Salons and barber shops have been hit particularly hard by shelter-in-place orders, and even with many states easing business restrictions, there are still many question marks about how to proceed safely. Luckily, professional organizations like the AIHA have provided safety guidelines for hair and nail salons (as well as other business types - see here), which focus on social distancing, enhanced cleaning, adequate ventilation, personal hygiene, and minimizing the number of occupants inside the business, among other things. The real challenge then becomes implementing these best practices, and that’s where an online appointment-booking software platform can pay huge dividends, allowing customers to book salon or barber appointments online. Here’s a look, from a customer’s perspective, how SpotOn Appointments can be leveraged to adapt a salon to operate with COVID-19 restrictions.
The customer receives an email
While states are loosening shelter-in-place orders, people are justifiably concerned about going back to business as normal. Fears of getting exposed to COVID-19 and endangering their family is changing the habits of consumers. That’s why clear communication is so crucial for small businesses right now. This is easily accomplished with the SpotOn platform.
- From the SpotOn Dashboard, the salon sends an email to all of its clients describing the measures it is taking to keep them safe and how to book an appointment
- Reassured, the customer is redirected from the email to book an appointment online, either from the salon’s website, Facebook page, or business profile on the SpotOn Consumer App
The customer books an appointment online
Prompted by the salon or barber’s email, the customer books an appointment online, either from a computer or right from their mobile phone. From the online booking page, the customer chooses:
- The day and time of their appointment
- The technician of their choice
- The services they want
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, having online appointment booking led to a 30 - 40% boost in sales for salons and with consumers changing their habits due to the pandemic, it’s likely that online booking will account for an even higher percentage of sales than before.
The customer receives a text-message confirmation and appointment reminder
After scheduling the appointment, the customer automatically receives a text message confirming their appointment details. If there’s anything incorrect, the customer has the ability to text the salon back to make corrections. Then, the day prior to the appointment, the customer receives a text message appointment reminder.
Studies show that appointment reminders can reduce no-shows by 40%. Even better, there’s no extra work on the part of the salon to send the reminders. The SpotOn Appointments platform sends them automatically. By reducing no-shows and increasing the total number of appointments with online booking, the SpotOn platform can lead to as much as a 50% net growth in sales for the salon!
As an added precaution during these strange times, the salon can also elect to require the customer leaving their credit card information on file while booking the appointment, so as to enforce a cancellation policy.
The customer arrives - no waiting, no crowding
Thanks to SpotOn’s built-in calendering feature, the salon has eliminated crowds and waiting in the lobby area. The salon has the maximum allowable beauty technicians working according to their state and local guidelines, and the customer arrives to immediately begin their treatment without ever having to be in close proximity to other customers or technicians.
If any walk-in customers show up, the salon directs them to a self-serve kiosk in the waiting area to book an appointment, and then is asked to return for their appointment time.
The customer pays and earns loyalty points touch-free
When the customer’s service is complete, the technician completes the checkout process right there at their station with SpotOn’s integrated smart payment terminal.
- The technician pulls up the appointment on the payment terminal, and the correct billing amount is automatically added to the bill
- The technician can add on any additional services or retail products the customer requested during the appointment
- The customer uses the SpotOn Consumer App to check in to the salon’s loyalty rewards program touch-free and earn Spots to redeem later
- The customer pays with a contactless payment method such as Apple Pay or Google Pay by simply tapping their phone to the salon’s smart payment terminal
The customer gets prompted to leave a review
Pleased with the service, the customer heads home to shortly afterward receive an email or text message from the salon asking them to leave an online review. The customer is happy to do so and leaves a review on their favorite site, such as Yelp, Facebook, or Google.
- Again, there’s no extra work for the salon because the SpotOn Appointments platform automatically prompts happy customers to leave reviews
- Studies show that 7 out of 10 customers will leave a review if prompted
- Boosting your Yelp score can lead to 5 - 9% growth in revenue!
The customer receives an automatic incentive email the following month
A month after their appointment, or however long the salon chooses, the customer receives an email with a limited time deal encouraging them to come back for a new visit. The process starts all over, with the customer happily booking a new appointment online. Combined with SpotOn Loyalty, the customer has more than enough incentives to keep coming back as a lifelong customer.
For the salon, everything is managed from SpotOn Appointments—a central platform that helps streamline calendaring, manage team member services and rates, book more appointments, reduce no-shows, and increase repeat visits. It’s the end-to-end platform that helps the salon adapt to however business needs to be conducted, both today and in the future.
Not already using SpotOn Appointments? Get your free demo and get started today!