A Full Review of the Booker App: The All-In-One Salon Booking, Scheduling, Payment, and much much more App.
We put out a question a few months ago to our followers and readers about what booking/scheduling software they use to put their mind at ease when it comes to running their (nail) salons. As expected, we receive a slew of answers from people keeping track through Google Docs all the way to an under comprehensive piece of software.
Please note: The links below are affiliate links and I will earn a commission if you purchase through those links. Booker is a product that we have used and recommend them because I have found helpful and trustworthy.
Then we heard about “Booker”
So what is booker? Here’s what they describe themselves to be:
Ok a bit of a mouthful – I know, but essentially Booker is an app accessible anywehre and anytime, built from the ground up that has nail salon owners and freelance nail techs like us in mind.
They’ve spent countless hours with those who are ACTUALLY in the industry to figure out exactly what we want.
A flexible app to help keep your business running smooth yet is still very easy to use!
It wasn’t until recently that our members inside of Neiru mentioned Booker which had us curious. Infact, we had heard several of our members inside of Neiru mention ‘Booker’, so naturally, we thought if this is something others are finding helpful and worth their money in order to save time, accomplish more, and in turn bring in a higher revenue – but we had to find out more for ourselves.
After a month
After about a month of using this app, we now understand what it really means to be an ‘All-In-One’ piece of software, and not to only be just mediocre at everything, but to almost excel in every department. TRULY, the team over at Booker have this all figured out.
Booker is a polished, well-thought out, easy-to-use app for such business owners like us in the beauty industry – a perfect fit.
But before I get too far here, let me give you a quick rundown of what Booker is and what it will do for you.
It isn’t just for ‘booking’
Booker’s title states the obvious, but the story gets better: it definitely isn’t just for ‘booking’.
Infact, personally we think name “Booker” is a bit misleading… scratch that… VERY misleading.
The Booker team has gone way beyond and thought of even such handy tools that we never even expected like easy to create ‘gift certificates’ to integrating Booker onto other popular marketing websites like ‘Yelp’ to social media integration to inventory tracking.
Here’s a more detailed list of features Booker includes:
Social Media Integration
Inventory and Sales tracking
Point of Sales System
And the list goes on!
This piece of software isn’t just in the business to just help keep your business running smoothly, and more importantly efficiently, but has deeply integrated functions to really expand your reach and gain even more clients.
If I had only known about this program before when I was taking bookings, promoting, and doing the accounting for Jasmine’s nail studio (Oshima Nails) at the same time working at my 9 to 5 office job, I’d imagine we would have saved so much time allowing us to get even further.
Review of Booker’s Core Features
It would take me forever to go over Booker’s list of features, so I’m going to stick to the core features that matter to all of you nail techs and salon owners:
- Convenience (the cloud)
- Client Retention
- Customer Support
1. Convenience: It’s all about the cloud
You may have heard this term before: the cloud.
No it’s not literally sitting on a cloud, rather, this simply means that it is sitting somewhere in a building on some “server” that is accessible anytime from any device.
What’s so great about a ‘cloud’?
I want to emphasize that this FULL package of features are sitting on a cloud.
That means complete worry free about saving client information, history and records on your computer. You can trust ‘Booker’ to safely and securely save your information and changes – live (keep in mind all information is also secured, so no one is going to access your data).
You’ve got things like scheduling, social media management, to inventory tracking all being saved on your account up in the Booker cloud.
The great thing is that all of this is centralized and available through one access point which you can log into anywhere around the world as long as you have internet.
So whether you’ve just stepped into your salon or unwinding on the couch after dinner with your iPad – you’ve got full control everywhere.
Booker does what its name suggests: booking.
Booker has a taken the time to map out where and how booking behaviors are trending. It’s goal isn’t just to make booking easy, but to really help extend your reach to even more potential clients.
Book Through Facebook
There’s a very good chance your clients are all on Facebook – guess what, Booker thought about this too.
Booker has discovered that potential clients are more likely to interact with your business’ Facebook Page than they are with your own website.
So they’ve got you covered as well, with your current Facebook page, you can install their “easy-to-implement Facebook Booking App”. Clients on Facebook will have the ability to book appointments, purchase gift certificates, and view your beauty salon’s promotions seamlessly within the Facebook platform.
Book Through ‘Booker Marketing Network’
“No beauty salon owner wants to have big holes in their appointment book.”
It’s true, having to wait 2-4 hours for your next client feels and is literally a waste of time. A very unique piece of feature is the Booker Marketing Network.
When you sign up you get free access to Booker’s Marketing Network (not really a fan of these two words ‘marketing’ and ‘network’ when they’re put together – reminds me ‘network marketing’ aka ‘pyramid schemes’, but it really isn’t that), and this can allow you to display unfilled time slots across their network of partner sites to get your book filled during slow periods.
Partners within the network include:
Book on Mobile and Tablet
We’d expect this to be the standard of most booking sites and softwares out there (you’d be suruprised though).
Nowadays, who isn’t on the go, staring into their mobile device at least once every 15-30 minutes. (Most of our team members here at Neiru are COMPLETELY guilty of this.)
Booker is designed to be accessible from any device, no matter where you are, providing flexibility for busy beauty salon owners and employees.
Not only do you get a great looking system but your clients also receive the same mobile-optimized experience when booking an appointment, giving them the freedom to connect with your salon on the go.
3. Client Retention: Keep them coming back.
From a marketing perspective this is my favorite part and really where Booker truly stands out.
Many business owners completely neglect ‘retention’ of customers and clients. But want to here the secret truth?
You earn MORE when retaining clients than getting new clients. Why? Simply because the cost of retaining clients is a lot lower than the cost of attaining new clients.
A simple example, how much does it cost you to provide great service and following up with customers versus paying for advertising to get the attention of new clients?
Sometime a while back, I wrote a blog post a while back on ‘The Nail Room’ the importance of building an mail list. It’s all in the game of ‘retaining’ clients and so many nail professionals and salon owners feel that Instagram or Facebook is enough to keep your past clients engaged and keep them coming back.
Truth is it isn’t.
Don’t get me wrong, social media is great, but it’s impersonal and can be easily missed. Whereas when you are given emails of clients (don’t forget you’ll need to collect these – and Booker lets you do this as well), you have direct access to a message box they voluntarily check. (Yes, I bolded ‘voluntarily’ because it is SO important).
A great way to keep your clients engaged is perhaps show them promotions that are coming up to special nail art designs of the month or even new and trending looks. Create content that you feel as a customer you’d want to see – don’t just ‘sell’ and ‘promote’ rather give them value and insight, believe me that is much more effective in the long run for your business.
And once again, Booker can help you manage your email list. This means no need to sign up for another service like ‘Mailchimp’ to handle your email campaigns for you, and you can do it directly with your actual client list.
To be short – Booker’s reporting can be quite addicting.
You’re able to find things out like Appointments booked for any period of time, the average number of appointments booked, and total revenue for any period of time. It even gives you the average allowing you to really see how your doing relatively to your business’ average.
We absolutely love the visual dashboard giving you quick overview of how your salon is doing for any period of time (this week, this month, last month, etc…)
5. Customer Support
Here at Neiru we’ve used a lot of online service, some are great, some aren’t and that goes the same with customer support. Booker has exceeded again in another area – customer support.
If you’re ready to join Booker, you’re in good hands.
Sign up process is simple enough, but where booker stands out is they request that you be shown a demonstration by one of their ‘Booker Experts’.
Yes – they are literally there to hold your hand, get you equipped and ensure that you fully utilize Booker to your best potential.
For ‘Appointment Based’ business type pricing (vs their ‘Classes + Practices’ Business Types) you’re given 4 choices
Kickstart Pricing – it’s basic, lacking a few functions, but great for smaller sized business for 1 or 2 people.
Basic Pricing – We decided to try the basic pricing out. It’s got all the great features and this is what I’d recommend to most of us.
Standard Pricing – You get everything in the Basic Pricing, but a few more bells and whistles like loyalty and rewards programs for your customers, membership tools, etc.
Get Started (Sign up):
There isn’t much in the way of getting Booker started and working for you.
1) To sign up go here
2) Enter your information
3) Click ‘Request a Demo’
Most of you probably have still a lot of questions and that’s what so great about Booker’s customer service, before you even commit, they’ll give you a demo and even set up an appointment to make sure to answer any of your questions.
The Downside of Booker
I’ve spent so much time explaining all the pros of Booker, but like anything else, there is no ideal solution out there for everyone’s needs. That’s just the nature of software.
So flesh out the reality of the whole picture here:
There’s a lot to learn
One of the biggest obstacle that we have faced and have heard others had to face is the natural learning curve when faced with the new system. It’s a hefty and flexible piece of software. Booker knows this and they are attacking this head on with a very simple solution – live demonstrations and training and implementation teams to guide clients through the setup process.
So as mentioned previously, they do guide and walk you through this process.
Even better, here’s great starting walk through given by Booker to really show you how to use Booker.
Design and layout
It’s not a make or break point, but Booker can use a bit of improvement in terms of it’s layout and designs. Schedules can seem a little ‘tight’ making the site look slightly dated. On the other end, things like it’s reports look clean and easy to navigate.
We’re in the day and age of giant buttons, “flat” clean designs, and big text in terms of design and the internet. We’re suspecting an update of this on Booker’s end as they have already redesigned several parts of their site within the last few months.
The Wrap Up
Deciding on software for your business can be a long, arduous journey. Reviews like this can make that journey much less difficult on you, which is my main desire here…to help make things easier for you.
I strongly suggest you to watch the video above to get a sense of how this app can completely change the way you run your business and streamline your business flow.
Hope this review can make a difference for you, if so, leave a comment below and let others know how you find it!