If you’re still relying on a paper-and-pencil booking system for your salon or clinic, it could be time to consider app-based scheduling software. If that sounds intimidating, stay with us – it’s simpler than it sounds.
We’ve gathered five of the most user-friendly, effective scheduling apps that not only take the admin out of booking and confirming appointments, but could also enhance client retention.
Initially designed for hair salons, Shortcuts has moved into the spa and clinic space. The touch-screen appointment book allows staff to change, reschedule and recur appointments, as well as group appointments together. With the option of the Cloud Appointment Book, spa or salon managers can access the appointment book features remotely. The client management tab empowers staff to up-sell without the generic sales pitch – rather, by utilising a client’s history and tracking their progress over time, staff can put together an offering that appeals to the individual.
“My goal is to make a client’s entire experience as seamless as possible,” says Nicole Le Lievre, owner of In Therapy beauty salon in Brisbane. “From their online booking to their treatment and beyond, Shortcuts helps us to keep a handle on the whole process.”
You can forget about those wasted hours of phoning clients to confirm their upcoming appointments. The Simple Salon app sends an automated SMS and email appointment reminder. A quick reply of “Yes” from the client will confirm the appointment in the system. What’s more, clients can book their appointments online, thanks to the app’s mini booking site that can be embedded into a salon’s own site, or integrated to the ‘Book Now’ button on the salon’s Facebook page.
Client loyalty is priceless, and the loyalty tools built into the app make it simple to captivate clients with incentives and give them VIP status. Neko allows you to set up loyalty points for repeat clients, and allocate loyalty points for referrals. The app also makes it simple to set up membership programmes, while incentivising customers to buy into a membership arrangement.
Ryan Thomas, owner of Queensland’s Cedar Cottage Massage and Beauty, says Neko works for his business. “It’s easy and user-friendly. The features are amazing and it’s great value.”
The MindBody app aims to increase customer retention by not only sending a text confirmation of their upcoming appointment, but also contacts them to remind them it’s time to rebook. And they can book on the spot, without dialling through to the salon. In addition, MindBody takes advantage of algorithms to ensure your business is front and centre when locals are looking for a service offered by your salon, and then locks you in as their Favourite.
In addition to booking confirmations and online bookings, Salon Iris boasts automated marketing functions, such as recurring campaigns for clients’ birthdays or holidays specials. It also links seamlessly to most accounting software, while also integrating to your payroll to set up salary as well as commission scales. “The app offers the benefits of having a secretary without the cost of hiring an employee,” confirms Skeeter Guptill, owner of Bodywise Massage.
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