How much can you save using online booking?
Posted on 14th January 2013 by Valorie Reavis
Many skeptical salon owners are still hesitant to make the transition to using online booking, favoring the traditional phone conversation and manual booking. Yet salon owners that are already using online booking systems will be the first to list its benefits… and they are benefits and savings that even the Shortcuts team hadn’t initially thought of.
One of the main reasons that we hear from salons wanting to implement online bookings is that they want to allow clients to book outside of business hours. Studies have shown that salons are seeing 40% of their online bookings occur outside of business hours, but what we didn’t anticipate was the other 60% coming in WITHIN business hours. If the salon is open and the receptionist is waiting patiently to take client calls, why would they opt to jump on a website to book instead?
Clients are becoming used to self-service systems online and multi-tasking is the status quo, so your busy bee client want to be able to book an appointment while listening to a podcast or pretending to watch that action movie her husband picked out. She can’t quite make a phone call with all those car chases and explosions going on, but she can quietly book her appointment online while thinking of it.
Another benefit is that many salon owners are finding that the time between visits is actually shorter when clients can book online. When the client looks in the mirror while brushing her teeth before bed and sees shameful roots, she can go straight to her iPad and book before going to sleep rather than trying to remember to call when the salon opens the next morning.
Existing clients aside, new clients are also more likely to try a salon that offers online booking than one that doesn’t. Online booking offers a stronger call to action on your website and your Facebook page than a simple phone number. If not for the convenience-related reasons listed above, then for the fact that they can already imagine doing business with a salon that offers client-friendly services like online booking.
Salons who are realizing these benefits are cashing in on the savings of not having their reception staff glued to the phones. And for those who haven’t made the switch yet, they’re adding up the ways in which they’re missing out:
- How long does it take for the reception desk to listen to voicemails each morning and return appointment inquiries? Consider any phone tag games that unfold!
- How long does it take for the reception desk to read each email inquiry and respond to clients asking for appointments?
- How long does each average phone call take to book an appointment? How much time would you save if you could get just 10% of your appointments booked online? An hour? Two hours?
- If just one client came in 6 times in the year instead of 5 because they were able to easily book, how much extra would that mean in your pocket?
- If you could get just one more client each month from your website because they were able to easily book their appointment, how much would that mean in a year? What about from Facebook?
Salon owners that have been running and promoting online booking have been cashing in from these missed opportunities of relying on the old-school telephone. And don’t get them started on what they do with the time that the reception isn’t tethered to the floor… Ahem, retail anyone?