Industry • Best Practice
Efficiency is Everything: How Smarter Technology Keeps Clients Happy
By Boulevard Staff
In order to retain clients and remain competitive, you need a cutting-edge tech suite
Technology evolves at a breakneck pace, and it’s hard to keep up — particularly if you’re a business owner who can barely find time in the day to breathe, let alone switch to a new software provider. However, for salon and spa owners, outdated tech can hold your business back from thriving. If you’re still using legacy software and devices so old they came with a Y2K warning, here’s how upgrading can boost both your client experience and your bottom line.
Time is money
It sounds cliché, but your time really does have intrinsic value. Every minute you spend troubleshooting issues with your POS or trying to figure out why there are so many gaps and overbookings in the schedule is time away from more productive work — the kind that brings in new clients and keeps existing ones happy (both of which are essential if you care about running a profitable business).
Here are just a few ways newer salon tech can save time and make you more efficient:
Booking: We’ve all played the game of scheduling Tetris; wouldn’t it be nice if you didn’t have to? Modern booking software makes the most of each stylist’s time, ensuring their appointment slots are filled without double-booking or creating gaps of unaccounted time.
Point of sale: Whatever you use to check out clients, it should sync with all of your other software and process the most-used payment methods — including contactless payments. If your POS can’t keep up, it’s wasting your time, your staff’s, and your clients’.
Payroll: On average, a payroll mistake costs a company about $291 (not to mention the toll it takes on your staff to have to wait longer for checks). Comprehensive payroll software can help avoid costly errors while streamlining the entire process.
Leaving the Joneses in the dust
It’s likely that when you first invested in your current business management platform, you had simple goals like digitizing your client list and making it easier to track calendar appointments. That might be all you needed when you were starting out, but if that’s still all your software does, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity to operate more efficiently — which in turn translates to a better client experience. If your platform doesn’t help improve workflows, optimize calendars, automate tasks, and store critical details about your clients, then it’s simply not doing enough.
Of course, this assumes you’re already at least using some kind of software solution to book appointments. If you’re still asking clients to “give you a call,” the situation is even more dire. Millennials and Gen Z (the latter of which have probably never used a landline in their lives) would rather relive the eighth-grade Spring Fling than have to talk to a human on the phone. If you’re the only salon in the area that doesn’t have online or app-based booking, you’re going to lose out on a lot of business from the younger generations.
It’s not just clients you have to worry about shunning your technology (or lack thereof); Zoomers are drawn to high-tech workplaces, with a whopping 91% saying a business’s tech use factors into their career choices. If you want to recruit and retain young, talented stylists to your salon, you have to show them that you’re invested in the future of the business, and the best way to do that is to show off an updated tech suite.
The salon biz runs on loyalty
Repeat clients are a salon’s bread and butter. Not only does retention cost less than acquisition, but repeat clients tend to spend more money once you’ve earned their trust. Naturally, customer service and skill go a long way, but loyalty software reinforces those efforts and makes businesses more profitable.
There are a few key ways technology fosters trust and loyalty. First of all, just the act of keeping client information on file and recalling it before their next appointment makes them feel valued. No one wants to have to explain to their stylist for what feels like the tenth time how they like their hair done, so having that info readily available sets your team up for success while also making the kind of positive impression that keeps clients coming back. You can incentivize repeat visits even further with a rewards program that offers discounts and special gifts for clients once they reach a pre-determined threshold (which could be money spent or the number of visits).
Now, the thought of switching to a new software platform might seem daunting, but remember, a lot has changed since you first set out to digitize your business. Software platforms that were once difficult to install and even more difficult to learn are simpler and more user-friendly than they’ve ever been. The right platform is an investment in yourself, your salon, and your employees. Stylists with the right tools are able to excel at their jobs, while clients appreciate a business that makes everything as smooth and intuitive as possible.
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