Resolving 6 salon problems with online booking
Online booking took the service industry by storm. Years ago, all appointments were made exclusively in person or via phone call – nowadays, online booking is a set standard that spas and salons have to follow. Fortunately, it’s a great convenience for both clients and business owners. What’s more, you have access to numerous advanced solutions that take the concept to the next level. However, it shouldn’t end with just online booking. Versum, the salon software, goes a step further – providing features that not only make booking visits easy, but help to streamline all processes of running and managing a salon. We cannot guarantee that all functionalities we will be covering in this article are available in other systems – if you want to make the most out of this guide, test drive Versum for free (no costs hidden, no credit card required).
Now, let’s jump straight into it. You can wave goodbye to these 6 common salon problems with the proper online booking – continue reading to find out how!
Problem 1: Misunderstandings
One of the most typical problems spa and salons have to face are misunderstandings related to the clients’ data (name, surname, phone number) and appointment details (time, date, the type of service). When you are talking on the phone, there’s a lot of things that can go wrong – connection quality may be poor, the client may not speak clearly, they may say something they didn’t mean to without noticing the blunder… If you write down their name incorrectly, the situation can get pretty awkward and the quality of the customer service may diminish. If you write the type of the service incorrectly, your calendar might become disarrayed. If you write the date or the time wrong, the consequences will be much more severe – in some cases, there is no redemption after such a situation and the client will never return to your business. The worst part is – even if there is no fault on your side, you have no evidence that it was the client who has made a mistake in wording their request.
Clients who book online have all the necessary information in front of them and therefore are much, much less likely to make a mistake when choosing the date (not to mention – writing down their name or phone number). They select the desired service from the list and you can include its description on the booking page, securing yourself from customers’ misconceptions. Moreover, they get a confirmation of their booking with all the details and then a reminder before the visit, so the risk of not noticing the mistake on their part is close to zero. Finally, as the whole process is being managed by the system, you have the evidence that any possible error wasn’t your fault. Overall, the communication process is much more effective and reliable.
Problem 2: Double-bookings
Double-bookings originate from misunderstandings as well, but are even more disastrous. If you reserve a spot for two different customers at the same time, your reputation may suffer severely. Forced to refuse service to one of the clients, in the best-case scenario, you will lose their trust – in the worst, you will lose the customer. Even in the eyes of the client who will be treated, you will seem disorganised and unreliable. It’s no wonder that the thought of double bookings keeps salon owners awake at night – the mistake is easy to make and the consequences are severe.
With Versum’s online booking, there is simply no way a double booking could happen. The system processes the reservations in real-time, so the slot becomes unavailable as soon as someone makes the booking. Even if you add an appointment by hand, there is no way the bookings will overlap – the software makes sure of that.
Problem 3: No-shows (and other difficult clients)
A missed appointment or last-minute cancellation can happen to anyone – you forgive your clients the first time, even though it brings you significant losses. However, notorious no-shows are a whole different story.
Fortunately, Versum’s online booking allows you to restrict someone’s ability to reserve a timeslot. You can apply a similar method to different types of offenders, restricting them either temporarily or permanently.
Problem 4: Lack of a receptionist
Not all hair & beauty businesses employ a salon receptionist – and in many cases, it’s the salon owner who is in charge of taking appointments. It’s not the most comfortable situation to say the least – as a business owner, you have a hundred and one things on your mind and the constantly ringing phone is definitely not helping. Moreover, let’s be honest – being tired, stressed out and always in a rush won’t make you the most welcoming receptionist. You are prone to making mistakes, too.
With online booking, you gain a virtual receptionist, available for your clients 24/7. No additional employee required – you can focus on your most important tasks, while all the bookings are being automatically transferred to the appointment book.
Problem 5: Lack of a website
You run the salon’s Facebook fan page (possibly also one on Instagram), where you share all the beautiful customer transformations, latest news about your business, seasonal promotions and newest retail products’ arrivals. Unfortunately, you don’t have an official website where you can share your full menu – those aren’t cheap to get created. The social media fan pages are great as your online portfolio, but it would be really convenient for your clients to be able to find out the range of services you provide, as well as their prices and duration.
When using Versum’s online booking feature, you automatically get your own personalised web page. It’s easy for you to run, and very convenient for your clients. The elegant microsite will complement your social media fan pages perfectly.
Problem 6: Late-night calls
One of the most annoying things ever is when customers begin to treat your phone number as a last-second hair appointment hotline and text you at whatever time they please. Someone calls you in a panic early Sunday morning because they screwed up their new fashion colour with cheap shampoo. Someone is very persistent to book an appointment while you are spending your day off on a family gathering. Someone keeps texting you in the middle of the night with a very detailed story of how their DIY accidentally turned their hairstyle into a mullet and they need a fix asap… you know the drill.
In general, it’s best to never share your personal number with clients and to answer the business one in the working hours only, silencing it when you are off. On the other hand – you have to remember that your working hours may be completely different than theirs. Some people work at night and are most active in the evenings or early mornings. They may get discouraged when encountering a problem to even get in touch with your business. We all have varying lifestyles, which is why it’s crucial that clients can book a visit when it’s most convenient for them. Online booking allows you to score both of these goals.
Online booking is so popular nowadays, so it’s no longer a matter of finding the tool, but rather finding the one that offers the best functionalities. Versum gives you the online booking feature that is perfectly synchronized with the rest of the system (especially the appointment book, customer records and appointment reminders) and provides several additional amenities. Instant appointment booking, a free and personalised online microsite, new booking notifications, integration with Google Analytics, the possibility to book via Facebook… if you are aiming to allow your customer to book online – aim for the best!