Hair and Nail Salons are a massive industry—raking in more than 55 billion dollars in revenue each year. Owning and running a beauty store, hair salon, or nail salon remains a lucrative investment as store and franchise owners are able to build long-term relationships with local clientele over multiple appointments.
That’s why appointments are so important to the beauty industry, and a key factor to their success. Sure, large walk-in exclusive chains exist, but most of the salon industry lives and dies by the small, dedicated clientele that comes back for expert services time and time again.
Managing your salon appointments means ensuring staff is able to see their clients consistently each day. It also means leveraging walk-ins, if permitted and adjusting to changes on the schedule.
Effective appointment management enables your staff to comfortably take on more work, build brand trust as an efficient salon in your region, and set aside enough time to handle the surprises that come each day when running a salon.
Configure Your Salon Software with Your Calendar
Effective appointment management starts with your calendar and your software. Without proper configuration of the booking calendar and the staff in-store, bookings can be scheduled as clients travel all the way to your store, without your staff realizing they’ve been double-booked.
Avoid miscommunications between staff and software as much as possible.
Your salon’s point-of-sale (POS) is crucial in handling all of the incoming bookings, both online and over the phone. You’ll need a POS that either synchronizes with your calendar or a POS system designed with built-in booking functionality.
Comprehensive software like Franpos enables salons to manage bookings and point-of-sale entirely within an integrated system, so there’s no delay in keeping your staff up–to-date on the latest bookings.
Make Sure Your Services are Timed Out Appropriately
Lower-end appointment scheduling software might seem financially feasible at first, but the revenue loss can be severe. Multiple services blocked out with generic hour or half-hour blocks can leave both dead times for your staff between clients or have clients waiting an hour+ because the scheduling software didn’t make the appropriate calculations.
No two services are the same—that’s why you need to make sure the time blocked off for each service is long enough to handle what’s being booked. For instance, 30 minutes may be an appropriate time for a simple men’s haircut, but you’ll need software that will set aside a few hours for more complex colors and styles.
Take some time to talk with your staff about how long services take, how often they run long, and how often they run short. Make sure your software accurately reflects the lived experiences of your staff to ensure each day is booked solid—but not overwhelming—for your salon.
Implement ‘No-Show’ Policies to Protect Your Staff
Scheduling online appointments can become a bit of a double-edged sword for salon operators. The more your clientele flake on your appointments, the more frustrated your staff will become, and the higher your revenue losses will become.
It’s not a pleasant conversation to have with customers and it’s certainly not a popular decision to make, but implementing no-show policies and penalties help both your staff and your clientele. Typically, these policies involve a fee placed on the client if bookings are canceled more than 24 hours in advance but take on different forms depending upon the needs of the local area.
With proper no-show policies, your clientele will be further incentivized to stick to their word regarding appointments, and your staff will be available and happy to assist your clients each and every time.
Finally, walk-ins are a subject to address with both your staff and clientele.
Generally, the more efficient the time management and booking apparatus of your salon is, the less time you’ll have to fill walk-in appointments. And, if you can monitor the average rate of walk–ins, you can ensure your staff is standing by for such appointments.
You’ll need to take some time to consider if the walk-in model is right for you. Many salons offer walk-ins, while others operate strictly as appointment-only. There are no right answers, but generally speaking, it’s important to broach walk-ins carefully when streamlining your appointments.
The journey to a better-ran salon is never-ending. As times change, you’ll find that customers will gravitate towards online booking, and you’ll need to eventually be prepared for that. However, there will always be dropped appointments, overbookings, underbooking, and inefficiencies to work out.
The key is to keep calm and maintain constant communication with your staff about ways to improve. And wherever you can, automate your bookings and POS system, to better communicate any changes far ahead of time.