Breaking Down the Barrier of Blended Appointments

Lauren Salapatek | April 17, 2017 | 1:10 PM
Photo By Getty Images

The potential minefield of blending walk-ins with booked appointments motivates many salons and barbers to opt exclusively for one or the other, but innovation-led Shortcuts now has the solution that allows salons to offer both with confidence.

Shortcuts, a leading software company, has introduced an additional layer of sophistication to its check-in system for walk-in clients that makes blending it with appointments even easier. Enhancing further the check-in system for walk-in clients, with its easy-to-view display board that shows exactly how long a client must wait to be seen, Shortcuts now gives clients the opportunity to specify a particular stylist or barber as they check in and see exactly how long their wait will be.

"There is tension in the traditional walk-in model that beauty businesses have been grappling with for decades," said Richard Wildey, the new general manager at Shortcuts. "Clients ultimately just want a realistic expectation about when they could be seen. Running a Shortcuts check-in and display board system enables salons to be upfront about the expected wait time for each service provider, allowing salons to meet client expectations."

It is generally recognized that businesses operating solely with walk-ins risk losing time-poor clients who can’t afford to turn up and wait in a reception area, while an appointments-only system can appear too rigid for those who like to be spontaneous or who are unable to commit to a specific time in advance.

But equally, offering a blend of walk-in and appointments could risk alienating those who do drop in, and patiently wait their turn, only to have someone with an appointment arrive and apparently jump in ahead of them.

"Working alongside our clients, it was apparent that the key to offering a blended model and breaking free of an exclusively walk-in or exclusively appointments model was flexibility and transparency," added Wildey. "Shortcuts originally pioneered a revolutionary walk-in manager in the early '90s which could be used together with the appointment book, but this new enhanced system goes further in offering premium service to our salon and barber shop clients, properly managing expectations and offering the convenience clients want.

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