How to automate your client experience without losing the human touch
Want to nurture client relationships and grow your business while you sleep? With the help of Timely Business Management Software, you can. Here’s how salons are doing it.
Most of us beauty professionals find our way into the industry because we want to learn and grow while connecting with others. As many small business owners can attest, over time, clients become family – and it’s these bonds that make working in the beauty industry so special.
In years gone past, maintaining client relationships meant picking up the phone to book in new appointments and provide reminders. But now, thanks to business management software such as Timely, these manual phone calls are being replaced by automated text messages and emails, meaning you can spend more time doing what you love: connecting with clients in salon.
“Using automation will take some of your work away, which will give you time to make more money”
Concerned that by using automated messages in your salon, you could lose the human touch? You shouldn’t be, says Steve Moore, Small Business Consultant for Timely, who also co-owns a lash and brow salon in Darwin, Australia. “Using automation will take some of your work away, which will give you time to make more money,” he says. By automating your admin, you can be more specific about your communications and still “make those phone calls and connect with the clients who need it”.
Once you start using Timely to automate your client experience, you’ll wonder why you didn’t make the switch sooner. “There are only a few instances where you would actually need to leave the Timely programme,” Steve shares, “and that’s when you actually want to pick up the phone to talk to people or send a DM via Instagram.”
Here, how to embrace technology so you can work smarter not harder.
Let clients book themselves in
Did you know that 22 per cent of clients say that the ability to book online is the main reason they return to a business?
For the relationship-minded business owner, missing out on the opportunity to have a chat by allowing clients to book themselves in might feel counterintuitive; however, taking your booking system online could lead to an uptick in appointments.
Timely is the world’s smartest business management software. By rolling out the software’s online booking feature, you can fill your calendar, maximise your appointment time and appeal to new and existing clients who stumble on your business during a late night Instagram scroll.
“By switching to an online booking system, you can make money while you’re sleeping,” Steve explains. “Nothing feels better than waking up with 10 new appointments booked overnight.”
“I can also oversee and manage my bookings from anywhere. I’ve been able to travel to Canada or Europe and still manage and support my team because of our automated booking system.”
Take your forms online
‘I love doing paperwork’, said no one ever. Ever reviewed a client form filled out by hand and had to guess whether they put down a ‘G’ or a ‘7’? Going digital takes out the guesswork and cuts down on precious admin hours.
Using Timely to automate your consultation process means your clients can work their way through screening checks and complete pre-appointment information in their own time. When they walk through the doors, you can spend a few minutes getting up to speed, ensuring that they qualify for the treatment, and then get straight to the important bit: the appointment.
“I used to have a four drawer filing cabinet filled with nothing but consent forms,” Steve says, reflecting on when he used to run his salon without Timely. Back then, filing alone would take up a big chunk of Steve’s day.
“Going online has been life-changing”
“Going online has been life-changing. I used to have to manually scan consent forms and add them to client files – now, they go out with appointment reminders and the client fills them in beforehand.” Less paper also means you’re cutting down on wastage and doing your bit for the environment, too.
Automate your reminders and follow ups
If you’re not using automated appointment reminders and follow ups, you’re missing out. Automated text messages and emails are easy to set up, totally customisable, and have been proven to reduce no-shows. There’s also the option to automate aftercare reminders, referrals, rebooking reminders and special offers, too.
“Reminder messages reduce your amount of no-shows,” Steve shares. “In my own salon, we’ve reduced our last minute no-show rate to less than two per cent – and that’s for over 150 bookings per month. Now, we get one or two no-shows a month and that’s purely through SMS booking confirmation messages.”
At Steve’s lash and brow salon, the rebook rate is around 80 per cent, and he attributes this to SMS reminders. We all lead busy lives but a quick text message – customised to sound like you – can make a big difference for bookings. “Do you get a reminder from the dentist telling you when it’s time for your six month check up? It’s the same concept but for brows. It’s a friendly reminder that makes people think ‘oh that’s right, I need to get my brows done.’”
Make the most of reports
Want to know what’s happening in your business at a glance? Timely’s dashboard feature shows your business goals and targets in a simple visual way – from staff sales to client retention and rebooking metrics – to help you make informed decisions.
“You can see all sorts of things, like best performing treatments and products, along with how much money you’ve made through EFTPOS versus online payments. There’s a myriad of knowledge you can extract from the Timely system to manage and run your business.”
The real question is: what are you waiting for? By going digital, you could cut down on admin, reduce no-shows, make the most of reports and, most importantly, give yourself the gift of time, so you can be more present on the salon floor.