salonschedulingsoftware hero

Industry • Best Practice

What to Look For in Modern Salon Scheduling Software


By Boulevard

From integrated client profiles to self-booking, these features can make your salon more efficient and your clients more satisfied

The modern salon isn’t just about cutting hair — it’s a high-tech, data-driven business that pushes stylist productivity and client satisfaction to new heights. All of that begins with great salon scheduling software. Whether it’s making appointment management simple or nudging clients to book better slots, the right salon scheduling app can act like a member of your team, doing its best to optimize your business and boost productivity. When you’re shopping for your solution, these are the features to keep in mind.

Salon scheduling software features staff will appreciate

Easy-to-use interface

First and foremost, hair salon scheduling software should be easy to use. Your stylists may be technologically savvy (if you hired them, they’re probably rockstars) but there’s no reason your software needs to test those skills. In fact, the more intuitive your solution, the more quickly workers of any skill level or background will feel comfortable using it. Flattening the learning curve helps you work more efficiently and make fewer mistakes. When the front desk is one of the highest-turnover positions in the salon, the faster you can train a new employee, the better.

One key piece of an intuitive user interface: color coding. If every stylist or type of appointment on the schedule has its own color, you can tell at a glance what everyone will work on in a given week. That has loads of benefits, from identifying what’s popular among your clients to planning inventory re-ups. If you can customize the colors, even better!

Single-screen appointment dashboard

Imagine you’re in the middle of modifying an appointment when a client approaches the front desk to check out. No problem, you’ll just minimize the first window and find their appointment to check them out. Only — where’d their appointment go? You don’t even remember opening all these other appointment windows. And the longer you fumble for the right one, the more friction your client experiences at the send-off stage.

Save yourself the hassle and choose salon scheduling software that keeps all your most important information on a single dashboard. The best salon scheduling apps will show you all your appointments at once, what stage they’re in, and anything else you need without taking you away from the bird’s-eye view. If you click into an appointment, it should open in a panel on the side of the dashboard rather than its own window. Ditto if you try to make a new appointment. That can keep you from missing cues at critical moments.

Integrated client profiles

In the era of the algorithm, personalization reigns supreme. A whopping 71% of your clients already expect it from you, and 76% will feel frustrated if you don’t rise to the challenge. Client profiles let you tap into that personalization, giving your stylists a chance to meet client needs before they’re even spoken. 

The key to clearing that high bar every time is making client profiles as accessible as possible. When a stylist looks at the schedule, they should be able to view the client profile associated with an appointment without ever leaving your salon scheduling software. That empowers them to keep client satisfaction high, even if they’re meeting a client for the first time.

Salon scheduling software features clients will love


No matter how good your salon scheduling software is, you’ll never be able to control your clients’ schedules. They may want to schedule an appointment but not have time in their day to do it until they’re about to go to bed. The best booking software for salons solves that problem with self-booking.

By opening your website or app, clients can set up an appointment no matter the hour and without help from a human at the front desk. They can choose exactly what services they want, and you can even recommend personalized additions based on their current cart or the purchase history tied to their profile. And they can input their credit card information to smooth out payment later on. (That’s a bonus for your business, too, as it can help to discourage late cancellations and no-shows.)

The time slot they want isn’t available? No sweat. Your software should let them opt into a waitlist. If they make it to the front of the line, it should also automatically inform them, alert the front desk, and update the schedule. That helps keep operations smooth and clients happy.

Smart booking

Left to their own devices, clients will often choose from the same limited pool of appointments. Put yourself in their shoes and it’s easy to see why: If they don’t get home from the office until 6 p.m. on a weeknight, their only options are to go later that evening (then when do they eat?) or on a weekend. That creates a lot of demand for certain time slots and leaves the rest of the schedule disproportionately light.

That’s why the best booking software for salons mimics a human receptionist by suggesting certain, more optimal times to clients. If any of the suggested times work, it’s a win for everyone. Clients get to book faster, and you get to fill up gaps in the calendar. If not, no worries. They can still click through to the full schedule and see if another time is more convenient. The result is less overbooking, less stylist downtime, and more clients getting the service they want.

Automated communications

No-shows and last-minute cancellations are the twin scourges of schedule efficiency. Not only do they pull some business out of the pipeline, but they also punch holes in the schedule that are hard to patch up on short notice. Avoiding them is key to maximizing your stylists’ time.

Luckily, the solution is simple. The first step is to ask clients for their contact information during booking. Emails are great for marketing, but phone numbers allow you to send automated text messages — and 82% of people read every text they get. That makes it easy to confirm an appointment with a client, warn them about a late-cancellation deadline, and remind them when the appointment itself approaches. That can do wonders to cut down on no-shows.

Running a successful salon means pushing every part of your operation to its peak. Your scheduling software is the base of that operation, empowering the rest of the machine to work exactly as designed. If your schedule sings, your business will hum along with it.

CTA - Manager s Handbook to Salon Operation Blog Footer

Share Article

 /  /  /  /