April 26, 2024

Best Ways to Optimise Your Salon or Spa Scheduling

Best Ways to Optimise Your Salon or Spa Scheduling

Increasing efficiency in your salon can help to drive down operating costs and boost profits. Salon scheduling has come a long way in recent years as a result of more salons switching to digital systems, but many salon owners still fail to make the most of the tools at their disposal.

Better use of scheduling solutions can help you to increase profits, maximise the hours in the day and make staff schedules more effective. In this guide, we’re exploring some of the common issues faced by salon owners and how better use of scheduling software can help to overcome these problems.

What are the most common scheduling issues faced?

There are some common scheduling issues that are likely to be eating into your profits and zapping productivity. Some of the most common issues that salons face include:

  • No-show customers leading to empty spots in your schedule that cannot be filled.
  • Last minute changes to schedules that aren’t communicated to the team, leading to insufficient staff levels at busy times.
  • Clashing holidays leaving the salon understaffed and forced to cancel appointments.
  • Appointments running long, leading to a knock on effect that has workers staying late every day.
  • Struggling to find appropriate appointment spots for customers.

We’re confident that all salon and spa owners will have faced a few of these appointment issues over the years. With this in mind, let’s look at some of the ways you can optimise your schedule to minimise the disruption.

How to optimise your salon or spa scheduling

How to optimise your salon or spa scheduling

Making the most of your salon booking software is one of the simplest ways to minimise scheduling issues. Let’s look at each issue in turn to see how salon booking software can help to minimise or eliminate issues.

Dealing with no-shows

No-shows are often the biggest headache for salon and spa owners. A no-show leads to lost profits in terms of losing the cost of the booking but also the additional cost of paying a member of staff to be there when there is nothing to do. The average salon loses over £25,000 in revenue as a result of no-shows. 

There are 2 ways to deal with no shows. Salons can either charge a non-refundable deposit, or they can send appointment reminders asking the customer to confirm their attendance. Your salon software will make light work or automating this process.

Dealing with long appointments

Dealing with long appointments

The simplest way to deal with longer appointments is to make your scheduling system more flexible to accommodate longer appointment times. Customers should be able to book specific services online, so if you know their appointment will take longer, you can factor this into your scheduling. When setting up your online booking, make sure you specify the length of the appointment and be as precise as possible to limit wasted time.

Dealing with clashing holidays

A centralised scheduling system that is open and transparent will allow everyone to see times when taking a holiday might be more difficult. It can also help you to spot times when you might be best hiring short term support to help get the team through a period where holidays and absences are unavoidable. 

Being able to see staffing levels in your salon at any point in the week at a glance will also help you to optimise break times and ensure no one is left working along for too long, as this could make it difficult to take a bathroom break.

Dealing with schedule changes

Dealing with schedule changes

With appointment confirmations in play, you might find that you have more last-minute changes to your schedule than before. To help limit wasted time, make sure your salon staff are all signed up to get alerts when there are changes to their schedule. This can allow you to have a more flexible workforce. 

This all relies on your team being willing to be flexible in their approach to working hours. While this might work for some people, others will find it difficult to work into their lives, and they will appreciate a more reliable and predictable schedule. 

Dealing with back and forth with customers

If you’re still trying to book appointments with customers over the phone, you might consider switching to an entirely online booking experience. This avoids the back and forth with customers as you try to find a time that will work for them. 

Customers will also like the option to book online as it means they can book any time, not just during your opening hours. Many of us spend our evenings browsing on our phones, and this might be the perfect time to book a salon or spa appointment. 

Benefits of more effective scheduling

Benefits of more effective salon scheduling

Getting a handle on your spa or salon scheduling is about more than just boosting profits for the salon. There are secondary benefits to better scheduling that are about more than just money. These benefits include:

  • Improved customer service, thanks to fewer instances where staff aren’t available or appointments have to be pushed back. Remember that customers might have other commitments and won’t want to feel rushed during their appointment. Many people go to the salon or beauty spa to relax, and this can be ruined due to staff shortages and late appointments.
  • Improved staff morale as a result of clearer expectations and no wasted time. No one likes to get into work bright and early only to discover their shift has changed and they could have had another hour in bed.
  • Develop a strong reputation for reliability. Both your staff and your customers will have plenty of things to say about your scheduling to their friends, family and acquaintances. If you want to make sure that this is all positive, focus on improving your scheduling using salon management software to streamline the process.

Final thoughts

Many salon owners implement digital tools to help run their businesses but then fail to make use of the full range of services available. If this sounds like you and you’re concerned you’re not making the most of the tools available to you, get in touch with our team to learn more about how Salon Iris could help to improve your spa or salon scheduling. 

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