When Justin and Tina Wang took over the Dashing Diva Nail Lounge in Brooklyn, New York, a year and a half ago, they inherited a legacy software management system that they said was very manual and lacked the functionality they desired.
After conducting quite a bit of research on the systems that focused on the professional beauty space, Justin says they selected SpotOn for its value-added services and reasonable price.
“We love that they’ve been very transparent about pricing from the beginning, but as a new company, they’ve also listened to our needs and have helped shape something that worked for us,” he says.
Ease in Booking Appointments
Justin says that the most important feature of the software for them was appointment booking. “Their point-and-click and drag-and-drop format is very visual and easy to use,” he says. “It’s easy to train someone who is not familiar with the system.”
In addition, the online appointment booking widget was added to the salon’s website, and by clicking the “Book Now!” button, clients can easily pick a day, a time and a nail tech to book an appointment.
As a nail salon, Dashing Diva is big on reporting and using data to better service customers. “The SpotOn reports and data have helped us understand how efficient each technician is, helped us minimize waste, as well as take our clientele’s pulse on new nail lines.
Most recently, the salon brought in a New York-based, non-toxic nail line, and the owners really wanted to discover how their clients felt about it. “Through SpotOn, we tracked data, including how long the polish lasted, whether clients felt the application was nice and even, if they preferred it over other polish brands, and even which colors they liked best—and we shared that information with the nail manufacturer.”
Dashing Diva gathered the data through a follow-up client survey, offering respondents a discount for their next visit for sharing their insight.
The Wangs also say SpotOn’s SMS appointment confirmation feature has cut down their no-show rate, and the convenience is appreciated by customers. “With a simple response, clients can confirm their appointment or reach out and reschedule,” Justin says. “Clients are so accustomed to having information instantaneously—being able to reach them via text and receive messages back and forth about confirmations has been useful for our team, but it’s also popular with our clients.”
Elevating the Experience
Alana Williams, manager of Epik Hair in Rochester, New York, says their signature “Epik Experience” starts the moment customers walk in the door. They start by typing in their phone number or email into the iPad on the front desk—the SpotOn system pulls up their appointment, the client checks in and a notification is sent to their barber or stylist.
“I can’t always be at the front desk, so having them check themselves in keeps things running smoothly and on time,” says Williams. “And, it lets us know when it’s a client’s first visit—then we will give them a tour, show them what we have to offer and make sure they are comfortable.”
Williams says the salon has used SpotOn for over a year, and it’s really helped them keep on top of clients. “Previously we would have stylists who were double-booked and the guests would show up at the same time and we wouldn’t know who should go first,” she says. “This software lets us assign the clients a priority, so now we know how the stylist want the appointments to flow.”
Keeping Clients Accountable
When clients book an appointment with Epik Hair, the system stores a credit card on file. Similar to a doctor’s office, the salon charges clients when they don’t show up. “If they cancel within 24 hours, it’s 50% of the service fee,” Williams says. “Of course, we’ll waive it for certain circumstances, but we’re strict with repeat offenders. Having the late fee keeps clients accountable—they know they will be automatically charged and that prevents some awkward conversations on the phone, and it’s resulted in a dramatic drop in no-shows.”
Of course, life happens, and sometimes clients have to cancel. “I’d much rather have them call than just not show up—that gives us an opportunity to see another client in their place,” Williams explains.
Williams says their clients really love SpotOn’s built-in loyalty program. “They earn spots with every service and they can put that toward a free haircut or a conditioning service. We have full control of how many spots they need to earn, as well as what we are offering,” Williams says. “Clients really get into collecting their spots, especially the men. One of our barbers added a one-hour barbering experience that included a haircut, beard trim and a facial—there are a lot of clients who started choosing the upgraded service because it earns them more spots.”
With a complicated menu and every stylist offering different slightly different services, Williams believes the online booking feature really helps clients match their needs to a stylist’s talents. “When a new client books online they can start the search with the service they want done, and the system will show them the different stylists that do that service. They can click on each one and see their upcoming availability,” Williams says. “That really helps the client be more self-sufficient and it really cuts down the calls to the front desk, allowing us to focus on the guests who are in the salon.”
As a manager, Williams also loves the software’s Dynamic Scheduling function. “If a stylist has to leave early on a day coming up in the calendar, it’s easy to click on their face in the software and edit their hours for the day, or they can go on and adjust their own schedule.”
Williams says there’s always a new feature to look forward to when SpotOn updates. “They always send a video tutorial that walks you through it, which makes it easy for the front desk to learn quickly, but sometimes we’ll show the tutorial to the entire team,” she says. “That’s how we showed the team how the Dynamic Scheduling function worked, and they started using it right away.”
Every stylist has an account and can log in and look at their schedule at any time. “That also saves a lot of calls, because now the barbers and stylists have every little thing they need to know right on their phone.”
For reprint and licensing requests for this article, Click here.