Customer Service

Online Booking is a Hit

NAILS surveyed  salon owners who offer online booking say it’s popular with clients – particularly men, business travelers, and last-minute types – and it’s relatively glitch-free. 

Sometimes technology is a great thing; sometimes it’s more hype than help. So how does online appointment booking stack up? NAILS surveyed several salon owners who offer this convenience and found it’s popular with clients – particularly men, business travelers, and last-minute types – and it’s relatively glitch-free. “It’s like having a free receptionist,” reported one satisfied salon owner.

The booking systems used fell primarily into two types: sophisticated software that allows clients to view openings and schedule themselves and more basic arrangements where clients are essentially e-mailing from the website and appointments are entered by salon staff.

Salon: Edward’s Salon (Mill Valley, Calif.)

Who we spoke to: Edward Goldstein

System Used: Crimpers Management

How long have you offered online appointment booking? 4 years

How popular is it? What percentage of clientele uses it? Approximately 17%

What are clients saying about it? What are the pros and cons? Those who use it love it, and have no complaints, unless there is a Mac interface issue.

What are clients saying about it? What are the pros and cons? They love it. On rare occasions there are problems with booking multiple services, the client may not have a good enough sense of the timing of the multiple services.

Any technical glitches?  Just the usual Microsoft stuff. It always gets fixed.

How do clients know what times are available? Are the service providers schedules posted online?

How do clients know what times are available? The clients input their desired service and stylist and then the program lets them know what is available, The software works directly with our database in real time so clients see what we see.

Any limitations? What can’t you do online? Clients must first register to receive a user name and password.

Salon: Totto Spa & Salon (Toronto)

Who we spoke to: Robert Heathcote

System Used: User submits from site

How long have you offered online appointment booking?  6 years

How popular is it? What percentage of clientele uses it?  Approximately 10%

What are clients saying about it? What are the pros and cons?  Customers who travel a lot for business enjoy the fact that they can be in London and book an appointment for their return online

Any technical glitches?  In the early stages there were some, but it works perfectly today.

How do clients know what times are available? Clients fill out a simple form and we get back to them to confirm the appointment. If their preferred time is not available, we will suggest an alternative time.

Any limitations? What can’t you do online? Clients need to confirm and provide credit card info if they book services that run more than $200. If they have never been to the spa, then a credit card is requested and they are notified of our cancellation policy.

Salon: Tim Walsh Salon (Seattle)

Who we spoke to: Tim Walsh

System Used: User submits from site

How long have you offered online appointment booking?  6 years

How popular is it? What percentage of clientele uses it? Two-thirds of my regular clients use it, plus new clients who find me online

What are clients saying about it? What are the pros and cons?  Everyone loves it. The easier I am to reach, the happier they are.

Any technical glitches?  My computer has gone down, leaving me without e-mail access, but I relay incoming e-mails through a Gmail account so there are backups. This also makes it accessible from anywhere in the world.

How do clients know what times are available? I have clients who would book two appointments so they could decide later what they want. This is why I do not publish my schedule online.

Any limitations? What can’t you do online? I still need to communicate all of the things needed to book an appointment only it is done with e-mail. Ultimately it is just a more efficient way to reach me.

Salon: Antonio’s Salon and Spa (Livingston, NJ)

Who we spoke to: Lucille Bono

System Used: Mikal Salon Management Sysytem

How long have you offered online appointment booking? 3+ years

How popular is it? What percentage of clientele uses it?  It’s very popular, especially with men and people who wait until the last minute to book

Any technical glitches?  Not currently. Once there was a power surge and the Internet went down.

How do clients know what times are available? They see exactly what we see. The computer knows how long to book for a given service.

Any limitations? What can’t you do online? You can’t cancel or change appointment times online – you must phone for that. A password is required to book online; forms are kept out at the front desk and new client info is immediately entered into the system.

 

Keywords:   Crimpers Management Software     Mikal Salon Management System     online booking     salon software  

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