John Harms, founder of Millennium and Meevo.
John Harms, founder of Millennium and Meevo.

At America’s Beauty Show, Millennium Systems International debuted Meevo, the company’s latest generation of salon management software. SALON TODAY Editor Stacey Soble recently sat down with Millennium Founder John Harms to explore Meevo’s coolest new features:

SALON TODAY: Meevo is a cloud-based, web-based and tablet-friendly program—why do you feel that’s important for the way salons are doing business today?

John Harms: “Today’s salon clients are looking for convenience—they want to walk into the salon, be greeted and checked in by someone with a tablet and be able to check out right at the chair. Salon employees want to be able to check their progress against their goals anytime, anywhere and they can’t do that unless a system is wireless and cloud-based. That’s the world we live in now. The millennials are all about instant gratification, and they want to know what is going on in real time—that’s a huge driving force.”

SALON TODAY: Meevo has a cool, patented feature called the Convobar—tell us how it makes the software easier for users?

One On One: John Harms Introduces Millennium's MeevoHarms: “Think of a Google’s search function—if you type in almost anything, Google can find it. Our Convobar is a natural language processor that understands nouns and verbs and allows users to type in requested services, service providers and dates from anywhere in the system. So, if a client requests a haircut today or tomorrow with John or Jen, you type in ‘haircut today tomorrow John Jen’ and it pulls up the first appointment that works. It’s even smart enough to prioritize, and will pull up an appointments available based on the order you typed in the information. You’re also able to save popular combinations in the system – for example ‘first available women’s haircut.’ The convobar really saves on booking time because usually by the time the client is finished speaking, the guest services person has an appointment that matches the request on the screen.”

SALON TODAY: How does Meevo’s Smart Center and its Smart Tiles help users keep on top of their business?

Harms: “Meevo’s Smart Center educates users on the live metrics of the business through the Smart Tiles they choose to feature on their home screen. Meevo tracks more than 100 different business metrics, on things like guest frequency of visit, prebook rates, client retention rates, and retail-to-service ratio, and it allows users to feature the ones they are most interested in on the Smart Center so they are always available. What’s really cool is the smart tiles are role-based, so the user only sees what they are required to see—so an owner can see all the metrics about the business including total sales volumes and inventory, while a service provider might only see metrics that relate to his or her own performance or department’s or team’s performance.”

SALON TODAY: How does Meevo’s Success Center help motivate salon/spa employees to reach their goals?

Harms: “I’ve been studying human psychology and gaming and how to accomplish goals in a social world, and the Success Center allows owners to challenge staff to be more productive by honing in on certain Key Performance Indicators and setting up competitions. Leader boards posted in the staff room can show live totals throughout the day, and staff can earn tokens, digital trophies and charms when they reach certain goals set by management. Staff can even cash in their tokens for prizes set by management, such as tickets to industry trade shows or educational events. Or, they can gift tokens to other staff members to thank them when they’ve helped them out in the salon. And, owners and managers can reward staff with tokens when they’ve been caught doing something right.”

SALON TODAY: Meevo looks so different than other management software programs, tell us why the visual design of the program was so important?

Harms: “With Meevo, we worked hard to make the software simple to use, which actually is hard to do, but we also wanted it to be beautiful. We wanted it to delight users because we understand the beauty industry. We wanted the software to celebrate who they are. For example, users can change the size of the tiles, or adapt the colors to match the colors of their brand or their décor, and they can integrate their brand into the design. We want the software to look and feel like the salon that uses it. When people experience Meevo for the first time, I watch their faces, and I know we got it right.”