Last month we brought you EasyPeasy Search, and now we’re excited to launch our latest feature: Photo Submission!
In this age of selfies and photo sharing, we’ve noticed more and more clients want to add photos to their requests, so we’ve made it super-easy on your app.
How does it work?
They can simply add one or more photos before submitting their request by tapping the little camera icon. Voilà! Your reception team can then view the picture(s) and share it with the stylist as they normally would. Clients can also send photos at a later stage from the my requests area on the app.
So if they want to add a photo of a home hair dye disaster that needs urgent fixing or an example of the perfect hair up they’ve found, now they can simply attach it. We’ve already seen one client send in a picture of her skin to help a beauty salon pick the best facial treatment for her!
The image below shows how the photo appears as part of the request that lands on reception.
How do I get Photo Submission?
You don’t need to do anything – Photo Submission will automatically be added to your app in the next few days, totally free of charge, on our gappt Pro, gappt Bespoke and Professional Services packages and it will automatically appear in your app over the next few days. When it appears on your app, tell your clients about it (great opportunity to shout about your app again on social media ;-)).
At gappt HQ, we’re always looking to make your clients’ booking experience easier and more intuitive. After all, the easier it is to book, the more bookings you’ll get! And so we’re very pleased to launch EasyPeasy Search – the perfect way for your clients to find their ideal appointment, quickly!
How does it work?
On the appointment page of your app, you’ll now notice a little search icon. Tapping this reveals a search bar at the top where clients can type in multiple keywords to instantly narrow down the availability shown. They can type in:
the name of a service
the name of a stylist / therapist
the time of day
or any combination of these!
E.g. typing in ‘blow, Sarah, eve’ will only show Sarah’s available evening slots for a blow dry or cut and blow dry. Easy!
How do I get EasyPeasy Search?
You don’t need to do anything – EasyPeasy Search is automatically part of your app, totally free of charge, on our gappt Pro, gappt Bespoke and Professional Services packages. Check it out on your own app 😉
Did you know…
By 2020, ease of use will be a more important factor to clients than price and product when making buying decisions. Stick with gappt and you’ll always be at the forefront of the game!
We are very proud to announce that Premier Software Solutions have selected gappt as their go-to partner for short-notice availability and mobile app technology. This means clients of Premier Software can now display their free appointments they most want to fill by virtue of a ‘shop window’ on their website and their clients’ mobiles. Clients can also be auto-notified when cancellations come in.
With over twenty-two years of experience in supplying appointment booking and marketing software, Premier Software understands the need to develop their range of products and help modern salons and spas succeed. Their clients can now benefit from gappt’s innovative solutions thanks to seamless integrations with Premier Spa and Premier Salon packages, so there’s no need to maintain separate appointment books.
“We already have a lot of happy clients who use both gappt and Premier Software, and we’re very excited that we’ll now be able to work closely together to maximise the potential of both systems to our clients” – AJ Toor, Co-Founder, CTO gappt
“Working with gappt we can now offer our clients the best in breed when it comes to mobile technology and a new slick way to show availability and take quick requests. Together we can help modernise the industry” – Mike Ball , CTO, Premier Software
The collaboration revolutionises the way businesses can manage their availability, communicate with customers and fill their white space. A number of salons and spas are already reaping the rewards of using the Premier Software / gappt service, and it’s only the beginning. Further development aimed at bringing the two platforms even closer together to offer new functionality and convenience to both clients and reception teams is already under way. Watch this space!
“I was quite surprised how excited all of our team have been about having the app. And very enthusiastic about getting it to their clients, getting people to download it. But also for us [the salon] it just means that it’s an easier way to get our name out there and to get more and more people to share our brand.”
Every stylist likes to be busy or ‘in demand’, but encouraging them to actively sell their availability can be tricky as they’re naturally more inclined to focus on the art of hairdressing itself. Moreover, salon owners would prefer their stylists to build a client following and promote their availability under the salon brand, not the stylist’s own personal touch points (like their social media profiles). What tools can be used to help the stylist sell their time while promoting the salon brand, without making them feel like they have to be all ‘sales-y’?
One thing we hear time and time again from our clients is how their teams get quite excited about having a salon-branded app that makes it easy for clients to scan stylist-specific availability (which you choose to share – there is no need to expose the full diary). It has a certain ‘wow’ factor, especially when staff download the app themselves and start receiving availability alerts with their own names showing. When they see how it makes their clients’ lives easier and their own columns busier, they naturally begin to share it with customers. In doing so, you get your salon brand onto your clients’ mobiles, and clients themselves feel more of a personal connection – everyone’s a winner!
“Our clients love being able to follow their stylists – it’s all they want really, to know when they’re free” – Helen LeRose, Co-owner, The Salon
1. The app should become part of every conversation, as clients can check availability for a specific team member.
2. Clients can switch on alerts to be notified if new slots become available.
3. Clients can book a chosen slot with their favourite stylist/colourist in a few clicks.
The app engages customers even after they’ve gone out the door. That’s why all stylists should show the app to every person who sits down in a chair if they want to secure future bookings. Establishing a connection through something as personal as a mobile phone creates a level of intimacy and loyalty. And that means business!
If you and your team don’t benefit form gappt yet please email us at email@example.com or call us on 0207 493 0333 to request a free, no-strings attached demo. Alternatively visit our website for more information.
“We were astonished that we received our first request for a weekend spa package within a few minutes of going live! And requests have been flying in ever since.”
Tracy Lawrence, Internet Marketing Manager, Ragdale Hall
Short notice availability or low room occupancy is probably the bane of any spa manager’s life – especially in times when demand is high. Having searched high and low for an effective solution Ragdale Hall decided to work with gappt, and within weeks of going live achieved the following results:
over 380 new booking requests (average of over 6 additional enquiries each day)
more than 20 000 web visitors opened the quick request panel added to Ragdale Hall website
200 phone calls made via the gappt-powered Ragdale Hall mobile app
over 4000 app downloads
We caught up with Ragdale Hall’s Tracy Lawrence find out how they are doing and what their guests’ feedback has been so far.
1. Can you describe in one sentence (a few words) what gappt is?
“The people – friendly, efficient, personable, extremely clever geeks! The technology – the only solution that fits with a well-known, reputable spa like Ragdale Hall.”
2. What was the original need which drove Ragdale Hall to contact gappt?
“The main objective of the Ragdale Hall app is to fill spa day and spa break spaces, which is why I contacted gappt after finding them online offering app technology to help fill salon spaces.”
3. What did gappt deliver to you?
“gappt provided us with the Quick Request panel on our website. It’s like a shop window for our late availability so we can advertise selected time slots, treatments and offers and tempt in anyone coming to our site. Web visitors can now immediately see what’s actually available and make a booking request. It’s very slick and helping us to convert a significant amount of web traffic into booking that otherwise we may not have had”
“We also chose to go live with a Ragdale Hall branded mobile app to allow our clients to subscribe to availability notifications, and further engage them with the Ragdale Hall brand. Our brand is very important to us, and the level of flexibility and control gappt offer to take our brand mobile is second to none.”
4. What have the results of using gappt been at Ragdale Hall?
“We’re really pleased with the download numbers and engagement, 25% of users who got in touch with us via the app have gone on to book a spa day or overnight stay at Ragdale Hall.”
5. What – if any – is the difference between gappt and having a bespoke solution built?
“gappt technology is constantly evolving and improving, in fact since we went live at the beginning of January, there have already been updates to improve on what is already a great product. The gappt team are very innovative and the updates are given to their clients quickly and efficiently, making gappt a great solution for an independent business like Ragdale Hall.
During the planning stage of the app, I spoke to various companies able to offer us a bespoke solution. The quotes we received for bespoke solutions were extremely expensive as was the cost for any future development, meaning a bespoke app was just not an option for us.”
6. Did you ask for any additional functionality?
“There were a few small additions/adaptations to the functionality that AJ [gappt co-Founder] and his team willingly made for us to ensure that the whole web and mobile solution was suitable for what we have to offer here at Ragdale and to meet the expectations of our guests.
We are also working on a whole new app feature with gappt that will allow us to set up automated notifications to guests who have an impending arrival. This feature means our guests will receive key information at their fingertips before their arrival. We will also use this feature to build excitement and improve customer relationships.
The feature will have many benefits to both our guests and the in-house teams who deal with check-in and arrival. AJ and myself have began discussing the finer details of the feature and we’re both excited to get it launched (hopefully end of March) and test it out.”
7. How did the implementation go? (ease and speed of set up)
“The implementation of the app was very smooth, everything happened when gappt said it would. The training offered both over the phone and via gappt’s website is detailed, easy to understand and extremely helpful.”
8. What do you think about the management of the system (user console)?
“The management system again is really easy to use, even for those members of the team who haven’t used a CMS [content management system] or similar before. Layout and navigation is really user friendly.”
9. What’s Ragdale Hall clients’ feedback re using the app and late availability functions?
“Client feedback has been nothing but positive. Easy to use, great that they’re notified of the availability, much better than having to navigate several pages of website etc. Also had people saying it works well on multiple devices.”
10. Did gappt solve any other problems (which you haven’t thought of before)?
“The team at gappt have been great. AJ/Menno before launch and the support team afterwards have dealt with any queries/problems quickly and efficiently. The whole team is accessible and very easy to work with.”
In summary Ragdale Hall wanted to:
Advertise and fill short notice availability without relying on third-party marketplaces which undercut revenue (e.g. Treatwell, Lastminute.com etc.);
Sell high value packages which combine treatments with rooms (overnight stays, spa breaks), special deals and other services directly to a select audience;
Make booking enquiries easier to deal with for both clients and front-of-house thanks to two-way messaging function – no calls, callbacks, waiting lists etc.
Without having had to make changes to their existing processes or systems, Ragdale Hall boosted revenue by catching up with changes in consumer behaviour and communication preferences.
Conrad Blandford, who previously spent nine years managing Charles Worthington’s Manhattan salon, recently went live with gappt’s solution to filling last minute availability in his sophisticated Sheffield salon. We caught up with Conrad’s Commercial Director Ailsa Turner and found they were reaping more rewards than they had initially expected.
What made you decide to try gappt?
“We get a lot of sales calls from companies and it can be quite hard to sift through all these and determine which ones we should look at. When L’Oréal approached us to recommend gappt (we use L’Oréal Professional products), we paid attention and felt confident taking it on.”
What was the most appealing thing about the gappt service?
“It’s a combination of things really, but what stood out for us was the idea of having the Conrad Blandford logo sitting on our clients’ mobiles, instead of clients having to use a third-party-branded app or website through which they’d then have to find us.”
Having used it, what is the key thing about gappt that stands out for you?
“We are very impressed with how it looks and the easy of use. It’s so easy to use. We already have online booking, and it is very popular, but with gappt there’s no registering or logging in and you can see the availability straight up, so it’s quicker and more straightforward, there’s less effort for our clients. It’s great tool for clients to be able to make spur of the moment bookings.”
What is gappt helping you do that you couldn’t do before?
“It’s really helping us to manage our enquiries, particularly when it comes to reducing the time we spend on the phones so our reception team can spend more time with clients. It’s also helping to fill any late availability we have – over a third of requests through gappt are for same day or next day appointments. And our clients love being able to track their stylist’s availability.”
What other benefits are you seeing that you weren’t necessarily expecting?
“We initially thought of gappt as a service that would work well for our existing clients, but it’s great to see that it’s actually bringing new clients through the door. To date, 20% of requests through gappt have been from new clients, without us doing anything.
A really big thing we noticed is how much our stylists love it. They are all self-employed and don’t have access to our main booking system, but can now check our Conrad Blandford app to see what their day or week looks like. If they get a client calling them directly they can now check their schedule and see if they can fit them in. Our end, we can also tell which stylists are telling their clients about it as they’re getting more requests, so it’s a great marketing tool for themselves. They all have it on their own phones.”
How would you summarise gappt in one sentence?
“It’s a really easy way to have your own personalised service for clients to book appointments in a way that suits with their lifestyles.”
How offering a little discretion can increase booking requests
Not everyone wants to shout about getting their Botox topped up, having their nether regions trimmed, or what ailments they are suffering from – sometimes a little privacy is needed when booking an appointment.
But finding a private moment isn’t always easy for customers when they are at work, on a busy train, or out and about. And if they can’t do it ‘in the moment’, they might put it off and forget, or find your business closed.
“Calling isn’t always an appropriate option when our customers want to make an appointment, so we let them ping off a quick request via our app or our website. Our customers love it, especially when they’re at work – now they can book an intimate wax without anyone overhearing or knowing about it”, says Gillian Chapple from Beauty Be Mine.
And it’s proving to do more than just taking the awkwardness out of bookings:
“One thing we’ve noticed is that quite a number of requests are made late in the evening – perhaps they’re out with friends and planning another social event so they want to get a treatment in the diary. Or maybe that’s the time they get to unwind and think about booking a treatment. Either way, it just makes life easier when they can send a request out of hours, knowing we’ll pick it up first thing in the morning. It’s that convenience and discretion that our customers find very attractive”
When you consider the popularity of messaging, you can see how it makes sense to add this as a ‘silent’ communication option for your customers – not only does it save them hassle, it also means they can make quick requests in a multitude of scenarios that otherwise would be out of bounds. As a business, you open an additional channel to deliver your usual personable service while retaining control over how appointments get booked in (which is why we compliment booking systems so beautifully).
And that’s how you can let your customers score a Brazilian on a train, at work – or simply at home watching the World Cup (see what we did there?).
We are very excited to announce that i-Salon have chosen gappt as their exclusive salon-branded mobile app technology provider. i-Salon, the original booking software provider to the UK health and beauty industry, have a number of industry firsts to their name (e.g. the first to launch a computerised appointment book, the first to launch online booking), and power 1000’s of successful hair and beauty businesses with their salon management software.
gappt are working closely with i-Salon and their clients so they can benefit from gappt’s innovative solutions to fill last-minute availability, while customers can book themselves directly in to the diary.
Watch the video to see how it works, and visit i-Salon’s stand at Salon International this weekend (10,11 & 12 October at London ExCel) at Stand E190.