Back when I first started to work in the salon as a booth renter, I did not know how to pre-book. If the clients didn’t ask to schedule their next appointment before they left then it didn’t happen. I remember the days when I just waited for the client to call or to walk in and how stressed out I was waiting to see if I would make enough money to pay the bills that month. It was terrible and I often wondered what I could be doing differently to ensure to the best of my ability that didn’t happen. I took a class and the nail tech teaching talked about reserving the client’s next time for them. She didn’t call it a pre-book at that time though — that verbiage I learned later.
I started to ask my clients to schedule their next appointment and to my delight they would. I started to see my books filling up and then I was able to at least plan ahead a little for what my week would hold. Now that I have figured out several ways to offer the pre-book I rarely have anyone not take me up on it. Truly in my salon the people who don’t are visiting from out of town. Even the people who are not sure when they can come next will pre-book their next appointment to reserve the time because at least if they need to change it I have the chance to call another guest and see if she is willing to swap appointment times.
Like Daniell commented to Jill’s post, I always add that pre-booking their appointment is the best way to make sure they will get an appointment that works with their schedule. I also let new clients know that if they choose not to pre-book they may not get an appointment when they want one as my books fill up very quickly since most of my guests do schedule their next appointment or two before they leave. My pre-book percentage is now between 92%-97% every month. It has definitely made my business more successful.