Kathleen Hildenbrand, owner of Lucky 13 salon in Columbus, Ohio, prides herself on being an early adopter of technology. So when SalonBiz introduced its Pocket Salon app for clients last year, she jumped on it immediately.
“You have to stay on top of technology to be taken seriously and provide what the client wants and needs,” she says. “And they want a streamlined salon experience. They don’t want to spend time waiting on the phone or at the front desk.”
The Pocket Salon app allows clients to book appointments, check out after an appointment and buy products—directly from their phones.
Hildenbrand has found her clients who come in every four to six weeks, but don’t want to prebook really value the app.
“They want the convenience and flexibility of seeing what’s available when they’re ready for a cut—not weeks ahead of time,” she says. “Many of these clients are male, and they don’t want to spend time on the phone with the salon.”
Promoting Pocket Salon
Currently, Lucky 13 does not offer online booking for hair color due to the many variables, but clients can book cuts and a quick gloss service on the app or website.
She has posted signs and marketing materials all over the salon. From stylists’ stations to the bathroom to the front desk, Pocket Salon information is everywhere clients look.
“Research shows people need to see something three times before it registers,” she says. “The app streamlines the experience for clients—they’re already living through their phone with schedules and calendars.
“So we’re directing people away from the website and onto the app for booking,” she says. “We added verbiage to our website in the booking section that tells clients to download the Pocket Salon app.”
Hildenbrand has found the Pocket Salon app is simpler for clients to use than the salon’s mobile version of its website.
“We’ve had clients get confused on our mobile site,” Hildenbrand says. “But on the app, it’s very clear what to do when you’re finished booking and when the appointment is confirmed.”
And it’s all integrated with Lucky 13’s SalonBiz software. Any appointments booked via the Pocket Salon app goes seamlessly into the salon’s books.
“The more online booking we have, the better,” Hildenbrand says. “Booking color is time intensive, so the more we can streamline the people who don’t need to talk to the front desk, the better.”
Forecasting the Future
Next up? Since the salon is primarily using Pocket Salon for booking, Hildenbrand says her next push will be utilizing the check-out feature.
“Staying on the cutting edge has always been a part of my strategy,” she says. “My clients know they aren’t going to get a cookie-cutter experience here, but they also want convenience without investing a major part of their day.”
Rolling Out the Pocket Salon App: A Step-by-Step Guide
Not sure where to start? Follow these four easy steps to a stress-free roll out.
Activate Your Account
Talk to your SalonBiz representative to activate your account.You’ll need to have online booking on your site. And if you want to utilize the commerce part of the app, you’ll need an ecommerce account and salon email address for product orders. Learn more here.
Market Pocket Salon in your salon
SalonBiz has created a marketing toolkit with everything you need from door decals to signage. Enhance it with your own signage like Lucky 13 did or simply print and put up the ready-made materials. Remember to hit multiple spots in the salon.
Train your staff
Show your stylists how Pocket Salon works and encourage them to tell their clients how to book and use it at check out.
Tell your clients
Let them know how to find and download Pocket Salon with emails, on your website and via social media. And make sure they know if they’re already booking online, they can use their same login on the app.