Discover 10 must-have hair salon scheduling and business software features that will not only help you run your business, but get you more clients, increase revenue and reduce costs. This is the ultimate buying guide.
If you run a salon business, you need powerful and integrated salon scheduling software.
Read about these 4 must-have scheduling software features for a salon.
Increasing Efficiency with Integrated Salon Scheduling Software
You have to be efficient when running your own salon. Hopefully, you will have a string of clients coming through the door for appointments or walk-in services, and they have to be coordinated and arranged so wait times are minimal and services are efficient and high quality.
If you are constantly overbooking or double booking, you will never be able to offer the type of service your customers demand. This is why you need a fully integrated, centralized salon scheduling software.
When a customer comes to your salon, calls you up, or logs onto your scheduling website, they expect all of the following:
- A clear understanding of what services your salon offers
- Fast and efficient booking so they get an appointment that fits their schedule needs
- Accurate booking so they do not have to reschedule due to your booking errors
- Friendly, helpful customer service if they have questions
All of this must be offered so customers see your salon in a professional light. You want them to feel welcomed into your salon and valued as a repeat client. Unfortunately, you cannot offer all of this to every single customer if you are not using a centralized, fully integrated salon scheduling software.
1. Integrated Salon Scheduling Software
Integrated means that all features of your software operate together, sharing all data as needed. For example, you can allow the inventory features to update automatically as you make product sales online or in your salon.
You may also have calendars automatically updating for your employees on the salon floor as appointments are booked. Integration may also mean that your files for client contact information automatically feed email addresses into an email autoresponder which sends predesigned messages at scheduled times.
With an integrated system, you are able to automate many administrative functions that would otherwise have to be done manually by yourself or other employees. This is especially valuable when it comes to payroll functions.
If your salon scheduling software works with swipe card technology, you can have all employees swipe their cards when they come on and off duty. This will automatically update into your software and allow the system to generate data for payroll at the end of the week.
Payroll can take hours out of your week, but when you have an efficient, accurate system telling you exactly what each employee is owed, it becomes far less costly in terms of time. You don’t have to do all of the number-crunching on your own, and you don’t have to keep track of wages and agreed upon terms and percentages for each of your employees. It is all integrated into the system!
Your business management software should also be fully automated. This means the system does everything for you, without you actually sitting in the office or at the computer at home doing everything manually.
For example, if you want to send an email message to clients within two days of their appointment, you can design the email message and schedule your autoresponder to send the message to your clients on a particular day and at a particular time. You never have to do anything else! The email messages will go out to individual clients or groups of clients without you lifting a finger. You just have to go in and make changes as needed to maintain your email marketing campaign.
Since your salon scheduling software will be fully integrated, the autoresponder for email messages will be fed email addresses directly from your client contact files. You have to keep track of contact information for your clients anyway, so why not integrate the system so the email addresses to your clients?
Your salon business management software should also be centralized. This means all of your software is located in one place, rather than spread out all over your computer. If you are currently using Excel, Word, and other programs to maintain different administrative data, you will see the benefit to having a centralized salon scheduling software. Everything from payroll data to client contact data and schedule sheets is kept in one location so all data can be shared from one feature to the next.
The best-centralized salon scheduling software will be ìcloud software. This means you do not host the software on your own computer hard drive. It is hosted through the creator of the software through cloud technology. You log into a website to access the back-end of your software and make changes as needed. Everything else is automated through the software creator servers.
The benefit of using cloud software is the ability to access your information from any computer with Internet access. This includes access from cell phones and other devices that have Internet capabilities. No matter where you are, you will be able to quickly and efficiently monitor your salon.
4. Efficiency at Its Best
Your salon scheduling software should be far more than just a scheduling platform. You want the system to integrate those scheduling functions in with your payroll, inventory, credit card processing, and marketing functions. This is how you streamline the administrative aspects of your salon so it is more efficient to operate and far more efficient for your clients.
Besides a fully integrated, centralized setup, make sure your salon scheduling software will make it faster to track the hours of all paid employees and process payroll in an efficient manner. Your scheduling should be fast and easy, with no room for mistakes such as overbooking. With one program, all aspects of your business should become more efficient.
5. Specific Features to Look For
a. Online booking: Make it easy for your clients to book salon appointments directly on your website. This saves you and them time.
b. Email marketing integration: If you’re offering an email marketing newsletter, you’re missing out. It’s the fastest and least expensive way to communicate with your clients and increase sales via promotions.
c. Text messaging: Same as email marketing, text messaging is a very powerful communication and promotional tool.
d. Retail sales and inventory: Retail can add a lot of revenue and profit to your bottom line. Sync your retail sales and inventory with your central client database for better data, reporting and ultimately much better promotional opportunities.
e. Central client database: Your client database is probably your biggest asset. Centralize it and integrate it with all your retail and marketing software.
f. Client reviews: The key to top Google My Business rankings (which can send you a lot of business), is getting the most positive client reviews. Use integrated software that automatically gets your clients to leave you reviews. This alone is worth the cost of any decent salon software.
Is there a salon scheduling software platform that offers all of this?
Yes. Check out MINDBODY which is a powerful integrated scheduling software service for scheduling-based businesses.
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