Management Practices

Fill Your Chairs

Bart Foreman | July 10, 2011 | 5:23 PM
Bart Foreman, president of Group 3 Marketing

Those of us who thought the technology revolution would make life easier have certainly been disappointed. Technology, especially as it applies to communications has made life in the fast lane almost unbearable. Thanks to smart phones, Facebook, emails, and the internet, we are wired 24/7.  Me time and my time are now OUR TIME. The collective hive rules and we serve the modern guest who is real-time, I want it now, and I want it my way.


Salons are trying many ways to stay connected with their guests. Every salon has a website filled with nice-to-know information. Many use email to stay connected. Facebook has become very popular even though none of us really know how it impacts and influences the next sale, but it’s cheap so we do it. At the same time, software providers have created on-line booking systems to make it easier to schedule appointments.


The challenge for every salon is to capture incremental business coming from the fast lane because it is seldom that every station is filled all the time.


Let’s face it, an empty chair or treatment room is lost revenue and profits but you still have to pay the rent and utilities. Your team member is losing a sale and you are losing profits. At the same time, guests or potential new guests are in need of a service. When I tell my wife that I forgot to mention that we are having dinner with our biggest client tonight, her first thought is, “OMG, my hair and nails are a mess.” This is her moment of truth and your moment to shine.


Some salons send daily emails listing open appointments. Most guests don’t like them because they clutter their already full in-boxes. It’s life in the fast lane. Be there when a guest needs you but don’t waste their time deleting another email every day until there is a crisis and your guest needs an appointment now. Many guests are juggling their daily schedules, sometimes on the fly. 


That’s why we created FILLMYCHAIRS.COM. It replaces the intrusive daily emails and Facebook postings. It complements on-line booking systems and best of all it makes it easier for your guests to do business with you. It's simple to use, inexpensive and guests love it. Here's how it works:


  • It's a link on your website, so guests have to go to your website, which is what you want.
  • It displays all the open appointments for the day that you have entered.
  • It lets the front desk edit it real-time. A guest sees an appointment time/service she wants, calls the salon and books the appointment and is sold a cross-sell service. The front desk opens the site and writes "taken" next to the service and answers the next call. If there is a cancellation, the open time can be entered in immediately.
  • Every night, the front desk looks at the next day's openings and enters them into the system. We know that guests actually look at the open appointments link in the middle of the night, so it's important to be current for the following day. It's that simple and that powerful.
  • Time is money. You and your team lose hundreds of dollars every week—sometimes daily because a chair or a table is not filled. And once the time passes, it's money that can never be recovered.



To learn more about Group 3 Marketing, visit

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