The Salon of Tomorrow: How Technology Plays a Part in Your Future

The salon industry has always been a very hands-on, people-oriented business, with ultimate customer service as the top priority. People desire to feel pampered and cared for as they enjoy their moments of self-care in a warm and inviting environment. That’s why nothing tops the connection between a salon or spa client and their service provider, no matter the type of service.

However, how beauty businesses interact with and service their clients is forever evolving. For example, today’s clients—especially the younger generation—seek convenience when it comes to their pampering. They want appointments at their fingertips, reminders at the right time, a quick checkout after the service, and easy access to the products they love.

If salons are to capture younger clients and retain them in the future, they need to drop outdated processes and embrace the benefits of technology today.

To run efficiently, a salon should ditch ineffective business practices such as paper scheduling books, taking individual appointments by text or email, and manually confirming appointments. These practices take time better spent providing services and enhancing the experience for other clients.

By adopting technology, salons can streamline these and many other processes, relieving their teams of time-consuming tasks and allowing them to focus on what they do best—providing excellent service to their clients.

Put Salon Technology to Work for You

One of the most significant advantages of technology is the ability to handle a wide range of functions, and salon software is a fast, easy, and highly reliable way for you to guarantee that daily operations run efficiently.

Your team can quickly access client information and make appointments with a few clicks or taps. The salon booking process can be done from anywhere and on any device, thanks to cloud-based technology. Stylists have access to their schedule when the salon is closed, and owners/managers have out-of-salon access to client information, sales data, business trends, and more. Technology thankfully negates the need to run back to the salon during off-hours to access a paper schedule or locally installed software.

In-salon booking is just one of the benefits of scheduling software; for the rest, look to online booking. Online scheduling allows clients to access available appointments on your salon’s schedule to choose and book for themselves. This feature is convenient for your clients, as they can book whenever the thought strikes them. The software intuitively knows there’s enough time to accommodate the desired services and will schedule those services in the proper order (color, cut, style). Also, online scheduling frees up your staff. For every appointment booked online, it’s one less call your receptionist needs to take during their busy day.

Instead of calling, texting, or emailing clients to confirm appointments one by one, let automatic communications do the work for you. First, automatically send an itinerary after every appointment is made, whether it’s in-salon or online. Then, follow up with automated reminder communications a few days before the appointment and a friendly day-of text. This feature saves your team time and effort and helps ensure on-time clients and fewer no-shows. Automated email and text alerts can reduce client cancellations and no-shows from 8% to under 1%.

The great thing about automated texts and emails is that you set it up once and walk away. The system will do the rest based on your preset parameters.

Let Technology Put Your Inventory and Retail to Work

Retail and back bar inventory management is another area where technology solutions can save time and money. Say goodbye to manually counting bottles and tubes and start with proper product information with a mass upload. Take advantage of automated updates that sync every night to ensure your product names, prices, SKUs, etc., stay up to date, and align with your suppliers/brands using consistent naming conventions.

Look for a distributor that offers online salon ordering so you can stay stocked without overstocking. Simply set the thresholds for your products and pull a report to determine what to order.

Using a color management system, you can eliminate waste by lessening the amount of product washed down the drain. A scale that accurately measures color connects to an app that uses the data to help set exact prices, decrease inventory purchases, and eliminate waste. Such a system can also provide in-depth analytics on employee performance, color service profitability, and real-time inventory reporting. These features allow you to maximize efficiency and reduce costs and environmental impact. You can also use technology to help drive your retail sales. Start with a Point of Sale (POS) system that intuitively makes product suggestions at checkout. This feature is a well-timed reminder to the stylist or receptionist to recommend products based on the client’s current service or past purchases. And should they leave empty-handed, add another way for clients to conveniently get the products they love through your salon’s online store. Using eCommerce, you can offer client convenience for the growing numbers who like to shop online. Your online store can also remedy missed opportunities at the salon and keep clients stocked between visits.

Make Checkout Simpler, Faster, Better

Look for a POS system with embedded payment processing to offer your clients faster checkout. That way, you can quickly and safely keep cards on file to take deposits, enforce your cancellation policy, and offer contactless, even chairside checkout. With embedded payment processing, there’s no need to re-enter or reconcile totals, so batch-outs are quick and always balanced. And with integrated reporting for payment processing and everything else, you’ll know your numbers and keep a finger on the pulse of your business.

Taking technology a step further, add digital tipping to your checkout process. It provides the convenience of single-swipe payment and sends client gratuities directly to the service provider. No more running to the bank to cover cash tips, and your team receives their money faster.

One of the best ways to provide truly excellent service to everyone is by taking some of the burden off your team. Instead of so many people congregating by the front desk while waiting for the receptionist to get off the phone, provide other ways to check people in and out and answer the phones remotely, eliminating the constant ringing. That’s where curbside check-in and chairside check-out come into play.

If you take on a virtual assistant to handle some or all of your calls, your reception team can now act as concierges and move about the salon, directing traffic. Your team can check people in by text, check them out, and help rebook the client via tablets at workstations while the stylist moves on to the next client.

Consultations and Communications

Lessen the time your team gives away for initial consultations by taking the process online. With a digital consultation tool, your team can hone in on what the new client wants and the state of their hair to provide a realistic timeframe and accurate pricing. That way, there are no surprises later, and the client gets what they want without your team giving up valuable time while the client’s in the chair.

Stay connected with your clients using text and email marketing. Use automated communications to wish clients a happy birthday, remind them to make their next appointment, thank them for a recent visit, or let them know they may be running out of products. These text and email communications make the client feel special and appreciated without you or your team having to set up reminders and send individual greetings.

For communications to larger groups, send marketing texts and email campaigns. These are ideal for keeping everyone informed about the salon, sending promotions, and staying top of mind with your clients by offering your expertise. And don’t be shy with AI. Learn how to use and personalize AI to your brand voice to simplify your business’s messaging in emails, texts, and more.

Lead, Leads, and More Leads

Fill your chairs and treatment rooms using lead generation to keep a steady flow of new clients walking in your door, hopefully, to stay as loyal, long-term clients. Use your website and social media to form a sales funnel of marketable leads so you can market your services to them.

Ads on Google and social media are also great ways to bring new leads in for your area; just be sure you narrow the search to your immediate location and only for your ideal client. As leads come in, have a system in place to nurture them into clients. Think drip campaigns, text message marketing, and even tasking your virtual assistant to reach out directly to invite them for a consultation.

Your Salon’s Reputation is Everything

An online presence is one of the most vital aspects of any business today. If potential clients can’t find you, or you have very few reviews or too many bad ones, they’ll move on to another local option – likely your direct competition. Using a reputation management platform is a great place to start and continue managing your online presence into the future.

Evolve with Technology

The beauty industry constantly evolves, and keeping up with technological advancements is crucial to staying relevant. As customers become more tech-savvy and their needs change, salons must embrace technology to provide a seamless experience. By using technology to its fullest, salons can elevate the client experience to achieve the perfect balance between efficiency and human interaction.

Discover the latest technology innovations to revolutionize your operations with Rosy Salon Software. Start a free trial to find out for yourself.