There is a real buzz about management software in the hair and beauty industry, for many really good reasons. Perhaps the biggest reason of all is the fact that salon business software allows users to automate complex, repetitive, and time-consuming tasks and consequently saves both time and money. The right salon management software can handle payroll, accounting, and inventory functions on your behalf. That adds an extra layer of efficiency, consistency, and effectiveness in everything that you do. That’s just the tip of the iceberg. This article explores 3 key benefits that the right salon software can bring to your salon business.
- Better inventory management
An effective salon inventory management system is essential for your business’s profitability. For starters, it helps your employees provide top-shelf services by ensuring that you are always well-stocked on all the products they need. There is more:
- It helps you seal wastage loopholes by tracking how much of a product a stylist uses/wastes. Good software will track down up to the fraction of a product’s bottle/tube used per service.
- You can use it to run a report on the products that you overstock/understock and the ones you shouldn’t order at all. You make more profits when your order quantities are based only on usage and sales.
- Reputable software reduces shrinkage in your inventory by tracking down expiries and damages, notifying you of possible theft (either by shoplifters or rogue employees), and confirming the quantities you receive per shipment. Once you know which retail products are nearing expiry, you can opt to sell them at discounted prices or use them as professional products. That’s good for your marketing.
- Effective customer management
Effective customer management starts at the appointment stage. Your software will help you assign styling chairs accordingly based on the available manpower. That effectively minimizes waiting periods. On the other hand, it will help you manage your schedule effectively (add/edit/delete appointments) in order to minimize gaps between appointments. Most importantly, online scheduling software from companies like SuperSaaS is essential because it enables your clients to self-book at their convenience, thus minimizing appointment cancellations, no-shows, and late arrivals. You can also minimize missed appointments by using your software to send automatic appointment confirmations and reminders via email or SMS.
Another essential aspect of customer management is customer relations management. How healthy are your salon’s connections with individual clients? The healthier the connection, the higher the number of returning clients, and the more consistent your revenue growth curve will be. Your software should help you create and maintain this connection by collecting and storing accurate customer information such as email and physical addresses, loyalty points, products preferences, hair type, favorite stylist, and appointment history. This info helps you tailor-make services as per each client’s liking as opposed to treating an entire population demographic as a monolith. That makes customers feel seen, valued, and appreciated. What’s more, creating detailed and accurate customer databases is essential for targeted marketing. Whenever you want to promote new products/services or notify customers of new discounts and/or offers, your customer databases help you target the right audiences.
Besides helping you manage existing clients, your software will help you gain new clients as well. One way that happens is by setting up referral links and loyalty programs as incentives for existing customers to market your salon in their social circles. You can create a referral program within your salon software that assigns points to participants for every new paying client they refer. They can then redeem those points for free or discounted services/products. Another way your software will help you appeal to new clients is by creating an image of an extremely professional salon business. You will earn the respect of new clients online if your software allows them to book appointments with you on not only your booking page but also directly from Google search or social media profiles. Lastly, your software makes it easy and secure for new clients to make payments or ask for refunds. That boosts your salon’s trustworthiness in the eyes of potential online clients. It even gets you good online reviews, which is great for your salon’s online reputation.
- Better employee management
Your salon business can only excel if the employees stay motivated and productive. By supporting the automation of repetitive tasks, your salon software automatically improves efficiency at your salon and boosts employee productivity. For example, your inventory management system relieves employees of the burden of counting bottles manually and keeping manual service records. Your online booking system saves your employees time by minimizing phone interruptions. As a result, your whole team focuses better on the clients and achieves the set deliverables without too much hassle.
Salon software also makes it possible for you to monitor employee performance in real-time. You can manage your business- distribute tasks and define their level of priority- without necessarily being physically present in the salon. You just need to make a rule that every employee has to log into the system at the beginning of every shift and file a report at the end. You can then monitor throughout the day how many appointments were made and which employee handled which appointment. That even makes it easier for you to calculate their commission.
As for employee motivation, recognizing employees for their effort is one sure way of igniting friendly competition in your workforce. Your software tells you which employees deserve recognition for exemplary work by evaluating their performance around these parameters:
- The quality of service each employee provides. You can set your deliverables within the software and use them to measure each employee’s productivity within a set timeframe. You can also assess the quality of service(s) an employee offers by creating client surveys within your salon’s online booking system.
- Their soft and people skills. How does a given employee interact with customers? Are they empathetic, respectful, caring, and humorous, etc.? Are they creative in task execution? Do they think outside the box? Are they good time managers? All these questions will be answered if you could set up a feedback section on your online booking system.
- Which customers are consistently improving judging from the surveys and/or client feedbacks obtained above? Which employee responds negatively to negative client feedback judging from subsequent customer reviews?
- Which employee earns you the most revenue? Note that the number of hours worked does not in any way reflect the amount of revenue generated. Your software will tell you which employees utilize their time best for the benefit of your revenue generation efforts.
- What is the rate of task completion for each employee?
- Which employees are wasteful with regards to time and products? Who is the most vigilant? Your inventory management system will give you these answers.
Your software ensures that you only reward and recognize the right people. That prevents the HR problem that could arise if employees feel like your reward program is biased or politicized.
In today’s world of information technology, your salon cannot compete effectively without strong salon software. Your team’s productivity, customer retention, and profitability all depend on the features your software supports. Always be keen on the software you choose and make a habit of updating/upgrading your management systems regularly.