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Love your clients but hate the back and forth of scheduling appointments? A common gripe, but one that makes sense — especially when you consider what a time suck it is to keep checking email, running to the phone, and penciling your open slots in and out.
But managing appointments doesn’t have to be so complicated. Here are a few ways to take the stress out of appointment scheduling for both you and your customers.
Offer online booking.
By now, many people are so used to doing everything from scheduling a spin class to paying rent online that it can be oddly infuriating when it’s not an option. Good news: With Square Appointments, your customers can schedule appointments 24 hours a day, seven days a week — which saves them (and you) some phone tag. And with the new Square Appointments app for iPhone, you can check, accept, or edit your appointments from anywhere.
Integrate your point of sale
Use an online scheduling app that is also a full POS with payments processing so you can take care of your clients and manage your business and payments from one place. Being able to manage payments in your appointments app saves you time, keeps you organized, and provides an even more convenient experience for your customers.
Be upfront about prices and cancellation policies.
Customers are looking for a clear picture of what they can expect to spend at your business. So if you don’t list your prices and policies on your site or in your appointment confirmation email, they’re probably just going to check Google or Yelp, which may not be up to date. And the last thing you want is for them to feel misled. That’s why it’s important to clearly communicate your prices — especially increases and fees for late cancellations and no-shows.
With Square Appointments, you can include your cancellation and no-show policy in the confirmation email that clients get after they’ve booked an appointment. (You can edit what this says right in your Appointments dashboard.) You can also require customers to enter a credit card number when they book — and inform them that they’ll be charged for, say, canceling an appointment less than 24 hours in advance.
Reduce wait times.
If you’re charging customers for being late or not showing up, it’s not fair to expect them to endure excessive wait times. You can cut down on this by customizing the calendars for each of your employees through Square’s online scheduling software. For example, if you know that a certain stylist tends to take longer than average, make sure to give that person a bigger window between appointments.
But sometimes delays are unavoidable — and if that’s the case, be sure to let your customers know you’re running behind. Square Appointments has a client notification feature that lets you text or email people to tell them about any changes to their appointment. If things are really behind schedule, you may want to offer to rebook them at another time. But be sure to be extra accommodating in these situations — like offering a discount for their service or throwing in a product or two to apologize for the inconvenience.
If work schedules are a cause of stress for you and your employees, you can put them in control of their calendars by offering them full- or limited-access logins to Square Appointments. That way, they can input their own availability, breaks, and vacation time.
And don’t forget to show off your staff by posting photos and bios on the site. By seeing your team’s background and specialties, clients will be able to make a more informed decision about who they want to work with, which will result in better outcomes and return customers.
Hopefully these tips will make scheduling a breeze.
Square Appointments is rated one of the most popular, user-friendly, and affordable software products for salons by Capterra. Try Square Appointments and see for yourself.