Today, it’s nearly impossible to run a successful salon without salon software that can help manage basic operations, including bookings, POS, and payroll.
But most salons need their technology to do a lot more.
Some software functions go beyond easing daily operations — they give salon owners a competitive edge. The right functionality satisfies ongoing needs to communicate with guests, reduce no-shows, and access detailed information about guest visits – past and future. Software can also improve the employee experience, playing a key role in engaging and retaining staff.
Here are 7 critical business functions that salon owners need their software to deliver today.
1. Manage appointment updates and history
Think about what happens at your salon when a guest reschedules an appointment. How are your stylists alerted to that change? Can they easily look up that guest’s previous visits?
Ideally, every stylist should have 24/7 access to their schedule, where they can visually track the status of their guests, see appointment types, learn about any booking updates, and more. That added transparency isn’t just convenient; it puts each stylist in control of their day.
If your current software doesn’t give you access to that level of appointment information, contact Zenoti for a more complete solution.
Who benefits most: Your staff. Whenever guests make changes to their appointments, everyone at that location will know who made the change, when it happened, and other relevant details.
2. Offer guests a better mobile experience
Today, most consumers prefer buying products and services online, especially via their smartphones. Zippia research finds that 82% of consumers also use a mobile device to book appointments.
Consumers expect the same convenience from your salon. That’s why a branded mobile app is critical to their experience and to your salon’s success.
So, what do guests expect from an app with your name on it?
First, guests want self-serve options that are easy to navigate. They will also see your app as an extension of your brand, from the look of the home screen to button text—so make sure they come away with a positive online impression.
Obviously, booking an appointment by app should be painless. But guests will also want options to look up their appointment information, check in and check out, manage their membership, refer friends, purchase gift cards and retail products—even fill out a digital form if needed. Your app should offer them the opportunity to do all those things easily.
Who benefits most: Your guests. With an app, they can quickly view balances due, check their loyalty points—even purchase products. Your bottom line can also benefit, since businesses that use an app to personalize their customer experience generally see more visits and higher spends.
3. Make online rescheduling a snap
Picture this: A guest makes an appointment at your salon. Seconds later, your software sends them a confirmation text or email message. Simple enough.
Just a few days later, the guest realizes they have a conflict, so they go online to reschedule—but they only see an option to cancel. Rather than take extra time to call your front desk, the guest decides it’s easier to cancel the appointment.
You’ve just lost revenue that would have come from a rescheduled appointment.
Situations like this underscore the need for software functionality that helps turn cancellations into rescheduled appointments. Guests now expect every convenience from their online experience and are more likely to reward your salon with customer loyalty if you cater to their needs and expectations.
Fewer cancelled appointments mean less money left on the table due to inadequate software.
Who benefits most: Your guests and staff. Guests can book online and reschedule with ease — and staff spend less time on scheduling tasks and more time with guests.
4. Include links to information and forms within text messages
According to SMS Comparison, 95% of text messages are read and responded to within three minutes of being received. The same cannot be said of email messages.
Simply put, your guests want the option to communicate with you by text message. It’s quick. It’s convenient.
If a guest is running late, a quick text lets your staff know they’re on the way – instead of a no-show. Guests can also use texting to check in for an appointment or ask a question about services and products.
In terms of software functionality, salon owners want the ability to include links in their text messages. It’s common practice across the retail world, and there are widespread uses for salons and spas.
For instance, your front desk might confirm a guest’s appointment by text and include a link to the salon’s cancellation policy—a calculated move to keep no shows to a minimum. You can include a link to an online form, a retail product suggestion, or information about an upsell offer.
By texting important forms to guests ahead of time, you can also reduce unnecessary paperwork and create a uniform experience for every guest, at every location.
Who benefits most: Both your staff and guests. Sharing a link allows you to combine communication needs in one message. And a simple link lets guests view your cancellation policy, waivers, or any other information right then and there.
5. Send a text message to your entire customer list
While we’re on the subject of text messaging — wouldn’t it be great if you could text your entire database when you have something big to announce?
Maybe you want to announce a new promotion or special event—or you want guests to know about a new stylist on your team. Whatever the case, you will get more attention via text than with an email message that’s lost somewhere in a guest’s inbox.
If you already have text messaging capabilities, see what’s included in your texting integration – as some software limits the number of recipients you can text at the same time.
Who benefits most: Your staff members. They can quickly text your entire guest list about weather or holiday closures, one-day promotions, or any other critical information. Guests also benefit by staying connected to your brand.
6. Save time on necessary repetitive tasks
Earlier, you learned why an all-inclusive mobile app is important for your guests. But an employee app is equally important.
First, an employee mobile app can save time by letting your providers manage workflows and upcoming appointments right from their mobile device.
Providers and front-desk staff can also use the app to access their schedules, payroll information, guest ratings, and more. You can control the level of information they see—but more transparency and greater ease will empower them to do their jobs better.
Who benefits most: Your staff will appreciate any improvement that streamlines their workflow and saves time. For extra convenience, help them set up a PIN when logging into your salon software, which shortens a repetitive task for them. Learn how
7. Get personal with automated marketing
Ask any salon owner how much time they regularly devote to marketing their business. Answers may range from ‘an hour a week’ to ‘I just don’t have enough time right now.’
Marketing to prospective salon guests can be extra challenging without the right software functionality. That’s why your salon CRM is better with automated marketing features that you can personalize to target guests’ needs. With relevant, useful templates and automation, software can make every campaign painless.
For example, the Zenoti platform includes marketing functionality that helps bring back lost customers with enticing discounts on new services or products, 2-for-1 gift cards, and many other options. Our step-by-step campaign builder includes drag-and-drop features that can make short work of every campaign.
With the right marketing automation tool by your side, it’s also easy to send SMS or email promotions that encourage last-minute bookings. Your software should also be able to personalize campaigns based on previous purchase history, services, and stylist utilization data.
Who benefits most: Your guests — who will only receive promotions and information about services and products they love, or that are relevant to their preferences. Your business — because personalized marketing campaigns can build loyalty with guests, fill your schedule, and bring in additional revenue.
Simplify your salon or spa’s operations with the Zenoti platform, the industry’s complete software solution. To see how it can work for you, get a demo today.