Technology is becoming a more important part of daily life in the beauty salon – making life much easier, especially with salon EPOS systems. And, if your business is like ours, you probably get all sorts of sales calls during the day trying to sell you a new website, a mobile website or a salon app.
I get a tonne of emails over a week, with directories, app software, etc. that “I’d be a fool not to take up” and I’ve wanted an App for about three years now, especially as I know how many of our web users are using mobile devices (see below), But, Is It Worth Getting A Salon App?
Would You Use It?… Really?
One of the reasons I hadn’t invested in a salon App to date is that I couldn’t understand how our clients would benefit from it. For me, there was only ONE useful point in having an client App and that’s to take bookings.
Unfortunately, like many salon owners I was tied into some salon software that ran our booking systems and as much as I cried out for it, they did not invest in creating an App version.
This was one of the sole reasons for me moving software systems – I wanted an App.
Salon App Mistakes
The problem is, some technology companies sell salon apps that show treatments and information about your salon but offer very little in the way of useful functionality.
Without Function, What’s The Point?
The point of an App is that it streamlines something – whether it’s Facebook, Online Banking, or Candy Crush. You open the App and you get straight on with it – easy navigation (user interface) that is focused.
Our new salon software was introduced in the salons during May and comes with an iPhone App to handle bookings. As these comments show, people loved it, and the last comment says a lot for me… “much better than the online system”:
Clients can open the App, go straight to make an appointment then they are done – Simple and Quick.
So Where Do You Start With Salon Apps?
Our software provider only supplies our Salon App for Apple iPhones. This disgruntled me for a while because I keep reading about Android and how it has the largest mobile software share in the world.
Then I ran some figures on which mobile devices people have used on our website during 2014 (see diagram). I think it’s safe to say that we have the largest market targeted.
It Costs Money… So Should Add Value
I get quite a few emails through this website about salon software and find the “but it’s very expensive” argument flawed – as long as you pick the right one.
I would say that salon software and IT is one of the most important investments you can make as a salon owner – above and beyond any treatment equipment or brands.
But, you need to make sure that what you get adds genuine value to your business.
The Real Value Of a Good Salon App
It’s more than something to show off. A good iPhone App should:
- Allow clients to book quickly and easily.
- Promote your business and your brand.
- Attract new clients who prefer the ease of anytime / anywhere booking.
- Give your customers a reason to remain loyal.
- Save you time, effort and money booking people over the phone.
My advice is one of many out there BUT I am not trying to sell you anything. I have also spent thousands on computer hardware and software for my salon business over the past nine years because I know that getting it right pays for itself many times over.
There is also an expectation from your clients – especially of your competitors are marketing hard. You need to offer value-add in your customer service.
Get over the fact that you will need to spend money and decide to invest some of your time into researching. As I said in my article about salon software, pick an innovative company because they will evolve with technology… and technology changes fast.
Last thought – how do you use the web or Apps? Be objective as to why you use what you use and you’ll soon realise that your life is being made easier compared to how you used to do things… Then wonder what your clients will be using in five years time?