Time is a precious commodity for everyone. As humans, we spend our time doing what we love with the people we want to be with, whether traveling, raising a family, building a community, or making one’s mark in business.
Because time is so valuable, it’s become the basis for pricing for many businesses – including the salon industry. For services, patrons pay for the time and direct expenses for completing those services, plus an allotment towards the business’s overhead. However, to remain profitable, a company must look for ways to cut overhead costs, and better time management is a great place to start.
Even with a salon or spa visit being “me time,” people still have busy lives. Whether it’s work, school, family, or friends, they have places to go and things to do. For them, time is not something they want to waste, and we – as service professionals – need to remain aware of that.
So, how do you, as a salon owner, find ways to streamline processes for your clients while having your staff spend less time with busy work?
Saving Time at Reception
First, be conscious of how your team spends their time and look for ways to automate processes and make tasks easier. At the front desk, for example, you want to minimize the time allocated to answering phones, booking services, and confirming appointments. So, how does one do that?
Start by making Online Client Scheduling available to your clientele, which will save time and lessen the burden on your front desk team. Simply let clients know they can go online to manage their data and book appointments no matter when they remember to do so. They can even reserve products for their next appointment, all from the convenience of their phones.
Next, eliminate the need for your team to make confirmation calls or send individual texts or emails as a reminder by setting up automated communications. Instead, clients receive an immediate confirmation email and/or text for every booking and reminders days before and again hours before the service. In addition to lowering the number of late cancellations and no-shows, automated communications are a huge time saver for your team and a convenient reminder for your clients.
To speed up the start of every service, consider using Curbside check-in. Your clients check in by text and, when prompted, bypass the front desk to take a seat in their service provider’s chair. This check-in method translates to reduced reception traffic for your staff and one less step before their service for the client.
You can also save time at checkout by having an easy-to-access point of sale (POS) system with integrated payment processing. Look for a system that takes deposits, provides pre-authorizations, and comes with a PCI-complaint card-on-file feature. That way, you can enforce your cancellation policy, know a card is valid before starting any services, and check clients out from anywhere without physically handling credit cards. Such features offer long-term savings for you and a quick, easy checkout for your clients.
With these features in place, your front desk staff can spend time checking clients in and out and adding to the overall client experience. Your clients will love the extra attention and appreciate the time savings.
Other Time-Saving Ways
Another way to save time in your salon is by using an inventory management system to keep track of your retail and back-of-house stock. With a system that tracks every transaction and allows you to set thresholds, you know what and when to reorder. For you, the system eliminates the need to count bottles, and your clients benefit from your salon always having the products they want on hand.
Putting client communications on autopilot is another way to save time in the salon. These communications can wish clients a happy birthday, invite them back to the salon when they’ve gone missing, remind them to set their next appointment, thank them for their last visit or online purchase, or even remind them when they might be running low on products. All great sentiments that clients appreciate, but a time-suck for staff if done manually.
Let Technology Work for You
With the right salon management software system in place, your team will save time by simplifying, even automating tasks, from scheduling clients to checking them out and everything in between. Using technology, you can eliminate confirmation calls, manage your inventory, and even send communications with little effort. In the meantime, your clients have more time to enjoy their services with less time spent checking in or out.