In Tech Talk, the industry's technology leaders weighed in the best features to help salons rebuild and recover their businesses after the pandemic forced them to close for weeks and months in 2020. This group of technology trailblazers talked about the importance of customer service.
Today, customer service means offering the level of communication clients expect—the ability to text their salon, book appointments online, make payments from their phone and more.
“It is critical for our industry to adopt A.I. (Artificial Intelligence) technologies that can automate manual tasks like emailing and calling clients to fill appointment books and generate revenue that would otherwise be lost. This allows staff to be solely focused on the client experience when they are behind the chair and not worried about cancellations and slow times. Reach.ai Automation allows beauty business owners to provide clients with the experience they deserve and the convenience they want, including the convenience to book appointments 24/7 from their smart phone, the convenience to be gently reminded by text or email—not by ‘blast’ communication—when they are due or overdue, and the convenience of not having to answer or return a phone call from your salon or spa. One thing is absolutely certain as we look at market feedback: clients expect leading health and beauty businesses to embrace automated technologies to make their lives as consumers easier.”—Patrick Blickman, CEO, Reach.ai
“With the Text Marketing feature within Salon Iris, salons can meet today’s demand to connect instantly with clients through text messaging. Salons can relay information, offer incentives to increase sales and highlight services, and send out messages about last-minute openings. Two-way texting makes it easy for clients to respond back immediately. Communication is streamlined and simple. This has been extremely beneficial in helping salons recover in 2021 and continue to grow their businesses.”—Andrea Miller, Product Marketing Manager for Salon and Spa, DaySmart Software
“Zenoti's ezConnect integrated, targeted marketing helps salons deploy powerful, personalized campaigns that speak directly to each client’s unique needs, driving more traffic back to the salon. In addition, ezConnect empowers seamless connection and communication between salons and clients to further enhance the relationship. The unified communications platform enables real-time, integrated, two-way text conversations for owners and stylists to engage with guests about their appointments, follow up after their visit, and automate manual front-desk activities by leveraging SMS and WhatsApp. All of this helps increase customer loyalty, drive personalized conversations, and fuel more revenue with add-ons. In this post-COVID world, ezConnect also decreases contact, improving the safety of staff and guests.—Dheeraj Koneru, Global VP of Sales, Zenoti
“Offering clients a no-contact check-in and checkout process is key for salons these days. It instills a sense of confidence in the salon's ability to deliver its services in a safe environment. With Curbside Check-in, clients can check-in for their appointment from the safety of their car. A quick text message lets the salon know they have arrived, changes the color of the appointment on the salon's schedule, and notifies the stylist. When ready, the salon messages the client to come inside. As a former salon manager, I can appreciate the simple effectiveness of Curbside Check-in.”—Lori Williams, Director of Client and Partner Relations, Rosy Salon Software
“Inspire by STX offers customization in all facets of our software, but especially in client communications. Setting client expectations and following up after a visit are the key to success; being able to curate that experience with your logos, text, and links is next level. We offer the traditional confirmations and post-visit follow-ups, but out-of-the-box automation, too. Our solution can automatically follow up on canceled appointments, issue reminders to purchase more products and send thank-you messages for referrals. All these features are ‘set and forget,’ which makes more time for you and your business.”—Shannon Wojtkowski, Senior Product Manager, STX Software
“Our mission is to modernize the technology powering salons and spas while improving the daily lives of professionals and the clients they serve. Now that we can facilitate payments directly through Boulevard Duo, our platform and new payments hardware, our partners are able to deliver an on-brand, end-to-end client experience from initial booking to final payment. As salons and spas continue to evolve from an industry reliant on cash and card-present transactions to one that leverages card-on-file and other non-traditional payment types, we’ll be there to provide a smooth experience for salons and clients alike.”—Matt Danna, Co-Founder and CEO, Boulevard
“Clients demand flexibility from their salons. The release of the SalonUltimate self-checkout feature allows salons to send completed visits to their clients via SMS. Guests can complete the transaction directly from their mobile phone, including options to tip service providers, and sign up for an account so they can manage future appointments and view historical purchases. Contactless payments and alleviating congestion at the front desk foster a streamlined experience and improved traffic flow for guests.”
—Frank Zona, Owner, Zona Salons
“The pandemic has accelerated demand among beauty and wellness businesses across the globe for online bookings and integrated card payments, which are now seen as essential to running any modern-day salon or spa. Our market-leading payment processing solution goes far beyond taking payments. We offer financial protection by securely capturing client card details on file and giving salons the option of charging clients who cancel late or don’t show up. Owners who adopt modern payment systems find they have more time to focus on running their business and looking after their clients.”
—William Zeqiri, Founder & CEO, Fresha
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