Last-minute vacancies do not have to be lost opportunities...
The salon and spa industry is one of the most lucrative and fastest-growing business sectors in the United States. In order for the industry to continue this upward trend of creating employment opportunities and generating revenue, salon and spa owners have to carefully perform a cost analysis on a routine basis to ensure business-related costs do not diminish revenue and profit margins. There is a high cost associated with empty seats and lost revenues. Most salons and spas have a 40%-60% vacancy rate of seats and appointments that go unfilled during any given week.
An often overlooked area by business owners is assessing these costs associated with last-minute vacancies. Now there are alternatives to allowing these costs to cut into revenue and net profitability. Business owners can be proactive in creating a plan that turns what is typically a liability into an asset for their business. This can be accomplished by choosing the right marketing automation platform with the right smart scheduling tool to reach relevant customers and fill last-minute openings.
When looking for marketing automation and smart scheduling tools, key considerations should include leading-edge technology and artificial intelligence implementations which provide automatic scanning of your appointment book in real-time, identifying quiet times and hard-to-fill times, and broadcasting openings to the right person at the right time to fill your salon or spa even on slow days.
New-Client Waiting List
Last-minute vacancies are also a great way to bring in new clients. Your merchants are regularly interacting with potential clients, whether it’s during designated marketing campaigns, clients making visits in search of a new salon and spa or during casual conversations. During any of these events, owners should be creating a waiting list if they are not currently accepting new clients and reaching out to customers who can fit the profile to fill the spots. This can all be done through AI-powered smart scheduling software. When gathering information, owners can take the opportunity to gather specific details, such as the client’s needs and contact information, preferred services, and preferred appointment times. What appeared to be lost revenue once again becomes a revenue-generating opportunity.
Build Upon Existing Client Relationships
It may not seem obvious, but last-minute vacancies can be turned into an opportunity to shower loyal clients with your appreciation for their continued support. This can be conveniently done through an automated marketing platform and smart scheduling component that integrates right into the POS for tailored conversations and communications with or without special offers to each client.
The creation and implementation of a cancellation policy can be another step for merchants in reducing and reversing the negative impact of last-minute vacancies.
To compensate for an unexpected vacancy, salon and spa owners can charge a cancellation fee. Some owners charge a flat fee, and others charge a certain percentage of the cost for the services that would have been provided.
If a cancellation policy is implemented, clients need to be made aware of it with plenty of notice and to understand the implications of the policy prior to implementation. The policy needs to be placed in accessible and visible areas of all business locations, and it needs to be placed on all internet-based platforms, such as the business website and/or online scheduling site. It should also be easily integrated into the marketing automation and smart scheduling platform you choose.
Last-minute vacancies do not have to be lost opportunities. They can be used to maintain and yield increases in the current business revenue-generation. In an industry that generates over $44 billion annually, every situation has potential with the proper time, strategy, and affordable leading-edge marketing automation and easy-to-use smart scheduling software in place.