Business consultant Phil Jackson from Build Your Salon, looks at how technology can make the difference to your business
I admit it. I’m a geek.
Though the circumstances have been awful, over the last year I’ve loved seeing more and more of us getting used to technology. Lockdown has accelerated the world’s adoption of remote working and making connections virtually has become the norm five (or maybe even ten) years ahead of schedule.
That means opportunity for salons! I’m on a mission to prove that tech doesn’t need to be expensive or confusing: here are five ways you can embrace the tech without spending a single penny.
1 Many of your customers are now very comfortable with Zoom and lots of salons realised that online hair and skin consultations were great during lockdown.
But why not make them a permanent feature? They’re a great way to attract new clients and can provide a great retail opportunity for your regulars.
For an easy way to let your customers schedule their consultation, check out Calendly which talks nicely with Zoom and makes the whole booking process simple.
2 The salons that kept in regular touch with their clients have bounced back the quickest from lockdown and email is a great tool.
Don’t overdo it: two or three emails a month will give you plenty of scope to promote your products and services without being a nuisance. Share your promotions to keep your team busy and to position you as the expert in your local market.
Just don’t call it your Newsletter which gets me yawning before I’ve even opened the email! Make friends with the email module of your salon software or check out MailChimp for a free alternative with plenty of bells and whistles.
3 Getting information ahead of customer visits is becoming more and more useful, especially as we’re trying to save time in-salon to offset some of the necessary clean-down time.
Many salons are also looking for customers to make COVID declarations before their appointment to help keep your team and customers safe.
Technology to the rescue! If your salon software doesn’t handle online consultation forms easily, look at JotForm for an attractive and customisable solution and get the answers straight to your inbox.
4 Is it time for you to ditch pen and paper? I’m not just talking about your appointments system.
What about your to-do list? My favourite app for staying organised is Trello which keeps an entire team on the same (virtual) page and has a whole host of features included in the free plan.
It means the key players in your business can access tasks and projects from anywhere at any time. It cuts down on wasted time and duplication of work and really helps with planning too.
5 How about harnessing tech to take care of customer queries?
Salons have jumped into Facebook in a big way which means your clients are sending queries on Messenger at all hours of the day and night. Facebook adds to the Messenger traffic by suggesting a few questions to customers when they visit your Facebook page too.
If you’re ready for a bit of slightly more advanced tech, you can automate the answers to these questions and a lot more too. ManyChat or close competitor ChatFuel can deliver salon and pricing information and links to your promotions and online bookings.
The free versions of both have a ton of great functions to geek out with.