While you are an expert when it comes to taking your client’s hair from drab to fab, and your clients love you for it, there is more to running a successful hair business than simply creating beautiful hair looks. You also need to think about all of the behind the scenes business owner aspects of being your own boss. Everything from payment processing, setting your prices, contracts , and even what hair stylist booking app to use.
The following is a guide for what you need from a booking app for hairstylists and will explain exactly what you need, how to set it up, and how to automate your client schedule so you can truly focus on growing your hair and beauty business.
Also in today’s work environment, the best booking software for hairstylists will come in an app. Most hair stylists will want to be able to manage their business easily on their phone between appointments because they are on their feet and in the salon most of the day. If you have to get out the computer and wait until you can get to the front desk or office in your salon, you will miss important notifications. That’s why hairstylists need a mobile first booking solution.
Scheduling Appointments as a Hairstylist
Scheduling hair appointments for clients can seem simple, but at the same time also be a huge stress for business owners. As a professional beautician, you are booking people for a wide array of services and will need to make sure you are staying well organized with your booking system. Whether you are booking simple cuts, vivid colors, wedding styles, or braiding sessions, you need a hair stylist booking app that will keep you organized and on time so you can give your clients the beautiful hair they desire.
Many people start out using things like a simple Google calendar, paper planner, or even one of the many free softwares out there. The problem is, all of these can actually cause more chaos and confusion. When you are doing it all on your own, it can be hard to manage everything you need to do when it comes to your appointments. It’s important for your booking system to integrate with everything else you use including payments, contracts, and even automated text reminders.
Here’s an example. Say you are using a paper planner or manual Google calendar. Your client calls you to schedule a full vivid color appointment at your salon. You get them penciled in, email them over a contract to sign, then you take their deposit with whatever payment processor you are using. This may be the end of it, but sometimes it isn’t. Say that same client calls back to reschedule their color appointment or even to change from doing a full vivid to doing babylights instead. Now you have to go back to your planner, look at your available time, scratch out their name, try to move it somewhere else, and if they are changing the entire appointment, you will have to find how much time you will need for the new service and then try to work that into your already busy schedule.
If you are busy, you may not even have time to answer all of your calls. This client wants to book with you or reschedule, but you are busy working on other clients. What happens now? You either call them back and hope they answer, starting a game of phone tag, or you completely miss it all together and now you have lost out on that potential income.
Getting your appointment setting to where it is an automatic process is KEY to success within the beauty industry. It makes it easy on you, easy on your clients, and everyone wins. So when you are ready to take your hair business to the next level of professionalism, it really is important to have good systems in place.
What Should a Good Professional Hair Stylist Booking App Do?
So what should a great professional hair stylist booking app look like? We are going to walk you through some of the most important things you need to have when choosing the best booking platform for your growing hair business.
Allow Your Clients to Easily Book their Hair Appointment with You Online
First and foremost, you need to be able to have your clients easily book you online. A good app will allow you to make a beautiful custom booking page that you can share with your clients. This will allow them to see when you are available, pick the service and time they want to come to the salon for their appointment, and book their appointment right there without ever having to play phone tag with you.
They should also be able to go back in and reschedule themselves with your other available times if they need to.
This takes a lot of stress off of you as a business owner and gives you the freedom to really focus on your services.
Send Contracts, Forms, and Waivers to the Client Automatically
As a hairstylist, contracts and forms are extremely important. Clients need to know exactly what to expect from the hair appointment that they are booking, be able to answer questions about their hair history, and you need to ensure that you are protected from any liability or potential chargebacks.
We know that pretty much every professional hair stylist uses forms and contracts, so it is important to have a booking app for your business that can automatically send those to your clients.
When they book, the client should be sent an initial intake form. This is where they will put all of their information regarding their hair history. This can include, but isn’t limited to, previous color used, any health issues that impact their hair, what they expect to get from the appointment, and information about styling and occasion for style only appointments. If the appointment is for something large like a bridal party styling session for multiple people, then you need to be able to add as many fields as you need to get all of the information that you require. Of course, you still should do a phone and in person consultation for something as large as a wedding, but intake forms make it so much easier to know what you are walking into, and if it is even an appointment you want to take on.
As far as contracts go, these are the backbone of a hair stylist business, especially for larger style appointments like for weddings and photoshoots. They are just as important for color appointments as well. You should be able to send your clients a custom contract regarding their appointment right through your booking app. This will detail dates, locations (if outside of the salon for a large multi-person styling event), how long you expect to take to get the desired look, and all of the stipulations surrounding the clients’ hair history, stating that you are not to be held liable for damage to their hair if they were to leave out important information that would have led you to use different products or even not take on the appointment at all .
If you were to do all of this manually, it would take a lot of time out of your already busy day. So it is extremely important that you look for a hair stylist booking app that can automatically handle all of this work for you.
Accept Credit Cards for Deposits and Automatic Payments
Another important thing that your hair booking app should do is accept credit cards for automatic deposits and payments.
When clients book an appointment with you, you should be able to automatically prompt them to enter their payment information so that you get your deposit upfront. That way, if they happen to cancel last minute or no-call-no-show, you still have something to show for the time you should have been booked for.
Once services are rendered, your booking app should be able to send that full payment invoice to the client and automatically charge their card on file. This is great for you since you will never have those awkward moments of handing your client a bill and asking for payment in person. It makes it easy for you, easy for the client, and again, everyone wins.
Send Confirmations and Notifications Automatically
One of the most, if not the most, important things your hairstylist booking app should do is to send out confirmations and notifications to your clients automatically.
Appointment reminders will help make sure that your client always remembers the exact time of their appointment. We have seen that simply by making sure you send automatic appointment reminders, your late clients and no-call-no-shows end up decreasing significantly!
Just think about it, some people are making appointments a month or more in advance. It is highly likely that some of these people will forget to write down their appointments and will then simply forget about their appointment. Reminders will not only help you make sure your time is not wasted on clients that don’t show up, it will also help your clients remember their own appointments.
While it is possible for you to manually send out these reminder texts and emails, that will start to really dig into your time that would be better spent on more productive things like continuing education, working on other clients, or marketing your hair services. That’s why we recommend automatic reminders that you simply set up and let run on their own. You just pick the frequency that the reminders will be sent, and you are good to go!
Some salons rely on a receptionist to take calls, schedule appointments, make reminder calls and more. While receptionists helped with the running of salons for a long time and they are good at it, today the trend is for receptionists to focus on the client experience.
Rather than being stuck on the phone hurriedly juggling, calls, check-ins, rescheduling and the like, high end salons today rely on receptionists to serve complimentary drinks, make clients feel at ease and even do services like shampooing and salon cleaning and maintenance. This extra attention on client experience helps make those salons a destination where clients enjoy coming.
Now that scheduling and bookings is an automated process, the trend in growing salons is to focus their employee talent of all levels on giving every client a relaxing and enjoyable visit. It’s how the best salons attract repeat customers, referrals and great reviews online that keep their business growing.
What Professional Hairstylist Booking App Should I Use?
Now that you know what a great hair app should look like, now is the time to decide which one you should use.
If you want everything we mentioned above, and so much more, then PocketSuite may be right for your hair business.
PocketSuite has everything you need to run your hair business right from your phone. Not only do we offer a hair stylist specific version of the app, we also have an amazing customer service team who are ready and willing to help walk you through everything you need to get the most out of your booking app. If you are moving from one platform to PocketSuite, the team will help you transfer everything over so you don’t ever have to worry about missing out on any appointments that you already had scheduled.
We know how important your time is, and we want to help you save time and make more money. We believe in our app so much that we offer a 30-day risk free trial ( you don’t even have to enter a credit card to get ALL of the benefits). During these 30 days, you can have one-on-one calls with our customer care team and get all of your questions answered, everything transferred over, and have everything set up just the way you want for your unique business.
So what are you waiting for? Give PocketSuite a try for your hair business today and see how we can help you grow your business into an empire!