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6 Steps to get your appointment calendar in order
Have you ever thought that it’s high time to clean up the mess in your notes? Do you promise yourself to set your schedule more thoughtfully next time? It’s quite a usual problem for many entrepreneurs but luckily there is a very simple solution. In six easy steps you will get your calendar in order and feel the difference very soon.
Your appointment journal is the thing you have to be proud of and it should look accordingly. At the beginning of your business, it was the symbol of your plans for the future and spirit of success. While you were developing your business, your appointment book got stuffed with more and more notes and records. Of course, your paper companion means a lot to you, but now you should admit that it is quite outdated. Didn’t you notice the irritation of your clients and workers? The booking journal should always be at the same place, only one person can make notes there at a time while the clients should wait to schedule the next visit. It really annoys people. Moreover, the mistakes are unavoidable: the notes and postscripts are often lost or left unnoticed, you can’t stay updated about all the changes in schedule, there is always at least one staff member with really bad handwriting. The solution of all those problems is really close. Even if you’re not willing to say goodbye to your paper-friend, there’s no reason not to use a couple of additional variants to deal with your schedule. So, how can you make the working process at your salon more peaceful and organized?
Get your online calendar
The best thing about it is the availability to everyone 24/7. Each of your team members will be able to get to know all the necessary information about the schedule. Online calendar will make the planning easier, as your workers will know about no-shows at their colleagues’ schedules and use the time with maximum profit. With online schedule your staff members wouldn’t have to attempt to read somebody’s handwriting, squinting and guessing whether it’s 3:15 or 3:45 pm for the next appointment. In addition, you’ll be able to reduce the chances of double-booking to minimum.
Make use of online booking-system
Clients love to be in charge of their own time and will be happy to book their services by themselves. Setting up an appointment online they will not have to call and wait until someone will find the suitable time for them. Your customers will have a chance to see all the available variants on the website or in the app. They will have enough time to plan their day and pick up the best timing for them, instead of hastily accepting the first variant offered by the receptionist and then changing it or not showing up at all.
Online booking system will be of great use for your team members too, as they will have the access to their schedules wherever they are and whenever they need to. Moreover, they can be sure that the information that they see on the screen of their laptop or smartphone is accurate and up-to-date.
Take care of appointment confirmations
Ironically, changes usually take place unexpectedly and at the last minute. But instead of trying to get some understanding of what was hurriedly scrawled in the appointment book, you can just check your online schedule from time to time and make sure that your working process follows the plan.
With the help of your online booking system you will also be able to confirm the booked time or even remind your customers about the upcoming appointment with automated text-messages or emails. If you don’t use one of those scheduling services yet, make sure your receptionist gives your clients a call the day before their visit. In such a way the quantity of last minute cancellations and no-shows can be minimized.
Make a check-list
No matter who has received the call from the client, all the necessary information should always be noted. You can make this process easier, creating a list of questions that should be asked. Some of the key-points here are: client’s name, suitable date and time, professional’s name and kind of service, special requirements if there are any. You can pin this list in plain sight by the phone.
If you’re a lucky user of online booking system, you can create your own checklist, so that your client will answer all the necessary questions throughout the reservation process. In this way you will always be sure that you have all the important information.
Pay attention to handwriting
Of course, bad handwriting is not the thing one should be ashamed of. But while you’re hiring a new person to your team, asking him to take a “test-drive” of your booking calendar is a right thing to do. This simple experiment will show you what kind of handwriting the newcomer has and whether he can understand how to correctly fill in the blanks in the journal with the necessary information. If the written lines seem illegible, you can gently suggest your new colleague that it would be better for him to write in print to avoid some misunderstanding or confusion in the future.
Choose a calendar person
Do you remember the saying “too many cooks spoil the broth”? It reminds me of the appointment journal and all the workers making notes in it. Too many people, managing the calendar altogether, can cause lots of trouble. You shouldn’t forget, that every line in your appointment book is a potential income for your business and salary for people, who work in your salon. You shouldn’t allow mistakes and any kind of mess here. That’s why it’s a wise decision to appoint a person, who will be responsible for keeping the calendar book and making changes to the schedule. Surely, it will not be always possible and from time to time there will be some exceptions. But still restrictions in access to the appointment journal will help to avoid mistakes, confusions and, consequently, conflicts. Efficient division of responsibilities will necessarily benefit the working process of your team.
You’re still using your paper calendar because online scheduling services seem too complicated? It’s easier that you can imagine! You should think about giving it a chance. After all, we’re living in the age of technologies. Online booking system will shortly prove its effectiveness and will become a real discovery for your team and your clients as well. You will even be able to save up on painkillers as you will have considerably less headaches connected to your business.