Online booking isn't new, but certainly an increasingly powerful tool for spas and salons. If you don’t already allow customers to book appointments online - via your website or a mobile app - or if your online isn't driving customer loyalty, engaging customers or making operations easier for you - this is a must read article on why customer self-booking is so critical in today’s world.
Customers sometimes can’t reach your front desk to book an appointment; perhaps your receptionist is too busy to promptly attend to all calls, or the customer calls after your center hours. Either way, you’re losing business opportunities and offering a poor experience to your customer. With online booking, you can fully automate appointment bookings and no longer rely wholly on someone being present to pick up a phone. It’s easy, quick and automated – and something both you and your customers can be happy about.
Upfront Payments Mean Fewer Cancellations
Online booking software (like Zenoti's webstore and mobile app for customers), should allow you to enforce payment when the customer books an appointment. This translates into fewer no-shows and cancellations.
Frees Up Your Front Desk
With customers booking their appointments online, your front desk saves time as they handle fewer incoming calls and also don't have to bill the customers post appointment (if you choose to enforce upfront payments). This means they're able to offer better experiences to customers at the center. Online booking software (whether it's your website or a mobile app) should 100% integrate with your appointment booking software. This means:
- The appointment book immediately and automatically reflects any new appointments. (Or, if you only accept online appointment requests, then your appointment book should immediately alert the front desk with the request.)
- The appointment book should automatically send a text message (SMS) or email confirmation to the customer.
Promote Your Services & Engage With Customers
Engagement is critical - whether it’s how your front desk and stylist interacts with customers, or how a visitor interacts with your website. So how can a website promote services and engage with customers? We've thought about it a lot at Zenoti, and here's what we've found -
- Customer reviews matter! Publish your reviews where they matter - if a customer is looking at your “Signature Massage” page, why not show a few killer reviews of the service? (Sounds hard, but it's not. With Zenoti, collecting and publishing reviews are easy!)
- Use images and videos that are fun, instructional or simply video testimonials from customers. The more time a visitor spends on your site, the more likely they are to book that appointment.
- Let customers share. Ensure social media buttons are prominent and let them promote your services for you.
As you can see, online booking can and should offer highly effective methods to drive your spa and salon business. And, when done right, online booking just might do a better job at promoting and supporting your customer's needs than traditional methods. Customer self-booking can be so much more powerful than just asking customers to fill out a form on your website. If you’d like to see how Zenoti empowers your online booking experience, request a demo >