After several months of business closures, many salons are working on reopening their doors and welcoming clients back for long-awaited services. During this time, salons are looking at some important tools that will help them continue to run their business in the most effective and safe way possible.
Appointment Booking Software
Salons using appointment booking software find it helps to streamline their bookings process and keep appointments organized. While this is helpful all the time, it’s essential as you prepare to welcome clients back for months’ worth of postponed appointments. With a software solution, clients can handle booking themselves on your online booking website or through booking links on Google and Instagram with some providers.
Appointment booking software goes beyond just scheduling clients, but also helps collect payment either at checkout, prepayment when customers book, or via invoice. Salons should consider appointment booking software that also has the option to turn on smart messaging chatbots that can help reduce no-shows and keep business running smoothly. Not only do these smart messaging chatbots send automated reminders of upcoming appointments and change notifications via email or text, but help clients confirm, cancel, or reschedule their appointment.
When COVID-19 struck, brick-and-mortar salons morphed their businesses and beefed up their online presence. E-commerce has and will continue to allow salons to sell their goods in new ways, while also giving them the opportunity to innovate and offer unique items for their clients to use at home during this time. Missy Moran Studios in Oakland, CA was able to cater to their customer base remotely by offering an at-home Quarantine Self Care Kit so clients could keep their skin looking fresh from home.
While some salons have boosted their e-commerce presence through online stores, other salons might want to sell online in other ways. Salons can opt for online payment portals or checkouts that don’t require a client to be redirected to your website. This enables you to essentially generate a unique checkout link that you can then add to emails or social media posts for specific products and allows customers to pay you instantly online.
Contactless and Cashless
While shopping for essentials during COVID-19, consumers have been encouraged to use cards intead of cash for purchases and this new behavior will extend to clients paying for their services. Salons should prepare for a decrease in cash as Square found a 23% increase in cashless businesses among its sellers over a 54-day period from March 1 to April 23, as more customers opt to use credit cards or contactless payments that require less back-and-forth than cash. This move towards cashless might result in clients preferring to tip through POS payment systems instead of cash, which is often thought to be preferred or required by many salons. However you proceed regarding cash, be sure to communicate with your clients so they know what to expect.
As social distancing guidelines continue, contactless payments will also be necessary for any business to use. Salons can look to a payment system that enables contactless payments, such as a mobile card reader or a modern POS system. This will ensure you can accept all types of contactless payments like tap credit cards, mobile wallets like Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Samsung Pay, or payments through smartwatches.
Using contactless payments will ensure the safety of not only you and your staff, but also your clients by avoiding contact as much as possible. "As a colorist, I've been loving everyone's heightened appreciation of my profession's essential contribution to making people feel beautiful each and every day," says Jessica Sclamberg, colorist and co-owner of SF Color Collective in San Francisco. "It's the salon owner's job to ensure that we provide a safe and comfortable environment for our clients and staff.”
Your clients have missed you and are excited to receive the treatments they love and need. These tools are simple steps you can use to ensure that when opening, you can service your clients in the safest way possible, while still being able to focus on running your business.
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Originally posted on Salon Today