Woman booking an online salon appointment

Guide to Online Booking For Salons

Online booking for salons is no longer a “nice to have” — it’s a “must-have” in today’s world. 

If you’re ready to run a more efficient business and make your salon one that guests recommend and remain loyal to, easy booking options help you achieve both of those goals. Clients can book appointments whenever, wherever they want and your front desk staff has more time to focus on the guest in front of them.

Rolling out this option does come with a few shared hesitations, though. We address some of the most commonly-asked questions and concerns we get about online booking.

“It feels too complicated to use” 

With a tool like SalonBiz, online booking is integrated directly with your salon software, so all data transfers are automatic—there’s nothing you have to do. With the best tools, real-time booking is constantly updating across your platforms, so there’s never any lag in time to cause you to double book, overbook, or under-book.

As far as your guests, if they’ve ever shopped online, they can book online. It’s a guess-proof system that leaves your salon open for business 24 hours a day.

Even better, every appointment you book online instead of on the phone means your front desk has more time to focus on your guests, to assist stylists, and to work on retail sales.

“My guests prefer to use the phone” 

Just because you have online booking for your salon doesn’t mean your front desk staff will disappear. They’ll still be there for all the non-tech-savvy guests who still want to call the salon. And they’ll have extra time to assist guests in the salon, too.

However, there’s usually a large percentage of guests who want to book their appointments when they feel like it, and that’s not always during salon hours.

Online booking is a way to ensure every experience that a guest has with your business is one that best suits them, from the time they make the appointment until well after they leave the chair. 

“It won’t work, and will mess up our books” 

A lot of salons lean heavily on their front desk to understand the nuances of their services when booking stylists’ time. They understandably worry about turning bookings over to a computer who doesn’t know all-over color from partial highlights.

That’s why an accurate online booking system built for salon owners is different. It gives you the capability to get to that level of specificity during setup, as well as to easily tweak the appointment times if you notice any hiccups.

You set everything up for your salon, and when it comes time to book online, your guests easily filter their choices down by location, time period, specialty, service provider, and even by actual service to find the perfect slot for them—options that you have already approved.

And regarding color, we know many owners don’t want to rely on the guest’s knowledge of their color for booking purposes. That’s why we’ve built online booking with the option to turn off color booking. Your color guests can send a request directly to the salon for those appointments. 

If your guest can’t find the exact service they need at the time they’re requesting, our tools also offer appointment requests, so they don’t have to call the salon to work out the details. They can click a button to send a request directly to your team about what they’re looking for.

“We’ll get a bunch of no-shows” 

One of the most common misconceptions about online booking for salons is that appointments booked online tend to be no-shows. However, appointment confirmation text messages and email reminders are incredibly effective at preventing this. SalonBiz has the option to easily include two-way email and text confirmations.

The next layer of defense against no-shows is an optional credit card deposit feature. 

You can choose to ask for partial or full payment in order to complete the booking process. This way, there’s some skin in the game, which is an incentive to not cancel the appointment or to reschedule in adequate time to avoid a late-cancel fee. This feature is always your choice to use or not as a salon owner. 

“I don’t know how to set it up” 

SalonBiz makes it easy to set up online booking tools right on your website. Unlike systems of the past, SalonBiz integrates with your website and can be styled to match your website’s color scheme and feel. You don’t have to ruin the aesthetic you’ve worked so hard to achieve by slapping an ugly button on the navigation bar.

From there, be sure every single stylist knows about your new online booking tools so they can talk about it to their guests. Post about it on your social media accounts using shareable visuals, too.

Provide convenience that guests crave 

These days, technology equals efficiency. Let’s face it, you can’t answer every call that comes through. But online booking for salons is up and running all the time—when the front desk is helping a client check out, when they’re selling retail, and even when the salon is closed.

With SalonBiz, you can make that happen. Contact our team to take a test drive through our online booking tools!

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