With the start of a new year, it’s a great time to refresh some of your processes and look for better ways to make the most of your time in the salon. There are many easy ways to streamline, even automate, your operations using technology.
Although salons are a consumer-facing business where personal interaction is essential, nothing says that you can’t automate specific repetitive tasks.
Did you know that 74% of marketers claim that the most significant benefit of automation is saving time? 68% point out increases in customer engagement, while 58% believe it offers more timely communications and increased opportunities, such as upselling.
So, let’s figure out where to start with your automation process. First, look for daily, weekly, or monthly repetition in your salon’s activities. Identify what you or your employees manually spend time doing that could be set up with some form of automation. Tasks like answering phones, booking or confirming appointments, taking payments, encouraging retail sales, sending out thank-yous to new clients, and so forth can all be automated using the right software.
Now, let’s discover an automated solution that can perform that task as well as or even better while still allowing your team to provide exceptional service to your clients.
Here are 12 best practices to help you automate and save time using technology:
Number 1: One repetitive task in the salon that can be automated is client scheduling. Although you’ll always need to have the ability to book appointments in-salon, setting up and encouraging online scheduling will save your team time and effort. For every client that books online, it’s one less phone call or appointment that needs to happen when the client checks out. Based on research we did a few years back, having an online booking system increases the number of customer appointments by an average of 22%.
Online scheduling also adds convenience for your clients. It allows them to book their appointments whenever they choose. Essentially your Book Now button from your website or social media channel is open 24/7 – ready and waiting to help fill your chairs.
With easy access to their personal information, clients can help keep their contact and other information up-to-date. If they move, change phone numbers or email addresses, or want to add a credit card on file, your clients can do that for themselves.
Number 2: Want to reduce client cancellations and no-shows from 8% to under 1%? Go for automated confirmations and reminders.
Instead of calling your clients, texting, or emailing them one by one to confirm appointments, use a salon software system with Automated Confirmations and Reminders. You’ll want to set up confirmations to go out after every appointment is made, whether it’s done in-salon or online. The system will automatically follow up with reminder communications a few days before the appointment and a friendly day-of text.
The great thing with automated text and email, you just set it up once and walk away. The system will do the rest based on your preset parameters.
Stop and think about the staff time that would be required to handle all of these tasks. Now imagine yourself with all of that time back…
Number 3: With the card-on-file option within your RosyPay payment processing, you have the ability to both take deposits for services and offer contactless checkout.
By automatically taking deposits from clients at the time of booking, you place a value on your time. The process financially protects your salon and helps clients become more respectful of your policies and less likely to cancel or no-show for their appointments.
Having a card on file also enables your client’s ability to use contactless checkout. It makes checkout a breeze with a receipt emailed once the service is complete. How convenient is that?
Number 4: A great way to thank new clients and keep in contact with existing ones is with automated email and text marketing. The same goes for friendly reminders for clients due back for an appointment and drive-back messaging for that wayward clientele needing a nudge. It’s a great way to automate; you simply set it up once and let the system take it from there.
Number 5: If you’re utilizing mass email or text marketing to inform and engage your clients, be sure to create your communications in advance and use the scheduling features. That way, you set up your campaigns to automatically deploy while you’re busy doing something else – like spending time with your clients.
Number 6: Offering gift cards is an ideal way to help your clients give the gift of beauty any time of the year. It’s another way to add both convenience and encourage client loyalty. Just remember to keep stocked up and to let clients know that the cards are available for purchase in the salon or through Online Client Scheduling.
Number 7: Packages and memberships are both great ways to offer convenience for your clients but also provide a stream of income for your salon. Set up programs that make the most sense for your clients and make them available both on-salon and through Online Client Scheduling.
Number 8: There are several excellent ways to automate operations when it comes to selling salon retail: The first is Suggestive Selling, which is where your software automatically recommends products at checkout. Rosy automatically knows past products your clients have bought and takes their current services in mind to recommend products. It’s just a subtle hint to the receptionist to make a recommendation at checkout.
Number 9: Encourage retail sales using automation through Product Reservations. When your clients use online scheduling, your software matches the services being scheduled with the client’s retail history to make meaningful product suggestions. The client can then reserve those or other products for their next appointment. The reserved products would show up on their service ticket the next time they check out. Product reservations are another ideal way to help increase sales, all while giving you an indication of what supplies you need to have on hand.
Number 10: Another way to automate retail sales is through an online store. By setting up and recommending products through your online store, your clients can order as they please. However, you’ll want to encourage them to take advantage of product subscriptions for the best possible chance of recurring income. That way, they can set the duration between shipments, which keeps them stocked, and you are earning commissions without having to do extra work.
Number 11: Salon ordering is yet another helpful automated feature. You just set your minimum stock for your inventory for both retail and back bar and have your distributor automatically fulfill your orders without having to count bottles, call your sales consultant or distributor or fill out forms. The system automatically lists the needed products and quantities and sends the order in for you.
Number 12: Last but not least – you can reward client loyalty using a system that can automatically accumulate rewards points based on pre-set parameters. For example, add rewards points to clients that refer others, use your online scheduling feature, or even buy products from your online store.
The beauty of rewards programs is that users are 7x more likely to spread positive word-of-mouth marketing to family and friends about their experiences than the general population. It makes sense to me!
Automation tools can help your team automate most, if not all, of the redundant tasks that are eating up the most hours of your day. To help with some of your automation needs, look to Rosy Salon Software. We can help with online client scheduling, automated confirmations, and reminders, automated text and email marketing, retail options like suggestive selling, product reservations, online retail, and salon ordering, plus rewards programs to help instill client loyalty. Get started now with your free 30-day trial.