So, you’ve decided to invest in a salon booking software solution to enhance your beauty salon’s service?
Congratulations, you’ve made the right decision!
Today’s consumers simply see the versatility provided by 24/7 online booking as a necessity, with over 70% of spa and salon appointments now booked from mobile devices.
Yet, with the wide availability of salon booking platforms on the market, which solution should you choose to power your salon business?
It’s important to choose the right solution according to your business’s needs and available budget: simple enough to use so you’ll have an easier time in training your staff to learn the software, affordable enough to offer the features you’ll need, reliable, and secure.
Below, we’ll share some useful tips you can follow to ensure you choose the best possible solution for you.
Identify Your Salon’s Needs First
Even before you start evaluating different solutions, it’s best to first identify your needs. What’s the purpose of integrating a salon booking software for your business? Just to integrate online booking? To streamline the overall booking process? Reduce no-shows? All of them and more?
Your salon business is unique, and so you’ll also have unique needs. Generally, the best approach is to get the most affordable software solution that offers all the features you’ll need.
To do this, first create a list of requirements: what features are must-haves? What is nice to have? Which features are not very important? This checklist will significantly help you in narrowing down your potential choices and allowing you to choose salon booking software that suits your needs.
While it’s definitely possible to switch to another salon booking platform midway if you’re not satisfied with one, it’s going to be costly and it will mean another training and adaptation period for your team and customers. So, it’s best to treat your salon booking software as a long-term investment.
Most salon booking software solutions will offer more or less the same core function: an online interactive calendar where potential clients can view available time slots and make their bookings right away. However different solutions may offer unique features not available anywhere else.
Bookeo salon booking software, for example, offers an advanced online scheduling functionality where you can display different salon services with different durations and prices easily, including the ability to customize and display combined services.
Some other features you might want to consider include:
- 24/7 online booking features
- Integration of online booking on your website and Reserve with Google
- SMS and email automated notifications
- Calendar sync, all bookings are added in real-time so your schedule always stays up to date
- Reliable and qualified customer support. Accidents do happen, and you’d want to have available help
- Customizable widget
- Data security and hosting (if data is not stored on your premise/cloud-based)
- Secure online payments integration
The more accurate and clear you’ve identified your needs upfront, the more likely you’ll find an ideal salon booking software solution for you.
Price VS Value
Since the salon booking software is an investment for your salon business, obviously cost should be one of your key considerations. However, unless your goal is simply to get the most cost-effective solution possible, you should consider the overall value of the solution rather than price alone.
That is, the basic approach is to choose the most cost-effective salon booking platform that offers the must-have features you’ve listed above. However, when comparing different solutions, keep in mind that different vendors or service providers (for SaaS solutions) may structure their prices in different ways. So, even if a solution offers lower initial fees upfront, pay attention to the details.
Most vendors, however, will either charge a one-time fee or a monthly plan. Many vendors also offer different tiers of plans, with each tier offering different features.
So, refer back to your checklist of features as you compare different products and different plans. You may need to make some compromises if a plan that offers all the must-have features in your checklist ends up being too expensive so you can choose a cheaper plan instead.
Nevertheless, pay attention to the details. Remember that this should be a long-term commitment, so make sure to assess all the different elements carefully.
Ease of Use
If the software solution offers a free trial period, make sure to make the most of it to assess how intuitive the user interface is and how easy it is overall to use the platform.
Even if the solution offers all the features you’ve listed in your checklist, it might not be a good choice if it’s too difficult to use. Remember that not only you might need to train your staff, but your clients will also use the interface when booking your service.
If clients find out that the interface is too challenging to use and/or not reliable, they won’t waste their time and will simply book your competitor instead.
Availability of Support
Make sure the salon booking software comes with reliable customer/tech support so you can get help when you need it. Of course, you’d want the solution to work reliably all the time, but accidents do happen and it’s always best to be safe rather than sorry.
Ideally, you’d want a vendor that offers comprehensive customer support, 24/7, 365 days of the year.
The salon booking software will involve the transmission of potentially sensitive customers’ data, which may be the target of cybercriminals and hackers. So, make sure to choose a vendor that offers the highest level of security available: end-to-end data encryption,, and have implemented proper best practices on how information is sent and stored online.
With all the different options available in the market, choosing the best salon booking software solution for your business can be a daunting task if you don’t know what you’re looking for.
It’s best to start by identifying your objective in integrating a salon booking software and list the must-have features you’re looking for.
The ideal approach is to look for the most cost-effective solution that offers all the features you’re looking for.