How do you use technology in your salon?

by | Mar 29, 2021

British Beauty Council Patron Timely is an international Salon Software company, which boasts over 46,000 customers.

We spoke with a number of salons from across the UK which use Timely Salon Software.

 

How has technology helped you throughout the pandemic, and in the lead up to reopening?

 

Sarah

Sarah Johnson: I would say that one of the positive sides to the pandemic is that I have really turned to technology more than I ever have done before and goodness me am I grateful that it is a thing! Ultimately technology has enabled me to stay connected and at the forefront of my client’s minds. I built my website from scratch in the first lock down to enable me to still make online sales while my clients couldn’t get to me. I have thrown myself into social media and increased my online presence by doing daily uploads with motivational posts to keep my clients positive, educational posts and videos and Facebook lives, sharing new product launches. I also send emails to my clients at least once per week sharing any updates or just a general check in.

In the November lockdown, I went live every night on my social media for 4 weeks with my version of QVC Shopping ‘SJC Shopping’ and sold a huge amount of retail to make up for the time I was closed.

 

When we went back into lock down in January 2021, I began a ‘January Happiness Challenge‘ and did daily videos online sharing positive tasks for my followers to complete and I received some amazing feedback saying I had really helped to keep people going.

In February, I started my 4 Week Introduction to Skin Transformation Programme where I offered virtual skin consultations and bespoke skin care prescriptions so my clients could still start to achieve great results even though they couldn’t get in to see me in the salon.

For the lead up to reopening, I am now starting my 4 Week Countdown to Rediscover Your Glowing Skin which will include weekly live videos and social media posts with tips on how clients can reset their skincare routine to re – emerge from lock down looking and feeling great.

 

Maureen

Maureen, MHAesthetics: I have actually recently switched to Timely over the last few month as I had out grown my old platform and Timely offered absolutely everything I was looking for and more, for my clinic.

I have been using the Timely software to prepare my clients for their upcoming appointments in April. The system allows me to send online medical forms, consultation and pre & post consent forms in advance that can be read, signed online and returned back via text or email before a appointment. This is certainly a winning point for me and keeps my customer informed before they come in, cuts out the contact face to face time and elevates my clinic to a premium level. Customers are prepared and informed before each appointment which in our current modern, day and age Lock-down situation is welcomed.

 

 

 

Haylee

Haylee Benton: I don’t know how we would have got through the pandemic without technology, both from a business point of view and personally! During such an uncertain time, having the right technology at my fingertips meant I could clearly see where the business was at and support my team.A few platforms that have been incredibly helpful for our salons:

  • Buffer – We use this for social media scheduling which has helped us stay visible through our marketing. Throughout lockdown, we’ve used Buffer to ensure we remained visible, maintaining good brand awareness with our clients.
  • Slack – This has been key for team communication as it has enabled everyone to stay in touch. We’ve used it to share business updates and foster those personal connections while we’ve been isolated.
  • Excel – We use Excel to do our cashflow projections week by week. I do a 12-week cash flow every week to ensure that I know what bills are still coming out throughout lockdown.
  • Loom – This has been key for us as it has enabled us to create training videos and send motivational messages and updates to staff.
  • Timely – In terms of looking at data trends and analysing the business, Timely has been key. It’s also enabled us to continually communicate with clients and develop a waiting list for people booking and rescheduling from lockdown.

 

How has timely software helped you and your business?

 

Sarah Johnson: Gosh, what did I ever do without Timely?! Timely as a company are amazing to work with, their customer service is second to none. The best thing about Timely is that they have saved me so much time! As a solopreneur, I am always spinning lots of plates at once and by using Timely, they have made everything so much easier for me and my clients. My clients love the fact that they can make or change appointments any time they like without contacting me. The automated text and email reminders have taken a job away I used to manually do myself each day. They take a deposit with every booking for me so I don’t have to worry about late cancellations anymore. Their online consultation forms are fantastic and allow me to send them out prior to the client coming in. I now sell my gift vouchers through Timely and my voucher sales were at a record high last year since I set up Timely as clients just love the convenience of buying them online.

 

Maureen

Maureen, MHAesthetics: I have already been putting this into place with sending automated text appointment confirmations. setting a slight delay so if there has been any errors gives a little wriggle room to amend so a customer doesn’t receive  multiple messages through. These small thoughtful options makes this platform a smooth and professional experience from start to finish before the customer has even come in for an appointment.

From what I can see they have thought about every single thing possible and this is exactly what a business needs to be able to offer the very best service to customers.

 

Haylee Benton: Timely is by far the best booking system I have tried. I’m not a hairdresser or beautician; my background is in Business Management. For me, Timely has really helped me understand the data, decipher what it is telling me about the business trends, and strategically focus on our marketing.

Not only is Timely great for business owners, but it is a fantastic tool for staff members to be more commercially aware that time is money. The team use staff targets as a feature, and it’s something our team absolutely love. The team can also easily log in, see what they have booked in and plan ahead / create notes to make every service they deliver super personal.

Image credit: Haylee Benton

We have been able to identify trends and use them to prepare us for the future. For example, we reviewed what happened in the first month after lockdown last year and used that to ensure we had all the correct resources available for when we reopen again in April.

The most important way in which Timely has helped us, however, is by giving clients the convenience to book online in their own time. They have a customer portal where they can view their past appointments and even add their credit card details so they can simply walk out of the door following their appointment. Approximately 70% of our clients book online now, and many come to us as new clients because they enjoyed how easy the booking process is.

 

What advice do you have for other salons who are looking to use technology more within their business?

 

Image credit: Sarah Johnson

 

 

Sarah Johnson: Go for it! I held back for a lot longer than I should have before investing in an online software and I now wish I’d done it years ago. Make sure you have a good website so you can easily sell retail to your clients and I’d encourage everyone to put themselves out there on social media by doing videos and lives as it really helps to connect with your clients and ultimately leads to more sales.

 

 

 

Maureen, MHAesthetics: I would encourage anyone looking for a sophisticated online booking platform to seriously consider  Timely. It has so many options to choose from you can not go wrong. Customers will be impressed, you will find it easy to navigate and the support is always available from the team behind the scenes.

 

A great move that I am so pleased to have made!

 

Image credit: Haylee Benton

Haylee Benton: I would say to embrace the technology out there and keep it simple.Speaking with your accountant or business mentor is a great place to start as they can share the software and tools they use to improve the way they work.

It is super important to ensure that the technology you do use will save you time or save/earn you more money. Ask yourself what the information is that you would like to see, and then find the right technology for your needs. I also would say that the information is only as good as the data you enter – so accuracy and training is key to any new technology introduced.

 

 

If you’re interested in Timely Salon Software, find out more here

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