When salons are looking to streamline their business by introducing salon software, many questions tend to come up in the process. Here are some of the top questions and their answers to help your salon’s decision-making process regarding salon scheduling and management software.
Question 1: Why would I need scheduling software when I’ve got a perfectly good appointment book?
There are several reasons why salon scheduling software makes sense. First of all, it eliminates the dependency on the appointment book, so no more taking them home with you so you can make bookings when your clients reach out after hours or on days off.
Booking your clients using software keeps your client data in one place. That way, you can input once, update as needed, even leave notes for yourself or other service providers to help make that client’s experience even better. Imagine having their color formulation and other information at your fingertips – all without having to search for or deciphering handwritten formulations on cards.
In addition to you and your staff being able to book appointments from anywhere and on any device with an internet connection, you can also offer online client scheduling. This feature allows your salon clientele to go online and book their appointments for themselves – and when it’s most convenient for them. You still control what they see, available timeslots, and order of services (such as color, cut, style, etc.), but they enjoy the convenience of booking appointments within moments of thinking about it.
Salon scheduling software can also come with the ability to automate the confirmation and reminder process. Imagine not having to make confirmation calls the night before or sending individual texts or emails to clients to make sure they show up the next day. Instead, you set the amount of time between notifications, and the client can dictate how they wish to receive their communications: text and/or email. From there, confirmations and reminders are in the queue without a second thought from you or your team.
Question 2: How often do we need to update the software and add the latest version?
If you subscribe to cloud-based software as a service where you pay a monthly fee, you no longer have to upload it onto your devices or your server, let alone worry about adding the latest version. Using cloud-based software eliminates compatibility issues with your computers, saving you the time, money, and frustration of IT issues.
Question 3: What if I want to have a version of the software that I can keep?
Back in the day, software came via CD or other physical storage devices. You would have to install the software onto your computers or network and then do the same thing with every update.
Years later, the ability to download from your computer made local installation easier. However, it did not relieve the compatibility issues or the need for IT help. Many salon owners found themselves spending more time on the phone talking with the software company’s support department for IT issues than they would have liked. They could have been servicing clients instead. And the fix for some of the extreme issues back then? Re-installing the software!
The software industry has evolved past local installation, regardless of how it got there and moved into the Software as a Service (or SaaS) model, which has helped both sides of the business relationship save time and frustration. Now, salon software is cloud-based, mobile, automatically updated, and relieves the need to store physical versions.
Question 4: My team is not technology savvy. How do I introduce them to the idea of using salon software without scaring them off?
The best way to approach them with it is to show them how easy it is to use. Start a free trial, add a few appointments, set up confirmations, even add a few products to your inventory, then do an introductory session with your staff, starting with your receptionists. If you can show them how much software will help streamline their job, they will be more likely to jump on board. You can also set up training time with your software company to ensure that everyone is up-to-speed on the features that affect them most – all before activating the software.
Question 5: Our salon already has salon software, but we’re not happy with how it works. How hard is it to switch from one software company to another?
Switching to another provider is not always the easiest decision when it comes to salon software. The process of converting to a new system may seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. To help you out, we’ve written a complete article and checklist and recorded a video on the subject. You may find this blog post helpful:
Question 6: Is there a better way to keep track of my inventory than running a tally at the front desk?
Most salon management software comes with some sort of integrated inventory management feature. That way, you can input your inventory once, and the system tracks every sale, return, and receipt of shipments. The software feature is designed to help you keep stocked on your retail and back bar products without overspending.
Question 7: I don’t want a cumbersome checkout process. Won’t adding software make this part of the client experience more time-consuming?
Actually, it should make the checkout processes faster and more efficient. A good Point of Sale or POS system accesses your client information, adds the services that were booked from the schedule with an option to update, then runs a total without you or your team having to do any calculations before taking payment.
When it comes to payment processing, look for a system with integrated credit card processing. Having the payment processing within the software will be one less step to manage during checkout. Just look into the reputation of the integrated credit card company and inquire about rates and fees for your specific business and processing needs. That way, you know that you’re getting the best rate to go along with your easier checkout process.
The POS system should even make product recommendations based on the services provided that day or past purchases. A suggestive selling feature would prompt your receptionist to ask the client if they needed any product added to their ticket.
Question 8: I need help managing my salon from the business side. How can salon software help me with this?
One of the many great things about salon software is the ability to have access to your data and run reports any number of ways. That way, you can sort through and analyze your information in order to maintain or improve the health of your business and make informed decisions moving forward.
You may find this article helpful: 15 Must-Have Salon Reports to Manage Your Business
Question 9: Can salon software help promote my business?
Most software comes with some sort of integrated marketing that you should consider using. Look for text message marketing and email marketing features where you can send both automated and mass communications to any segment of your client list. That way, you can keep your clients informed and engaged, leading to more sales and customer loyalty.
Question 10: There are so many software options out there. How do I know which one will be right for my salon?
Do some research, compare features, read reviews, and ask lots of questions. From there, try your top contenders on for size to see which is the right fit for you. Most companies offer a free trial, so you can get in there and explore for yourself. Your free trial should also show you what the company’s onboarding and support service is like. Adding a software system does require some training, and you definitely want to make sure that you have someone in your court when the time is right for you to implement salon scheduling and management software!
Have more salon software management questions? Comment below!
In the meantime, start doing your research with a FREE 30-day trial of Rosy Salon Software!
Images courtesy: Photo by Mati Mango from Pexels, Adam Winger from unsplash