Salons face some fairly unique challenges that differentiate their POS needs from other small businesses. Client appointments must be coordinated with an available or preferred stylist and changed on the whim of the customer or when a stylist is unavailable and forces a schedule change. Products must be stocked and tracked with the monitoring of expiration dates and changing customer preferences kept in mind.
Customers expect that their stylist will know what they like, what they enjoy during their appointment, and will have the general expectation of being pampered. Payments must be processed smoothly. They expect that their hair or nail products are packed neatly into elegant looking gift bags for easy pickup on the way out of the door. You and your staff must accomplish this while balancing the chaotic nature of the salon workspace.
This makes it imperative that your POS solution is a valuable ally in meeting the expectations your clientele places on your salon. Equipping yourself with POS functionalities that work to streamline the flow in your salon is an important element in achieving high levels of customer satisfaction. When your salon processes are aligned and managed by your POS system, you will find the chaos calms into a din, and your staff exuding a relaxed attitude that in turn, draws your clients closer to you and your offered services.
Automating and Simplifying the Booking Process
One of the most stressful and conflict inducing processes in salons is booking and managing appointments. This is a particular area where the innovative technology of today’s POS systems must be leaned on if a vast improvement of the customer experience is to be realized. The technology available in updated POS solutions gives your salon the ability to juggle the schedules of your stylists and customers easily and without promoting gray hair for you and your staff.
The point of sale equipment and software you are using must allow you to easily maintain a real-time calendar that can be made visible on your website or in your app. This will allow you to accept online bookings and gives the customer visibility into the time slots their favorite stylist has open. Your clientele is empowered to control the timing of their salon experience and greatly reduces scheduling errors. You gain an additional benefit by freeing up staff from manning the phones and allowing them to focus on the customers in your salon.
Having the ability to send automated email and text notifications via a next-gen POS solution will deepen the accuracy of your appointment management. The ability of most POS systems to manage customer data allows you to easily send appointment reminders, and to send notifications around product and stylist specials that are specific to the recipient. This shows the client that you are willing to go the extra mile in personalizing their salon experience while increasing revenue with minimal effort on your part.
Analyzing Collected Data for Personalized Customer Experiences
Getting into the thoughts of your customers and anticipating their future wants and desires has never been a simple endeavor. Traditional forms of query, such as having customers fill out in-salon surveys and providing customer feedback forms may provide some feedback. However, this feedback tends to be very limited and will only give you a glimpse through a cracked door into what you need to provide in staying a step ahead.
Your POS software must be able to gather information from every customer your salon entertains. With this data stored in the cloud, it must give you the ability to run customized reporting so that you can determine trends around styling, products, and preferred staff. In this way, you can work to align your salon brand towards trending services or products, while opening the door to achieving a deeper level of personalization for the customer.
Loyalty programs and targeted marketing come into play with the right data at your fingertips. You can easily track and monitor frequent customers to offer freebies on particular services after “x” number of visits or dollars spent. Marketing is executed with pinpoint accuracy as customers only receive promotions or sales notifications on items that pertain to the services they seek in your salon. This also opens the door for your staff to promote services that some may not have considered them in the past, further expanding the reach of your brand voice.
Gaining Financial and Operational Advantages in Staff Management
While we touched on the benefits of automating appointment bookings, there is an aspect around this that applies directly to your staff: processing payroll. Using a high-tech POS solution allows you to match tips, commissions, and hourly pay to the appointments and services recorded by your POS terminal. This keeps your payroll accurate, and ensures that your staff is paid fairly.
Managing your staff’s calendar in a multi-functional POS solution allows your customer-facing calendar to be updated in real-time. This greatly reduces the risk of customer disappointment due to their preferred stylist being out on vacation. It also reduces stress by having concise times for each service pre-loaded into the system so that it knows that a hair coloring appointment takes twice as long as a styling appointment. Double-bookings are eliminated, and the stress of shortened appointment slots is reduced.
These all contribute to happier customers and relaxed stylists. Streamlining the checkout process can be another key component of improving staff management to the customer’s benefit. Arming your staff with mobile devices that can accept payment right at the chair reduces the need for someone to do so at the front desk. It eliminates miscommunications, is more convenient for the client, and presents another personal touch that your salon provides.
Utilizing Customer Data to Enhance Inventory Management
When the terms “inventory” and “salons” are spoken together, images of hair gels, nail polish, and styling powders instantly come to mind. As with any business, you too can use a modern POS solution to maximize the potential it brings to managing the products you carry. The reports made available to you will present opportunities to introduce items that are just starting to trend upwards, making you appear as being on the cutting-edge of salon operations.
However, managing customer-facing inventory is only the start. The reality of salon inventory management is that it must go beyond the products on the shelves and look at the supplies by the chairs as well. Clippers and razors, brushes and combs, nail files and pumice stones must all be closely monitored and restocked when levels are running low. You can leverage your POS system to automatically order products when they fall below an established threshold, greatly reducing the likelihood of an embarrassing moment where a particular service cannot be provided due to an out of stock item.
Selecting the Right Salon Point of Sale Equipment Requires an Experienced Eye
Salon owners know that they must keep their customers comfortable and stress-free during the time they are in their space. Staff must be placed in a position of success and in an environment that allows them to focus on the client sitting in front of them. Keeping things running smoothly is challenging, and efficiency gains are required to keep the emphasis on your clientele. You understand how technology can make your life easier, but do you know how to bring the right solution to your business?
This is why it is important to seek an outside party that can bring its experience and technical expertise to your doorstep. They will take the time to see your operation in action, and will sit down with you to develop a technology-based strategy that allows you and your staff to keep the customer as the top priority. And, this solution will show you places where you were losing money, giving you more revenue to invest in your unique branding voice.
Retaining an expert in POS and developing customer satisfaction is a priority to ensure your success. You will require a wide range of customizable features, scheduling and flexible hardware options for your POS to drive your success. At talech, we developed an appointment scheduling solution that seamlessly integrates into your POS system for salons to leverage to their advantage. Reach out to us today to sign up for a demo and to learn more about how talech can be your valued POS partner.