How to create the best online booking client experience

9 Jul 2019 by Kitomba

Your client experience doesn’t start with their consultation, it starts before they even reach your front door. Your marketing is amazing, your referral programs are working and your social media channels are beautiful. It’s all coming together to encourage new clients to book, and increasingly clients want to book online. There are some great reasons to have online booking, plus 12% of appointments are booked online and that number is only increasing. So when you’re considering your client experience, take a close look at your online booking and follow these steps to make sure it creates the same fantastic client experience you create in your salon, spa or clinic and help drive even more online bookings.

Step 1. Decide which services are bookable online

Not every service needs to be available to book online. In fact, having every service listed can be confusing and overwhelming for clients. This can lead them to book the wrong service, deciding they need to call to book, or worse, not booking at all. Think about when you’re at a restaurant and you’re confronted with a 10-page menu – it’s much easier to make a decision when you have less choice.

A good way to decide is to identify which services should be bookable online versus which are best upsold in the salon or at rebooking time or should be phoned in. For services that require an initial consultation, remove the ability to book these online and consider adding a free consultation service instead.

Packages can also be a useful tool for common service combinations. For example, a cut and colour package for long hair that includes cut, colour, blow dry and treatment services. Make these online-booking ready packages available to book online in place of the individual services, removing the ability for clients to book a colour without time for a blow dry for example.

Step 2. Set your pricing

Checking that your pricing is accurate will ensure clients aren’t surprised when it comes time to pay. This becomes even more important if you require a deposit or full payment to confirm a booking. Certain services may have different prices depending on the staff member completing the service, so ensure you have set up special pricing by either staff seniority (and ensure each staff member’s seniority level is correct too) or setting a special price for specific staff members.

Step 3. Name your services

You know how frustrating it can be when your accountant talks to you in a language you don’t understand? Hair and beauty services can be like that for clients. You may know exactly what a “Protocell facial” is, but your clients may have no idea. Name your services in a way that everyday people will understand, for example “Protocell anti-aging facial” more clearly differentiates the service, which brings us to our next point, service descriptions.

Step 4. Describe your services

Use your description field to give a clear explanation of what each service entails and help clients understand which service they should book to meet their needs. This could include details of how long short hair is, or how high a ½ leg wax goes. If you have services that require a separate consultation, set up a service for that consultation at a $0 price and include an explanation of what’s covered in the consultation, why it’s required and what the next steps will be.

Step 5. Set staff details

Online booking gives clients the option to choose which staff member they would like to complete their services so make sure your staff are named sensibly in their columns.

Avoid having clients book services with staff who are incapable of performing them by checking your staff capabilities, ie. you’ve set which services each staff member can complete in your salon software.

It’s also likely you have some staff who are faster at certain services than others. Use variable staff speed settings to ensure the correct amount of time is allocated when the service is booked online, no matter who performs it.

Step 6. Keep your appointment book up to date

If a staff member is going to be away on planned leave or training, or otherwise unable to complete appointments, ensure your appointment book reflects this by blocking out that time or modifying their timetable. This will prevent clients from booking at these times and being disappointed when you need to modify their appointment.

So there you have it, six steps to ensuring your client experience is absolutely top-notch, right from the time they book. Online booking is a powerful tool and can be used to really maximise your business success, especially when a little time and effort is invested in getting it right and keeping changes to your business up to date in your software. But remember, if you need to, you can always modify an online booking before confirming it, or contact your client to double check details – the power is in your hands!

Kitomba’s powerful Online Booking features enable you to create an exceptional online booking experience for your clients. For more information on how, contact us for a personalised demo.

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