The stay-at-home orders that the COVID-19 pandemic precipitated did not only lead to the unceremonious shutting down of salons but also completely changed the salon experience all around the world. There is now a new client service reality that salon owners must align with if they are to remain in business in 2022 and beyond. What’s the nature of this new reality?
This reality has clients who abhor queuing at your front desk, carrying currency notes, and doing brick & mortar shopping. Clients now want to do most of their shopping online, get doorstep deliveries, and pay for whatever they buy all without having to leave home. If you have a retail section in your salon, you must take your products online and start doing last-mile deliveries to improve your profitability. As for eliminating queues at your salon, you must get a system that allows clients to make online bookings and safe payments.
Sounds like a lot of work, right? Well, you’ll be happy to know that there are simple technology solutions that you can rely on to solve most of these post-pandemic challenges. The most useful of these tech solutions is salon software. Hair salon software does most of the heavy lifting for you, allowing you to focus more on mastering beauty techniques rather than the menial and tedious administrative work.
Just to give you a glimpse of what salon technology can do for you and your business, let’s explore 4 ways how your salon experience would change upon investing in salon software.
1) 24/7 booking and data collection
Let’s start with the most beneficial of all salon software features: hair salon online booking. This feature gives clients the power to book appointments without calling in, including when you’re closed. You only need to integrate the software with your website, Facebook, and Google my Business profile to unlock the endless benefits of online booking. Clients who discover your salon through local SEO or social media don’t have to call to reserve appointments. The software makes it possible for them to make bookings right there and then. That improves customer experience, increases your bookings, and eventually grows your business revenue.
There is more. You can program the software to prompt clients to provide important personal data during the booking process. This data could be anything from clients’ names, nicknames, contacts, beauty expectations, and payment info, to preferred stylists and/or products. Any piece of information you find useful for a more personalized customer experience, you can gather all on the software even before you meet a client in person.
The data you collect during the booking process is invaluable- its uses are endless. You can, for example, use it for:
- Sending email & text appointment confirmations as a way of minimizing no-shows and late coming. Clients share their names and contacts with the software, so all the software needs is a general message from you for it to customize and send out.
- Decision-making. Clients tell the software the products they need, the stylist they like, and their beauty expectations. That’s a crystal ball that you can use to predict the future. You will always know the products to stock, the personalities to hire, and the best stylists to assign different tasks. You don’t have to rely on guesswork anymore. So, start looking for the best nail salons in Denver and book your appointment of choice.
- Promotions and rewards. You can use your software to ask for opinions from clients about promotions, loyalty programs, discounts, and such. These opinions will significantly improve your chances of impressing your clients.
2) Secure and user-friendly data storage
Let’s expound on the first point. One of the biggest challenges that businesses have today is data theft. Malicious cybercriminals have become quite ruthless and creative when stealing business data. If you save your customers’ credit card details, physical addresses, names, and other personal info on a desktop, data thieves can easily steal it and use it to coerce, manipulate, and harass your clients for their malicious gain.
Saving your data in physical files isn’t safe either as it’s prone to theft, misplacement, and tampering. That’s on top of paper files being tedious and slow to collect, organize, and retrieve. All these are challenges that your software will solve.
Advanced salon software stores information in the cloud, making it inaccessible to criminals. That also protects it from misplacement and unwanted tampering- you can password-protect the data to limit employees’ access to this data. The other benefit of saving your data in the cloud is that, unlike a desktop, you can access it from anywhere and on any device.
You don’t have to sit at your office computer to access your data. That means you can be on vacation halfway across the world and still follow proceedings in your salon in real time. Most importantly, the software organizes the data and consolidates it into a single database. That makes it easy for you and your staff to retrieve and consume the data.
3) Marketing on autopilot
Salon software will elevate your marketing in so many ways- it will put it on autopilot. As we already mentioned, the software will collect personal data from clients in the booking phase. That data makes communication between you and your clients a whole lot easier. For starters, the software will use this data to enable you to automate your email and SMS marketing campaigns, rebooking requests, follow-up emails, and appointment reminders. Most software comes with automated campaign templates that you can use for personalizing happy birthday messages, thank you notes, and see you soon messages, among other customer-engagement messages.
Your software also comes in handy for your social media marketing, and many ways.
First, your online clients will help you understand your ideal customer, the content the ideal customer likes, the social media platforms they’re mostly on, and the time they are most likely to be online. That will help you create the best possible marketing content for your followers, consequently maximizing your social media outreach.
Secondly, your software allows you to create photo libraries for all the before and after selfies that clients take in your salon. You can then share these before/after shots with your social media audience as a way of showing the progress clients make when they work with you. The library will also help you enhance the consistency of the content you share across your social profiles, making it easy for your followers to recognize and relate to your trademark appeal.
Thirdly, as we already mentioned, your software enables Facebook scheduling and internet booking as a whole. Facebook integration is inarguably the most important part of Facebook marketing. After all, it makes little sense to invest in Facebook marketing if you will then leave an open window for your competitors to sweep in and steal your leads. Facebook integration slams that window shut by ensuring that the clients who love your work proceed to book appointments immediately without having to leave social media or browse any further.
Your clients want to buy things online. If you don’t have a designated eCommerce platform, you can use your booking page as your simple eCommerce site for now. You can display your retail products on the page, and then the client will place orders and make payments in the same way they book appointments. A good system will even learn the purchase history of each client and use that knowledge to make product recommendations to clients. What’s more, when clients take long before reordering, the system can email them to encourage them to reorder. And if there are promotions or new products clients should know about, the software can email the info to everyone in your client list.
Bottom line: Salon software helps you create a fully-functional eCommerce platform on your website.
If your technology is outdated, it is time to invest in post-modern tech solutions before you get acquainted with unwanted stagnation and losses. Salon software is one of the tech tools that will help you achieve maximum success going forward- it will, without a doubt, work for you.