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As we continue operating our businesses in a New Normal, the customer service that we deliver – along with providing a safe and comfortable environment for our guests – is of paramount importance. In order to promote social distancing, you may want to consider allowing (or requiring) your customers to schedule appointments for tanning or other ancillary services you offer.
While it’s necessary to accommodate customers who prefer to call your salon to book an appointment, it’s EQUALLY IMPORTANT to have the tools in place to meet the needs of those who prefer the online format.
In order to effectively manage multiple service offerings, accepting appointments for everything from UV sessions to facial treatments is crucial. How you accept these appointments is just as imperative. Some customers prefer to call and make an appointment and others prefer the self-service method of booking online.
While it’s necessary to accommodate those who prefer to call your salon to make an appointment, it’s equally important to have the tools in place to meet the needs of those who prefer the online format. An online appointment book is not only of benefit to your guests, but your business will reap the rewards of this convenience, as well.
When calling your salon for an appointment, chances are a customer may have to leave a message from time to time – and we all know how a crazy game of phone tag could ensue, resulting in a potential loss of a reservation and possible revenue. An online appointment book can produce more booked appointments and minimize the number of no-shows, since customers have the ability to schedule and cancel appointments online even during non-business hours. And while some of your guests are booking online, your phone line will be freed up to answer calls from those who prefer to book over the phone.
Your online appointment book should be easily accessible – via a link on either your website or social media page. You will also want the opportunity to customize the appointment book, so that it has a look and feel similar to your website, including your company logo, so that the transition is transparent to the user.
The process of booking an appointment for an equipment type or for a custom service with a specific technician should be simple and intuitive. In order to seamlessly book an appointment, a customer must be able to easily select a preferred location, service, and date and time without guidance. A follow-up confirmation email will result in fewer no-shows, as well.
Just as your customers prefer different methods of scheduling an appointment, some also prefer using a desktop over a mobile device, and vice versa. As a result, you want to confirm that your online appointment book has a responsive layout that is optimized for various types of devices.
Probably the most notable consideration when preparing to implement an online appointment book is that it is integrated with your Point of Sale system so that you can easily view your guest’s upcoming and historical appointments and get them checked in quickly while reducing the chance for double bookings.
Offering the option for both existing and prospective customers to schedule an appointment at your salon will affirm the high demand for your service offerings while also allowing you to control the number of guests in your salon at a given time. If you haven’t already considered implementing an online appointment book, it’s a great time to do so. It will be a win-win for your business and your customers!
Melissa Damiani is the Sales Manager of SunLync Software, Inc. a member of the JK-North America group of companies. With the company since 2002, Melissa has served the organization in several capacities, and has extensive knowledge of all aspects required to deliver robust salon management software solutions that are designed to enable measurable growth within its users’ ever-evolving business models.
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