As salon owners, you know that whilst managing bookings and client information isn’t exactly rocket science, it can be overwhelming if you haven’t put in place a functional and organised system.

The right client management system can alleviate loss of revenue through underbooking, as well as stamping out a poor client experience through double bookings or missed appointments.

There are a number of ways that you can ease the weight of client management and many specialised tools you can use to help, all of which vary in price and, of course, the services offered.

Offering an online booking service for clients

If your salon has a fully functional and user-friendly website, it makes sense to immerse your clients with your brand further by offering them the option of booking and amending their bookings online.

Whilst some clients may always prefer to pick up the phone and speak to your receptionist directly, by having a website as well, every client’s preferences can be catered for. In addition to this, your salon is automatically marketed as a 24-7 service, as appointments can be made day or night without the need for anyone to be physically present in the salon.

From a client management efficiency point of view, if the volume of calls coming through to take bookings is lessened, an online booking service may also free up the time of your receptionist to talk to clients in the salon. Equally, your receptionist is able to spend more time speaking with new clients about the services offered.

Technology and client management

Gone are the days of a simple diary and address book filled with crossings out, scribbles and multiple amendments. Information management within your salon has been revolutionised whilst continuing to innovate thanks to savvy technology.

Appointment booking software makes good business sense in the way that the software can save you money. There is an abundance of online management systems available that offer various packages for you to tailor and use. Here are some of the ways they can be used to manage your client information effectively.

Decrease revenue loss…

Some systems are designed to send out reminders via text message to clients a few days prior to their appointment. This is an incredibly handy way to claw back revenue and clarify your calendar. Missed appointments due to clients forgetting about their booking can be a thing of the past.

A simple text message reminder is also beneficial to the development and growth of your salon as staff aren’t filling their time actioning phone call reminders, which may not be able to be taken if, for example, clients are at work.

Many online client information services such as Salon Iris, I-Salon software and Phorest also offer their platforms on a mobile basis, simplifying appointment and management work and allowing you to edit and amend your bookings from anywhere.

Speeding up the consultation process…

Another helpful aspect of online information systems is that client notes can be recorded. This is a really easy way to increase efficiency within your business as a few points on your clients’ preferred style or thoughts on a colour they want to achieve at their next appointment can be recorded and saved for next time. Notes can also be made on their current bespoke colour mix to speed up the consultation process next time they visit your salon.

We caught up with Salon Iris to find out more about their client information software.

What are the benefits of a salon using a software system such as ‘Salon Iris’?

The age of the pen and paper is dead! What a lot of people forget is that when using the a pen and paper, all it takes is a theft, or a fire, or even misplacing the book itself, and you have lost absolutely everything. By having a proper, computer based diary management system in place, not only can salon owners and their staff track things a lot easier, but with the ability to backup their database onto a USB stick, or into a cloud based storage area, it means that should the worst happen to their business, all-important data will not be lost.

What are the most well received features of the software…What do salon owners like best about it?

The one thing that salon owners seem to love more than anything else is the online booking and the messaging services. Both of these are great for salon owners as they are great ways to not only grow their business, but also make sure their existing clients keep coming back through the door.

The messaging service allows salon owners to send appointment reminders 24 hours before an appointment. It even allows customers to reply and confirm that they’re coming in for the appointment itself. It will then highlight that they have replied on your appointment book. Salon owners love this as it is an absolutely fantastic way of cutting down on no shows. You can even do marketing campaigns, meaning that you can constantly keep in touch with your existing clients and let them know if you have any special offers or important news.

How do you think the future of client management software will evolve?

The world we live in is so fast moving, that being able to do things on the fly is extremely important. This is the case for both business owners and their clients. Having a system inside your business that is extremely powerful and gives you tools to be able to take your business on the go is very much the present and the future.

Effectively managing your client information and bookings is a crucial part of operating your salon business. Head over to our FACEBOOK and TWITTER pages for more useful #SALONMANAGEMENT hints and tips on setting up a salon.

Other posts in the Salon Management series: Everything you need to know about opening your own salon | How to build loyalty with your customers