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Online booking is so important for any salon to survive, especially in a city.
- -It's easier
- -It's faster
- -It provides a simpler way to book for people who may not want to speak on the phone
- -It allows you to directly integrate with Google Maps
- -It allows people to book with you outside of your regular business hours
- -It provides more communication - sending automated reminders to your customers will result in less missed appointments
- -Everyone has their eyes glued to their phones now!
In order to provide the best experience for your clients, an online booking option is a MUST!
An online booking option on your salon's website is a great opportunity for you to stand out from the competition in your local area. It makes it as easy as possible for your potential customers and current clients to book an appointment in your salon.
An online booking option improves customer experience and increases revenue with more appointments.
People live on the internet. Whether a potential customer is at work, or at home on their laptop or phone, an online booking option is becoming increasingly preferred for all ages, especially 20-35 year-olds.
Here are some of the reasons why an online booking option is an easy and effective opportunity for you to stand out from the local competition.
Why not just call?
Nowadays, everything happens online. The way people communicate has changed a lot: your customers live online, and so should your business.
People don’t always prefer to talk on the phone when booking an appointment. Some people are used to booking frequently used services online; these people expect an option to book online, which is easier, faster and more flexible.
Another trend that has resulted from the increasing use of social media and smartphones is the decline of talking over the phone. Word of mouth has evolved along with the times. SMS apps such as Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp have taken precedence as the main way people are communicating with each other. For example, deciding where to eat - one might Google search nearby restaurants, send the links to their friends for their input, place their order online, then split the bill - all from their phone, without ever speaking to another person. The ease of use and path of least resistance offered makes this method of ordering online preferable to most people. Booking an appointment at a salon should be no different!
Think about the potential customers who had a hectic work, they finally get the chance to sit down to find a new salon nearby the office. At this late hour, a non-picky customer will prefer to book online instead of having to call the next (hectic) morning when your receptionist is back at the desk to answer the phone. These busy people are making their buying decisions online, within minutes of scanning through the top 3 or 5 “hair salon nearby” from the google map search results, they are making decisions.
What makes online booking so flexible?
Online booking is quick and easy. Some people are even multitasking when booking online, whether they are at an important meeting, at their computer at work, or cooking dinner for the kids. Booking online is much easier than calling the salon and speaking with the receptionist.
Imagine that your receptionist doesn’t answer every call, or is on lunch, or finishes at 8 pm. How will a new customer easily book an appointment when they want? Maybe they’re also on their lunchtime or finish work after 7-8pm.
It’s time to cater to ALL your customers' needs with an online booking option. Stop losing customers to competitors because of not having this function that’s easy to implement. Allow your customers to decide when, where and how they want to book an appointment.
Online booking works 24/7, not 9-5.
The Internet has no closing times! The option to book online means that you are available at any time. People don’t have to wait until your salon opens, or rush to visit or call your salon before it closes. This option gives your customers the power to choose when and how they want to book their appointment.
Smart salons who have an online booking option are winning over potential customers from old school salon owners who don’t see the value in modern-day strategies. These smart salons are not limited to taking bookings just over the phone, they can make appointments through their site and social media accounts. Today in your city, people expect to be able to book an appointment where and when they have the time to do so.
To book Online 24/7"
How can the online booking option avoid missed appointments?
Life can be very hectic sometimes, and things can be forgotten easily. Human error is a statistic certainty, and manually taking down an email address or phone number can result in incorrect information being logged.
A short email or text message reminder after the phone call confirming the appointment should be sent to the customer. If it’s sent to the wrong email or phone number or not sent at all, there is a greater chance of having a missed appointment where the customer doesn’t show up.
Missed appointments happen too often and they are not good for your salon, stylists, or other customers waiting.
By having an online booking system in place, you’ll have the correct phone number and email every time, as this information is automatically logged. These little reminders for your customers are automatically sent (a few days before or on the day of the appointment) and will decrease the amount of missed appointments in your salon, which builds trust and rapport with your clients and stylists.
After reading through these reasons about why your salon should have an online booking feature, some salon owners might still think “No, my clients are fine with calling the receptionist to book an appointment, we’re doing fine”, or “”Most of my customers are older and prefer to call”, or “Online booking will be too confusing for my old clients and stylists”. There are many other excuses business owners make when deciding to go with or against the technology available to their business.
One thing that business owners are increasingly becoming aware of is that word of mouth is slowly dying to people making their decisions quickly on their smartphones. These people ARE looking at your reviews, they ARE looking at your social media and they ARE looking at your website. If they’re impressed by all of the above, the chances of them booking an appointment through your site or by phone increase drastically. So, why wouldn’t you have an online booking feature? It’s easy and can be the reason you’ll see a marked increase in business this year.