Being a consumer-facing business, salon management requires that you make as many personal interactions as possible, both with clients and employees.
You should spend most of your time talking with customers, listening to their problems, and getting solutions to their pain points. The bigger portion of the remaining part of your daytime should go to managing employees, creating the right atmosphere for your ideal client, and reaching out to more ideal clients. That’s as opposed to managing inventory, updating manual registers, filing customer data manually, retrieving files, and making manual schedules and appointments. That is why you need to streamline your salon’s workflow.
The surest way to streamline the workflow in your salon is to automate repetitive tasks and functions that don’t necessitate human input or direct supervision. Automation saves you the headache of bookkeeping, cash management, payroll management, tracking retail sales, and client management. Automation gives you more time to improve your customer service and, ultimately, boosts client acquisition and retention. It also boosts email marketing and increases your upselling opportunities. All these are reasons why you need management software to run your salon smoothly. Allow us to expound:
1. Added convenience in booking and scheduling
Top of the list of salon software benefits is the automation of client booking and scheduling. Although there is no way of getting rid of in-salon appointments or walk-in clients, and you probably shouldn’t, automating scheduling is a game-changer on so many levels.
For starters, appointment booking is a time-consuming repetitive task. Encouraging online scheduling means one less phone call, one less manual client file, and one less unscheduled random appointment. That will, therefore, free-up time for your employees to focus more on impressing clients who are already in the salon. Better focus on clients results in a more efficient and effective team, happier clients, and better client retention.
Secondly, automated scheduling is a convenience booster for your online clients. Essentially, if it is of the best quality, your salon software will enable you to add “Book Now” buttons across the internet. That includes your Google My Business profile, your website, and social media channels. Your salon is, therefore, open to potential clients 24/7. The convenience of booking appointments at any time of the day, from anywhere in the world, gives clients a reason to keep coming back. Furthermore, your online marketing efforts are only as effective as the number of salon chairs you manage to fill from your online traffic. There is no better way of ensuring that your online traffic converts than to give clients the power to manage their own appointments from the comfort of their social media timelines.
Thirdly, your salon software can send to clients automated appointment confirmations and reminders. You just set up the reminder/confirmation message, set the necessary customization parameters, and walk away. The software customizes the message for each client and does all the other legwork for you. That significantly lowers the frequency of no-shows, cancellations, and missed appointments. Besides, automated communications are way more convenient than calling or texting clients.
2. Improved database management
On top of giving clients complete control of their appointments, your salon management software also gives them easy access to their personal information. It allows them to update their phone numbers, residential addresses, credit card info, or email addresses and make changes whenever necessary. As a result, through and with the software, you are able to create and maintain an up-to-date centralized client database. On your part, you can use these databases to create, store, and organize clients’ transaction records, services and purchase history, and market surveys. This precipitates many benefits to your salon.
First of all, the more detailed, analyzed, and organized your cloud-based databases are, the easier it is for you to set up targeted marketing campaigns. Secondly, managing customer data on a diary or excel spreadsheet is both time-consuming and error-prone. Manual files are also prone to theft, misplacement, and mishandling. Your software allows you to restrict access to client data to only a few authorized staff members. Thirdly, well-organized client databases give you a better shot at quality customer service. You only need a minute at the computer to go through a client’s history and come up with the best approach to their pain points. Top-level preparedness before appointments yields top-notch service delivery and optimal client satisfaction levels. Lastly, you can access your client databases from any device and from anywhere. That means you can prepare for upcoming appointments when stuck in traffic or before you go to bed. All you need is a secure internet connection.
3. Better resource management
The talents in your team are the most important resources for your salon business. Unfortunately, managing their schedule, commissions, bonuses, and off-days isn’t the easiest thing to do. You will lose top talents to competitors in a heartbeat if they feel like you mismanage their schedules and/or financial benefits.
Salon management systems enable you to automate commission calculation and payroll management. Your software will track the hours each employee works in a day, their total appointments in a day, their upselling success, and the amount of revenue they generate for your salon. Employees, therefore, never get a cent less than their deserved pay. Furthermore, by helping you manage appointments and schedules more effectively, your software enables you to distribute off days without bias and without hurting your salon’s efficiency. You always have the right number of employees at any given time.
Effective resource management also accounts for the proper management of products and equipment. Your software can predict the floor space, equipment, and products needed for upcoming appointments. With regards to available floor space, the software ensures that you don’t overbook or double-book, which minimizes crowding in the waiting lounge. Proper schedule management also minimizes the waiting time for your customers and optimizes your utilization of available equipment. And then there are automated inventory management features…
A salon management system will constantly keep an eye on your inventory to counter shoplifting, give you real-time status updates as your stock depletes, and detect product wastage in all your salon services. That way, your stylists always have enough products to get each client’s expected results. Automated inventory management also ensures that you don’t overstock or stock products you don’t use or sell. That’s one of the ways of optimizing cash flow management in your business. What’s more, quality salon management systems allow you to set thresholds for your stock levels and can automatically order new stock when levels drop to the set thresholds.
4. Better loyalty and referral programs’ management
We already mentioned that your software can collect, analyze, and organize clients’ data. At the risk of stating the obvious, therefore, the software will give you accurate records of who your most loyal customers are as well as their expenditure patterns. This eliminates biases and inaccuracies in your loyalty programs.
Your software also gives you a platform for dynamic client feedback. Clients can leave you unfiltered reviews, suggestions, and complaints on the platform as soon as they leave your salon. Such raw feedback does not only help you improve the quality of your services but also helps you get ahead of negative reviews. The feedback also gives you invaluable insights on how to tweak your referral program for optimal results.
5. Streamlined financial management
This is a fact: Most salon owners aren’t good with numbers. The good thing is, you don’t have to stress over numbers unless you want to. Your software system can handle most of the numbers for you. First of all, your software’s point of sale (POS) hardware will accept and process credit card payments, checks, and gift cards for you. Secondly, if there are any currency conversions needed, the software will handle that as well. Thirdly, we already mentioned that your software can make payroll management a breeze. That keeps your employees happy and your profits optimal. Lastly, if your software is of the best quality, it will even generate and file tax forms on your behalf. That means your filings are submitted on time and they are always compliant with tax and employment laws.
Salon tech, notably salon management software, plays a strong hand in the success of salon businesses. That goes without saying. You, therefore, should not waste any more time. Start shopping for a top-of-the-line software system ASAP.