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For software developers, “technology” means creating a better client experience. And for salon software developers, that rings even more true. A client spends more time in the salon than any other business she frequents, with plenty of time to think about her satisfaction as a customer.

With an eye on that customer satisfaction, salon software continues to evolve in the following areas in 2020:

Mobile Apps

Mobile apps are redefining the whole service industry, offering clients an easier way to interact with the businesses they love.

For salons, it’s an important piece to consider when evaluating software packages. Five years ago, the cost of creating a custom app for clients could run up to $20k. Now, with a company like STX Cloud, it can be done on a template for $1k, with a monthly hosting fee that ranges from $150-$200. The app then integrates with the salon software and POS, making it simple for everyone to use.

The world is becoming more mobile-device centric every year, and many clients rarely sit in front of a computer. With an app, they can book their appointment, receive marketing messages, reward balances, meet your staff and much more—right from their phones.

Marketing can be taken to the next level as you customize promotions that will pop up on the app. That app is a touchpoint far more likely to be seen or read than any other form of communication you send out.

And when the client walks out of your salon, you can invite her to write a review—directly through your app. Which brings us to tech trend number two …

User Reviews

If your software doesn’t have the ability to push out surveys or review requests to clients, it’s time to reevaluate your package.

These surveys are designed to help better your business. With software like STX Cloud, you can customize them to ask anything you want to know: Was the salon clean? Did you receive a hand massage? Was your stylist on time?

The answers allow you to identify weak points in your business and fix the problems. And sometimes, the problem may be an individual stylist. Wonder why someone is only 40% booked? Check her reviews.

Having these reviews online also allows you to respond in a public place with a “let us make it right” message to a negative review. Interacting with clients in a public space like Yelp shows potential new clients you care about your customers’ feedback.

Think of online surveys/reviews as the virtual version of the secret shopper. Use them to gauge what you’re doing right and wrong in the salon and continually improve your business and service providers. The data you receive from clients is critical to the next improvement you make to your business. And speaking of data …

Utilize Your Data

Half of all salons are still not automated. Is this you? Then 2020 is going to be a game changer. Implement software like STX Cloud and the data you mine will transform your business. From inventory to customer communication, you’ll be able to streamline, customize, and improve every area of the salon.

Your analytics track how often clients come in, how many are getting color, and more. It tracks your inventory, letting you know where waste is happening and which products are most popular. Your retail to service percentage reports let you know when to do a promotion and which services to promote.

Your data also lets you know when to raise prices based on productivity levels. Is a stylist at 80% productivity for six to eight weeks? Then it’s time to raise her prices. Want to know how much revenue you brought in on a certain date the year before? It’s in your software. It all goes back to the data—every answer you need is in your salon software’s reports. As a business owner focused on growth, there’s no reason to ever make a decision blind. The reports from your software allow you to make informed decisions about every area of your business.

Research your software options and packages to find out which is right for your business. There’s an option for every owner, whether your salon is just three or four chairs or multiple locations. You can’t afford to go without it.

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