Q: Should I switch to online booking?
By Lori Crete
Licensed Esthetician, Owner of Spa 10 and President/Founder of The Esthetician Mentor
A: I was basically forced into online booking by a business coach. Although I felt terrified that somehow I would alienate my clients by investing in online booking, it has been one of the best business decisions that I have ever made.
Speaking from years of online booking experience, here are the top three (of many) reasons online booking can greatly benefit your beauty business.
1. Convenience for You and Your Clients
The ability to book 24/7 offers undeniable convenience for existing and potential clients.
People purchase convenience. Many clients are busy with their daily routine and think about self-care after office hours.
I find most of my bookings are made while I am sleeping. There is no better feeling than waking up in the morning to see several appointments booked while I was sound asleep.
Convenience for you is really all about working smarter, not harder. Just think of what you can accomplish with all the extra time you will have when this part of your daily routine is automated. I was able to schedule two to three extra clients a day with the additional time that became available.
2. Marketing Made Easy
Most online booking platforms provide robust marketing support. You can send newsletters, feature retail products during the booking process and offer deals to advertise new services or to fill slow times.
3. Heightened Online Exposure
“SEO is really about exposure for your business when consumers are searching for your services online. It’s important to remember that services are always local (unlike searching and buying products online). If your booking platform offers business listings in a local, high-volume, online marketplace, your businesses will get the dual benefit of increased exposure to local consumers while also driving those consumers to your website to get more information. This is a virtuous cycle that always leads to higher search rankings,” explained Michael Wilson, vice president of marketing and business development at Schedulicity.
Setting up your online offerings does take some time, so I do recommend blocking off about two hours of time to get them up and running. After your setup is complete, expect a few weeks of informing and educating clients on how to use the system.
Your clients will love that they can book with you 24/7 from your website, Facebook page and online booking app.
Send your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org, with the subject line “Ask the Esthy.”