In India spa & salon, health & beauty are the fastest growing retail service industry and getting organized. One segment of the beauty business that is doing particularly well is specialized hair care. An AC Nielsen report estimates the hair care market in India at Rs 3,630 crore, with average annual growth of 20 per cent. But, it is also becoming highly competitive as more and more new entrants are joining to have a share.
In this scenario latest technology like a best spa and salon management software adoption becomes necessary to win the competition. So you should have a right and best spa and salon management software to manage, retain & grow your customer base consistently.
Here are the few important points which you need to check before choosing a right POS & CRM software for your business.
Whether it is really simple & easy to use?
The first thing you need check is whether the solution is highly user friendly and can be used by your staff without or with less training. Find whether appointment booking, billing and choosing preferred stylist are simple and very quick to do.
Most of the old desktop software solutions are built for product billing and may not suitable for appointment booking or billing in service retailing industry like salons. They have very cumbersome keyboard based user interface. But, the new trendy one is easy to use and gives lots of insights about a customer while billing/appt booking.
Can I manage customer relations?
One of the most important point to check is that the solution is not be just a POS. You should also check whether it has CRM to manage customer relations and do analytics. It becomes necessary that your salon/spa must have effective customer engagement options which should help you to reduce churn outs and retain customers with attractive loyalty program.
Check whether the solution has Promotional offers, gift vouchers, reminders and greetings can be sent by SMS. You need not to print gift coupons & membership cards and waste your money, because practically most of the customers can’t carry the same with them.
Make sure the solution has BI dashboard, customer 360* profile view. Getting customer feedback using tablet is another way of understanding the pulse of the client needs and be proactive in addressing issues.
Will it reduce my hardware cost?
You should ask the vendor whether the software works in any device (Tablet/Mobile/laptop/desktop) and can be accessed from anywhere & anytime. Also, it has to be accessible from all the leading browsers like Chrome, Firefox, Safari & IE.
For the latest online solutions just need a tablet & internet connection alone and nothing else. Also, transactional details like appointment & bill can be sent by SMS text. No need to waste your money on buying desktop, printer & UPS and maintaining the same for years.
Shall I pay based on my usage?
Upfront investment for software is an old method and you should ask your vendor whether you can pay for a month/year based on usage needs like pay-as-you-use model. It also gives you the freedom of moving out of a vendor if the product or service is not good. So that you need not to get hooked to a vendor by paying huge money.
You also get benefited without paying much if the vendor is enhancing solution and you get the updated latest version with more functionality and in latest technologies.
Will my data be safe?
The last but not the least thing to check is the security of your data. You need to verify whether the software is hosted on a secured server and it is safe.
In present scenario, keeping the data in the cloud seems to be a better option than maintaining it in your local machine. In a locally stored solutions, data loss happens due hardware crash, viruses and mischievously deleted by staff. With cloud storage, these scenarios can be avoided and most of the cloud software companies used to put secured servers like amazon, rackspace etc.
The solution also should have options to avoid malpractices by controlling the access rights of users and alert messages on critical operations.
I know that there are few more things to be assessed to choose one of the best spa and salon management software for your salon business. But, the above are some basic criteria which need to be in your checklist before jumping to any conclusion. There are many vendors who provide a solution and you must demand a free trial to have real time exposure.
A Version of this article appears on www.waffor.com and written by Vedha