How can an online booking system change your nail business?
We've all been there, it's 9pm and we're watching some of our faves on a live and your phone starts pinging and a client is asking to change their appointment or worse still, cancel! But what would you say if I told you there are FREE systems available to you to give you more time to sit there and follow along with your nail bestie.
More and more nail technicians are realising the benefits of an online booking system (OBS) can give them. Here HONA will highlight how changing something such as the way you book your appointments WILL fundamentally help your business grow.
So how can going online actually help?Right we're going to break down the benefits for you as i know some of you are scared to let go of that trustie appointment book.
Firstly the most obvious benefit of an OBS is that they will allow your customers to place their appointment at a time that is most convenient for them. Just recently we done a live with one of our favourite nail techs and she told us about getting a nail appointment come through at 4am!
Your clients can make their appointment at any time, day or night, without having to wait for a response from you and just as importantly not while in your business hours.
Think about it... your clients are much more likely to make a booking in the evening in their free time, the problem... this is also going to be your free time! Your time doesn't have to be spent this way; having a system that works automatically in the background will give your customer all the information they need to book an appointment and you simply need to sit back and relax.
Offering your customers an online booking system that is always open for business will stand you the best chance at significantly increasing your number of bookings.
Reduce cancellations and no-shows
How frustrating is a no show! OBS's WILL help reduce your no shows and cancellations due to the deposit functionality, your cancellation policy being visible and the automated reminder emails or text notifications to alert your clients of an upcoming appointment.
Reduce your workload and save time
This was a biggie for me when I switched from my paper book. The emphasis is put on your client, not you, which means they find an appointment that suits them, they rearrange, cancel, upgrade all without having to speak a word to you.
While I know this sounds scary at first, (trust me I was nervous too) but this extra convenience can benefit both you and your client.
You are making it EASY for your client to book an appointment with you.
Upsell and earn more!
Let's be frank! In the U.K. we're undercharging for our services from the off (One of HONA's missions is to educate the industry into charging more - more on that in the future) With this said we should all try and maximise the amount of profit we earn. This is a lovely little benefit of an OBS!
It can be used to upsell your products or services, advertising things like add-ons and extras to customers. These may be things that your client didn't realise you offered such as cuticle oils or complex nail art.
Fun fact... customers, in general, are more likely to upgrade their booking and buy extras if they can do it online, as they will have more time and information to make their decision.
Want to boost your social bookings? Yes please!
One of the most powerful reasons for an online book system is integrating it with your socials. Your social is your shop window and this is one of the greatest chances of securing a booking.
Social integration this will allow customers to book appointments via a 'book now' button on your social media pages. This is once again making it super easy for potential clients to book appointments and reduce any possible barriers.
This all sounds good but what is it going to cost?
The next thing you're probably wondering is; how much does this software cost? The good news is there are plenty of FREE options for you to choose from. Most of these will give you the main benefits mentioned above and while you could spend some money on a more sophisticated version the free options are perfectly fine. For example, our salon (@charlottestudiobeauty) have been using a free version of Setmore for a few years now and I have never felt the need to pay for a premium version.
What booking software would HONA recommend?
There are quite a few options to choose from so I understand it can be daunting. Firstly there is no 'best one', all will have good and bad points and it is about finding the one that suits you. We can only give you advice on the systems we have used but I would recommend you do a bit of research and check a few out to find out which one suits you most. The ones that suited us when building the salon business were Appointy, Booksy but then I finally went for Setmore.
If you need some help comparing them against each other here is a great resource for you to compare.
Could it be time for you to go digital?
Change is scary but it can also be good! As you can see, there are many ways a nail tech can benefit from investing in an OBS. Not only will booking software increase the number of appointments and help to generate a higher profit, but it will also help with scheduling, allowing for more free time, with the reduced admin.
And while all our appointment books are empty! There is no better time than now.
Do you have any questions? Drop them in the comments below and I will try my best to answer or if you want, direct message me.
Love Mike & Charl