Header image for article Transitioning Clients to an Online Booking System

Transitioning Clients to an Online Booking System

July 27, 2020 by Sally Pau

Switching from manual booking to an online system can be a nerve-racking process. This is especially if you have been running your beauty business for years on paper. While the transitional period may be tedious, the benefits will outweigh. You will see a huge improvement in the way your business operates and how you manage your time as a business owner.

As a beauty business owner, you want to pick the software best suited to automate your business efficiently. Jupiter allows you to run your beauty business all on your phone. It does everything for you–from scheduling appointments and sending forms, to keeping track of your client files and completing the full payment.

Many beauty business owners are making the switch to online booking systems for many reasons. The main ones are to automate your business and save time. Having an online booking system in place will free up administrative time, leaving more time for you to focus on your clients. This also makes it easier for clients to book and manage their appointments at any time without having to contact you. So long the days of answering phone calls or responding to text and social media messages.

While the main purpose of an online booking system is to schedule appointments, there are other benefits for your business.

Screenshot of Jupiter's system

Set Professional Boundaries

You will no longer need to flip through appointment books or keep track of scribbled notes. With an online booking system, clients can see your availability and pricing ahead of time. There is no need for any back and forth communication to find a date and time that works best. For new clients, showing your prices upfront helps to filter out clients that may not be able to afford your services. It sets professional boundaries and you set your price to whatever you are worth.

Eliminate Scheduling Errors

Using an online booking system will help to eliminate any scheduling errors. This includes double booking or accidentally scheduling appointments for the wrong slot. If you’re using Jupiter, you have scheduling controls to optimize your schedule. There is the option to fill in holes to avoid large gaps throughout the day, pre-approve clients before they can book, and set your unique working hours.

Minimize Last-minute Cancellations

You can set it so a deposit is required to complete the booking process. This will help to minimize last-minute cancellations and no shows because clients have paid a deposit ahead of time. If the client does a no show, you have control over what happens to the deposit. You can decide to keep the deposit so that you don’t miss out on any income.

You can set the minimum notice for cancellations, rescheduling, and bookings with Jupiter. If you require a minimum of 48-hour notice, it will be stated in your policies for clients to view. You won’t have to deal with any last-minute requests or cancellations. There is an option to set the deposit as no refunds, save as credit for future appointments, or refund the client if over the minimum notice.

Safe and Contactless

In today’s workplace environment, many businesses are finding ways to move forward in a contactless manner to keep clients safe. This includes minimizing contact between you and your clients, getting rid of paperwork, and moving towards cashless payments. While beauty technicians can’t perform their services in contactless, all the administrative work can.

Jupiter makes it easy for beauty technicians to operate their business contactless. To promote a safe and contactless environment for clients, you need to go paperless. If you are transitioning from a manual booking system, you can import your forms into Jupiter and automate them. Forms can be sent after booking and filled out before clients arrive at their appointment. If you have aftercare instructions, they can be sent after an appointment is done. There’s no need for exchanging clipboards and pens during the appointment.

When it comes to paying for the service, the client’s credit card information can be saved on file with their permission. This allows you to complete the full payment on the app with the tap of a button. Clients won’t need to hand over their credit card or cash payments. This keeps your clients feeling safe from the beginning all the way to the end of the service.

Transitioning Your Clientele Online

Before you can start transitioning your clients online, you will need to make sure everything is ready to go. This includes adding your services, working availability, and setting your booking window. If you’re using Jupiter, you can request to have your client lists and forms imported. Once everything is added and ready to go, you can start notifying your client and start the transition.

Notifying Your Clients

Start letting your clients know of the new booking process. If your clients follow you on Instagram, upload a few posts and stories to go over the booking process and what to expect. You can also save it as a highlight on your feed for clients to view at any time. It is also recommended to email all your clients with the same information in case they miss your posts on social media.

Screenshot of laxlounge on instagram

If you have older clients that aren’t on social media or have access to email, notify them in advance. You can inform them of the upcoming changes before you start implementing them to give them a heads up. Once you have a booking process in place, it may be helpful to walk them through the booking process the first time. You can also create business cards with the link to your booking website and quick instructions on the back.

For clients you haven’t seen in a while and tries to manually book an appointment instead of online, politely let them know of the changes. You can make an exception and book their first appointment for them, then show them the process in person. Remember that it may take longer for some clients to pick up on the new processes. You will need to be patient and reassure them with the benefits for both you and your clients.

If clients are resistant to your new processes, explain that it will be more convenient for both of you. An online booking system will help them save time and simplify the onboarding process. There is no wait time to get booked in and they won’t have to show up early to the appointment to complete any forms because it can be done prior. It will also be helpful to explain how it will help you better serve your clients because all of their information will be organized in one spot. You will never miss any important information or details.

Post Your Booking Website

Start placing the link to your booking website on social media and any existing websites you have. If you are on Instagram, place the link in your bio. Ensure that your booking website is always visible and is easy for clients to access. If you have a pre-existing website, add a button to prompt clients to book an appointment. Then you can have the button go directly to your booking website.

If clients usually call or email you, set up an automated message to prompt them to your booking website if they want to book an appointment right away. This will start encouraging clients to check out your booking website to book an appointment or for more information on your services.

Encourage Clients to Leave Card on File

If you’re pushing for the contactless service approach, encourage clients to leave their card on file. This will make the checkout process easier and safer, especially during unpredictable times. If you’re using Jupiter to run your business, you can start encouraging clients to log in through your website to update their information. You can set it so clients can leave their address, birth date, and emergency contact on top of their basic information.

Clients may not be familiar or entirely comfortable with the digital approach. You may need to remind your clients that their personal information is safe with you. Privacy and data protection are important for both your business and your clients. You should do what you can to make your clients feel safe and comfortable.

Once you have an online booking system in place and clients start to adjust, your business activities will run a lot smoother. You will have more time to do what you love–servicing your clients. If you’re looking to switch to an online booking system with all the tools you need to run your business efficiently, try Jupiter free for 14 days. Not sure if Jupiter is right for you? Speak to a member of our team and we’ll be happy to walk you through the features ourselves.

Picture of Sally Pau

Sally Pau

Sally is a Product Marketer at Jupiter. She enjoys the art of storytelling through content creation to build relationships within the online community.