Building my business

Online Booking: My Five Favourite Things

Jackie Smyth Sep / 06 / 2018

Online Booking, combined with your salon appointment book is just the thing to take your business from surviving, to thriving! Still on the fence about whether this fab feature is right for you? Whether you’re a salon, barber shop, clinic or spa, read on as Shortcuts NSW Sales Manager Jackie gives you five reasons to add Online Booking to your business!

It links with your salon Appointment Book

Imagine having a round-the-clock virtual receptionist, keeping your business open to take bookings 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year! Online Booking from Shortcuts does just that while freeing up your staff to do more important things like indulging clients in a little post-treatment retail therapy… Oh and sleeping, of course. Pretty nifty, huh?!

Online Booking gives your clients the freedom to make an appointment whenever and wherever they like. En-route to work on the bus or train? Too easy. At Friday night drinks after a friend has raved about your incredible services? No problem! They can be making an online booking while you’re rugged up on the sofa at the end of a busy day with a big slice (ahem…box) of pizza and a glass (bottle) of wine binging on The Bachelor. Everybody’s happy.

Your clients have the flexibility to book in real-time in any time zone, anywhere across the globe, and thanks to in-flight WiFi, they could be organising that massage or root touch-up from 35,000 feet in the clouds! How cool is that? The sky is (quite literally) the limit.

It’s customised to suit your business

The best part about Online Booking from Shortcuts? You have the power to tailor your Online Booking settings to suit your business! You decide which days and which staff members are available for bookings, as well as how many appointments are visible to clients. You may want to select a buffer period of 24-48 hours to review your online bookings, or on the contrary, show available appointments on that very same day. It’s completely up to you. Some salons have found that actually limiting the number of appointments visible online creates a sense of urgency among their clients which leads to more bookings.

Another great feature of Shortcuts Online Booking? You choose how far in advance your clients can book, which means no sneaky bookings sliding through for mid-2020 when you’re planning your annual Hawaii vacay. No sir-ee!

Find out how much revenue Togninis generates with Online Booking from Shortcuts. 

It thinks like your receptionist

One concern I hear from a lot of business owners is that Online Booking will result in a patchy schedule, leaving staff with inconvenient gaps throughout the day. That’s not the case. Let me tell you why!

Online Booking from Shortcuts thinks like your receptionist. It groups visible appointments around your current schedule to prevent gaps and maximise your businesses productivity. That means you can look forward to a busy team without having to worry about overlapping or double booking. Told you, it’s clever.

Online Booking will even sequence your services in the correct order. So let’s say your client books in for a cut and colour, a salon may wish to sequence the colour first and the cut second, or a pedicure before a spray tan. Once you have configured the system to suit your business, Online Booking will do the rest! Smart, right?

It’s smarter than you realise

Drum-roll please. Introducing… Capabilities. This may just be the best kept secret about Online Booking from Shortcuts. Capabilities allow you to adjust which services can be booked with each of your team members based on their knowledge and skill set. Let’s say a client wants to book an appointment online for a full head of highlights. When it comes time for them to choose a stylist, only those team members you have set will show availability for this service. Essentially, you have the power to choose which staff can be booked for a certain service.

It makes your Instagram and Facebook pop!

Let’s face it, these days we’re all social media junkies. Your clients (and future clients) can now make a booking without even leaving Facebook or Instagram. Link your online bookings to your social media accounts as well as your website!

According to the 2018 Sensis Social Media Report, almost 8 in 10 people now use social media, and more than 1/3 of people now check their social media more than 5x a day. FYI these figures are growing each year. Among the Gen-Y’s, at least 89% check-in once a day. The most popular times for Social Media are in the evening and on waking first thing in the morning.. Umm, cue online bookings!

My Facebook and Insty accounts are always flooded with friends’ #MeTime salon check-in’s and sassy selfie’s of their fabulous new do’s. A few comments and likes and in no time you have a whole new stream of their followers checking out your business page to see what all the fuss is about. They hit your ‘book now’ and hey presto! You have yourself a beautiful brand-new client. And the social media circle of life begins again.

According to Forbes’s research on consumer engagement with different businesses via social media networks, it is found that 81% agreed that recommendations and posts from family and friends directly influenced their buying decisions. Eighty-one percent!!

We ‘like’ that.

#OnlineBookingsFTW !

 


Jackie Smyth
Jackie Smyth
Jackie gets a kick out of connecting businesses in the hair and beauty industry with innovative technology. As Shortcuts Sales Manager for NSW and ACT, Jackie uses her hands on industry experience to find the best solution for her clients! You can reach her here.

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