Our Boulder Hair Salon has been open long enough to witness an appointment taking revolution from paper to computer to online booking. In 1989, the only way to make an appointment was to either walk in or call the salon on a landline. We would write the information in a paper appointment book, along with a phone number. Color formula and other notes were kept separately on index cards. Each stylist would have a little box of cards. To confirm appointments we would call the number written on the appointment book, and then use a yellow highlighter to mark “confirmed”, “left message”, or “no answer” on the book.
Enter the computer. In January 2002 we converted from paper to computer based appointment taking. Now each client has a record containing name, address, phone number and notes. While we still have to call each client, we already have their phone number, and can indicate confirmation in the appointment record.
Online booking became available in 2007 and we adopted it in 2008. At first, we did not want clients to see all of our openings. Would you want to book with a stylist who had lots of openings? We would be giving up some control of our books. In the end, we decided that the good far outweighed the bad. Some of the great aspects of online booking include 24/7 availability, getting clients to enter their own information, and confirming by e-mail,
Many times clients have told me that they will realize they need a haircut at 11 pm. The client would have to wait until the next morning to call us. I think we all know how busy the morning can be. This way, the client can see all the openings for the salon as well as for a specific stylist. Confirming clients can take mere minutes. It used to take up to 2 hours.