Common Misnomers of Online Booking Debunked
If you’re like most salon owners, the thought of handing over the responsibility of booking your appointments to a robot contradicts everything you’ve been led to believe about personalized customer service.
Truth is, 80% of salon customers actually prefer to book online, which works out perfectly – because online booking reduces errors by 90%, increases bookings by 30%, adds new guests by 20%, and at some salons, removes the need for a front desk altogether!
“We were absolutely terrified of online booking, but our clients and the times demanded it.“
Tracey Gobla, Navvii Salon & Spa
The risk of being less personally engaged with your clients aside, the fear of online booking is real. Historically, online bookings have made a mess of books. But customers need to be able to book on their own time (60% of appointment bookings and edits occur when salons are closed). And if booking online is not an option at your salon, then the chances are good that the forward-thinking salon down the street will nab your clients.
Perhaps in your heart, there are dozens of reasons not to make the move. But in your mind, you know that online booking is convenient for clients, frees up front desks and fills providers books. So, let’s work past some of the reasons that are holding you back.
“Every one of my providers and clients are snowflakes. No two services are the same for any of them!”
No problem. Modern online booking systems like Aura, allow for customized timing per service, provider, and even per guest. Elizabeth works fast and gets in a few more appointments per day? Samantha is always late and chats a lot? Miguel likes to be in and out with his weekly beard trim? Then let automation take control and watch your books fill up while you sleep!
“My clients have no idea what services and treatments they actually need!”
Correct. Most of the problems associated with online bookings result from improperly booked appointments. Fact is that most systems and clients don’t take things like add-on treatments, processing time, hair length, and even chronic tardiness into consideration. This causes back-ups in the salon, white space on the books, and worst of all, potentially unhappy clients forced to wait for the person before them to finish up.
With a modern booking system, even the most granular issues can be overcome. Tools like one-tap pre-booking or rebooking from a client’s history erase common errors caused by clients and front desk workers. Pre-set client profiles allow for preferred providers, services and other settings that also reduce errors and increase efficiency.
Virtual Pre-consultations are another favorite of many salons. Danny Jelaca of Danny Jelaca Salon & Spa in Miami Beach says, “I just love being able to do virtual pre consultations. They allow our guests to have better experiences because their providers are prepared before they arrive. Guests also get in and out of the salon faster, which helps keep our desk less congested and our guests and team safer and happier.”
“Most people who book appointments online don’t show up!”
False. Statistics show that bookings made over the phone result in over 50% more cancellations than those made online. And, for those appointments that do get cancelled, integrated payment features found in modern softwares empower salons to automate no-show and cancellation fees and time-frames, while some, like Aura, offer client-specific settings like VIP status (which overrides these fees), provide the ability to accept online deposits, and even the power to block a frequent canceller from booking online entirely! Take that, Karen!
“I need to control my brand!”
You got it. Gone are the days of bland, generic apps that leave website visitors wondering where they’ve ended up after clicking Book Now! Salon guest-apps like Aura are completely customizable and allow salons to not only maintain, but enhance their brand identity with control over images, logos and other elements that keep your hard-earned brand and distinctive identity intact.
When you think about how much labor occurs between the actual booking (average 10 minutes) and when the guest is in the chair, the time and cost savings afforded by a thorough online booking platform are hard to ignore.
Since introducing Aura, the team and guests at Salon at Church, in Ontario, have been thrilled. Owner Laurie O’Neill says “our support staff has been able to prioritize the guest’s actual experience and guests love booking online and checking themselves in and out on their own time”. O’Neill continues, “This frees up time in the salon otherwise spent on menial tasks, so our guests and team members are actually able to form more valuable relationships.”
Just imagine what you could do with the incredible amount of “found-time” you’ll have when you’re truly free of the labor-intensive tasks associated with just 20 manual bookings:
- 90 minutes saved making first and second confirmation calls!
- 40 minutes saved tracking down staff to alert them when their guests arrive!
- 100 minutes saved awkwardly asking guests to fill out health waivers!
- 160 minutes saved on lines of guests at the front desk with cash and credit cards in-hand!
Take the first step by seeing for yourself how easy it can be to introduce online booking to your customers with an educational tour of Aura’s modern and simple booking platform, custom-designed just for your salon.
Additional benefits of having a salon client app:
- Appointment Booking and Editing
- Automated Appointment Reminders
- Cashless Payments
- Loyalty Program
- Referral Program
- Saved Preferences
- Curbside Pickup
- Direct Messaging
- Family Accounts
- Online Gift Card Sales
- Series Sales
How can Aura help?
Aura Salonware helps salons adapt to the new salon economy by providing digital tools that decrease staffing needs, modernize operations, automate marketing, expand payment options, while providing salon guests with the highest level experience possible. If you’re interested in modernizing your salon with all-in-one software created and loved by salons, schedule a personalized demo with the form below.