Managing the tsunami of reopening bookings
Finally, after months of nail-biting stress and uncertainty about the hair and beauty industry ever getting back on its feet, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. With your reopening date fast approaching, you and your clients can barely hold in the excitement. By now, you’ve probably created or edited your booking consultation forms (learn how to write your own here), restocked your products and gone over staff work schedules. However, there’s one thing you might have missed – carefully managing your reopening bookings. How are you going to track your appointments in order to avoid clashes? And which group of clients are you planning on prioritising – perhaps you’ll take a first-come-first-served approach? Or maybe you’ll take in clients who were forced to cancel their visits during the outbreak? Read on for some great ideas!
What’s your method of taking bookings?
During this hectic reopening time, taking appointments by hand might not be your best option – especially if you have prioritised a specific group of clients. Sure, if you follow the first-come-first-served strategy, a paper notebook might do the job – however, you’re probably going to be stuck answering calls, texts and direct messages on your social media pages all day long. What’s worse, you’re going to have to manually send appointment reminders, confirmations, slot availability (in the case that a slot has been made available due to another client’s resignation) and reschedule clients.
Plus, if you plan on, for example, prioritising bookings for elderly clients, managing them with a paper notebook and loads of incoming calls and texts is simply an uphill challenge that can drive one mad. To help you throughout your reopening process, Versum salon software is there with you, each step of the way. With this option, you’re able to:
- Take bookings 24/7 – using the Online Booking feature, clients can see your available slots and book them whenever they see fit. Plus, you’re fully in control of this feature, which can be deactivated with just a few clicks. This option works best if you take bookings on a first-come-first-served basis.
- Select specific groups of clients – with the Customers feature, you’re able to store information on each individual client, including their age, gender, purchase history, loyalty points, photos and more. This feature is essential if you plan on prioritising a select group of clients, such as the elderly, those who have purchased vouchers during the lockdown, or perhaps your most loyal customers.
- Focus on cancellations and reschedulings – clients who were forced to cancel or reschedule their visits during the epidemic might feel left out if they aren’t rescheduled for your reopening. With the help of the digital appointment book, rescheduling visits can be done by simply clicking and dragging each booking.
Best of all, you don’t have to worry about reminding clients of their visits, sending appointment confirmations or having to deal with double bookings – Versum does these tasks automatically. Curious about other reasons why a digital salon system is a must for your reopening? Have a read here!
Who do you prioritise?
Although a salon management system can help you in taking and managing bookings, it’s up to you to decide who you’d like to prioritise. If you’re planning on going all out and allowing anyone to book appointments, you need to take a few things into account. First off, your loyal clients and those who were forced to cancel their previous visits due to the epidemic might feel betrayed by this and may choose to go to a different business to get treated. What’s worse, you may lose these clients for good. Second, clients who are in the “at-risk” age group might have second thoughts about reserving their visit with you, as seeing unregulated bookings might make them feel unsafe.
The benefit of taking bookings on a first-come-first-served basis is that you have the perfect opportunity to gain new clients and heaps of bookings – but at the same time, things can get chaotic. If you prefer to keep things better organised, consider focusing on individual groups of clients. You may want to create a calendar of times and days during which specific client groups can book. For example, consider reserving Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from your opening time till noon for taking appointments from elderly clients. How you divide up your week should be based on how large each client group is – if one significantly outnumbers the other, then consider providing more booking times and dates for people who fall into that category. By subdividing dates and times for specific customer groups, your workday is better-organised and there is less room for error.
Possibly the most important group of clients you may have during your reopening are those who had to cancel their appointments due to the COVID-19 outbreak. If you choose to prioritise other client groups instead of them, they’ll probably feel neglected. As a result, they may not only choose to book elsewhere, but may also leave negative reviews of your business. Bear in mind that this group is made up of new and regular clients, and getting on their good side would be beneficial for you. Depending on how many cancellations you’ve had during the lockdown, you may want to fill out the first few days of your reopening with rescheduled clients. By doing so, you may gain more loyal clients and improve your relations with your regulars.
Whichever group of clients you choose to prioritise during your reopening, Versum will help you to track and reschedule visits, find client groups and notify them of your availability. Sign up for your free account today and make your reopening truly grand!