Until recently, booking an online appointment for a manicure or pedicure hasn’t exactly been the norm.
If you run a nail salon, you probably rely a lot on walk-ins rather than appointments. And when you do make appointments, you typically take them by phone, jotting the name and time down (on paper!) in your book. That is, you did it that way until 2020.
New regulations and social distancing means that walk-in traffic is a thing of the past. It’s time to rethink how you allow people to book their nail appointments. The upside? Using online booking software for your nail salon will save you time and streamline your customer traffic even after the world gets back to normal.
As you’re considering using online appointment scheduling for your nail salon for the first time, here are some elements you should look for in a platform.
What to Look For in Online Scheduling Software: A Checklist for Nail Salons and Manicurists
1. Flexible Scheduling
You should be able to:
- Set the length of time for your different services (a gel mani takes way more time than people think!)
- Tweak how far in advance someone can book a nail appointment (or how last-minute)
- Block out time for personal days
- Set no-show policies
- Require first-time customers to call and book before allowing them to book with you online…
You get the point. Look for scheduling software that’s highly customizable.
We built Schedulicity to give businesses more control, not less, all while taking care of the busy work for them. For that reason, our scheduling allows you to make as many (or as few) rules as you need. Once you set up your account the way that works for you, we’ll take care of all the juggling of customers, so you can focus on all that amazing nail art.
2. A Way to Link All Your Nail Artists Together
Chances are, you’re sharing nail appointments with at least three or four other manicurists or nail artists per shift. Or maybe you’re a manicurist working out of a spa or salon that also offers hair appointments or facials. Your online booking platform should make it easy for you to coordinate everyone’s schedules in one place.
Look for booking software that can show multiple people’s schedules to clients at once. This comes with an added bonus — customers can easily see which nail artist is available when, so you don’t have to field any more of those, “Is Ann working today?” calls.
Schedulicity recently launched Linked Accounts, which makes the process of connecting different coworkers even easier. You can connect multiple nail artists together while still giving each person full control over their account, their calendar, and their client list. We also offer a Multiple Locations feature — ideal for anyone who runs multiple nail salons in one city (or multiple cities!).
3. Service Waivers and Customizable Policies
Manicures are, quite literally, hands-on, so you need to be certain that everyone who comes into your nail salon follows the rules. Look for online booking software that allows you to add your custom policies (such as “no mask, no service”) and share them upfront before a new customer books an appointment with you.
Schedulicity offers both a customizable policy area and a way to add a service waiver to your account, so you can make your rules totally clear before anyone walks in. In fact, you can require they agree to your terms before being allowed to book.
4. Multiple Payment Processing Options
You should be able to accept payment however works best for you, and that includes processing tips. If you’d rather not accept cash right now, you’ll want online booking software that makes it easy for customers to pay with credit card. (It’s also just nice these days since fewer and fewer people carry cash — and then there’s that coin shortage happening, too.)
We offer our own payment processor, Schedulicity Pay, which has the lowest rates in the industry, but we also sync with Square or Stripe if you use those already. Here’s a comparison chart of payment processors to learn more. (And while we have you, we know a lot of nail salons use Venmo for payments, but here’s an article on why you shouldn’t!)
5. Clean-Up Time / Personal Time
Clean-up time between appointments? Essential right now. Building it into your schedule ensures that everything’s sanitized and ready to go for your next client. (It’s also important for keeping you safe and healthy!)
Look for appointment booking software that allows you to build buffers between appointments for cleaning, responding to calls or texts, and whatever else you need to do. You should also be able to block out periods of your day for personal time if you want to! Everyone deserves time for a lunch — manicurists included.
You probably know what we’re going to say next. Yep, Schedulicity offers both of these features, too.
6. Service Waitlists
If you have certain nail artists who are extremely popular with your customers, or if you’re always slammed on Saturdays, you definitely need a waitlist feature. That way, any time someone cancels an appointment, someone else gets offered that spot automatically without you having to take time during your busy days to call someone to offer them a last-minute opening. You’ll also wind up with fewer holes in your calendar, which means more money.
Schedulicity recently launched service waitlists with plans to make them even more robust in 2021.
7. Text Reminders
One you find online booking software that offers automated reminders, you’re never going to want to look back. Whether it’s by text or by email (Schedulicity offers both), sending appointment reminders to clients cuts down on no-shows and increases the number of appointments you have in a day. And the best part? You don’t have to do anything. Au-to-mat-ic.
8. No Contracts or Hidden Fees
Look for online booking software that’s completely upfront about its pricing structure. You should also be able to switch to cancel if the software isn’t working for you, your coworkers, or your nail salon in general. Schedulicity prides itself on no contracts and no hidden fees. We just want you to stay because you love using us to book appointments.
9. Human Tech Support
You shouldn’t have to spend hours figuring out the technology. Make sure you can reach a real human if anything goes wrong with your online booking. We call Schedulicity’s Customer Support team our “Rockstars” because they stop at nothing to help our businesses make the most of their accounts.