What to Consider When Switching Salon Software
Is your new year’s resolution to switch to a salon and spa management software that actually works the way you do?
If you run a hair salon, day spa, or other wellness business, the new year is the perfect time for changing salon software so you can set yourself up for success in 2018. But the field of contenders is large, and it can be tough to narrow down which is the best salon software for your business.
It all starts with asking the right questions.
Questions to ask when switching salon software
Before you go looking at salon software, start by analysing your business needs to figure out what features and functions will be the most valuable to you. Make a list of ‘must haves’ and ‘nice to haves’, so you know what to look for.
For example, some solutions only do simple scheduling, while others are bundled with tons of bells and whistles you won’t use (but will still pay for). Most salons and spas need something in the middle that combines flexible scheduling capabilities with simple, yet powerful, business tools like visual reporting and accounting integrations.
Once you have an idea of what you need, use these six questions to vet the best salon software for your business.
1. How easy is the new salon software to learn?
Just because it’s the new year doesn’t mean you magically have hours of free time to learn a new salon software system, or teach it to your staff. Look for a solution that has a simple, intuitive user interface.
A good salon software should allow you to easily:
- Add and edit appointments and client details
- Build client profiles
- Assign appointments to staff members
- Reserve chairs and equipment
- Check clients out without tying them up at the front desk
- Handle walk-ins and upsells
Does the solution give you an easy, at a glance way to see all your appointments? Bonus points if it allows you to tag appointments with colors or icons so you can instantly see invoice status, VIP clients, or resources required!
2. How easy is it for your clients to use?
Look for a salon software that makes it as simple as possible for your clients to book, rather than forcing them to take extra steps or learn something new. The best salon software solutions allow clients to book however they feel comfortable: by phone, text, or through the ‘Book Now’ button on your website or Facebook page.
Automatic reminders and two-way SMS messaging are also incredibly convenient features to offer your clients — especially when the software that lets you send triggered follow up messages in order to stay in touch and build relationships with your customers.
3. How much will it cost?
Salon software pricing structures are all over the board, and it can be tough to find a solution that doesn’t have hidden costs or extra charges like set-up fees, data migration fees, or even fees to access customer service. Plus, some spa software solutions require you to sign a long-term contract.
Look for a salon software solution that offers a simple, straightforward pricing structure based on the number of bookable staff calendars and SMS reminders.
Remember, the best salon and spa software solutions won’t make you hunt through their terms of service for hidden fees! And many solutions offer a trial sign up option so you can check it out without getting locked in.
4. How, and where, do you work?
It’s 2018, and wellness businesses are going digital. Bring your salon software into the future by choosing a software solution that works just as well on your mobile device as it does on your computer.
Plus, a cloud-based salon software (which lives on the web and can be accessed anywhere) lets you stay on top of your business on the go. For even more flexibility, look for a solution that has a native iOS app for your iPad or iPhone.
You may worry about cloud software not working if the internet goes down. That’s a fair assessment, but not really that much of a risk when you think about it. With cloud software you can manage your business from anywhere, phone, tablet, or desktop. The odds that your mobile network goes down is very slim. In fact, it’s more of a risk having all your information on one machine.
5. How secure will your information be?
Your wellness business thrives on building trust with your clients — make sure your new salon software is designed to keep their private data safe!
- A secure platform: Meets the highest standards of browsing security, login safety, and security testing.
- Access control: Lets you assign different levels of access to staff. They can only see as much or as little information as they need.
- Data backup: Automatically backs up data in a secure remote location, so you don’t lose everything if you misplace your phone or laptop.
Be careful — some solutions can have pretty scary terms and conditions around data use and privacy. You want to be sure the solution’s terms and conditions are crystal clear about how they’ll use your customer data. Check that they specifically don’t claim intellectual property rights over the content and data you upload to their platform. (For example, any automated messages you write, your marketing content, etc.)
6. Does it work with your other software solutions?
How well will the new salon software integrate with your current apps? You want a booking system that offers an end-to-end solution. It will therefore need to integrate with your accounting software, marketing platforms, and other business apps.
Bonus! Look for awesome customer service
Migrating your data and setting up new salon software can be a challenge. Finding a solution that offers fast and friendly fast and friendly customer service at no extra cost is a must.
Happy New Year! Here’s to a 2018 filled with hassle-free bookings and business success.