When you tell a client that you’ll “pencil them in,” are you still literally hand-writing your salon appointments in a paper appointment book? You might think that this practice shows clients you’re delivering a personal touch, or it may have been a cost-effective way to get up and running. But now that your business is growing, it may be time to dispense with a paper calendar and talk about a more efficient way to manage your salon appointment book.
I’m reluctant to ask how many times you or a co-worker misunderstood notes scrawled on a page, accidentally double-booked guests, or didn’t schedule enough time for a color and style. It happens. But it also becomes inefficient and frustrating to manage booking appointments by phone, recording and updating appointments by hand, and manually filing receipts, preferences, and notes on your clients. At some point, something’s gotta give. And we don’t want that something to be your clientele!
Using a salon management software to coordinate your salon appointment book can alleviate scheduling headaches for your staff and your clients, help you more effectively keep pace with scheduling changes, reduce booking errors and, ultimately, make it easier to train employees.
While you’re thinking about what next steps are best for your salon, here are a few ways you can manage your appointment book more efficiently:
- Take a fresh look at your salon schedule by resources, such as styling chair or treatment station, and train the desk to optimize your appointment book using this criteria.
- Have a clean and organized view of the day’s appointments. Make sure the front desk or receptionist can quickly and easily assess free time slots and stylist availability.
- Make a deliberate effort to plan your book. Depending on your salon’s size, configuration, and hours of operation, you have a finite number of time slots per day that you need to fill. Think of your salon like it’s an airplane. There are only so many seats on the plane, and once it takes off, you can’t fill the seats later.
- Give your receptionist an easy way to rearrange appointments when rescheduling requests or cancellations occur so she can make the most of available timeslots.
- Ensure that your front desk is fully trained on service times and durations. You might want to provide “cheat sheet,” to help them remember. This will help optimize your bookings and bring in more earnings for each technician.
Using a salon management software to conquer your appointment book can streamline your operations by enabling your front desk to identify and fill free timeslots more easily and quickly. That adds up to an optimized book and a money-earning staff.
To learn more about appointment book management best practices, check out our article on booking sources and optimization.
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