How these top salons beat COVID-19 this week

Clea Harbison May / 28 / 2020

You might have seen earlier this week we posted a graph on our social media that got us all tingly. Now, despite being a company of tech-enthused beauty buffs, it’s not normally data that gets our pulses racing. But this graph was different. This graph was exciting. This graph got us dreaming of great heights and glory days.

Check it out….

In a nutshell, this graph shows that while last week (and to be honest, a fair few weeks before) was grim and gloomy in the world of online bookings for our clients, the first few days of this week were BUSY. In fact, overnight on Sunday we saw online bookings jump an incredible 385%. And upfront payments increased over 1,000%. Crazy, right? The next day – they grew even more. And we’re thrilled to say the curve, it ain’t slowing. 📈

When we dug into the numbers we were seeing, we found some absolute 🌟 star performers 🌟. These salons and clinics made up only 10% of the Shortcuts clients who use online booking, but the appointments booked through their system combined was a staggering 80% of the total!

As you can imagine, we were thrilled. We reached out to a few of these all-star salon owners, to see if they’d share their secrets with the Shortcuts community. And lucky for you, they were only too happy to oblige. 🤗

Anna Field, The Paddington Beauty Room

“I have always had online booking and upfront payments, so my clients are comfortable with the process. It meant that I could send out several emails when it came time to re-open. My first one went to clients who missed an appointment due to closure and made them feel they had “first dibs” on available appointments. The second email alerting all the database 12hrs later invited everyone to make their bookings.

By being on technology from the beginning has meant this week I didn’t have to bring staff in to answer phones. I have been able to do all the other things I need to do to ensure we are ready for opening. The bookings honestly took care of themselves with only the most minimal effort from me. It’s the best investment I ever made, it’s just paid for itself 1,000 times over.”

💡💡 Anna’s tip 💡💡 Create a pre-screen COVID symptom form and use a site like bitly to create a small URL – include this on every appointment confirmation screen and SMS reminder to make life easier (and the salon safer) as you re-open.

Charlotte McFarland, Beauty & Bronze

“During the COVID-19 closure we made sure we were still sending out regular marketing emails to reassure to our clients we would be re-opening. We paired this with social media posts and stories on Facebook and Instagram, which clients were interacting with such as ‘ask us a question’ and ‘polls’. We also implemented a ‘live chat’ widget on our website so clients could contact us in real time.

Over the period of the closure we made sure we kept up with all the new health regulations and mocked up all of our imagery for social media/email marketing so we could roll it out as soon as we were given the green light.

Having introduced deposits 9 months ago made most of our clients familiar with our booking system. We were extremely hesitant to introduce deposits initially, as we were worried it might deter clients however it had the absolute opposite. Our theory was, ‘if they don’t want to pay a deposit, then they have no intention of showing up’… which looking back was so true!

In all of our announcements we stressed to our clients that the only way to make a booking would be through our website portal (due to the sheer volume of clients on our active database) which links to mylocalsalon as we knew a lot of our clients were busting to see us again.

💡💡 Charlotte’s tip 💡💡 Take a deposit! This will ensure you’re not wasting appointment slots that are booked by people with no intention of turning up. Your appointment book will be full and you won’t have to manage as much of a waitlist.

Eva Frawley, The Skin & Beauty Suite

“As soon as Queensland salons were given the okay to open up, the emails and texts (from clients) were coming in fast. I was loving it because I was able to go back to work, but it was a lot of admin booking people in.

So, I decided it was time to set up online booking. It was super easy, I had it set up and live within an hour or two with help from the Shortcuts team. I couldn’t be happier to have set it up, it’s made my life so much easier. If you’re a small business owner like myself, you’re staying back in your lunchbreak or after work to get back to people’s calls and emails – this just alleviates all of that.

It has been received so well, everyone’s loving it – even clients that I thought would still call, they’ve jumped right on! If you’re a salon owner like me who hasn’t set it up yet – jump on board, it’s going to make your life so much easier. Take advantage of the new clients you’ve picked up through social media through COVID.”

💡💡 Eva’s tip 💡💡 Make sure to add a finishing block (check out how to here) to give yourself time to sanitise the area between treatments! And – block yourself a lunchbreak! Eva found herself eating lunch at 4pm because she was so flat out with all her new bookings. Great for business – not so great for hungry bellies!

There you have it gang – a few top tips from the ones who are doing it best. Now get onto your online bookings and let’s keep this graph climbing!

Psst – haven’t got Online Booking and Upfront Payments set up yet? Don’t worry, we won’t tell. 🤐 We can get you up and running super quickly. Check out the resources we’ve got here, including a comprehensive webinar showing you how to get set up, and call Helpdesk if you need any assistance!

Clea Harbison
Clea Harbison

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