Industry • Best Practice
The Art of Group Bookings: Crafting a Premier Experience for Multiple Guests
Jan.06.2024By Boulevard Staff
Leveraging technology can set your providers up for success no matter the size of the group
The secret to mastering group bookings is simple: Make every guest feel like a star. Whether they're coming in to prep for prom, send a bachelorette off to married life in style, or simply spend some quality time together, it's up to you and your providers to make each member of the group feel special.
How? By getting to know your clients quickly, anticipating their needs, and sending them off with a streamlined checkout experience. Here are the keys to making a group visit to your business smooth, personal, and fun for everyone.
How to elevate group bookings
Leverage client profiles
When it comes to personalizing client experiences, your most important asset is information. Every client has their own favorite cosmetic brands, scents, aesthetics, and treatments. Knowing these preferences equips your providers with the info they need to cater to each client as an individual. That adds a crucial touch of personalization, showing your business cares enough about its clients to go the extra mile for them.
But where do you start to find that info? Your first stop should be any pre-existing client profiles. If any of the guests in the party have visited your location before, you should have some amount of data about their preferences stashed in their client profiles. Pull that data and pool it somewhere tied to the booking so that your staff can refer to it before and during the visit.
Build info during booking
Of course, not every guest in a group booking will have been to your business before. Don’t panic! You can still prepare for their preferences by building questions into the booking process through our forms. Asking the client doing the booking for some basic information about the reason for the visit and each guest can fill in your knowledge gaps. Consider asking what the party is celebrating, the relationships between attendees, and for any special requests or preferences among the group.
By paying attention to the little details, you’ll make a sterling first impression on any newcomers while continuing to please your longtime clients. As a result, you’ll make sure the party is happy while increasing your odds of gaining new fans.
When a group comes in to celebrate, the last thing they want is for logistics to slam the brakes on their good time. In fact, a Zendesk survey indicates that extended wait times are most often cited as the most frustrating element of a bad client experience. The more seamless you can make check-in, the more likely you can preserve or even improve the good vibes your clients brought in with them.
The best way to ensure a quick welcome process is to do as much of the prep work as you can before the client walks in the door. For a single client, that’s as simple as using text and email communications to send over pre-appointment forms and one or two follow-up nudges. With a bigger group, it can be helpful to solicit contact info for each party member during booking so that you can get them their forms. Self-check-in, via iPad station, can also help speed things along.
Consider your space
It’s safe to assume that clients who come in as a group will want to spend as much time together as possible. Group bookings are a social activity, and nothing kills the mood like separating friends based on availability. It’s up to you to accommodate their numbers and find a way to make that happen.
Preparing the space doesn't need to end at seating parties together. You can also use the info you gathered during booking to have appropriate drinks, snacks, and decorations waiting for when the group arrives. That helps them feel welcomed and cared for from the get-go.
Sometimes, reworking your location is easier said than done. You may have limited room, and you still have to account for other clients. But when you’re scheduling out the day, make a concerted effort to arrange your space such that all the members of a group end up within earshot of one another. Arrange for as many welcoming elements as you can. And be sure to communicate those plans to your reception staff and your providers so that they can work with you to make it happen.
Nail the send-off
The send-off is your last chance to leave a good impression on your clients. If you can get them settled up and out the door without a hitch, they’ll leave thinking about how great a time they had. On the other hand, if they’re stuck hunched over their phone screens doing back-of-napkin math to figure out who’s paying for what, that inconvenience will dull their glowing mood.
Some groups will opt for the booker to pay for the whole visit, but others will want to split their tab across the entire party. The best way to prepare for that possibility is to maintain individual, itemized tabs for each guest. That way you can quickly present each client with an exact total they can pay, and they can tip appropriately. No stressing over how to split the bill, no waiting awkwardly; just a quick tap to pay and a reminder to come back soon.
Every client wants to be the star of their visit — even when they’re one of 10 in the party. With modern booking technology and a little prep work, you can make that dream a reality.