As hairdressers across the country open their doors to the hordes of unkempt and lockdown disasters, many of these salons have had to think long and hard about how they can ensure the safety of their staff and their customers. These same questions are going to be in forefront of a range of other beauty salons and tattoo parlours who have yet to have the green light to open up again. While website design can’t help with keeping distance while treatments are being performed, your site could be an effective tool in getting your customers in the right place at the right time.

Taking bookings on my website

Firstly, many salons have moved to a booking approach, rather than risking a large number of customers turning up at once and squeezing into a waiting area, breaking any attempt at social distancing. These bookings need to be quick and easy for your clients to fill out, and need to be easy for you to collate and plan your day by. There are many different ways a website could handle bookings and here are a couple of ideas to consider

Taking an enquiry

A staple of website interaction is a simple contact form. A short form on your site could let people fill out information such as name, contact details as well as requested time and day. In fact, these forms could be built around your particular requirements. Want to find out what method of transport they plan to use? a drop down list could provide the common answers or perhaps it would be useful to see a picture of how bad their-home attempted hair cut is so you can make sure you have enough time to repair the mess! Contact forms can be a simple way of gathering information from your website visitors, however these forms will often send a transcript to your email, without noting it down in your calendar or giving the client a confirmation of their booking.

Virtual receptionist

Perhaps a chatbot could be the perfect assistant in these unusual times. Your bot could ask for similar information to a contact form, but with the benefit of a 2-way conversation. Any requested times could be confirmed by the bot there and then, and it also has the benefit of providing information too. Perhaps on a completed booking, the bot provides advice on what to wear or where to wait for the appointment. While most bots wouldn’t be able to access your diary and block out the booking for you, if they are able to collect client information and send it over to you, it could be less tedious than having to trawl through your emails at the end of a busy day to work out what bookings have come in from contact forms.

Booking specialists

There are of course systems who are dedicated to managing bookings, and there are many out there. While some large booking platforms can turn their hand to anything such as Calendly or Bookwhen, others are more specific to particular industries. Some of these systems will permit multiple different services for when different treatments may need a different amount of time. Some booking systems are designed for 1:1 appointment, and others are more focused around capping a session at a certain number of customers. As these systems are designed for event bookings, they’ll have their own ways of managing a calendar for you so you’ll be able to effectively plan your day. It’s also worth noting that many of these services will have a subscription to use them, and often with a range of packages depending on if your clients will need to provide payment on booking. There really is a system that will be a fit for your specific needs, but as there so many it can feel a bit of minefield at first, so it’s worth having a plan to what a system needs to do for you and doing some research.

Need some help with how website design can be used to create an attractive yet simple route for your customers to find out more about your services, your distancing measures and make a booking to come into your salon? Get in touch and our team can help point you in the right direct and build something which is fit for your requirements.