Online Booking

We think it's important to use online booking, particularly if it is "customizable" or designed for the salon industry because;

1. Every time someone books online you save 5 to 10 minutes, which adds up to a lot of increased productivity.

2. Millenials and people "on the run" sometimes don't want to talk and just want to click quickly and easily...and will!

3. Online booking requires them to register (if done correctly) giving you access to the client in the future.

4. There is NOTHING worse than being put on hold when you're trying to make an appointment.

5. Online booking and ordering is being used, in some instances by 90% of a small salon's clients...the time savings are incredible.

The Downside of Using an Online Booking Service - If your scheduling is linked to an online scheduling provider that has your link at the end, embedded, or elsewhere in THEIR web address, remember that they now OWN your online traffic and that YOU are GIVING it to them WHILE paying them. In many ways, this could be very negative if you're trying to build a business, so choose a provider that allows you to embed or link your scheduling within your website/web app, though that may guarantee nothing.  As we warned you - "free is not free".

So, we have a variety of solutions that are designed to keep your customers for you at a reasonable price with the codicil that "If it's free, you're probably getting what you pay for."  By setting up YOUR OWN online booking page you allow those who want to schedule do so without calling, on their phone or desktop, and still don't reveal your number of bookings publicly or reject a new customer that only has limited times available and gives up when you aren't available. So, first consider an online booking solution, instead of a service.

Our solution (included with our mobile marketing) is to create a customizable form for you that works/links/embeds in your website, Facebook page, etc., with options that collects the customers contact information, encourages them to select the best date and time and gives them an alternative selection to that they can engage the way they want to, online - on their phone, tablet or desktop.  By following up with them by phone, email or text, you can choose how-when-and if you want to have there request returned. Their request comes to your email and has all their information and you only need to 'click' to reply...easy to do when you're working or busy.

Also, being able to collect their names, phone numbers and email addresses is important, though some won't register on your "register me for updates" page (which we also supply for free). So, by giving yourself the opportunity to connect with them even if they don't want to register, you have another chance to engage them personally.

And, doesn't it bother YOU when you are required to choose how you heard about someone from a fixed list that doesn't include how you actually heard about the business or about them?  Those fixed solutions work fine for a big corporate data base looking to channel prospects into categories, but that's not what service companies that care do to their customers. So, we provide an open ended answer while still asking the question. When someone's Aunt Millie told them about you, now they can tell you when they book online EXACTLY where they heard about you.

AND, if you want to put a reminder or an advertisement or another link to your Facebook page ...whatever... on your online booking form wouldn't that be better than an ad from your online provider?  We think so.

Try a sample of our solution by clicking here...and use this opportunity to give us YOUR info and have us connect with YOU when it's convenient. 

These scheduling apps (Schedulicity, MyTime, GenBook or Vagaro, among others) can be used by embedding them within your website, mobile app or used free standing. Most cost around $10 to $40 monthly or, if you don't mind spending a lot more, Booker, which ranges up to $100 or more and they all have different features and benefits. However, ALL of them allow your customers to "book from wherever they are", on mobile, desktop or Facebook, and that means a lot.

More on this later....

NOTE - StyleSeat - It's FREE!  (er, NO it's not...)

Many clients we have spoken to use third party (Style Seat) apps for free booking but don't like the idea that third party apps that are "free" actually take the customer info and use it for direct marketing even to the point of sharing a salon's customers with competitors that "pay for the privilege".  

For example, news media reports that, as StyleSeat rolls out it's Loreal product marketing, their free online booking app will have advertising access to ALL your clients. 

Also, the scheduler will display their marketing services on YOUR calendar that may allow them to assist a competitor to connect to your clients if you aren't enrolled in their marketing program.  

We think using Style Seat (though nicely done - we use it as a sample) as an online schedule is a mistake.

As Style Seat grows and becomes more powerful, including their exclusive relationship with Loreal, they have announced their intention to market their products to their "free" salon professional's customers. This wouldn't be so bad if it was simply a convenience for you, but you could easily earn 10% to 20% of your revenue selling products that Style Seat will supply online to YOUR customers, interferring with your earnings. We now must ask you to consider how such an arrangement prevents your clients from coming to see YOU when they want to purchase product.  Even though you don't have to sell online to sell product, using some pretty simple tactics that bring your clients back to your salon to pick up products they need, you can still retain all the product sales using some strategies we provide for free to our clients.  

Style Seat also warns in its Terms and Conditions that they have access to all your client's Facebook, etc., contacts for the purpose of marketing(?!).  So, though "free", Style Seat has those warnings and more, such as there is no room or space or link for video(s), a photo gallery, your non-StyleSeat reviews, no link to your Google listing or your other online social media for the purpose of helping you market or to build your clientele. These missing links and components are critically important for prospects that may be considering you and looking at your online presence on their phone or tablet.

FINAL NOTE - Remember to READ their Terms because, if you ever decide to move to another system, your past provider will have links to all your social media which allows THEM access to your networks to sell them products or provide links to your competitors. Why wouldn't they provide your competitors with access to ex-client lists? Because your competitors (i.e. their current customers) will benefit, and it costed the provider nothing.