When you’re running your business, attending to clients every day and making sure you provide excellent customer service, it’s
important that you have access to salon software which makes your life easier.
You need to find a system which is simple to use, affordable for your needs, and which does everything you need it to, every time. If you’re keen to find a new solution for your salon over the coming months, read on for some tips you can follow to ensure you choose the right option for you.
Know Your Goals First
The first thing you should do before choosing a salon software solution is work out exactly what your goals are in using such a product. Each business has different needs after all, and each software company provides different services, features and benefits, so it’s important to find a solution that aligns nicely. In order to do this, you should be clear about all of the “must haves” that a software program needs to tick off your list of requirements. Having a checklist will help you to ensure you choose software that does everything you need it to do.
Some people, for example, may be looking for a simple, cost-effective point-of- sale system that also lets them schedule in appointments. Alternatively, others may be after something more comprehensive, such as software that can also handle payroll, inventory, automated marketing, online bookings, reporting, scheduling, and salon and client management.
On the other hand, you might be after software that has a mobile application so that you can schedule bookings from anywhere and manage on the go, or a system that provides customized e-newsletter campaigns; allows receipts to be emailed; or creates standing appointments or appointment reminders.
No matter what your needs are, if you’re clear about them upfront you’ll be much better placed to find the right long-term software solution.
Compare Prices and Plans
Of course, when it comes to choosing a software provider, price is always going to be one of the most important factors you must consider. When you analyze the various firms on the market selling salon software, be aware that different providers structure their fees in varying ways, so it pays to make sure you’re comparing apples with apples before you sign up with anyone.
As you’ll see when you start doing your research, software companies typically either charge a monthly plan or a flat, up-front fee. Those offering monthly plans often tend to have different levels of plans to choose from, with each tier including different features.
You may find that there are basic plans with add-ons available for an extra price, or all-inclusive plans which provide every possible feature, plus plans that fit somewhere in between. Use your checklist of “must haves” as you go through the various options available so that you can determine which will suit you best.
Ensure Support Is Available
Next, don’t forget that any time you need to choose a software program, you should ensure it comes with customer support for those days when you may need it. While of course you always hope that systems work seamlessly every single day, year after year, you need to have the option of getting assistance if something does happen to go awry. After all, you don’t want to miss out on sales or upset your valued clients because your scheduling system has double booked a worker, or your point-of- sale system is on the fritz.
When comparing potential software providers, find out exactly what sort of support is offered by each, and if there is any extra charge for this service. Look for a company which provides comprehensive customer support 24 hours per day, 365 days of the year. This assistance should also be available via numerous communication channels, such as via phone, email, and live chat.
Check the Software Company’s Level of Data Security
Lastly, keep in mind that in this digital age where hackers are always trying to break into systems to steal sensitive customer and payment data, it’s important to only select a software solution which provides the highest level of security available. You need to make sure that information such as credit card numbers, customer contact details and the like are kept safe from prying eyes at all times.
When evaluating potential companies, ask them what security precautions they have in place. Particularly for the point-of- sale part of your system, you want to find a solution that boasts data encryption, billing address security, CVV2 verification, complex encryption algorithms, and restrictions on how information is sent and stored online.
Marketing Administrator at Salon Iris
With more than a decade of experience in the beauty industry, Pablo handles the marketing administration for Salon Iris, the leading automated business software program for salons, day spas, medical spas, pet grooming and the like. Pablo enjoys helping the company’s clients across the country to grow their businesses and become more productive year after year. In his spare time he writes for his own blog as well as other publications, and is currently working on a book for marketing executives in the beauty industry.
Visit www.SalonIris.com for more information.