lyft have all helped make smartphones a natural part of eating and travelling. They realized that since their customers spend all day with a smartphone in their hand, it’s the best way to connect with them.
Their apps go beyond just ordering too: They include memberships, reviews, and loyalty points, meaning everything a customer needs is (literally) at their fingertips.
These days, guests are used to finding any information, ordering items, making payments and viewing real-time updates on their smartphones. Many beauty and wellness businesses are connecting with guests via their mobile phones already, through things like online bookings, social media engagement, and online retail sales. These businesses are in a perfect position to go the whole way and create a seamless digital journey through their services.
Since the pandemic, guests have gotten used to the safety and convenience of managing everything through their smartphones. You can utilize this to elevate your guest experience, while reducing the workload for your front desk!
Around 40% of individuals say they feel safer in venues that use order and pay technology.
In this blog, we round up some of the primary reasons you should add more mobile services into your 2022 business plan, along with examples of Zenoti customers who are already using them to elevate their guest experience.
1. Guests Are Loving It in Restaurants
Remember the last time you had to call a restaurant to order your midweek takeout? Us neither. The restaurant industry is a great example of using smartphones to create an efficient, safe, and convenient guest experience. Salons and spas need look no further than to their local burger joint for proof of a successful mobile strategy.
COVID-19 pushed restaurants to maintain on-premise social distancing through apps and QR codes. And the results are great: Since the pandemic, 43% of people say they typically use technology to order food and drink.
Not only are guests embracing the new technology, but clever mobile ordering platforms inspire upselling by suggesting suitable accompaniments and upgrades with each meal.
Restaurant customers spend 20% more per order when ordering via mobile.
It’s no wonder guests want to use their smartphones for everything: Ordering via mobile is quick and easy. Regardless of if they’re ordering food or booking their next round of beauty treatments, they get a clear overview of the options available and can swiftly decide what they need.
2. It Can Boost Your Bottom Line
Implementing a mobile-first strategy lets you weave in upselling and other incentives into the guest journey, without relying on your staff to champion them at every opportunity.
Firstly, a mobile booking tool does more than just allow 24-hour bookings. It can also be set up to capitalize on any upselling opportunities prior to a guest’s visit. For example, by prompting guests to book a treatment after their hair color, or a facial with their massage. Furthermore, when an add-on service is selected, it’s seamlessly added to the booking and the time required is blocked out in your schedule.
The result: you can sit back and watch while your average invoice per visit goes up. It’s minimal effort for maximum reward.
Premium aesthetics clinic EverySkin implemented online bookings via a webstore, to free up staff to focus on in-person interactions. Not only did it save them time; bookings via the webstore fetched a 41% higher booking price on average!
“Guests have access to all the information they need immediately, 24 hours a day. This digital enablement of the business allows our team to focus on delivering a fantastic, personalized experience to our guests, rather than admin tasks.”
- Alice Sagnier, Co-founder, EverySkin
Secondly, a rewards program is another great way to incentivize guests to try more services and return more often, with the added benefit of showing them some love for their loyalty. However, keeping track of points and stamps can quickly become complicated. And if it becomes too complicated, guests are less likely to engage.
Nearly 75% of individuals would actively engage with loyalty programs if they could access their rewards information from their mobile phones.
Ensure your rewards program makes your guests feel truly valued by displaying their points and rewards in a mobile app, which makes it easy for them to check their status and apply their rewards in just a few taps.
3. Say Goodbye to Front Desk Bottlenecks
It’s Saturday afternoon and you’re fully booked, but people are still coming through the doors in the hope of some last-minute availability, or to book themselves in for next week. Meanwhile, other guests are trying to pay or browse your retail section. Your receptionist is first-class but there’s only one of her, and everyone needs help right now. Sound familiar?
On busy days, your reception area can become filled with queues of guests looking to book, pay, and ask questions. This is never ideal, but especially not in pandemic times.
Mobile technology can perform a number of the tasks your front desk is currently doing and reduce those queues. This not only improves the guest experience (because no one likes to wait), but also frees up your front desk staff to provide a welcoming atmosphere and be on hand to assist and advise where needed.
- Online bookings - Convenient for you and for your guests, online bookings enable your guests to schedule and update their bookings on the go from a PC, tablet, or smartphone. Your front desk staff can focus on other things while the system works effortlessly in the background to fill your appointment book and avoid any unnecessary gaps.
Guests are welcoming online bookings with open arms: 60% of Zenoti-powered appointments are booked online!
- Waitlist - If your salon or spa offers appointments by waitlist, don’t let waiting guests cause a crowded front desk area. With a mobile waitlist, guests can keep going about their day, get a coffee or run an errand while keeping track of their position in the queue. Timely alerts will ensure they don't miss their appointment.
- Kiosk - Place an iPad near the entrance to your salon or spa and let guests book their own appointments or check themselves in to existing ones.
- Automated check-ins - Through clever geofencing technology, guests are prompted to check themselves in when they enter your salon or spa. As soon as they do, your providers are notified about their arrival.
- In-app payments - Enable your guests to pay for their products and services via an app and make the process even quicker by securely storing their card details for next time. Long queues waiting for your card reader to connect will be a thing of the past!
Another benefit to guests booking and paying digitally is that they fill in their own details, reducing the risk of errors that come with communicating over the sound of hairdryers.
Nail salon chain Miniluxe has 19 locations across the US. They introduced the Zenoti Webstore and Consumer Mobile App (CMA) to reduce high call volumes and elevate the guest experience.
Their guests now have convenient, self-service access to everything from booking and rescheduling their appointments, checking in and out of the salons, paying for their services and more.
And the guests are loving it! The app has been downloaded 21,000 times already.
4. Never Miss a Message Again
Between WhatsApp, Instagram, and Facebook, your guests are used to being able to communicate by text in real time. It’s often the best way to reach them, and the way they’d like to reach you back.
SMS messages have a 98% open rate on average.
When you’re running a busy salon or spa, a missed message could mean last-minute appointments not getting filled, queries going unnoticed, or losing out on appointment bookings. Make sure mobile communications are truly integrated into your business plan by:
- Utilizing two-way messaging to quickly respond to client queries.
- Sending push notifications with offers and last-minute availability.
- Implementing chatbots on your website and social media pages. These can automatically respond to client queries and help them book appointments 24/7.
InSpa achieved a 70% drop in cancellations using Zenoti’s two-way communications tool, ezConnect.
Birds Barbershop performs 25,000 haircuts every month across nine locations and their reception areas used to become bottlenecks for guests. They enabled online bookings and two-way messaging to streamline the booking experience, while utilizing Zenoti’s geofencing technology to automatically prompt providers when guests enter their locations.
To date, Birds Barbershop has seen a 60% increase in self-service bookings, with over 1,400 guests enrolled in auto-pay for a swift checkout experience.
5. Leverage QR Codes in Your Retail Spaces
Not everyone is a beauty wiz, and often guests rely on your providers to tell them what products to buy. When a guest is browsing your retail section alone, all the technical terms on bottles and containers can be more than a little confusing.
A great way to get around this is by adding QR codes to your retail spaces. Scanning these codes with a smartphone can take a guest straight to your webstore for more information, without the need to download an app.
This has two great benefits: Firstly, it makes the guest journey to buying a product simpler without taking up more of your staff’s time. Secondly, it brings your webstore to your guest’s attention. So, the next time they need a top up, they might just go straight there.
With the rise of big, mobile-first brands all around the globe, it’s more important than ever to meet your guests’ expectations when it comes to technology. Get ahead in 2022 by making sure your guests can use their smartphones to:
- Book, amend and track their appointments.
- Pay for their services and retail products.
- Easily track and use their loyalty points.
- Instant-message your business with any queries.
- Access information about your retail products and webstore.
However, it’s important that your mobile offering is well-aligned with your business and your goals, as implementing the wrong technology can cause friction for guests and providers alike. Our world-leading mobile platform is elevating the experience for thousands of salons and spas already. Talk to a consultant today.