When searching for the ultimate salon software, there are many features to consider—everything from client scheduling, appointment confirmation, point of sale, payment processing, marketing options, etc.
But there are also a few salon software features you likely didn’t know were important.
Here are the top 10 salon software must-haves for your scheduling and management needs.
Salon Software Feature #1: Easy Scheduling Ability
In busy salons and spas, efficiency is always a top priority. That’s the main reason why appointment software and the ability to book client appointments electronically is essential. The ideal scheduling software can automate day-to-day processes. In turn, it will give staff more time to do other tasks.
Ideally, salon appointment scheduling software should be effortless. Features should be intuitive with maximum ease of use. As an example, ideally, it should only take a few clicks to book an appointment or plan appointments. You want easy access to client history. You also want to personalize preferences, including reminders and how clients wish to receive their communications.
You’ll also want client information to be immediately available with a simple click on the appointment screen. Access to your client’s contact information, personal preferences, color formulations, and complete history for services and retail purchases should be at your fingertips.
Must-have salon appointment scheduling software features include:
- Double booking
- Cancellation management
- Enhanced workflow
- Access to your schedule from anywhere
Take Scheduling Online
One aspect of scheduling is online booking. Online booking is where you grant clients access to booking their own appointments via the web. This option adds convenience for your customers by scheduling appointments whenever they want, from any device.
The beauty of booking online is that it frees up your reception staff.
If a more significant percentage of bookings were done online, your salon/spa team would have more time to tackle other tasks and allow your salon to run more efficiently.
Another great thing about online scheduling is that your clients will help maintain your database. For example, if they’ve moved or have a new phone number, your client is more likely to amend their information when it’s in front of them as they make an appointment. This is more likely to happen than a client remembering to tell a receptionist. Clients can also indicate how they prefer to communicate: via email, text, or both.
Online scheduling also allows you to sell memberships, promote gift cards, and even recommend or reserve products for the client’s next visit. This is all done without physical interaction or the salon being “open.”
The best reason to offer online booking? The amount of time between client visits shifts based on how appointments are booked.
For example, if clients call in or pre-book in person, the average time between appointments is forty-one days. However, when appointments are booked online, that time drops to thirty-three days.
That’s an increase of 25 percent!
Do the math – your salon gains two additional appointments per client for the year.
Salon Software Feature #2: Salon Point of Sale (POS)
The process of checking clients in and out should be hassle-free. Don’t you agree?
You want to quickly access client information on any device with only a few clicks or taps. The idea is to seamlessly ring up any sales and process client payment without the need for bulky hardware.
Salon POS software can do all of that.
In addition to managing your customer database, a good salon POS system tracks sales, commissions, referrals, and rewards points. A good salon POS will also help you prepare your business come tax time.
The ideal POS includes integrated payment processing.
Look for salon software with a merchant account that has not only great rates but also has a reputable track record for their service and fee structure. It’s best to find payment processing owned by the software company.
Why? Because they’ll have a vested interest in your success and are more likely to structure fees and rates competitively.
Check out SalonRunner Pay’s guaranteed low rates for credit card processing – now integrated with Rosy Salon Software.
Another aspect of a great salon POS system is intelligence.
The ideal system takes your client’s buying history and/or the services performed that day into mind to make product suggestions. This feature will help remind staff to make relevant recommendations, resulting in more sales for your business.
Salon Software Feature #3: Automated Confirmations
Automated confirmations make your life so much easier.
Look for salon software that offers automation so that once bookings are made, the system sends out text and/or email confirmations and reminders.
You’ll want to decide exactly when and how to send the communications. Preferably, you’d want to do this with a simple one-time setup.
A good rule of thumb is to send a text message reminder a few hours before their visit and an email/text confirmation a few days before every appointment.
Automated confirmations should eliminate the need for confirmation calls. They also help curb late clients and no-shows – the nemesis of any service industry.
Salon Software Feature #4: Robust Reporting
When running a salon, it’s essential to have a way to gauge how your business is doing. That’s where reporting comes into play.
Detailed financial and performance reports are indispensable tools for performance management and informed business decisions. Look for salon software that offers more than just a few ways to run a report.
Some of the reporting options for your salon software should include:
- Clients Report
- Employee Schedule
- Ticket Summary
- Tickets Report
- Inventory Value Report
- Sales Analysis
- Pre-booking Report
- Client Analysis
- Sales Growth Analysis
- Canceled Appointments Report
- Future Recurring Membership Income
- Enhanced Text Messaging Report
- Total Sheet
Salon Software Feature #5: Mobile Access
Having cloud-based salon software brings many advantages.
One of the essential benefits is 24/7 software and data access. This mobile convenience allows you to check your schedule, book appointments, run a report, and check inventory from anywhere. Yes, even from home.
For your clients, they can book appointments online using any device. They just access through a link on your salon’s website or social media.
What’s great about working in the cloud? No more compatibility issues with locally-installed software – or your computer and its operating system. Instead of being plagued by IT issues, you can focus on your business.
There’s also no need to worry over the frustration, inconvenience, or cost of installing or updating software when using a cloud-based application. Maintenance, updates, and patches happen behind the scenes. It’s all done by the software company. There’s no need for networks, computer systems, or a third-party vendor to integrate them.
Look for cloud-based salon software that provides data access permissions. This software feature lets you keep specific facets of your business private. You can grant your staff access to view their schedules or other relevant data.
Salon Software Feature #6: Inventory Management
An integrated inventory management system is another vital asset to your salon. If you sell retail, you’ll definitely want this feature.
The system will help keep track of your inventory by adjusting quantities each time there is a sale, return, or a new product shipment. Obviously, you’ll want to stay stocked so your clients have the products they want to purchase available in the salon.
The system should also help you avoid over-buying. This is especially helpful for slower-moving items.
Great features to consider with inventory management software include the ability to do mass uploading and updates. You’ll want running-low alerts and integrated ordering for when you need to purchase more products for retail or your back bar. With a feature to set running low reminders, you’ll know when to order more products without having to count bottles on your shelves.
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Salon Software Feature #7: Marketing Capabilities
Salon software features help market your products and services more effectively. They also help build your business and keep clients engaged. Some of the best ways to keep the flow of communication moving to your clientele involve email and text message marketing.
Here are some marketing features to look for when shopping for salon software:
Automated Email Marketing
There are some great features that allow you to set automated greetings. For example, you can set up a happy birthday email to go out to existing clients each year. Thank new clients and reach out to customers who have not been in the salon for a while. Automated emails are a nice touch that helps make your clients feel special.
Mass Email Marketing
Mass email marketing allows you to create, send, and track emails to all of your clients. It can also be applied to a select group within your list. Either way, it’s great to communicate recent happenings, offer salon promotions, and share tips and trends. All are beautiful ways to keep your clients both informed and engaged.
Mass Text Message Marketing
By marketing directly to clients using texting/SMS, your message is delivered on their phones. With an integrated texting feature in your salon software, you can send do just that.
One way to utilize this is through individual text reminders. For example, you can remind a client that it’s time to book an appointment.
You can also choose to message a larger group. For example, if your salon has promotional items on sale or general news to share.
Like with email marketing, you can send messages right away or schedule them for later. This form of communication lets you either send one-time messages or build out ongoing campaigns. With the filtering options available, you can also customize and streamline these.
Automatic Text Message Marketing
One way to streamline your client communications is with automatic text message marketing.
Look for integrated texting features that allow you to send your clients a happy birthday greeting, remind them to book their next appointment, or rekindle a somewhat forgotten salon guest, etc. Such a system should be easy to set up and then forget about so that it can work in the background for you.
Salon Software Feature #8: Online Retail
When looking for a touch-free retail solution, look into salon software with the option to retail online.
You’ll want integrated eCommerce, which allows you to sell products through your online store without carrying inventory or handling shipping. Selling online offers your clients another level of convenience and provides a revenue stream for your salon, whether your doors are open for business or not.
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Salon Software Feature #9: Data Conversion
Another desirable feature is that your salon software is easy to implement. Find a company willing to convert your data for you – preferably for free. This will make switching over from your old software to your new one, a breeze. With years of client data, including history, notes, and product information, conversion services will be especially helpful.
Most data conversion includes this kind of content:
- Client Information (Name, Address, Phone, Email)
- Service History
- Retail History
- Client Notes
- Client Hair Color Formulas
- Gift Certificates
- Product Inventory
Salon Software Feature #10: Awesome Customer Service
A significant feature of salon software is not a feature at all. It’s more of an amenity. It’s called customer service. Seek out a company that understands the salon industry and will train your staff on how to use the software. You also want the confidence to know that their customer service will be there for you down the line. Ultimately, look for software that provides unlimited training and technical support that comes with the service at no additional cost.
Salons have a unique way of doing business. That’s why it’s critical for your software company to know and understand your specific industry. The right salon software should fit your business like a glove. Everything should be where you expect it, making your software intuitive to use when running your salon on a day-to-day basis.
An all-in-one salon management tool, Rosy, was designed by hairdressers for the unique way that you work. Start your free 30-day trial now.