Mobile Reservations Helped a Barbershop Rack Up 4,111 Appointments
Barbershop Livin’ In The Cut needed a solution to combat their long wait times, frustrated customers and messy scheduling. A mobile app provided a way to optimize both internal and external communication strategies. Now, customers are happy with the easy reservation system and employees rely on the app for their work schedule.
After partnering with Bizness Apps in 2013, Dustin Rivest founded AppInnovators. Their most successful app to date was built for Livin’ In The Cut, a local barbershop in Florida owned by Greg. The barbershop was already successful, with a lot of traffic coming from the surrounding college campuses.
The Challenge: Long Wait Times & Chaotic Schedules
Due to the large volume of clients, Livin’ In The Cut was struggling with waiting times on a daily basis. Because they were so busy, customers would come in and have to wait an hour for a haircut. The long wait times were hurting the business’ bottom line.
From the employee side, barbers had to service clients, as well as pick up the phone when customers called. Also, due to the number of barbers working at this establishment, it was very difficult to arrange work times. “When you have 15 chairs and over 20 barbers doing different shifts, you need something to make scheduling easier”, Greg, the owner, says.
Their current system was not working for them; they needed to improve communication, both internally and externally. The salon owner heard about AppInnovators on the local radio and knew that an app could be his all-in-one solution.
The Solution: All Communication Integrated Into One App
The solution comprised of a mobile solution in the form of an app, where all of this communication takes place in an efficient way. On the one hand, customers can schedule appointments through the app and see a real time waitlist of the customers at the hair salon. On the other hand, barbers can check their work schedule and view their upcoming appointments. They even have the ability to message their customers directly. Greg comments, “we now have the ability to focus in on the client’s experience while in the barber chair, instead of answering phones and playing receptionist.”
Now, when a customer comes in, they hit check-in or claim reservation on the iPad app. If the customer has a reservation, the barber is notified of their arrival. If they are a walk-in, their name is added to the waiting list. All this information gets relayed to the mobile app and the TV screens in the barbershop: one side shows reservations, the other walk-ins. For both, the customer can see where they are in line and estimate how long the waiting time is. By allowing clients to access this information on the app as well, they can see how many people are waiting at the barbershop in real time and plan their visit accordingly.
The Result: REO & Reservations On The Rise
Livin’ In The Cut’s reason for building an app was not to boost ROI, it was to boost ROE — return on experience & engagement. Greg says, “it has changed the efficiency and feel of the barbershop.” Customers enjoy coming in, as opposed to feeling frustrated. The barbershop has also seen a dramatic increase in reservations, as it is so easy to make a mobile appointment. To date, the barbershop has had a total 7,013 walk-in clients and 4,111 reservations booked. With these mobile reservations, it has also become easier for Greg to organize the work schedules of his employees.
Furthermore, the app has given the owner the ability to market to existing clientele by capturing phone numbers and email addresses. On top of all these benefits, Greg has also been able to increase his monthly revenue by selling advertising slots to local businesses surrounding the barbershop. In return, the businesses become visible on the digital waitlist monitors, as well as being included in their new monthly newsletter.
What made this app so successful was that it directly and simultaneously addressed customer and company needs. They uncovered the root of the problem and used a mobile app to solve it. An app needs to have an inherent value; it should be something customers and/or employees do not want to live without.