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Julie Castor is the owner of the spa treatment business aptly named, Relax…You Deserve It, located in the idyllic seaside town of St Helens on the north east coast of Tasmania.

The salon has sustained its operations for six years using manual appointment books, paper-based accounting and word of mouth marketing. But Julie was drowning in admin tasks and realised that she needed to digitally upgrade her business to reduce the burden, stay competitive and increase her market share.

I’d been longing to create a paperless business and letting go of old-style paper appointment books and accounting.

Julie Castor, owner of Relax…You Deserve It!

Relax…You Deserve It! has implemented client management software, Timely, which manages all appointments, creates personalised client profiles, and automatically reminds customers to book a new appointment! It’s become Julie’s virtual receptionist and takes away the previous manual burdens from the business. The automation of the booking process means that Julie and her staff can spend more time with their clients with fewer interruptions.

The new online booking system has given clients the ability to view and book available appointments, minimising the number of phone bookings. When a client confirms a booking, they are prompted to make a deposit of 50 per cent which encourages clients to keep their appointments and reduces last minute cancellations.

Timely also allows Julie to view existing bookings, available appointment times and notifies her of any last minute bookings or cancellations. This makes it easier to allocate wait-listed clients to cancelled appointments and manage her staff accordingly.

Upskilling for confidence

Implementing the software made small yet powerful changes to the business and they had an immediate impact. The digital change required learning some new processes, but the transition was easier than Julie expected.

In a world of digital awareness, I was falling behind. I knew my digital skills needed upgrading and it was important for me to have the confidence to use digital software.

Julie Castor, owner of Relax…You Deserve It!

With the unexpected closure of the business during the COVID-19 pandemic, Julie used this time to extend her understanding of the new system’s features by using the free High Intensity Timely Training (HITT) offered online.

Dedicating just one hour a week to learn more about Timely during the lockdown period, Julie was able to set up new workflows and understand more features, all of which helped when she re-opened her doors. Online training and webinars are a good way to learn new skills. By taking a course at your own pace and focusing on specific skills, it can help to increase your digital knowledge and build confidence in using new systems.

The benefits of a cloud-based appointment management system:

  • Automated confirmation messages prevent ‘no shows’ saving thousands in lost revenue.
  • Online booking improves business reputation and credibility by delivering an exceptional customer experience.
  • Provides customers with access to their preferred beauty technician – they can see their availability and book an appointment in advance.
  • Automates the role of receptionist, freeing up admin time and allowing Julie to work on other parts of the business.
  • Integrates with accounting systems, e-commerce platforms and CRM systems.
  • Allows Julie to manage the business from anywhere.
  • Keeps track of unique personal details such as customer birthdays or preferred treatments which helps Julie customise and target her marketing.

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