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Online booking benefits both your salon and your clients. We share some tips to increase online bookings and make the process more efficient for them and your employees.
Let’s face it; in this day and age, online bookings are a necessity. Old-fashioned beauty salons that don’t offer this option can almost certainly expect less money coming in.
Your clients are busy, and booking your services online makes life easier for them; they get to book treatments whenever they want and wherever they feel like it.
Furthermore, research has confirmed that 90% of clients prefer online booking to phone calls or texting.
So, if your salon wants to increase online bookings, you’ve come to the right place as we’ll share some fantastic tips with you.
Let’s start at the very beginning: which booking app is right for you?
Choosing the right booking app is the first step in increasing online bookings for your business.
With hundreds of booking apps available, this can be overwhelming, so we’ll go through some tips that will help you find the one suitable for your salon.
After all, you don’t want to invest your money in an app that’s not serving your needs.
The first thing you should keep an eye out for is whether or not the app is right for your niche.
You see, many booking apps are made to fit all industries, and while this may seem convenient, it’s really not.
What you need instead is a booking app specifically designed with beauty salons in mind, because its features will be customized to fit the type of services you’re offering.
For instance, we recommend our own booking app Zoyya, which will allow you to turn 90% of your calls into online bookings.
Your employees will no longer be constantly interrupted by phone calls, and your clients will get the luxury of booking appointments at their convenience.
Also, once they book an appointment, your clients will receive automatic reminders through email and text messages.
We all know how easy it can be to forget appointments, and sometimes clients simply don’t show up for their appointments.
While this is perfectly understandable and an honest mistake on their part, it loses you money.
Thanks to Zoyya, it becomes virtually impossible for your clients to forget their appointments.
To sum up, choosing a booking app tailored to the needs of beauty salons is your first step in increasing online bookings.
It enables your employees to work uninterrupted while online bookings are pouring in, while preventing clients from missing their appointments, among other things.
Even though online booking is more convenient for most clients, there will still be some who will prefer to make their bookings by phone.
Although the reasons for this can vary, research shows that 27% of clients simply don’t know that their salon offers the possibility of online booking.
To battle this statistic, you should tell your clients about that option and start encouraging them to use it.
There are several ways to achieve that, starting with explaining the benefits of booking their appointments online to your clients.
Tell them that, this way, your salon is available 24/7 and they don’t need to waste their time waiting for someone to pick up the phone.
You can also offer special discounts for those who book their appointments online.
For example, you can offer a 5% discount on all online bookings, or you can go a step further and offer a generous discount for new clients who decide to book their appointment online.
By doing this, you’re getting new clients used to online bookings straight away. You can see how to pull this off elegantly in the photo below.
Sometimes simply informing a client that the option exists is all it takes to get them to start online booking, but just in case, be sure to mention all the benefits they will get if they decide to do so.
If you want your clients to start booking online, you should provide ways to do that on different platforms.
Adding “Book now” buttons will make bookings simple and easy for your clients, and what better place to start than your social media, especially if your salon doesn’t have a website.
Most of your clients, if not all, use some sort of social media on a daily basis, so enabling them to book appointments this way will be highly convenient for them.
Of course, you should make your Book Now buttons noticeable, so clients will be able to see them straight away. Below is a good example we found on Facebook.
The Use app button is in the top right corner, making it impossible to miss, and if you click on it, it will take you directly to the booking app.
Except for Facebook, it’s a good idea to add a book now button to your Instagram account as well.
You can add the Book Now button, or, instead, you can simply add a link in your bio that will also lead the visitor to your booking app as this salon did:
In conclusion, since everyone and their mother is on social media, enabling visitors to make online bookings directly through your profiles is one of the most effective ways to increase bookings at your salon.
Even though social media is popular among your clients, it isn’t the only place they visit. Your website and Google My Business listings also need online booking links or buttons.
Visibility is, again, essential. You want your clients to spot buttons for online booking when they visit your website or Google my business listing.
There is no point in having booking links or buttons if it takes ages to find them.
Clients won’t waste their time searching; they will simply assume you don’t have online booking available and find a salon that does.
Of course, you don’t want that to happen, so when placing the booking button on your website, make sure to put it in the top half so your clients will be able to find it straight away.
We are sure that the clients of the salon in the photo below won’t have any problem with their online booking.
The same thing applies to your Google My Business listings. You should add a button or a link so people can book your services right there and then.
The key takeaway here is this: if clients see the online booking option right away, they will probably not bother to make a phone call.
Why would they, if they could just click on the button and make their appointment, right?
People are visual beings. Use that to your advantage and put signs with notifications about online booking all over your salon.
The best places are, of course, your front door and front desk, but also your waiting area, walls, and mirrors.
The sign should be eye-catching, but the text is also important. Be creative, don’t just say “online booking is available”.
Instead, try to emphasize some of its benefits for your clients. For example, the sign can say: “We close at 9, but you can book online anytime.”
However, don’t just rely on signs. We’ve already mentioned that you should simply tell your clients that you offer online booking.
Your employees regularly communicate with their clients before or while performing treatments, so ask them to spread the word, and inform your clients about the possibility of online booking.
You can also put it on your business cards. Yes, business cards are still a thing, despite social media.
People can be forgetful, but if you offer business cards to your clients, they will always have a reminder about your online booking option. Pretty clever, right?
Long story short, be creative and put signs about online booking around your salon, but don’t neglect to inform your clients verbally.
Also, give them a reminder, such as your business card, that they can take with them so they won’t forget to book an appointment online next time they decide to visit your salon.
Last but not least, never underestimate the power of emails and text messages.
You’re probably already sending your clients marketing materials through email or SMS anyway, so there is no reason not to include a link to your online booking page.
There are some good practices to follow when it comes to emailing your clients, so here’s a short rundown:
Number one, make your message eye-catching so your clients won’t miss it.
Generic text is not going to cut it. Make sure to make it pop like with any promotions, and be creative with it.
For instance, you can even inform your clients that you no longer accept phone bookings as this salon did:
Another thing you can do is tell your clients about online booking by sending them a personalized text or email.
For example, you can say something like: “We have some exciting news for you; now you get to book our services through our website, Instagram, and Facebook page!”
You can create a video and embed it in an e-mail. There are many online video editors with great templates to start from, such as FlexClip.
Finally, don’t forget to always insert the booking link in all emails and texts you send your clients.
So there you have it, if everything else fails, promotion through email and text is a great way to keep your clients informed and to remind them about your new booking option.
In this modern age, technology equals efficiency in all fields of life, especially in business.
Phone bookings are a thing of the past and just a waste of everyone's time, your client’s and your employers.
However, your consumers are beings of habit, and increasing online bookings can be easier said than done.
Talk to them about the benefits of online booking, and make sure to promote it everywhere you can. You’ll have no problem with that if you decide to follow the tips we gave you in this article.