As a salon owner or manager looking to transform your business by leveraging technology you have decided to adopt an online hair appointment booking system. You’ve started the process of selection by identifying the lacuna in the present set up, enumerating the future requirements of the business and listing the desired solutions. However, did you know that your list is quite likely incomplete? A quick search would indicate that even with the best of the intentions, salon owners and managers have ended up choosing the wrong tech solution for their businesses, and find themselves stuck with either a clunky solution or with a hair salon online booking system that is severely lacking. In this blog, we talk about the 5 things, over and above the obvious solutions of administrative processes, while choosing a hair salon appointment booking system for your business.
Speed & Accuracy
You are adopting technology for a reason. It is to streamline your processes, automate administrative tasks, and improve efficiency. Thus, it is important that you ascertain both the speed and accuracy in which the online hair appointment booking system completes a transaction. Whether it is about your guests booking appointments, modifying their personal and financial information, editing prior appointments, and settling invoices, the system should be able to allow them to do things swiftly and record transactions with complete accuracy. For instance, if the guest has to spend more than 2 minutes or has to conduct a long drawn process in finishing an appointment, chances are that they are never returning back to your business. Similarly, if the guests have to wait long to settle invoices or navigate a loop to redeem loyalty rewards, etc. then there is a problem. Therefore, it is important to evaluate the efficiency of the system itself. Ideally, the system should be fast and flexible to handle simultaneous bookings from multiple portals such as website, app, social media pages, e-commerce websites and schedule them all accurately.
Having convinced yourself about the solutions, the speed and accuracy, turn your focus to data security. The internet is rife with stories of how businesses have lost crucial and sensitive personal and financial information due to data breach, which has not only resulted in loss of reputation for the business but also compromised the security of their guests. As an online hair appointment booking system stores the business data on a remote server, it eliminates the need to maintain and constantly upgrade the in-premises IT infrastructure. Ideally, you should prefer a system that is PCI compliant. One such product is Zenoti hair salon online appointment booking system that comes with additional safety features such as encryption, role based access and geo-fencing. The state of art feature geo-fencing creates a virtual boundary around your store. Should your employees step outside the geo-fenced area, they shall no longer be able to have access to any data.
Businesses are meant to grow, and it is important that technology that you choose to drive your business should be able to support the growth. In other words, the choice of technology should be an enabler in that growth story, and thus the architecture of the hair salon online booking system should be such that it can be easily scaled to meet the ever-changing aspirations and requirements of the businesses. At no point in time, should you have to face a situation wherein opening additional stores should result in having to start the process of revisiting the process of selecting the online hair appointment booking system. In fact, the system should allow you to clone your existing operations, and start the new store immediately.
Professionals in the beauty and wellness industry are people savvy. They may or may not be tech savvy. Thus, it is important that you check the user friendliness of the hair salon online appointment system that you plan to deploy to manage your operations. A feature rich system is of little use if it comes with a difficult learning curve, and will more often than not make your team resort to old ways and means, thus defeating the entire purpose of bringing in the change. On the other hand, a system which may not be as comprehensive in features but comes with an easy learning curve may find greater acceptance amongst your team.
Life Cycle Support
Last but not the least, we talk about the life cycle support. Often overlooked during the flurry of activities life cycle support from the developer is crucial to ensure smooth operations. With tech products and devices prone to malfunction, without any prior intimation, it is important to ensure that the hair salon online appointment booking system comes with readily available support. In order to evaluate this, seek past client experience. Get in touch with previous buyers to know the level of support they received. There can’t be anything worse than being stuck with a POS software which has glitches and poor customer support from the developer.
Aside from the above, the process of choosing a salon appointment booking system should also involve the costs of deploying the system, and whether or not the features can be accessed as on demand service such that you don’t get burdened by extra. Some of the tried and tested online hair appointment booking system, that meet the above considerations are Zenoti, SalonIris, Schedul, MindBody and Phorest. Amongst these, Zenoti remains quite popular due to its interactive user interface and easy learning curve.