Industry • Best Practice
Enhancing the Client Experience Through Your Barbershop Booking App
Jan.19.2024By Boulevard Staff
Building loyalty starts at the booking stage
As experienced self-care business owners know, a client’s experience begins long before they set foot in your barbershop. The right technology at the booking stage goes a long way toward making a positive first impression, which means your scheduling app — or lack thereof — can have a major impact on your bottom line.
So how can you make sure your client relationships start off on the right foot? Simple: Choose a barbershop booking app with features that streamline the process and make new clients feel welcome.
Barbershop booking apps: What to look for
The core purpose of a barbershop booking system is to enable clients to make appointments via the web. That said, in an era where technology evolves at a rapid pace and clients expect an intuitive and streamlined experience, you should be asking more of your barbershop scheduling software. To stay ahead of the competition, barber apps not only need to record appointments, but also do it in a frictionless way that allows barbers to personalize the client experience and exceed expectations. This leads to smoother operations overall and removes barriers for clients considering booking that first appointment.
So how do you know which barbershop booking software is right for you? Carefully evaluate your options and prioritize features that enhance the client experience without overcomplicating it.
It all starts with on-brand self-booking
First things first: A good barber booking app must, of course, allow for self-booking. But not every client-guided barbershop booking solution works the same way. Clients should be able to book an appointment directly through your website, and the booking page should be easily accessible via social media and search engines. Make sure your logo — not your software provider’s — is clearly visible on your booking page, so clients know they’re in the right place.
It’s important to remember that there’s more to scheduling an appointment than picking a time and place. Your barber appointment software should enable customization that lets your brand identity shine and allows your clients to shape the appointments they want. A good platform should help you create service categories specific to your barbershop and organize them by provider and price. By removing any friction or confusion in the booking process, your clients get a smooth and speedy experience while your team can better prepare for their appointments.
Smooth calendar management is a must
For your clients, an appointment might look like just a few hours blocked off on their calendar. On your end, though, there are additional factors to consider in order to ensure you’re optimizing your team’s schedules. You need to factor in the various parts of each appointment — for example, a client coming in for a cut and color might require two different providers — and minimize downtime in between appointments.
You could spend your days playing scheduling Tetris, but it’s much more efficient to let your barber scheduling app do that for you. Boulevard’s Precision Scheduling™ feature is a fantastic example. Here’s how it works: The software promotes clustered appointments to reduce gaps while also allowing providers to get more quality time with their clients. Transition, processing, and finishing times are noted as such, allowing your team to get more out of their workdays and help maximize profits at your barbershop.
Customization is key
You shouldn’t have to reconfigure all of your processes in order to adapt to your barbershop booking system. Being able to customize various facets of your shop’s schedule is a cornerstone of a good barber app; after all, your software should work for you and not the other way around. When choosing a solution, prioritize flexible software with features like color coding, personal and business time blocks, waitlist management, the ability to create client profiles, as well as other options that let you run your business as you see fit.
Capture credit card details early for no-show protection
Every barber — actually, every self-care provider — has to deal with no-show appointments at some point in their careers. It’s a common issue, but that doesn’t make it any less frustrating. After all, a missed appointment means lost money and time for both you and your team. You can protect yourself and your barbers against these losses by enacting a no-show policy in which the MIA client is required to provide credit card details and pay a deposit or penalty.
Naturally, this shouldn’t require more busy work on your end. Instead, make it a part of the booking process and let your barber appointment app capture that financial information. Make sure that your no-show policy is clearly detailed and easy to find on your website so there’s no confusion about why clients must provide their credit card information upfront. Some customers may still dispute these charges, so make sure your barbershop management software has an integrated dispute resolution center to stay on top of chargebacks and directly submit evidence.
Let your booking software handle the follow-ups
To turn first-time clients into long-term fans, you need to nurture that relationship beyond the time they spend in your barbershop. But staying on top of ongoing communications like appointment reminders and follow-ups can keep you glued to your desk for hours at a time, which means less quality time with your clients.
Thankfully, many modern barbershop booking apps automate these essential communications as part of their feature set. Look for software that texts or emails clients with any forms they need to fill out ahead of their appointments. Having new clients fill out a short questionnaire about their preferences also allows your barbers to deliver more personalized experiences — and if your software can take another task off your to-do list, even better.
It’s not enough for your barbershop booking software to simply allow for appointment scheduling. Feature-rich solutions like Boulevard can save self-care businesses 30 hours a month in administrative work, which is critical when you’re running your own business and spare time is in short supply.