It may sound obvious, but the key aspect of running a beauty business is ensuring you have clients. When bringing in new clients, your booking system will often be their first impression of your business, as Fresha’s chief marketing officer Steve Rodgers explains, “Exceptional client experience is no longer a differentiator, it’s a necessity, so it’s important you leverage software to delight your clients and build loyalty.
“Use every tool at your disposal, including online booking, consultation forms, email, and text message campaigns make it easy by choosing a software that allows you to manage everything in one place.”
Automated SMS and emails can
help keep your clients engaged
and make them feel valued,
leading to client loyalty.
Messages can be anything
from appointment reminders,
which reduce the chance of
notifications that ensure your
clients have successfully booked
an appointment, and no-show
follow-up messages to prompt
your client to reschedule, to
thank you messages for referring
friends and family, happy
birthday messages, and “missing
you” messages for clients who
haven’t booked in for a while.
A digital software system allows you to build and easily access a database of all your clients, including their contact details, consultation documents, appointment history, preferences, and allergy test records. You can also include images to show your clients their personal journey and add any notes.
Online booking system
An online booking system allows your clients to schedule appointments in their own time, 24/7, from anywhere, giving you more time to focus on more urgent tasks. It also gives your clients the convenience of not needing to call or wait at reception.
Self-check-in during busy periods can help to speed things along by allowing customers to check themselves in and alerting you or your staff that the next appointment is ready and waiting.
As well as making life easier for you, a user-friendly software will help your clients stay on top of their appointments with ease.
“A digital system can store client contact details, marketing preferences, pre-payments and any loyalty points,” says Oliver Cahill, managing director at Premier Software. “Better yet, an online system lets clients update their personal and medical details, with the benefit of booking out of hours. This record management helps staff cater to client preferences at a glance.”
Scheduling features such as calendars will accurately organise your latest client bookings on one screen, allowing you to access your most up-todate timetable at any point, without clashes. “It’s six times more expensive to win a new customer than it is to keep a current one, which is why we created Timely,” says Melanie Wallace, UK marketing manager at Timely. “Begin with a gorgeous, customisable calendar and find everything you need to keep your client happy, grow your income and manage your business from anywhere.”
Point of sale (POS) is a prime opportunity to make your life easier by keeping your salon running smoothly and providing clients with a great experience. Customisation features allow you to incorporate your branding to create a digital experience for clients, and reporting allows salon owners to keep track of their business. “An integrated POS system makes payments seamless, and marketing tools make it easier for salon owners to put their businesses in the spotlight,” says Rober Taracido Ruiz, country manager UKIE for Treatwell Pro.
Salon software can help you track staff and business performance, enabling you to highlight areas you succeed in as well as areas you can improve. “Use software to put you and your staff in control with powerful appointment management, staff rostering, inventory management, POS and more,” says Rodgers. “Each team member can access it on any device – the unique benefit of Fresha is that you can add unlimited clients, appointments, products, and team members for no additional cost.”
A seamless and accurate payment system enables cardless transactions, meaning an end to manually entering the payment details into your system and cashing up. Clients can save card details to their profile after an online booking, allowing them to quickly and easily use stored cards to secure future bookings. Payment features can also protect salons from no-shows by offering the ability to charge a fee. Tipping functions and prompts also make it convenient for clients to tip therapists. “Payment features including an integrated payment processing, online store, online booking and deposit-taking help salons boost revenue,” says Avril Kealy, SEO and conversion copywriter at Phorest.
Stock and inventory
Salon software can help you manage incoming and outgoing stock levels, values, and orders, as Leah Cave, senior sales and marketing executive for Salon Tracker, explains: “If a salon sells retail products, they can also use their salon software to keep track of their stock levels for each individual retail product so they know what products are selling well and will know when they need to order some more in.”
Stock reporting will also record how much profit you’re making and provide you with insights on bestsellers and products that don’t sell, as well as helping you stick to a budget, maximise your storage space and increase revenue.
Features such as staff dashboards, timesheets, appointment updates and individual targets and performance can help keep your team motivated, focused, and organised. Salon owners and team members are able to track progress anytime, anywhere – this is also a way for salon owners to recognise which team member earns the most profit, has the highest number of appointments, and sells the most retail. “For self-employed beauty therapists working on a commission basis, Beu automatically splits payments at the point of transaction,” explains Ben Fisher, chief executive of Beu. “For the self-employed staff member, this means that they get paid directly into their account. For the salon owner, it means that revenue generated by self-employed staff is not being applied to their own, which may be the difference between having to VAT register or not.”
Marketing can be a whole lot easier with the use of salon software tools that help you reach your clients, without going through the time-consuming process of planning. “Marketing features help businesses attract new clients, retain existing customers, drive business growth, and enhance brand image,” says Jason Downes, UK managing director at Vagaro.
Emails and newsletters
Salon software often features email marketing designs and templates, which allow you to customise text, images and links to direct people to your salon and retail. This is also a great way to promote any deals and discounts you have in salon, reaching your clients instantly and prompting them to book in for a service.
Customised campaigns are a great way to target certain clients who you know have had a particular service, with Cave adding, “Salon Tracker’s intelligent marketing suite allows salons to filter their customers into groups, such as top-spending customers or customers who haven’t visited in a while, and allows the salon to send out a personalised marketing message to these customers.” Emails and newsletters can also be scheduled ahead of time, saving you the hassle of planning.
Creating and adding images into a portfolio or gallery will help to attract new online clients by showcasing your salon services. Clients can also use this as an inspiration hub for their next service.
Automated review requests can be sent out to each client, prompting them to review their experience in the salon, which in turn can boost your reputation, lead to word-ofmouth recommendations, and entice new clients.
Analytics will help you track your campaign performances, and determine your key demographics and most popular services so you can tailor your email and marketing campaigns. You can also compare your results with past campaign activity to monitor your business and client growth, during selected timeframes.
Salon software can help boost your social media presence by turning your profile views into new clients with the use of integrated booking, increasing your visibility online and enhancing SEO rankings.