Technology is continually affecting how businesses are run across the globe; salons too have been affected by this development and the use of salon scheduling software within hair salons, grows by the day.
Do you really want to get left behind?
Though salon management software has been hyped since its inception because of the supposed benefits it’s expected to bring on board, it’s not always been able to meet all these expectations on paper or that of its users.
One would assume that if you have a website or Facebook business page, then it only makes perfect sense that you add hair salon software for appointments.
Salon scheduling software allows you to improve customer experience and more importantly have the option to allow those clients who want to make their appointment booking after working hours, thus having the possibility of improving your salon's profitability.
However, is it that simple?
Plot spoiler.....there is no reason why it should fail.
But there is definitely one thing, it is time to throw away that paper-based salon appointment book and get online and take the plunge into the beautiful crystal blue waters of technology!
So let us look at why it could fail....
Being fearful of technology isn’t uncommon. A report actually showed that Americans were more afraid of technology then death!
One of the greatest concerns for you as a salon owner or manager is whether salon scheduling software will lead to less client interaction with your potential or even existing clients.
The salon business is one that relies on a personal, one to one relationship and if the software stands in between this, it can have an adverse impact on your business.
But this is one more thing to do, I hear you say...
There is also the fear that it could overcomplicate your business and with so much already to do within your salon, how will you find the time?
I realize there are tasks such as marketing, team management, and bookkeeping that yet 'another' process is yet another distraction for the overworked owner or manager.
Make sure you choose easy to use technology.
If you use salon scheduling software properly, it can actually stop many of the above issues and make the day to day management of your salon easier then you ever thought of, with everything at the touch of a button.
There are many websites offering salon software reviews for you to read and find the best solution for your business.
you can start with free salon scheduling software to see how good it works for your business, then if you notice a significant improvement in your overall operations, you can go ahead and upgrade to a more 'fuller' version.
Let’s be honest; we could all do with saving more money from our businesses.
This means reducing total costs in your salon; including taxes which you would like to avoid paying..
When you use salon marketing software as it’s supposed to be used, i.e. to support your business processes and there will be no omitting certain aspects of your business, as it will calculate everything properly (including taxes) for your business and could actually make your accountant or bookkeepers job easier.
There are no two ways about it; you simply have to pay all your taxes!
But if you have a good accountant or tax advisor, they could advise your business in the most tax efficient way.
Disclaimer, we are not promoting breaking the tax laws within your country. :)
Human inefficiencies are what led to the fast growth of technology in the first place.
I guess you sometimes experience double bookings for clients simply because your staff did not update their appointments or clients show up when a stylist has forgotten to put their vacation or day off in the when using a paper-based appointment book?
Well, salon scheduling software if used properly (yes you can have the same issue as a paper appointment book).
It can ensure that this doesn't happen, as your staff members should have access to their own schedule, whether via laptop, tablet or smartphone.
As mentioned before....
One of the best things about salon software is that it allows your clients to schedule their own appointment even after business hours and this means that your staff members will see their schedule update automatically.
If you are going to use hair salon scheduling software, then you need to do it right.
Allowing your clients to book online appointments via your website and social media platforms such as Facebook go together like bread and cheese (if your French ).
Having said that....
If you are starting to accept online appointments, you need to have a good marketing strategy through the likes of social media, e-mail, and even an SMS blast.
But most importantly you need to add the booking function to your website!
Make sure your booking buttons are dominant on the homepage to ensure maximum usage by clients.
If you fail to promote the use of online appointment booking effectively, you will not get the most out of your salon management software.
One of the key benefits of salon scheduling software is that of sending appointment reminders to clients to remind them of their forthcoming appointment.
Sending appointment reminders via SMS has been shown to reduces no-shows by up to 70% in one hair salon.
If you are using salon software, then it should be sending these reminders to your clients.
If your system doesn’t send them then, you could be losing revenue each day through no-shows.
One of the main attractions of using online appointment booking software is the fact that you and your clients can access it 24/7.
Instead of wasting time looking for a full version of a free salon software download, you should have researched the market better.
Unlike downloaded salon scheduling software, you can access online booking information from any location on your mobile device for as long as you have internet connectivity.
If you do choose to download....
then make sure the software you are interested in is able to connect itself to the cloud.
This will make it accessible from different locations and you will be able to use your salon software available on your iPad or smartphone for instance.
Having your chosen solution the cloud, means you can also start accepting online appointment bookings with ease which is probably one of the key reasons why you started using it in the first place.
It can be all too easy to put every single service you have online and this can cause huge problems if the client has booked the wrong service.
We would not suggest allowing such as service as Japanese hair straightening bookable online, this process can take up to three hours and be probably one of the most expensive services you deliver
If booked by mistake....
Not only do you provide a bad customer experience for the client, but you have also potentially lost out on three appointments which may have been booked in its place,
....especially if the appointment was for a Saturday!
As a rule of thumb, have your most popular services then advise that your more specialized services or booked via the telephone.
The objective is to make sure the 80% of your appointments are booked online, with the remaining 20% being specialized services and need more information from the client.
One of the biggest mistakes made by salon owners is using both their online hair salon scheduling software and their paper-based appointment book at the same time.
Using the two for the same purpose results in redundancy and wastage of resources and the chance that one is not being updated.....
And as salon staff is more used to the old fashioned appointment book, then the likeliness is that they will not be updating the online version.
Dedicate some time to train your staff when launching the software, go through some different training scenarios with them and ensure they have fully grasped what they need to do and THEN ditch that appointment book.
It should only take 15 minutes to train staff on most software and it will be a great investment to ensure that the software succeeds in your salon.
You won't fail with salon scheduling software if you follow the above advice.
Online salon scheduling software is worth a try as it can help you access real-time reports at any time and from anywhere.
If you are not so sure about what to do, start by finding free salon scheduling software, or you can start small by getting a salon pos system to manage your salons booking and scheduling needs.
Give Vagaro Salon Software or Belliata Salon Software for iPad a try and see how your business responds.
If it works like magic, go ahead and integrate it into your salons daily routine.
But if it doesn’t, stick to what has been working for you all this time!
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