John Harms on Pre-booking

Q: Can you tell us a little bit about the importance of pre-booking? 

Oftentimes, businesses are so focused on increasing revenue through new clients that they overlook the role that their existing clients play in increasing their bottom line. While up-sell, cross-sell, and suggesting add-ons are simple ways of increasing revenue through existing clients, why not have the opportunity to do these things more often? But, how do you bring in existing clients more often? The answer is easy: pre-book them! Pre-booking is fundamental to increasing frequency of visit and filling the appointment book well in advance, to increase your bottom line. Every additional appointment that a client has in your business is an extra opportunity to increase revenue not only through the service they are receiving, but also by selling retail, up-selling, cross-selling, and offering add-ons! 

Build a culture around pre-booking with your team by educating your staff on the role pre-booking plays in revenue. Help your team to understand the value of pre-booking, and show them how it not only benefits the business, but also benefits them by increasing their service and retail revenue, therefore increasing their commission, and helping them reach their goals. Track pre-book percentages and show your staff the results. This will help make them feel part of the growth and success of your business. 

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In addition to ensuring that your team is comfortable with pre-booking, communicate the importance of pre-booking to your clients. Do you have a loyalty program? Let your clients know that pre-booking not only confirms an appointment with the service provider they prefer at a time that is most convenient for them, but also rewards them with loyalty points that can be used on their next visit. 

A great way to motivate both the service provider and the front desk is to create contests. Pair up service providers and front desk members to reach a certain pre-book percentage or quota. Offer bonuses or rewards for teams who win the contest. If you are commission based, remind your service providers that the more services they perform, the more commission they receive, therefore benefiting both themselves, and the business as whole. 

Doctors and dentists have created a culture around pre-booking, why can’t we? Service providers should escort their clients to the front desk at check out and explain to the front desk professional when the client should be seen again. Your front desk professional should then provide a few available times to the client to choose from, while again explaining the benefit of pre-booking to your client. 

When thinking of ways to increase your bottom line, don’t forget about the loyal clients you already have. Focus on educating your team on its importance and the power of pre-booking's amazing growth potential.

John Harms
Millennium Systems International, Founder and CEO

About: John Harms, Founder & CEO of Millennium Systems International, creator of Millennium Software, has been designing industry leading salon scheduling software and educating the beauty & wellness industry since 1987. Today Millennium is utilized in thousands of businesses in over 38 countries and operating with approximately 150+ employees worldwide.  Millennium currently runs its corporate headquarters out of New Jersey and its international office is based in the U.K.

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