As salons were reopening after the COVID-19 shutdown and looking to deliver a whole new service experience based on heightened safety standards, technology companies were rushing to evolve features to help salons meet the new service expectations as quickly as possible.
SALON TODAY’s Stacey Soble recently explored the scene behind the technology development process with Rosy Salon Software President Boyd Relac and National Sales Director Rachel D’Angelo in a video interview for SALON TODAY Conversations. Relac and D’Angelo talked about the importance of involving their salon customers in the development process, and how that long-held tradition really helped guide the company in rolling out new features and tweaking existing ones to address salons’ most urgent needs as they reopened.
Below are some of the highlights from the video interview, which can be accessed above:
On Rosy’s ability to react so quickly to the changing COVID-19 landscape…
Relac: “It comes from listening to our customers and being able to understand their needs. We’ve opened a line of communication and been very responsive…figuring out how we can adapt our technology to serve the salons’ new reality. One example of how we did this was thinking about what salons needed when their waiting clients had to be parked in the parking lot because there they can’t wait in the reception area. One idea was to leverage our text message technology to develop a Curbside Check-in process. From the time that idea came up to the time our development team made that concept a reality was three weeks.”
On other new features that help make salon processes contactless…
D’Angelo: “For this COVID-19 environment, we were figuring out how to have a contactless checkout, and we started to realize we already had a lot of these things built in. With the SalonRunner Pay (credit card processing service) integration, salons already have the clients’ cards on file, which eliminates the need for passing a credit card back and forth or having the client sign on a terminal. We also include future appointments already on the emailed receipt, so salons don’t have to worry about passing a paper card with appointment times to clients. In addition, we implemented a feature where any additional customer service fee—environmental fee or PPE fee—is automatically added to the ticket, so the receptionist doesn’t have to constantly remember to add it during check out.”
On why Rosy developed SalonRunner Pay…
Relac: “It’s part of our evolution, part of our mission and vision. We knew we already gave salons great technology, but we also realized we could be a good business partner in other ways. We heard some of the pain our customers were experiencing from some of the (credit card processing) companies that sit outside of our industry—ultimately, they don’t have connections to our salons the same way we do. Over time when these companies need to make a number, they increase their fees. We saw that this was taking profitability out of the salons, so we developed our own solution to help salons keep that profitability. We just wanted to engage our customers and see what their rates are, and we have a ‘meet or beat’ policy. If we can control that cost, which is our intent, we can help our salons become more successful in the long-term by helping them keep more of their hard-earned dollars, especially in light of the fact they had to close for several weeks.”
On the importance of communication with clients right now…
D’Angelo: “Communication has been one of the most important parts of this new experience. To help, Rosy added Text-Message Marketing for any updates or promotions salons wanted to send out to their clients. It’s also been fabulous for salons to use this feature to communicate reopening dates or what to expect in the new service experience. Salons also are using Custom Service Instructions—that’s a feature that sends a custom instruction for a particular service to the client on an email confirmation, which eliminates a call from the receptionist. Salons can also include a note on clients’ emailed receipts—salons can use these to encourage clients to go online to book their next appointment or they can give clients a link to a review site and ask them to write a review.”
On using technology to reduce the amount of touching of products on salon shelves….
D’Angelo: “Rosy Salon Software also has a feature called Product Reservations, which is a way for clients who are booking online to say they are interested in buying a certain product when they come in. So, when a client goes online to make the appointment, there are a few triggers that encourage them to think about products they need. For example, if a client books an all-over color, you’d most likely recommend a color-safe product with that. So many salons go through and pair specific products they would recommend with each service. But we also keep up with the use of ‘time’ on the products—we know it typically takes a certain amount of days for a client to go through a specific size product, so we can predict when they are running low and ask if they want to buy the product again. Product Reservations really are helpful right now when many salons are asking clients not to touch the products on the shelves. This feature helps clients select the products they need, then the salon can package them up and the products are ready for the clients when they come in.”
On how Rosy decides what features to focus on and how it launches them…
Relac: “We already had a delivered plan, and then during this time period, we changed our processes and created a crisis-response plan. When developing new features, it always comes back to that fact that we are engaging with our customers constantly. Since we have a development team in house, we were able to pivot and turn our focus and effort to what our customers need at this time. This is something we are very proud of. Our “Friends of Rosy” was built to be an open community that engages customers and opens a dialog about whatever their needs are at the time. That helps us collectively evolve the industry. We started this community with some of our power users that have used Rosy for ten years or more. We send our team in to talk to these customers, but that has blossomed to engage manufacturers and other vendors like Green Circle Salons, who are doing good for our industry. Another way we’ve used the Friends of Rosy community is when we launch new features—we first launch them to a handful of these friends. Rachel will get online with them, walk them through the new feature and gather their feedback with our development team on the line—that allows us to tweak our software right before we launch. When you engage customers that way and make that last-minute adjustment, it can be really powerful.”
About Rosy Salon Software: Founded by former salon and spa owners, Rosy Salon Software is a comprehensive suite of cloud-based scheduling and business tools with features designed for salons and spas. Rosy leverages the latest technology and allows users to build deeper relationships with clients while increasing revenue and profitability.
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