What salons want from management software

Published 21st Dec 2022
What salons want from management software
Investment in salon management software continues to grow in a post-pandemic world as business owners realise the benefits of using technology to relieve their administrative burden, as well as providing 24/7 booking access to clients, but the question remains: what do salons want from management software? Oliver Cahill, chief commercial officer at Premier Software explains that technology can be more than a scheduling solution, “When used correctly it can act as your marketing manager, stylist, beauty therapist, receptionist, loyalty scheme manager, accountant and business partner all rolled into one.” With so many software providers on the market it can be hard to know where to start when deciding to make that switch from print to digital. The most important thing is understanding what you want from your software and how it can benefit you, your business, and your client. “When you have ingoings and outgoings, expenses, and salaries to look after – sometimes pen and paper just doesn't cut it. A good salon management software can help keep track of all this,” says Miranda Mathews, managing director of UK & Ireland at Treatwell.

Marketing Management Made Easy

Many software management platforms will feature automated marketing, making it easy to attract new clients as well as improve client loyalty. For example, Fresha customers benefit from a 392% return on investment when using their automated and Blast marketing campaign tools. “The most requested features are automated email and SMS marketing, to easily incentivise clients back through the front door,” says Oliver Cahill. Sudheer Koneru, Zenoti CEO and co-founder, adds that a deep knowledge of the industry and what salons need to succeed has driven how they develop their software: “This includes technology that improves each guest interaction; marketing automation such as digital ads, reputation management and real time insights.” Simple but effective marketing and communication tools allow salons to be specific, personalised and targeted towards their clients says Miranda Mathews. "Learn what works, what doesn’t, and focus on what gets you the most visibility and success. Free, unlimited SMS reminders can also be sent out which reduces no shows by 65% and saves business owners up to 1 hour each day." she explains.

Automation and Optimisation

As the industry continues to evolve to meet clients’ needs, Sudheer notes that salon owners and stylists are looking for a software solution that helps them connect with their clients more, “We’ve found our customers thrive when their guests can manage their own tasks online and when processes are automated,” she says, “Not only does this remove repetitive tasks from the staff’s day but it also reveals greater insight into customer behaviour.” Finding time to improve their service and the client experience is key to what salons want in order to continue attracting new clients and keep current ones returning. “We find that most salon professionals are looking for software that takes care of the burdensome administrative tasks that come with running a business, so they can focus exclusively on their craft,” says Charity Hudnall, vice president of marketing at Vagaro. William Zeqiri, Fresha founder and CEO adds, “With so many automated features, Fresha simplifies your business life, while tools such as Fresha reports give valuable insight into your business and team performance, as well as making it easy to see trends and the results from marketing campaigns.”

No-Show No More

Many salons will have experienced the frustration of no-shows and late cancellations, and the impact that the loss of income has on their business – more so than ever as we recover from the effects of the pandemic. The deposits feature that software providers such as Fresha provide is attractive for salons who want to protect themselves from no-shows and additionally see the benefits of customer commitment and loyalty. “Salons enjoy 89% fewer no-shows when using Fresha’s cashless in-app payment options with financial protections that securely capture the clients’ card details on file. With the launch of Fresha deposits this year, our partners can now collect pre-paid deposits to avoid no-shows and late cancellations,” says William Zeqiri. Similarly with Beu, deposits and prepaid appointments are completely configurable, so even if your client doesn’t turn up, you still have the money in your account.

Knowledge Sharing

Software providers are also seeing opportunities to act as more than a software provider but as a partner. “Phorest has been inspired to create tools, not only to optimise how you are managing your salon today but to help your business reach its full potential,” says Shauna O'Halloran, head of brand & global content, for the platform which provides learning tools such as webinars and podcasts for their users. Companies are able to provide an all-in-one business management solution that helps salons and independent stylists build a client database and optimise efficiency, “This includes live streaming for virtual classes and consultations and much more,” says Charity Hudnall, vice president of marketing at Vagaro.

In Conclusion

“When it comes to what salons and stylists are looking for, we know how hard it is to own a business, and we think managing it shouldn’t be,” says William Zeqiri. Salon owners are looking for a solution that takes the pressure off day-to-day tasks so they can focus on their clients. “The system should be simple and intuitive to use, automating and streamlining jobs where possible,” says Oliver Cahill. It seems the most requested features are those that incentivise clients to return and ensure salons and stylists don’t miss out on revenue. This article originally featured in the August 2022 issue of Hairdressers Journal. 

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