I recently booked in for a massage at Silvana’s Beauty Salon and noticed that they used the scheduling software Timely to manage their client bookings.
The booking process from my point of view, as a client, was easy. I went to the salon’s website, clicked on the “Book Treatments Now” button and was taken step by step through the process of booking. I could see at a glance what times were available, pick the type of service I wanted and was able to choose who I wanted to do the massage.
Once booked, I received an email confirmation with all the details and my invoice. I also received an email and SMS reminder the day before the massage – so no risk of embarrassingly forgetting to turn up for my appointment. (Hey we’re all busy – it can happen!)
But what I really wanted to share with you today is Silvana’s experience and thoughts on the software. Timely is one of the big names in online scheduling software for salons and for those in the beauty and wellness industry in general. It integrates with Xero accounting software, which is where my interest in the software originated. So please read on and enjoy my interview with Silvana of Silvana’s Beauty Salon.
Can you please tell me a bit about you and your business journey
I started working for myself from home approximately 9 years ago. I initially offered nails, waxing and massage treatments from a room in my home. Business grew steadily (I worked it around family and other work commitments).
Four years down the track, we built a beauty studio outside our home with street access – creating greater privacy and professionalism for myself and my clients. Business grew more rapidly after this. Four or so years later and that brings us to today… with a beautiful salon on Milne Road (Modbury) which I hope creates a relaxing and welcoming space for clients to come in and have quality, professional treatments in privacy with a caring and friendly therapist.
How did you hear about Timely?
Via Facebook. I was looking for a versatile booking system that allowed me to also monitor stock sales etc.
Did you try any other scheduling apps prior to using Timely?
I was trialling Cliniko ($50) and have also trialled Shedul (free) but find Timely more suited to my needs.
How long did it take you to learn how to use it? Did you teach yourself or did someone show you how to use it?
It didn’t take long at all to learn to use it. Setting up took some time as I have a lot of treatments to enter into the system… so I wouldn’t be too keen to change systems and have to re-enter all those details.
It’s pretty user-friendly. There is a Help at hand with information available at any stage if a user is unsure. You can also chat to a staff member if you’re really stuck.
What is the main advantage for you? ie less interruptions due to answering phone, easier for clients to book etc
Using Timely and having online booking has increased my business. I have only had positive feedback from clients. They love the confirmation SMS’s / emails and some of them have said their appointment is even uploaded to their phone calendar!!
They love how they can jump on and book an appointment whenever it occurs to them… eg midnight as they try to go to sleep but their mind is racing with all the different “to do” lists. And they don’t feel bad about messaging me so late etc.
I love how it frees up my time – no more back and forth texts regarding available times etc with clients…. They check the dates/times that suit them and see if I’m available.
I also love that I can sync my Timely bookings with my personal Google calendar too.
Do you use all of the features? If not, what features do you mainly use?
I use most of the features, especially the schedule/calendar… still getting used to the reports. But I love the packages (create a package, allocate a package & then keep track of package treatments taken etc) and gift certificates (clients can purchase online gift certificate…. Letting them buy a gift at any time).
Have you had any feedback from clients about whether they like it/don’t like booking appointments with Timely?
All the feedback I’ve had is very positive. My clients love it.
Do you use Timely in conjunction with accounting software, such as MYOB or Xero?
Do you use Timely in conjunction with any other apps, such as PayPal or Vend?
I use PayPal and love it. My clients can pay on line if they choose to and I can send them invoices if they prefer it.
Is there anything that you wish the app would do, that it doesn’t currently do?
Its’s pretty good for my needs. Although it would be handy to select individual booking timeline limits for each staff. For example, I’d like my clients to be able to book up to within 3 hours of their appointment, however my staff member needs at least 24hrs notice. Currently we have it set at 24hrs booking notice as we cannot do it individually.
Finally, would you recommend Timely to other business owners in the beauty and wellness industry?
So if you’re thinking of using Timely to manage your client bookings, I hope this has given you a bit of an insight and helps you to come to a decision. There are lots of options out there!
PS. For more information on scheduling software, I provided a comparison of some of the popular options in my post Which Scheduling Software? and wrote about Cliniko software in my post Cliniko + Xero.