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How to Make Your Walkins Feel Like Kings

Barbers have carved their own niche in the hair industry – creating successful modern-day barbershops built on the foundations of tradition and heroing one of the longest standing trades. They’ve been revived to become places where fellas go not just for the trendy short back and sides cut, but for a unique experience. An experience where they get to sit back and relax with beer and banter. 

man getting haircut inside room

One distinctive aspect to the barber industry is the prevalence of walk-in business. As homage to traditional barbershops that could only service walk-in business, many modern-day barbershops don’t take appointments at all. This is like chalk and cheese to other businesses in the hair and beauty industry, such as salons, spas and clinics – which rely on appointments to run their business. Walk-ins are just an added bonus for them!  

Blend it up 

With the pandemic, many barbers have now had to pivot, take appointments, and change-up their overall approach. We like to call this the blended model – where walk-ins and bookings can be handled in harmony.  

At Shortcuts, we’ve recognised that the blended model is the way of the future for barbers and salons alike. Shortcuts New Zealand Sales Manager, Ingrid Van De Berg, is a big believer in it being key to improving the experience you offer your clients.  

“A blended solution that uses both cloud technology and software installed on a computer can accommodate businesses who have both walk-in’s and appointments. Using technology to create a seamless, fluid, professional experience and promoting return business makes all the difference, I believe, and leaves a lasting impression,” said Ingrid. 

Use walk-in tech 

The Walkin Manager and Self Check-In features have always been well loved by Shortcuts barbers – helping them streamline their businesses and deliver a zero-fuss experience.  

Don Desanctis, Director of Barber Boys, has been a long-time fan of how the Walkin Manager functionality has helped take his chain of stores to the next level.  

“As a walk-in based business at Barber Boys, the self-check-in and walk-in management system through Shortcuts has been a blessing in disguise. When a client comes in, they check themselves in by punching in their details on iPads and go on a waiting list on the board. There’s no stress for the client about where they are in line or who’s next. And it takes a lot of stress off my staff as well to just look up, see who the client is, and then pass them through,” said Don.  

Knowing how important these features are to walk-in barbershops, we couldn’t help ourselves! We just had to spice up the existing tech to deliver something even more efficient, intuitive and wow-worthy as part of our snazzy new Shortcuts 8.1. 

Not only have we made a bunch of improvements to the functionality, but we’ve also given Shortcuts a snazzy new look and feel to bring our software into 2021 using some of the world-renowned design trends used by Google and heaps of other apps! 

So how else can you make your walk-ins feel like kings with the new Shortcuts 8.1?  

Manage guest expectations 

Along with some user experience updates to make using the Walkin Manager so much simpler, there’s also been some significant updates to visibility over guest wait and service times functionality.  

One of them being a quoted start time, which is now displayed below the estimated start time for any guests waiting in the queue. This will help your staff manage guest expectations, with clear visibility of when the guest is expecting their service to begin.  

Another revamp is an estimated finish time, which now displays both the time the service is due to finish and the amount of time remaining until the end of the service, all in the one column for easy viewing.  

You’ll also be able to see the current service status, such as in progress, finished, or running over, more clearly in text for in-service visits.  

When you can see exactly where all your guests are in the queue and how your staff are handling the services, you are much better equipped for managing guest expectations! 

See your whole day 

Part of the blended model experience is giving you complete visibility over both your walk-in business and appointments all from the one place.  

In your Shortcuts Appointment Book, there’s now a single view of both pre-booked appointments and walk-in visits to help give you an overview of what your whole day looks like from all angles!  

The Walkin Manager estimated start times are updated frequently, with the visits automatically reflected in your Appointment Book, making guest management that much easier. You’ll be able to see these walk-in services with a clear walk-in indicator, and those visits won’t be able to be chopped, changed or shifted from the Appointment Book (since they weren’t made there in the first place). But users can still make changes through the Walkin Manager itself if need be.  

Quick guest check-ins 

For guests who wish to have a lightning quick visit or don’t want their details to be kept on file, they can now check-in with just a name. To experience a service with you, they won’t need to provide their email, phone number, or even their real name if they don’t want to. What this means is if they revisit, they won’t have a history record to draw upon at their visit but they will have a quicker check-in experience – which is perfect for clients in a rush. 

The name they provide will display on the Wallboard and staff will call out that name when they’re ready for your once-off guest which is why the only detail they need to give at check-in is a name.  

It’s a win-win situation for those who value their privacy or are just after a super quick in-and-out cut.  

Check-out groups  

Group checkouts are now so much simpler when you have a whole family visiting for cuts! If a dad and his two kids pay a visit to their fave local barbershop (you 😉), he can now check-in all three of them in just a few steps. At the end of the visit when he heads to the front desk to pay for all three cuts, you can check them out in just one or two clicks! This never used to be this simple, which is why we’re so excited to tell you about it!  

We love making your lives ten times easier, so you can focus on the stuff that really matters: your clients, and your business.  

Keen to get your hands on the new Shortcuts 8.1 for your barbershop? Of course you are! Click here to get started today! 

Caitlin Adamson

Caitlin Adamson is a passionate creative and analytical thinker who brings her love for the written word to the marketing world. She brings her fresh outlook to the Shortcuts team and strives to create strategic and engaging collateral to help salons, spas, clinics and barbers to tackle their business endeavours with confidence.

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