Patrick Shanahan, CEO of DaySmart, makers of Salon Iris Software
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Patrick Shanahan, CEO of DaySmart, makers of Salon Iris Software

As the world starts to reopen, many consumers will be hitting the hair salon as one of their first stops on their return to normal life. After months of at-home care, people want to fix up their hairdos for a boost of confidence before meeting up with friends or returning to the office. As a result, your stylists can expect to be busy over the coming weeks (if they aren’t already!). It’s perfect timing for business to flourish, too: April 30 is National Hair Stylist Appreciation Day.

However, while the boost to business is nice for stylists’ paychecks, the sudden demand can also be overwhelming for stylists who aren’t equipped with the right solutions for handling the influx in stride. As a result, stylists may feel less than appreciated during this time, which is in the opposite of employers’ interests.

To lighten the strain on your stylists while boosting profitability after a year of uncertain sales, you’ll need to be smart about how you market and manage your talent. Here’s how you can show appreciation for your stylists—today and every day—by giving them the support they need to succeed.

Get the word out about your stylists’ skills

The first step in showing your stylists some appreciation is getting clients in their chairs. Past customers and prospects alike need to know that you’re open for business—and that you’re staffed with top-notch talent. However, emailing and texting clients one by one can be time-consuming, which leaves you and your staff with less availability to actually spend with clients.

Instead, you can set up recurring marketing campaigns to quickly get the word out to everyone in your client database. Take advantage of clients’ eagerness to return to the salon by promoting specials that get them excited to visit your business. You can also create campaigns to show off any recent awards or certifications you and your team received that sets your salon above others in the area.

And don’t forget to advertise gift cards, if you sell them. Besides being a way to win new business and secure revenue, letting clients gift the experience of a treatment with their favorite stylist serves as a boost of confidence to your team’s capabilities.

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Maximize your stylists’ schedules

A physical calendar isn’t the most reliable scheduling tool for when bookings ramp up. For example, you might double book or record details incorrectly when a client calls in, which can sour their experience and, consequently, lose business for your stylists.

With a digital appointment book, you’ll be able to keep everyone’s schedules organized and ensure you’re maximizing each stylist’s availability. With a clear idea of who is available and when, you can fit in as many appointments as possible, while still factoring in time for well-deserved breaks (as well as cleanup time) to avoid stylists feeling burnt out from back-to-back clients.

Additionally, a digital appointment book can be open for clients to schedule their treatments 24/7. That means that your stylists can truly relax when they are off the clock, instead of worrying that they’re missing out on new business opportunities by not being on their phone all the time.

Make payment processing easier to manage

Your stylists are stylists, not admins, so equip your business with payment tools that let your employees spend less time focusing on finances and more time doing what they love—hair. With a payment processing system that integrates with your business software, employees won’t have to switch between systems at checkout and reconcile bank statements later on. Plus, if you’re not relying on a third-party processor for when clients pay by credit card, it’s likely the transaction fees won’t be as expensive, meaning more money per appointment that can be devoted toward your stylists’ paychecks.

As a bonus, you can use a system that automatically prompts clients to tip when they check out, with suggestions for a pre-determined amount or percentage of the sale. The encouragement makes clients more likely to tip—and to tip a greater amount—than they would if they needed to complete a separate transaction afterwards.

Get your stylists recognized for their 5-star service

Everyone loves a compliment. In the salon industry, though, a positive review is more than just nice to hear; it’s a way for stylists to further their careers and sway prospects to enlist their services.

Help boost your stylists’ reputations by encouraging clients to share their experience at your salon and hype up their stylists online. You can make this request easier by automatically sending clients an email or text that contains a link to your salon’s page on review sites like Yelp and Google following their appointment.

Your stylists work hard, so make their jobs easier—and boost your business productivity as a whole—by investing in the solutions that empower them to prosper. Clients will see the efficiency and thoughtfulness afforded by a well-run salon as a value add, resulting in bigger tips and long-term loyalty for your team.

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