From client-based apps to amped-up marketing features and upgraded online appointment programs, today’s salon and spa software manufacturers are helping beauty business run smoother, while improving the experience for their clients. At the Premiere Orlando Beauty Event, which was held at the Orlando Convention Center June 5-6, Salon Today Editor Stacey Soble visited each salon/spa software exhibitor, inviting representatives to spotlight one feature they were highlighting with this year’s showgoers:
Rosy Software's Jim Bower showed us their next evolution of Client Connect, which takes the salon’s marketing efforts to the next level. “In addition to automated emails, Client Connect helps salons design a loyalty program in less than 10 minutes, and it’s connecting clients to product information, while recommending specific products to them and allowing them to reserve their options to be picked up during their next appointment,” Bower says.
STX’s Jeff Mason says many owners who visited their booth at Premiere wanted to talk about the possibility of taking away the front desk or supporting the front desk with mobile booking and payment options. “With STX, if the front desk gets congested, a stylist can easily grab a tablet, book a client’s next appointment, talk to her about products and close the sale right at the chair,” he says. “Not only can you do everything with a tablet that they can do at the front desk, it enhances the experience for the guest and boosts sales.”
Millennium’s Bob Maconi showed us examples of the new client-based app they have developed through a partnership with Salon Clouds. “We’re taking gamification to the client level, and through this app salon owners can design a different daily marketing offer that appears on the app like a Scratch Off or they can set up a Tic-Tac-Toe game,” he says. “This app helps salons engage the client on a whole new level. The design of the app is customizable, and is designed to help salons boost their sales.”
SalonBiz’s Cristin Barr and Anna Guillot shared how well their software works with multiple locations. “Through a consolidated database, a salon can book an appointment in real time for a client standing at their desk for another location,” says Barr. “And the salons can share reports through the software that reveals notes on individuals, such as hair color formula, product purchase histories or beverage preferences that can enhance the client experience.”
Envision’s Micki DeJean showed us why salons that use business coaches and consultants love their Envision Cloud Ultimate. “The performance tracking gives stylists a thumbs up or thumbs down on how they are performing against goals in areas such as rebooking and retail-to-service sales,” she says. “And, owners love how the program’s built-in loyalty and membership programs boost sales and solidify client loyalty.”
Blake Rector of Salonware/Spaware Software demonstrated how they’ve designed their programs with the medical spa in mind. “Now, in-take forms and client charts can be entered and stored digitally, which not only helps spas easily access client information at any time, but now space that used to be used for file storage can now become a new treatment room,” he says. “In addition, the program allows users to upload before and after pictures of clients, as well as electronically draw on pictures for consultation purposes.”
Glen Bell demonstrated the advanced features of Mikal’s recently launched Program 7, a Mac-friendly application that uses more dropdown menus and point-and click-selections. “Not only does it speed up processes in the salon, it’s so easy today you literally can hire someone and train them on the software in one day,” Bell says.
Stylie’s Chad Hankinson gave us a peek at the software that’s a game changer for independent stylists. “It’s specifically designed to be mobile and easy-to-use and includes online scheduling, POS & inventory management, credit card processing and automated marketing,” he says. “And, it’s available for $19.99 a month.”
The team from Mindbody, including Victor Briceno, Meghan Foulkes, Abigail Pawlik and Sarah Welch, demonstrated how integrating POS into the appointment book is making booking appointments, processing payments and sending clients receipts easier and faster. “It’s cut the process of checking in or out in half, which makes for a better client experience being easier for the salon,” Pawlik says.