One of the many cool things about shopping at an Apple store is when the sales consultant asks if you want a printed copy of your receipt or if you’d prefer that he e-mail it to you. It was just that question that intrigued Jón and Alan Snetman, owners of three Jón Alan Salons in Nashville, Tennessee, who started envisioning ways to better serve their clients without the paper congestion.
The Jón Alan staff proudly show their iPod Touches at the local Apple store.
In January, when Salon Transcripts (STX) released an expansion module for its software opening up the gateway for the software to communicate with an STX application downloaded to an iPhone or iPod Touch, the Snetmans were the first in line. The owners reinvested about $12,000 of their salon’s 2009 profits, purchasing 40 iPod Touches for each of their service providers and a handful of iPhones for their front desk line operations. “It was in keeping with our overall green mission, but it’s also changing the way we do business,” says Jón Snetman. “Now, stylists are able to see each day’s travelers; review a client’s service and retail history; enter in new color formulas; receive notificiations when a client arrives; update the client’s traveler when an add-on treatment is sold; see up-to-date daily appointment changes; and pre-book a client’s next appointment right there at the chair.”
Lori Childress, STX director of sales and marketing, says “STX is the first salon software company to offer its full desktop software as an iPhone application, and Jón Alan is the first salon we’ve seen go paperless using it.”
With the software’s security features, the salon’s staff members have to log on with a username and password, and the Snetmans can control what client information the staff members can view. The owners also purchased protective cases for each iPod Touch and charging station. They require that all iPod Touches be turned in, charged and left at the salon at the end of the day.
“Not only are we getting things accomplished without all the paper flying around, we’re alleviating pressure on the front desk,” says Snetman. “Perhaps the biggest change for us is that this has made our service providers more responsible for their own business.”
Since incorporating the iPod Touches a few months ago, the Snetmans are finding new uses for the technology:
- The owners have electronically posted the salon’s handbook and all corporate policies, so they can be accessed at any time by any staff member using an iTouch.
- When the SALON TODAY 200 was posted on salontoday.com, the Snetmans e-mailed the article to the staff.
- When a client refers to a celebrity look, the stylist can pull up images from the Internet so both the client and the stylist are on the same page.
- “The other day, in the course of an appointment, a stylist was recommending a nutritional website to a client and immediately e-mailed her the link,” says Snetman.
- More clients are pre-booking appointments simply at the chair.
- When a rare snowstorm caused the salon to close, managers were able to take home their iPodTouches and contact both clients and staff members, informing them of the salon’s open/closed status.