“A thing of beauty is a joy forever.” – John Keats
Though spas and salons carry out the important task of adding beauty, tranquility, and rejuvenation to people’s lives, their daily operations are devoid of the aesthetics or relaxation they offer.
Salon and spa chains today offer a gamut of services and cutting-edge beauty treatments. Besides catering to clients with diverse needs, salons also have to take care of customer scheduling, appointment booking, managing staff, purchasing inventory, and creating a healthy relationship with clients. Thus many modern spas and salons have started using software to reduce this massive workload, minimize errors and improve overall efficiency.
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Technology has proved to be a real game-changer in the beauty and wellness industry. In fact, about one in four spas (24%) in the United States plans to implement salon and spa management software for better productivity and smoother operations. This is a trend that is catching up globally, with a majority of spas and salons relying on artificial intelligence systems to boost online booking, social media interaction with clients and brand recognition.
People across the globe are prioritizing wellness in their daily lives and are indulging in wellness treatments. The global spa market is all set to rise at an unprecedented rate of 5.66% from 2017 to 2021. This has made it increasingly crucial for spas and salons to invest in the best technological tools to stand out among their competitors.
Today there is a wide assortment of software that can be used to manage salons or spas. However, choosing the right salon management software depends on the unique needs of your business. Many beauty centers rely on automated chatbots to serve clients during non-booking hours and online booking systems to increase accessibility and revenue generation. Others are using such solutions to streamline their purchasing, promotional, and billing requirements.
Thus it is very difficult to pinpoint one single factor that should govern your choice for the salon management software. Instead, we have compiled a list of factors below that would help you choose the best spa and salon management solution for your needs.
Key Factors To Consider While Choosing A Salon & Spa Management Software
Spa and salon employees are usually more people-savvy than tech-savvy. Hence while choosing the software to be used by your front-office staff, it prudent to choose a solution that your staff can learn without much training. Most modern solutions in the market have clean and intuitive interfaces that make booking appointments or billing client sessions super easy.
Regular clients will inevitably spend more at your salon or spa than new ones. So, make sure you get a comprehensive solution that will enhance customer relations. Do not look for a mere point-of-sale (POS) system; instead, invest in a salon or spa software with an integrated CRM module. It should be able to execute attractive loyalty program schemes to keep your customers engaged and coming back for more services.
Personalization goes a long way. Sending personal greeting messages or discounts on special occasions can solidify your customer base. The system should enable you to run customer-centric marketing programs. Your spa software should be able to automate emails and social media content to capture a broader audience.
Another crucial factor while choosing a salon management software is easy accessibility. The software should allow customers to book appointments, view schedules, and make changes instantly without the need for any special software.
On the other hand, the solution must also enable salon staff to view booking details, reschedule appointments and send out notifications to customers. To solve this problem, many spas and salons use SaaS-based solutions that help both customers and staff access and update records easily using any device.
4. Easy Billing:
Instead of having a separate solution to handle customer invoicing, many of today’s spa management software have a dedicated module for managing billing and finances. Most such solutions have digital invoicing capabilities, which reduce the amount of paperwork and manual errors that salons have to deal with. They also simplify the sharing of invoices by making the entire process digital.
Additionally, such tools allow salons to create digital coupons for offers and discounts, which can be redeemed digitally with the coupon code. Digital invoicing also allows your management staff to make adjustments or factor in the additional expenses incurred in wellness or beauty treatments. Additionally, such systems integrate with multiple payment gateways, allowing users to make payments via multiple sources and methods.
5. Marketing & Promotions:
Advertising and promotional activities are extremely important for any salon or spa. Usually, such establishments have to spend a fortune on gaining the attention of clients and informing them about their latest offerings. However, all that can change swiftly with the introduction of a salon management software on your premises.
With the use of such software, spas can easily send out information about various offers and deals through emails, sms, or social media channels. They can also be used to send out reminders about appointments and last-minute cancellations apart from booking confirmations and rescheduling information. These solutions are able to store details of thousands of clients of a salon chain and notify them with a single click of a button.
6. Storage & Safety:
As mentioned in the previous paragraph, spa management software can store a huge pool of client data securely in its centralized system. As a result, a salon can have access to customer data from different locations.
Customer data can include customer names, contact details, and services used in the past, and such information can be stored safely in the cloud for future reference and insights. Storing both the organization’s and customers’ data on cloud ensures that there are no security breaches, fraudulent activities, or confidentiality issues to worry about.
As discussed above, most salon management software store data on the cloud. The data stored can then be utilized be gain various insights into the performance of their staff and changing consumer tastes. The data derived can also guide salon chains to improve their revenues through bettering their services. Such insights are also useful in forecasting sales, identifying business opportunities, and improving sustainability.
8. Value For Money:
Your salon or spa software needs to be cost-effective and should not burn a hole in your pocket. Opt for a pricing plan depending on your size, diversification plans, and budget. Many such solutions may charge you extra for an additional feature that your business may not even require. Hence you should check out the payment plans and features available for the given price before making a choice.
Depending upon the pricing, you may decide to go in for a monthly payment or an annual plan – just make sure to rely on a credible vendor who will provide sound after-sales support with upgrades and maintenance. Support should be available through multiple channels such as emails, phone helplines, and live chats. Seamless service will maximize the early adoption and use of the salon and spa software by staff members. Getting a high return on investment should be high on your priority list while choosing a salon or spa management platform.
Another undervalued factor associated with the choice of a salon management solution is the scalability of the software. The software must be able to grow with the business and be able to respond to the changing needs of the market. Choosing a software that is static in nature can hinder your business growth and slow down your revenue generation. Thus it is best to speak to your service provider in advance and know how they can accommodate the changing needs of your business.
10. Free Trial:
Even if a salon management software provides all the above features, it is prudent to choose one that offers you a free trial of at least two weeks. Several factors in spa and salon management software need to be tested out in a real environment before using it on your premises. Thus it is best to try out the software for a few weeks to know the pros and cons of the tool yourself. This would help you understand what kind of solution is required for your business and the features most essential to you.
Summing it Up
Choosing the right software to manage your salon or spa should be easier with the above considerations in mind. However, if you are still unsure, you should take a look at your competitors and see what solutions they are using to streamline their operations.
Alternatively, you can surf the internet and find reviews of hundreds of such software with client testimonials. This will help you find a solution that smoothens client communications, improves accessibility, boosts revenue generation, and minimizes errors.