The beauty and wellness industry is constantly changing, and today’s business leaders have to keep up. When salon and spa owners think about ways to evolve, they often turn to fashionable styles and treatment trends. However, there’s a less-obvious – but equally important – area that has seen significant development in recent years: The overall guest experience.
Salons and spas now have the opportunity to give their customers a sophisticated, highly personalized experience both inside and outside the store. You no longer need to rely on superstar front desk staff to remember every detail about every guest. Businesses can instead lean on technology like Zenoti to empower every staff member to elevate the guest experience from start to finish.
We’ve compiled a list of must-have features to keep things fresh and engaging for every guest. If your current software isn’t helping you tick these boxes, it might be time to switch.
Feature #1: A mobile app for customers
Just about every big consumer brand today has their own mobile app. It’s an ideal way to give customers access to a business without barriers – and a key touchpoint to drive purchases and brand loyalty.
Thankfully, having a customer app isn’t limited to billion-dollar brands. A user-friendly smartphone app can work for any size salon and spa, making it easier for customers to interact with and order from your business.
The Zenoti consumer mobile app puts your business in your guests’ hands. They get access to promotions, gift cards, memberships, and loyalty points, as well as their own personal details and purchase history.
The right customer mobile app brings visit convenience too: Guests should be able to quickly rebook their usual service with their favorite provider. Once in-store, the app is the place to check in and checkout via their smartphones – no need to queue at the front desk.
Business benefit: Repeat visits
Satisfied guests are loyal guests. When they receive the same great service inside and outside the salon, you’re giving them more reason to return to your business.
Additional benefits: With multiple customer interactions handled via self-service, the front desk can spend less time glued to a screen, and more time focused on face-to-face guest interactions.
"Letting guests manage their own appointment from start to finish has been a huge benefit for us. We’ve improved their experience by eliminating front desk lines, and the phone doesn’t ring as much, so our team can focus 100% on taking care of customers in the chair."
- Jayson Rapaport, Owner, Birds Barbershop
Feature #2: Comprehensive, centralized guest profiles
Guest profile mismatches is a common industry pain point. You might have several customers with the same name. You may have one customer with multiple profiles because their name was misspelled, they got married, or they changed their name for other reasons.
Profile problems like these make for slow interactions at the front desk (“hang on while I find you in the system…”) and an awkward experience if the guest has to repeat their service preferences or formula notes because they don’t show on the current profile.
There’s a solution: Having your entire brand’s customer information in one place. Comprehensive, centralized guest profiles helps staff quickly check guest details at the start of a visit – providers also access the available information to personalize their service. This central accessibility is one of the simplest ways to ensure a pleasant guest experience.
To prevent guest profile duplicates, Zenoti cross-checks unique identifiers like email and phone number to match and merge profiles – both in-store and during online booking. Errors are avoided and front-desk hassles are averted.
Business benefit: Increased sales
Armed with knowledge about each client’s preferences, providers can increase their commissions (and your revenue) by suggesting relevant add-ons and retail products to customers during the service. To help maximize earnings for salons and spas, Zenoti provides automated upsell recommendations to providers and during guests’ online booking.
Additional benefits: With comprehensive guest details, you can segment your database for more effective marketing. For example, send a color offer to previous color clients, or your latest massage service to repeat massage customers.
"We don’t just use Zenoti to enhance the guest experience, but also to enhance our waxer experience. In the suite, we are arming our waxers with guest information in real time to help them understand previous services, and allow them to recommend other services that might meet the guest’s needs."
- Chris Kobus, Chief Experience Officer, European Wax Center
Feature #3: Online booking
The majority of today’s consumers prefer online booking via salon scheduling software to calling or visiting a business to book. According to a 2022 Zenoti consumer survey, 64% of guests are more likely to choose a salon or spa that offers online booking.
However, you can’t just pick any online booking system to secure guest satisfaction. Remember that consumers are self-scheduling across a wide variety of businesses and have little patience for a poor experience. You need a system flexible enough to book a variety of services while accounting for service order, equipment, provider, and room availability – for both individual and group bookings. If your current system doesn’t support all that, you risk customer frustration – and more phone calls to your front desk.
Zenoti delivers an efficient booking flow for guests, designed to increase revenue by showcasing your latest offers and add-on services. Zenoti online booking also maximizes efficiency by combining complementary services into a single, shorter appointment – like multiple waxing services.
To make it as easy as possible for new and current guests to book with you, Zenoti connects to the online channels clients are most likely to use: your website, Google search results, Facebook, and Instagram. If you have multiple locations, the system can even give customers the option to book at a nearby store if their desired slot isn’t available.
Business benefit: More bookings
When you remove barriers to booking, guests are incentivized to return often – and fewer will leave due to booking frustrations.
Additional benefits: Zenoti automatically adds visits to your appointment book while accounting for optimal service orders and staff and equipment availability. That’s less administrative work for your front desk.
Feature #4: Loyalty and membership features
How do you show returning customers that you appreciate them? How do you properly convey to loyal guests that you value their repeat business? A sense of exclusivity and offers “just for them” goes a long way to make someone feel special. Depending on your business setup, you might find value in different programs:
- Loyalty incentives that award points for certain activities, like money spent or number of visits.
- Membership programs for more regular, affordable services in exchange for an upfront fee, or recurring monthly payments.
- Individual rewards for leaving a review or referring a friend.
Too often, businesses manage loyalty incentives by hand. Either the front desk must record points and rewards manually or, worse, clients have to carry around stamped paper cards.
The offer might be great, but poor execution makes it less appealing – and suddenly, there’s not much of a reward at all. How can – and should – a software system help?
Zenoti keeps track of points, rewards, and redemptions, and recognizes program members automatically at the front desk. Guests can track their points online or via the business’s app, and view their exclusive member pricing during online booking. If your program has loyalty tiers, you can even segment your marketing based on those levels – for example, to send an extra special promotion to gold-level members.
Business benefits: Customer retention and aquisition
When you improve retention and encourage repeat visits, you’ll spend less on marketing to fill your appointment book. Furthermore, loyal customers are likely to share their favorite salon or spa experience with friends and family – a great source for referrals.
Additional benefits: Memberships and loyalty programs provide a great opportunity to popularize new products and services. Give members exclusive initial access and they’ll be sure to start spreading the word about your new offering.
Points and loyalty programs can also help you improve utilization throughout the week, with program discounts helping to fill your appointment book during traditionally slow days and times.
Feature #5: Two-way messaging
Great customer service involves communicating with your guests on their terms – inside and outside of your stores. What options do your customers have to contact your business to ask about a service or an upcoming appointment? Do they have to call your front desk?
With 63% of consumers saying they would switch to a business that offers text messaging, phone-only assistance likely feels like an inconvenience to many of your customers. Additional sources of frustration include waiting in a phone line or hearing a phone ringing during a relaxing salon or spa appointment.
Here’s a better option: Give guests the ability to communicate with your business through their preferred channels, like SMS messaging, WhatsApp, and Facebook Messenger. With this instant messaging convenience, they can quickly fire away a message when they have a minute and check back when it’s convenient. Just like they handle most other social interactions.
Rather than separate apps for each messaging service, use an integrated tool like ezConnect for Zenoti. All messaging channels are available on one dashboard within your business software – and guest details are only a few clicks away for quick assistance.
Business benefit: Save time at the front desk
With a centralized look at all two-way messages, your front desk can easily manage multiple conversations at once, saving time and resources.
Foxy Box Laser + Wax Bars switched to Zenoti
Bringing in new business software can be a daunting task. Your bookings, schedules, and financials depend on a successful transition – and one hitch can halt your business for hours or even days. As Foxy Box Laser + Wax Bar experienced, Zenoti, has entire teams dedicated to help new customers get off to a flying start:
“We switched from another popular booking software to Zenoti in July 2022. It's great to be a part of a software company that caters to and understands the beauty industry. Onboarding and custom report building with the Zenoti team has been smooth and straightforward. Thanks everyone!”
- Cheryl Laing, Owner, Foxy Box Laser + Wax Bar (15 locations)
Get a free demo
If you’ve read this far, you’ve probably found some new strategies to delight your customers. Does your current software offer the tools you need to support guest satisfaction and retention for years to come? If not, we’re here to help.
This post is second in a 3-part series on what to look for when switching salon and spa software. Check out parts 1 and 3 below:
Part 1 - Revenue maximization
Part 3 - Expert implementation, 24/7 support