Do you need salon software for your salon? To answer this question, please allow us to answer this question by referencing two unfortunate facts. First, at least one in every five salon businesses fail within their first year of existence. The second fact is that at least 5 in every 10 salon businesses collapse within their first five years of existence. That tells you that almost half of all the salons you know today might be closed before 2027. One of the main reasons why these salons fail is because they fail to adapt to the constantly evolving beauty industry environment. Because you don’t want your salon to be in that sinking boat, you must be open to embracing new technologies and trends as they come. So, if not for any other reason, you need to invest in quality salon software in order to keep your salon business on the safe side of our two unfortunate stats. We will convince you even further by discussing 3 extra-ordinary benefits of beauty salon software:
1. Building Trust and Improving Customer Relationships
Hair salon online booking is among the top features of any quality salon management software. This feature alone will help your business thrive by nurturing customers’ trust and personalizing the relationships your business has with individual clients. Among other things, the online booking feature will do the following for you:
· It gives your social media followers and web visitors access to your calendar, so they are able to sample the available slots in your schedule. That gives them the liberty to choose when they want to visit your salon, the stylists they want to be serviced by, and the products they need for their appointment. They do all these at their own convenience, 24/7, and from any internet-enabled device.
· It provides your online traffic with important information such as your available offers, discounts, loyalty programs, payment options, and COVID-19 protocols. You can customize your booking platform’s interface with as much information as you consider helpful. That way, clients don’t have to wait in a busy phone queue just to make simple inquiries.
· It allows clients to easily cancel or reschedule their appointments. As much as you don’t want clients to cancel appointments, giving them that option sets you apart as an honest, empathetic, and understanding salon owner. Clients will feel like you aren’t too invested in taking their money, and that will make them trust your salon more.
· You can integrate the booking software into multiple online channels, notably Google My Business and Facebook, letting clients book your services at the very first interaction they have with your online marketing content. That helps you meet the modern client’s expectations with ease.
· You can use your booking platform as a data collection center. You just need to add a new client registration form that clients have to fill when booking their first appointment. The form can ask questions such as a client’s age, beauty expectations, preferred products, and contact information. The software then acts as a central database for all the collected data. It analyzes it, segments it, and saves it in the cloud, giving you easy access to clients’ info from anywhere in the world.
Note that your software provides extra data security. If you store your client’s data in excel sheets and word documents, you can lose all the data in a single cyber-attack or computer crash. The software stores data in the cloud, which makes it harder for hackers to intercept it.
· A well-organized and managed database gives you invaluable marketing insights. First, you can tell in a few quick clicks the last time a client visited your salon, the frequency of their visits, the products they buy from your retail section, the services/products they buy for their special days, and the services they value the most on an ordinary day. With this data, you are able to reach out and check on clients who haven’t visited your salon for longer than usual. In case they were considering ditching you for another salon, you are able to make amends before it’s too late. You are also able to avail the products clients need for their special occasions, which gives customers the idea that you know them so well.
· The data your software collects also tells you who your regular customers are and how much they spend at the salon, so you can improve your services, interior décor, and loyalty programs with them in mind.
· The system eliminates double bookings and minimizes no-shows. Double bookings create unnecessary crowding and long queues at the front desk. Modern customers are always in a rush- they don’t appreciate long queues. No-shows, on the other hand, are terrible for your business profitability. Your online booking system can automate appointment confirmations and reminders to help you prevent most, if not all, of your salon’s no-show cases.
· The booking platform can serve as your primary client feedback system. You can share simple questionnaires on the platforms, so clients can review your stylists and salon in general at their appointed time.
2. Improving Efficiency and Productivity
We already established that the hair salon online booking feature alone helps you inject efficiency in the booking process, feedback collection, database management, and marketing. But your software has many other features that will inject efficiency and productivity into your operations. Some of them include:
· POS features: These features enable your clients to make payments through multiple payment modes, including PayPal, Bitcoin, and credit cards. Clients don’t have to carry wallets when visiting your salon. That makes clients’ check-out processes faster and convenient.
· Online scheduling: Your staff members are able to sync client appointments with their own schedules. Precise scheduling eliminates mix-ups in appointment management and minimizes cases where appointments take longer than planned. Stylists are more productive when their schedules are in order.
· Staff management feature: You can assign tasks and track how each employee is performing using the software, from anywhere in the world. That enhances productivity in your team, even when you are not physically present. Also, with monthly performance reports, you never again need to rely on your gut instincts when rewarding exceptional employees.
· Payroll management: Your software tracks each employee’s worked hours, bonuses & commissions earned, and deductions accrued, making payroll management a breeze for you.
· Digital communication tools: Your software will help you create effective, personalized digital campaigns. It will help you personalize receipts, text messages, product recommendations, and emails.
· Multi-location management: You can manage multiple salon locations without being physically present at every location. The software will track employee performance, inventory, sales, and revenue generation in each location. It will then synchronize all these reports for easier comparison and consumption.
3. Improving cash flow and financial management
Your software will enable clients to make simple, secure online payments. You only need to send digital invoices or quotes to clients and the clients will complete their payments swiftly, in a couple of quick clicks. The software then protects client financial data such as credit card information using high-level encryption and first-class data security tools. That is the first step of improving your salon’s cash flow and financial management. There is more:
· Your software’s POS feature records all transactions and generates electronic reports for you. That allows you to track pre-payments and pending payments with ease.
· It enables contactless payment, which is a big deal in the “new normal” because everyone wants to limit physical touch.
· It helps you set up and manage late cancellation fees. It also makes it easy to track product returns and make refunds where necessary.
· Your software will improve your inventory management, helping you minimize the cash you have tied up in dead stock.
· Some software come with an inbuilt bookkeeping feature; an all-in-one accounting solution. This feature will help you create professional invoices, generate payrolls, and handle most of your double-entry bookkeeping needs. This feature will give you a clear analysis of your salon’s financial health, performance, and growth potential.
The benefits quality salon management software brings to your salon are endless and invaluable. These benefits will collectively separate your salon from the 2/10 salons that could collapse within a year’s time. Now start shopping for the right software based on the size of your salon and budget.