This is a universal salon truth: empty seats are depressing. Not only are you losing revenue on every empty seat, but you’re also paying salaries to employees for twiddling their thumbs (with no fault of their own, of course). Plus, it gives the wrong impression to potential customers passing by and seeing a half-empty salon. So what can you do to make your business booked solid? The answer is online salon booking.
When you’re done reading this post, you’ll know exactly how to make online booking work for you, minimize your empty seats and increase your revenue — with less resources.
- The problem: Empty seats
- The quick win: Removing the barrier to booking
- The promise: 46% booking increase
Did you know that only 54% of salon appointments get booked during work hours? So say Salon Today. What this means for you is that you could potentially get 46% more sales, simply by offering booking outside of work hours. Amazing.
The thing is that customers don’t always have the opportunity to call you and make an appointment during business hours, even if they want to. Think of all the people who work long and busy shifts, whether it’s at a hospital or a restaurant. Others have zero privacy during their work day and can’t place a personal call.
Imagine removing that hurdle for them — and allowing them to book at their own convenience, with just a click. So much easier. With online booking, you’ll be allowing these potential customers to book your salon, anytime anywhere. And you could win up to 46% more bookings!
- The problem: No shows
- The quick win: Automated reminders
- The promise: Save up to $17,000 annually
A business in the beauty industry will experience an average of 5 no shows a week. Here’s the math for a hair salon for example: The average woman’s haircut is $43, that’s $215 lost a week and $11,180 a year. Weighing in the average hair stylist salary, the loss comes up to $15,000 a year. For a beauty salon, with the average for a facial being $80, that’s almost $17,000 yearly before salaries. The numbers are very similar for spas as well. Ouch.
Why don’t customers show up? Well, it’s only human. Some of them forget. For others, life gets in the way. People can’t make their appointments and forget to let you know, or are too embarrassed to do so. And this is what it looks like:
But when you have an online booking tool, you can take advantage of automated reminders, with no extra work for you! Automated reminders let customers know about their upcoming appointments, and ask them to confirm, cancel or reschedule. With a click.
This way, customers who wanted to keep their appointments and just forgot, will be reminded and are likely to keep them. While those who can’t make it, will let you know in time, hassle free and shame free. When a last-minute spot frees up, you can offer it to another customer. Or in case you can’t fill it up, you can rearrange your staff’s schedule accordingly. Either way, you reduce no-shows and save your business a lot of money.
- The problem: Inefficient time and staff management
- The quick win: One unified calendar
- The promise: More time!
60% of small business owners would like to have more time. 39% say that dealing with paperwork is their biggest time waster.
Online salon booking actually gives you a way to save lots of time by managing everything in one place. One unified calendar gives you an overview of the services you offer, your bookings, and your staff’s schedules.
When your customers’ appointments and your staff’s shifts are on one calendar, it’s easy to see if you need five employees in on a certain day, or only four. Or maybe you need an extra employee or two on another day.
The result? More efficient time and staff management, that frees up your time for training, business development or any other task you wish you had the time for.
- The problem: Customers don’t come back often enough
- The quick win: Data on your customers’ habits
- The promise: Spending 80% less on marketing
The cost of acquiring a new customer is 5 times higher than retaining an existing one. That’s why customer-retention is a must-have for small-medium businesses with a limited marketing budget.
Here’s another important bit of information you might not be aware of: 80% of your future profits will come from 20% of your current customers. Just another reason to keep those customers coming back, instead of laboring to get new ones.
You’d think that a customer who walked out of your spa feeling ten years younger would come back for more. But for many reasons, even happy customers don’t always book their next appointment. It could be that they’re putting it off, are too busy or forgot to make the call.
When you have online booking, it means you also have the data on your customers’ past bookings. That data allows you to understand your customers’ habits and needs, and reach out to them at the right moment, with the right offer.
You see, sending someone a 20% discount, too soon after their previous appointment, won’t convince them to come. And sending them an offer on a service they don’t want, won’t make them come either.
But customized reminders, will use the data to send an offer that feels tailor made. And once you set up your customized reminders, they’ll go out automatically. Your receptionist can make better use of their time.
So What’s the Downside of Online Salon Booking?
Here’s a spoiler: there is none.
The benefits, on the other hand, are plenty:
- 46% potential booking increase
- Saving up to $17K annually on no-shows
- Improved time and staff management
- Spending 80% less on marketing
To see how easy it is to set up online booking and get started, check out the 12handz online salon booking system and turn your calendar from half empty to booked solid.