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The beauty industry has come a long way from A4 diaries that take up the entire desk with pencil appointments and erasers used as cancellations, yet as technology has advanced so has the way which we take appointments. So why are so many business owners hesitant to activate their online booking system?

If you have read our 7 steps between an average treatment and an exceptional client experience post, then you will already understand how important the booking step of the client journey is. It’s the number one way which your client interacts with your business.

Let’s explore some thoughts around your own booking experiences at serviced based businesses. 1. When did you last walk into a business to make a future booking?

2. When you went to a business to make a booking and their doors were closed, did you go back when the sign on the door told you ‘they’ll be back!’?

3. When did you last phone a business to make a booking?

4. When you last phoned a business and your call reached the answering machine – did you leave a message with hopes your call would be returned?

We could almost finish this post here because the above questions should have already shown you that online bookings are where your clients are hanging out – but for the sake of those who are still holding their booking system ransom, onwards.

A recent study showed that the most time serviced based (that’s you!) websites are active is between the hours of 11pm and 1pm. The internet during this time is flooded with busy people who are doing busy things during the day, mums and dads who have put the kids to sleep, the overthinkers and insomniacs of the world. This is time we spend organising our lives for the next day, the weekend or that holiday we’ve booked but haven’t yet booked airport parking or our spray tan.

Is your business open during these hours with someone ready to take calls or available for clients to walk in and make appointments? We hope not, because it’s not viable for you to be paying someone on your team to be taking bookings at these hours. That doesn’t mean your business has to be closed during these hours though – your online booking system is like an open door for the internet scroller.

Your online bookings system allows the flexibility and freedom for your business to keep turning over while you sleep. Clients can log on, select their time (saves a bucket load of reception phone call time) and book their appointment while they see the price and therapist availability.

‘What if they cancel or don’t show for their treatment?’, your online booking system has this covered! Most online booking systems allow for a deposit or full treatment to be taken at the time of the booking, which helps steer away those pesky no shows and last minute cancellations – all while gathering your clients email to add to your marketing database!

Completely customisable, your online booking system would speak in your tone and given the client a sense of who your business is when they do enter your space for their treatment.

We enjoy using the Phorest Salon Software the most for its ease of use, cancellation policy and marketing plugins – it even creates an app for your business! If you would like to speak with Rebekah or Gavin from Phorest, they’ll help answer all the detailed questions and more when you click here. (Full disclosure – it’s an affiliate link, however it too saves you 50% off your initial set up fees – yay!)

That is step #1 of seven for our Podcast mini series; the 7 essential steps that turn an average treatment into an exceptional experience, brought to you by the Global Beauty Group. Next Wednesday we look at Step number #2 which explores the clients first impressions for the purpose of enhancing therapist presentation standards, look at the importance of greeting the client by their name and introducing touch points into the meet and greet.

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