Hair and beauty as an industry is not a stranger to constant change. Hairstyles come and go, makeup & skincare regimens keep improving, and there is a new salon tech trend almost every month. As a salon owner or manager, you have to play catchup with all the changes if you are to retain clients and attract new ones. That is not the easiest thing to do. The good thing is that technology is at the heart of all the changes that affect hair and beauty practices. If you master your tech game, you are able to manage your salon better and have enough time to catch up with changes in hair and beauty trends. The right tech tools will do most of your administrative groundwork, keep both clients and employees happy, and help you dominate the market.
This article explores how technology continues to evolve and how that evolution can help you keep your salon business productive and efficient.
1. Customer management apps
Your clients are the heart of your business. Everything you do has to be geared towards appreciating and keeping clients happy.
Tech advancement has enabled salon owners to create and customize dedicated smartphone apps for easier and more effective client management. Smartphone apps are by far the best customer management systems (business websites make a close second).
For starters, almost each and every one of your clients owns a smartphone, while only a few of them have access to computers. Secondly, when clients install your haircut appointment app on their smartphones, the app acts as your brand ambassador in their life. It reminds them of your salon every time they use their phone. Most importantly, it is possible to customize your salon app to match your brand. As a result:
- Clients can easily book (or cancel) appointments at any time from their phones. They can even use their credit cards to prepay for services through the app. That makes it convenient for clients to access your services.
- You can use the app to take customer feedback.
- Some apps can help you collect and analyze customer data. You see in real-time which products clients order the most, their preferred styles, how often they visit your salon, and even their location. You are able to serve clients better when you understand better who they are.
- Your app can serve as a digital marketing platform. For instance, you can use it to send reminders to clients about their upcoming appointments and pitch to them your beauty products.
- Apps are invaluable tools for marketing ROI reporting. You can easily tell who engaged with your marketing message, who booked an appointment based on a given communication, and how much they spent in your salon.
2. Employee management
If customers are the heart of your business, employees have to be the backbone. You have to manage employee performance if you are to maximize efficiency in your salon. You also need to keep an eye on your finances with respect to each employee in order to remove deadwood from your team and reward the top performers. That sounds like a lot of work, doesn’t it? It is a lot of work, no doubt, but you can make it a lot easier by investing in salon software. Your software will provide:
- Daily financial reports. If you run multiple salon branches, reputable software will help you compare different branches in terms of efficiency in service delivery and revenue generation. You get all the reports you need in one view, enabling you to make necessary interventions early enough.
- Employee performance report. It will analyze for you the role each employee has played over the week or month in driving your salon’s sales, revenue, and profit.
- Assess how many appointments each individual employee had in a week or month, how many of their appointments were canceled, and the services for which each employee is mostly booked.
- Data for each employee’s reviews by clients, rebooking & client retention, as well as their upsells and cross-sells. That gives you an idea of how well utilized each worker is.
- Clear financial health analysis. It will tell you which services generate the most revenue so you can assign more employees to those services.
- Payroll reports. It helps you track each employee’s worked hours and calculate their commission.
3. Salon loyalty programs
Loyalty programs play an important role in business growth by enhancing client retention and client acquisition. That is why if you haven’t started yet, you should kick start your program soon. That should be easy considering that technology can help you manage your loyalty programs without too much hustle.
Salon loyalty programs mostly reward customers with coupons, free merchandise, discounts, and subsidized new products. Technology doesn’t change that. What it does, however, is give you an all-in-one digital customer rewards platform for managing as many loyalty programs as you need. It allows you to:
- Create referral programs for digital clients. Your loyal clients get referral links that they then share with their family, friends, and social media followers. That makes it easy for them to campaign for your services. The program allows you to track the referral links from the time a client shares them to the time conversions happen. You can tell which clients earned your business quality new clients, so you reward them accordingly.
- Award points to clients for every booking or purchase they make. The points give you an unbiased picture of who your top-quality clients are, consequently eliminating guesswork when rewarding loyalty.
- Create tier memberships. The tiers can start from Platinum (new clients) and run all the way to Gold (most loyal customers). That allows you to manage your salon’s pricing as well as offers, with Gold-level clients reaping the most benefits. It also encourages customers to spend more in your salon in order to climb up the tier system.
- Collect the data needed to customize and personalize loyalty rewards. That allows you to do away with the ineffective one-size-fits-all reward methods. You get to, for example, offer clients discounts on their birthdays. That personal touch with clients incentivizes them to market your salon even more.
4. Inventory management software
Inventory management software tracks your salon’s inventory in real-time. They do that by:
- Monitoring the in-house inventory (product usage per service). It will automatically notify you via email when a product is running low. It will also detect wastages and notify you early enough.
- Enabling you to generate purchase orders for the low quantity products digitally, within a few quick clicks.
- Providing warehouse management features for salon managers who run multiple branches. It allows you to set up the main branch as a warehouse that serves other branches. That way, you are able to manage your whole inventory from one location.
- Keeping track of your online store’s inventory. Good software will integrate seamlessly with eCommerce platforms such as woo-commerce and Shopify.
Technology has all the tools you need to add efficiency to your salon business and grow your practice to its full potential. It will help you stay on top of appointments and payments, manage your clients and employees better, and eliminate human errors. Invest in progressive salon technology today and maximize your time, money, and energy!