Paola Hinton likes to say she doesn’t sleep, she merely naps. The owner of 5 Senses Spa, Salon and Barber Shop in Peoria, IL wakes up most nights at 12:30 a.m., works until 4 a.m., then heads back to bed until it’s time to get the kids ready for school. And on the nights she has an idea or a question about her salon software, she’s not alone. “I can call Dilan [deSilva] at SalonClouds Plus at 3 a.m.,” Paola says. “We have the same work ethic. He cares about his company as much as I do.”
Functionality, integration, experience—no question these are all critical in a salon technology product. But the truth is, for many salon owners who didn’t grow up in a world of coding and don’t speak tech language, it’s the human connection that’s most important. “The best thing about SalonClouds Plus,” Paola reflects, “is our personal relationship with Dilan. The guy is so smart. I know what I need from the point of view of a salon owner and if I can give him a tech scenario that I need for my business, he knows how to take the idea and make it work. We’re always taking the software to the next level.”
One example is the Team App. “I go beyond using this app for measuring performance,” Paola explains. “I’ve uploaded my employee handbook; I use it for time-off requests and lots of other HR matters. It provides links to trainings, protocols, the quizzes that Aveda provides. It’s saving me so much time.” She has also found a way that the Team App can enhance employee retention. “What often happens,” she explains, “is a stylist can’t ‘read their checks.’ They don’t really understand how much they’re making, so they leave thinking it will be better somewhere else. By the time they realize they were doing better with us, it’s too late. I can use the app to input their numbers and show them from paycheck to paycheck their booking percentages, tips, etc. so they can see how they’re doing before they leap.”
Best of all, believes Paola, the humans at SalonClouds Plus understand how important it is for salon technology to be all-inclusive. “My philosophy as a salon owner has always been to provide my clients with everything they need in one place,” says Paola. “Hair, skin, nails. And we do them really well. We don’t sell clothes or jewelry—we focus on what we know. Similar to my business, SalonClouds Plus offers everything under one roof—client and team apps, SEO, SMO, reputation management, website support, push notifications. To me that’s priceless and a no-brainer. And best of all, no matter what I bring to them, they never say it can’t be done. They are very smart people.”
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