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The run down on Online Booking

22 Aug 2017 by Kitomba

It’s all about your clients! And your clients are looking for convenience and simplicity in their busy lives. So how they make their next appointment shouldn’t be any different. In fact one third of clients want to be able to book outside your standard opening hours. Online booking makes it easier and faster for your clients to book when it suits them – and we’ve found that clients like it and want it. It’s just a bonus that on average you can make $4,000 a month with Online Booking!

What you need to know about Online Booking

10% of all appointments, on average, are booked online and that number is growing! That’s an average of 56 client Online Bookings every month and almost $50,000 a year in your bank account! Online Booking has the ability to increase your revenue dramatically and it costs very little to add this money generating feature to your salon and spa software package.

Ever missed a phone call? You’re probably thinking you’ve missed out on income and it’s likely you have. With Online Booking your clients have the ability to book an appointment even when you’re closed, and most importantly – when it suits them. It’s also nice to know that you can focus on the client in your chair, while your Online Booking system processes all your new client bookings for you.

On average 10%, or 1 in 10 appointments, are “lost” as late cancellations and no shows. Cancellations are the biggest challenge as they make up the majority of these “lost” appointments. The good news is that the stats show if a client makes their appointment using Online Booking, the likelihood of a cancellation or no show is lower.

So much more than Online Booking

The Online Booking name doesn’t do this service justice! Online Booking isn’t just a booking system. It’s a tonne of functionality bundled into one software feature that’s hugely beneficial for your business, but also designed specifically for your clients to make their lives easier and ensure their experience with you is the best it can be.

Just like with standard appointments, clients who book online also receive reminder text messages, majorly reducing no shows.

Kitomba recently released Online Booking Payments. Taking full payment or deposits from your clients through Online Booking can further reduce cancellations and no shows too, as it increases your client’s commitment to their appointment. Add a dollar or percentage deposit amount to lock your clients in when they book online.

Online booking

We’re in a before and after focused industry, so the ability to use photos with your clients is a must. Kitomba Online Booking allows your clients to upload photos to their Online Booking profile or when they make an appointment online. You’ll be alerted that there’s a photo to view when you receive their booking so your staff know what their client wants before they even walk into your spa or salon. In fact, you’ll build stronger client relationships with the ability to interact with them outside of the salon with photos. This feature also increases inspiration, improves consultations and allows you to take your clients on a transformation journey.

We all want loyal clients and having a loyalty program is a must. Just as important is your clients being able to see how close they are to receiving their reward. With Online Booking, clients can check their balance as they book a new appointment.

Having correct, up to date client data and history ensures you can remind clients of their next appointment, market to them and be well prepared when they come in for their next visit. Online Booking also allows clients to update their details so you can rest assured their client card is correct.

If you’re a multi-site salon, ensure your Online Booking system has the functionality you need! Your clients should be able to switch between your locations and staff when they book online.

Make the most of Online Booking

Set it up

It’s important that your Online Booking site is on brand and looks just like your website! So customise the background, add a banner image and select the right colour scheme. Write a promotional blurb or description of your business, add your opening hours and check that your address is correct. These are the basics but are really important to ensuring you have a consistent brand image.

Set up a book now button on your Facebook page that links through to your Online Booking. It’s really easy and only takes a couple of minutes. Make sure you have a book now button on your website too. Tip! Ensure the button is at the top of your website so your clients don’t need to scroll and are more likely to see it.

Promote it

If you’ve got Online Booking, you need to shout it from the rooftop! There are so many ways to tell your clients they now have the option to book online.

Change your voicemail message to include your clients new way to book! Something like ‘sorry we can’t get to the phone right now, you can book online at….’ is perfect. Your clients will be happy that although you couldn’t take their call, they can still make a booking.

In-salon signage ensures your clients know they have multiple options when booking, and if your salon or spa is on a busy road – add some signage to your door. A sign with ‘The salon may be closed but we take bookings online 24/7!’ will be sure to capture the attention of potential new clients.

Tell your clients through a campaign! If you’re new to Online Booking, use Kitomba to send an email or SMS campaign. Sharing a post on your social media channels is a great idea too.

If you’re looking for new ways to promote Online Booking, set up a ‘lapsed client’ marketing campaign that automatically emails customers who have not re-booked 12 weeks after their last appointment prompting them to “come back”.

In fact, when emailing clients, you should always include a link or button to your Online Booking page.

Everything we see is pointing towards Online Booking continuing to grow in popularity. Make sure you choose an Online Booking solution that offers your clients all the benefits outlined in this article – it’s what they want.

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