By maximizing staff utilization, you decrease the time staff sits idle and maximize your profits. In the spa and salon industry, when your therapist is not working with a customer, you lose that opportunity to earn revenue. Retailers can sell products one day to the next. For spas, however, time lost is money lost, and you cannot make up for idle staff the next day! In this whitepaper, you’ll learn how to maximize staff utilization through smart appointment booking.
To schedule and manage appointments efficiently, it is important to have a clean and organized view of the day’s appointment. A timeline running across the top of the page and therapists running down the side (or visa-versa) allows the receptionist to quickly assess free time slots and therapist availability.
Traditionally, receptionists used a physical appointment book, where appointments are penciled in; changes are crossed out or erased and re-written. Receptionists that have oversized books are lucky, because simply keeping a clean, readable book can be challenging.
Many have moved to online appointment books. A number of benefits are gained in doing so. The receptionist always gets an instant and clean view of the day’s schedule, which helps in identifying available time slots and therapists.
Well designed, online appointment books let you quickly make updates to the schedule to accommodate customer requests. For example, assume a customer calls in and requests for a therapist or time slot that is already booked. Most receptionists would simply turn the customer on phone down.
If the receptionist has an easy way to arrange appointments, she might be able to rearrange the existing schedule and move the existing appointment to another therapist. A drag-and-drop feature, which allows the receptionist to visually move appointments around, enables her to exploit free timeslots and quickly re- arrange the schedule.
Customers often request a specific therapist for a service. These types of requests can get difficult to accommodate using a paper-based booking system, or even a poorly designed online appointment book. In a paper-based system, if the therapist is booked with another customer at the requested time, you simply have to tell the customer on the phone that the therapist is busy. With the ability to drag and drop appointments the receptionist can quickly move the existing appointment to another therapist and accommodate the customer on the phone!
An online appointment book can lock an appointment to a therapist if the customer requested that therapist. By combining the ability to drag-and-drop with the lock feature, you can quickly rearrange schedules to maximize the number of appointments for any given hour.
While most people rarely cancel their doctor appointments, cancelled spa appointments are commonplace. Last minute cancellations result in a loss of revenue from the customer that made the appointment, but also from another customer who would have taken that timeslot had you known about the cancellation ahead of time.
Confirming appointments a day, hour or even 15 minutes before the appointment helps you avoid cancellations. The simple practice of greeting the customer by name, reviewing the services they need, asking them if they have any other special needs and letting them know you are looking forward to seeing them goes a long way in ensuring customers show up for their appointment on time.
While this is definitely a good practice to follow, you need an easy, reliable system to track customers that have confirmed their appointments and customers that still need to be called. This is definitely a challenge, especially in a paper-based system. Sophisticated spa software can address this elegantly by providing visual references within the appointment book.
Zenoti, a software tool exclusively for spas and salons, does this elegantly using color coded appointment blocks. During peak hours and busy days, this can become a critical process to ensure you maximize utilization, which increases revenue and enables you to accommodate more customers.
Despite your best efforts, spas and salons cannot accommodate all customers that call in for an appointment on busy days and during peak hours. Turning down customers results in a loss of revenue.
Spa and salon software like Zenoti uses waitlists to recapture business after a cancellation. Software allows you store customer request information into a waitlistt. Your receptionist can call waitlisted customers if a time slot or therapist becomes available. You not only are able to go the extra mile to accommodate a customer, but also get more revenue by avoiding under utilized staff as a result of the last minute cancellation.
Using a waitlist also helps you track the number of customers that are not accommodated because you’re too busy. You can access reports that show which services are most requested and result in a customer being waitlisted.
Use this data to determine if you’re understaffed or overstaffed in each area of your business. For example, if you find that customers are often waitlisted for hair straightening, hire more stylists or consider training existing staff in that skill set.
As a spa owner, you want to have visibility to your spa whether you can physically be at the location or not. With an internet accessible system, you can monitor the day’s appointments, see how many customers came in, watch whether employees came in on time and much more. By remotely logging into software, you can manage staff, appointment bookings, offer advice, make changes and monitor the business from any location.
The strategies discussed in this whitepaper are proven techniques that increase staff utilization so staff has less down time and you earn more revenue. Software, like Zenoti, provides easy to use methods to manage appointments and the day’s schedule.