Why every salon needs a mobile app

Why every salon needs a mobile app

smartphone-usage-1-500x313You only have to stop and look around any busy salon and you will see immediately that many of the clients are using their smartphones.  This alone is a reason to stop and think about the reasons that salons should use this technology and how it can benefit their business.

If you are a small salon business owner and your salon business does not have a mobile app, you need to get one. Having a web presence alone is no longer sufficient, as online activity continues to shift to mobiles. Simply put, smart phone apps have become too important as a marketing tool for small business owners to do without.

Reduce Business Costs

Every business wants to reduce costs, why wouldn’t you?  A Mobile App can help reduce costs in the following ways.

Firstly we have the cost of SMS/Text messaging, a service that many salons use.  A Mobile App allows you to utilise ‘Push Messaging’ which is similar to SMS/txt messaging insomuch, as it appears on the users phone just like a SMS/Text message does and the open rate is around 90% – the same as SMS/Text messaging.  The major difference is that Push Messaging is completely free of charge, you can send as many messages as you wish and never incur a charge.  This technology can be set up to send messages to everyone, groups (i.e. all ladies over 35) or individual users and can represent a significant cost saving over SMS/Text messaging.

Many salons run loyalty schemes or recommend a friend scheme and traditionally they use printed cards for this.  A Mobile App allows you to transfer your loyalty scheme to an App based system reducing the need for printing cards.  The same is true of recommendation cards, an app can be set up with a recommendation form giving clients an easy way of recommending friends and family.


Fill Cancellations At Short Notice

How many times have you had a client call a few hours before an appointment and cancel, lots right?  Every salon business suffers from cancellations and they are notoriously difficult to fill. A Mobile app which utilises push notifications and allows you to promote last minute times can make a significant difference to filling these slots in your diary. Just imagine being able to send out a message to all of your clients saying that you had a free slot come up knowing that the message would be read by 90% of them.


Improving Client Retention

Over 80% of adults now own a smartphone of some kind, nearly 80% of smartphone users look at their smartphone within 15 minutes of waking up and on average mobile users open their smart phones 110 times every day.  Having your business logo as an icon on a clients phone is an incredible way of staying in a clients mind.  With the addition of Push Messaging, Loyalty Schemes and useful information and functionality such as opening hours, click to call functionality, online booking, offers etc.  A mobile app will help to keep clients aware of your business in the gap between appointments.

New client retention is a particularly important when a client initially starts visiting a salon as they are most vulnerable to leaving before they have visited you 3 or 4 times.  Being able to run a New Client Loyalty scheme as well as other loyalty schemes you have going can improve retention rates of new clients.


Improving Communication

How easy is it for clients to find your telephone number, book an appointment or get in touch with you?  In most cases its not that easy. Often the first port of call is the web, but do you have a website? Is it easy to find? And once found, is it easy to access the information?  A Mobile App can help in all of these areas, once a client has downloaded your app they have the ability to call you with a single click, find you with GPS navigation, find out your opening hours and make contact with you easily.  In addition you can give access to your social media pages and your website content.


Motivating Staff

It’s not easy keeping staff motivated or providing a consistently high quality service, however, a Mobile App can help.  A review system allowing clients to review their service by staff member, that the salon control and which has a reporting system to monitor the reviews staff get, can help greatly. Reviews can be used as a Key Performance Indicators and a criteria for promotion or rewards.   Getting a 5* review will start to become a priority for staff and will create healthy competition in the team.  As well as the obvious motivational benefits the ability for new clients to see which staff get the best reviews will help staff to become busy with full columns as a direct result of doing a great job, overall you, the client and your staff benefit.

How the app changed my salon

How the app changed my salon

I’m a Hair Salon owner, every day I get bombarded with rubbish email offers and telephone calls from people trying to sell me stuff that I don’t want and don’t need.  They waste my time and take me away from the important things in my business and importantly my staff and clients.

However, back in January 2015 I learnt a massive lesson…amongst the long list of spam emails and rubbish I received an email from a company called Bright Salon, I glanced at it as it had an interesting subject line and quickly thought it was just another online booking software system, I have one already so did not think anything of reading past the first line which said “Salons required for FREE trial of salon specific marketing system”  and just deleting the email, which I did as I do with most emails I receive.

A couple of weeks later I received a phone call from a man called Ross Kernick asking why I hadn’t taken up his offer, I did not know what he was referring to, however, after explaining the email I did vaguely remember it.  I said, oh no, I’m not interested in that as I already have a software booking system. I felt good being able to knock him back and get him off the phone as quickly as possible, however, he replied.

“It’s not about a booking system, although your booking system can be incorporated into it, the email was offering you the chance of trialling a new salon system completely free of charge forever with a lifetime of free updates and enhancements when they are developed.”

Now, as you can imagine this caught my interest so I asked him to explain again what he was doing.  He said he had developed a smartphone app system for salons and he was looking for salon businesses local to him to trial it.  He said in return for trialling it if I wanted to continue using it he would provide it to me free forever and with free updates and enhancements for as long as I wanted it too.  All he asked was to get feedback, to work with me to make it better and to use my salon for any photography and filming should he need to in the future to promote the app.  After explaining what the app did and the opportunity, I had no hesitation in saying yes.

Ross was quick to say that he was surprised at the lack of response to his initial email.  He had sent the email to 10 well-known decent sized salons in the area and had no replies.  I was the first one on his list and if I had not answered his call another salon would have certainly gained this offer before me.

I have now had the app in its current version for nearly 12 months.  Over 1800 clients have downloaded my salon app and they love it.  I love it too as it is saving me a staggering amount of money. Ross asked me to put my experience down for him to use to encourage others not to be so quick to delete emails after we spoke about how lucky I felt I had been in getting the call after initially deleting the email and how easily the offer could have slipped through my fingers.

I now spend a little more time looking at emails as I don’t ever want to miss out on an offer like this again, it’s made a huge difference to my business and I would have no hesitation in recommending any Hair or Beauty salon, manicurist or clinic in taking on the Bright Salon smartphone app.  At the very least get some more information about it before assuming you don’t need it, every salon in the UK can benefit from this smartphone app, it’s brilliant.

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