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Online booking has become an integral part of the appointment booking process for beauty and wellness businesses. On average, at barbershops, waxing centers, and nail studios, roughly one of every three appointments is booked online.

Online booking not only offers greater convenience and flexibility to salon and spa customers, but it also streamlines the appointment-booking process for the business (think fewer phone calls at the front desk). However, not all booking software is created equal – and some don’t provide the customization needed to actually drive more business.

This post covers two refinements that help businesses optimize their appointment book and make the best use of their service providers' time.

Specific service durations per guest

Not all guests need the same amount of time for the same service. Not all booking systems recognize that.

Here’s the problem: Let’s say a salon customer with short hair needs 30 minutes for a haircut. But your online booking system defaults to 60 minutes for all haircuts, regardless of the customer's need. In that instance, you lose revenue due to 30 minutes of "dead" time in your appointment book following that guest’s 30-minute service.

Another problem arises when someone with longer hair needs 75 minutes. That same system default of 60 minutes leads to a rushed experience for guests, and stress for service providers tasked with staying on schedule.

Guest-specific service durations help eliminate these issues – and it’s why Zenoti has built that into online booking.


Zenoti software makes it easy to customize service durations for each guest and provider. This allows for far more efficient schedule management, and improves the experience for both the service provider and the customer. Once a guest's duration is set for a particular service, it's automatically applied to future online bookings for the same service.

By removing or greatly reducing that "dead" time in between bookings, salons and spas optimize each hour of their schedule to maximize utilization and collections – both for the business and the stylists and aestheticians.

This refinement also speeds up the online booking experience for your front desk and your guests, and offers a more relaxed experience for everyone involved at the time of service.

Parallel booking

Parallel booking refers to the ability to schedule related services at the same time. For example, nail salons often schedule and deliver a manicure and pedicure within the same visit. These should not be scheduled as two services, such as a 30-minute mani followed by a 60-minute pedi for a total of 90 minutes. In the salon, a guest walks out in just an hour with new tips and toes.

Booking the services separately can sometimes require a guest to hang around waiting in between services. Parallel booking sets up both services as one visit for a total of 60 minutes.


While parallel services are nothing new for salons and spas, not all appointment booking software can handle parallel booking. Is your system up to the job? With parallel booking, customers can schedule multiple services with the same start time. For example, a guest can book a single visit for a manicure and pedicure at 11 a.m. Saturday, with the salon scheduling two different stylists to provide the services.

With Zenoti, parallel booking results in shorter visit times for customers and more revenue per station. Your staff and guests can use this Zenoti feature when booking an appointment, making it convenient for either group to schedule services.

Is your appointment booking software as good as your smartest receptionist?

Specific per-guest durations and parallel booking are just two ways to ensure an optimized appointment book. When salons and spas can integrate these efficiencies into their scheduling, the results are fewer gaps and the best use of your providers' time. Proper optimization demands software capable of nuanced decision-making.

With intelligent appointment booking in Zenoti, salons and spas can fully optimize their appointment book. Refinements like guest-specific service durations and parallel booking benefit everyone involved:

  • Guests enjoy personalized online booking convenience, with their preferred provider and service duration built in. Parallel bookings get them in and out the door faster.  
  • Businesses maximize revenue with fewer gaps and less wasted time, with parallel bookings generating higher revenue per station.
  • Service provider utilization goes up, leading to higher commissions and tip income for staff.

To provide a great guest experience and maximize revenue, look to software that is intelligent with online booking. Refining this aspect of the customer experience helps you hyper-personalize service to truly delight guests and keep them coming back.


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Gita Mani
Senior Content Specialist
Gita helps brands find the right words for their messaging, with the customer’s best interests informing her approach. Being in nature is her favorite way to unwind.
Cullie Poseria
Senior Product Marketing Manager, Fitness
Coming from a healthcare family, growing up as a competitive athlete, and being trained as a filmmaker, and MBA, Cullie brings diverse experience to her storytelling and digital business-to-business product marketing. Her writing focuses on sharing trends and insights from her experience in software, entertainment, wellness, and fitness.

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