The single most accurate parameter of measuring success for salon businesses, and any other appointment-based business for that matter, is the number of bookings they get. That is why it’s one of your most important jobs as a salon owner or manager to ensure that you have an active appointment booking platform. The platform should not only allow clients to book appointments at their own convenience but should also support secure payments for enhanced client conversion. It should also be accessible to as many potential clients as possible, online and offline. That is how you are going to enhance appointment bookings for your salon business. Let’s expound further on this through these 5 quick tips.
1. Invest in quality management software
One of the key features of any quality salon management software is a hair salon online booking system. You can integrate this system with your booking webpage in order to streamline booking processes. The system allows clients to book and manage appointments, order beauty products, and make pre-payments securely within a few quick clicks. That alone will help you get more appointments and maximize your sales.
A good salon online booking system is also great at enhancing customer experience. First of all, clients love the convenience that comes with managing their own appointments. Secondly, you can use the system to collect, analyze, store, and organize clients’ personal data and appointment history. That allows you to personalize your services and marketing approaches. Thirdly, a good system is mobile-friendly, which makes your whole business mobile-friendly. These 3 factors, among others, enhance your salon’s customer experience. Good customer experience increases customer retention- recurring appointments and rebooking.
Note: The effectiveness of the 4 tips below depends on the quality of your salon management software. The tips will help you get more clients to your booking page, and then the effectiveness of your online booking system will encourage them to book ASAP.
For a start, integrate your online booking platform with all your online profiles. That includes your Google My Business profile as well as Facebook and Instagram pages. Ensure that there is either a link to the booking page or a “book now” button that allows potential clients to book appointments without having to come to your website. That done, elevate your social media marketing efforts in these ways, among others:
Facebook Business Pages, for example, allows you to create an online shop (complete with a catalog for your products and list your services) for free. What’s more, you can manage bookings and appointments on these pages by synchronizing them with your Google Calendar.
ii. Leverage user-generated content (UGC).
UGC is invaluable when it comes to creating social proof, which is a big plus when you want to reach new people.
Encourage happy clients to post photos and videos that show the quality of your work, and to then tag your business pages. Encourage them to write positive and detailed reviews about your salon as a way of encouraging their social media followers to book appointments with you. Most importantly, encourage them to add links to your booking page in their photo captions.
You can encourage clients to create and share UGC by rewarding them through loyalty and referral programs.
Facebook ads, for example, will help you promote your business, shine a light on your booking page, and market your expertise. You can also leverage optimized Google Ad campaigns to boost your website’s visibility on search engines.
Jump on any trending topic that fits your salon personality and vibe. You can also work with upcoming TikTok celebrities in your area to boost your social media engagements and ultimately increase your appointment bookings online.
3. Make quality calls
One of the most effective ways to get the attention of potential clients (and to encourage existing customers to rebook) is through personalized business calls. Emails, SMSs, and social media DMs work, don’t get it twisted, but calls feel a little less impersonal. You probably knew that already. What you probably have never given much thought is how good the calls you make are. Are they excellent and inspired or are they stale and boring?
You will know if your calls are excellent if:
- They are personal. Always take your time to go through a client’s appointment history to know them better. You can even dig deeper in their LinkedIn and other social media profiles to get an idea of the topics they are interested in. That will help you connect with them at a more personal level.
- They are not repetitive. Always be original when pitching your services to new clients. Don’t be too promotional, but be sure to communicate the value a target client would get from your services.
- They are enthusiastic. Always call clients when you are in your best moods. You should make sure that clients feel your positive energy over the phone.
- You don’t exaggerate. Always moderate your energy not to come across as a conman. Don’t promise what you cannot deliver as that will only get you negative reviews afterward.
- Your message is clear. As much as you don’t want to come across as overly promotional, ensure that clients understand the purpose of your call. Ensure that they understand how much you’d appreciate it if they booked your services. You can even go ahead and offer to help them with the booking process.
Excellent calls will get you way more new bookings compared to the basic, uninspired marketing calls that most marketers make.
4. Advertise your booking page
In everything you do, ensure that clients know you have an online booking page that’s designed to improve their experience. You can do that by:
- Adding QR codes to your offline marketing materials and then linking those codes to your online booking page.
- Hanging signage in and outside your salon encourages and guides clients to make online bookings.
- Editing your voicemail greetings to include information on how clients can book your services online.
- Adding booking page links to your emails.
- Signing up for Reserve with Google to allow interested clients to book your services straight from Google search. RWG also optimizes your business on Google Maps.
- Add Geotags and Hashtags to your online content to increase your discoverability.
5. Use free/discounted stuff to build brand awareness
We already mentioned that you should encourage UGC by rewarding clients through loyalty and referral programs. That’s one way of incentivizing people to market your salon. There are other ways you can use free and discounted stuff to increase brand awareness and consequently enhance bookings. You could, for example:
- Run a giveaway for a few days, say 3-5 days, where you reward winners with free beauty products or haircuts. You can then appreciate all non-winning participants with discounts or special offers. When sending them instructions on how to claim their rewards, be it by email or DMs, be sure to include a link to your booking page.
- Give discounts during seasonal events, e.g. Black Friday or Valentine’s Day, to everyone who books your services online.
- Leverage Yelp Deals by rewarding clients for reviewing your services on Yelp and mentioning how easy it is to book your services online.
- Leverage limited-time offers. Make the offers irresistible and then inject a sense of urgency by adding an expiration date on them.
Final word Recurring bookings, and salon business success at large, are hard-fought. The only way to benefit from the five tips above is to be consistent with each one of them. Make more calls, give more offers and rewards, meet more people, and consistently upgrade your booking apparatus. That’s how you will encourage more bookings.