Integrated Memberships with ConnectBeauty Salon POS

One feature that many of our salon software users have been requesting for quite some time is the ability to create memberships for customers. Lucky for these users, we have finally implemented this feature into the ConnectBeauty web app! But how exactly do integrated memberships work with ConnectBeauty?

First, a membership in ConnectBeauty is considered to be any product or service that is sold to a customer over certain time intervals, such as per day, per week, per month, or per year. The most obvious application for this type of product or service would be a membership to a special group or club that the salon, spa, or barbershop offers. A membership to this group or club would often require payment per month or per year, and ideally this payment would automatically recur by billing a card kept on file for the customer. This leads us to the next exciting aspect of ConnectBeauty’s membership feature.

ConnectBeauty uses the latest in end-to-end credit card processing, allowing its users to keep customer credit cards on file without worrying about PCI compliance. This works by tokenizing the credit card number, rather than storing it as raw data, and then sending this encrypted token to the merchant processor. The merchant processor would then decrypt the credit card token, obtaining the real credit card information and enabling the processor to charge the card and pay the merchant. Pretty cool, huh?

So far we’ve got the ability to sell a membership over a certain time period and automatically bill a credit card on file each time membership fees are due. In addition to these awesome elements of our membership feature, we given the user the option to offer customers who purchase a membership certain perks. For instance, any normal product or service that a user adds to his or her salon software account can be given a “members only” price, which would usually be lower than the normal price of the item. This is yet another reason why customers would want to buy memberships from the business in the first place.

Are you excited yet? You should be, since ConnectBeauty is the first salon management software of its kind to offer this kind of membership feature to its users. We believe that it is a step in the right direction toward creating a fully integrated and seamless customer experience. Not only is the technology in place to automatically bill customers for memberships through the POS system, but the concept of the membership has been implemented in such a way that will increase customer loyalty and retention.

iPad users may be bummed to discover that memberships are not yet available on the iPad. Do not fear: the ConnectBeauty iPad salon software development team is hard at work on implementing this feature to the iPad, and it should be available in a matter of weeks.

A Basic Salon POS Setup

A lot of customers who are interested in salon management software will want to know what a basic salon POS setup looks like. While every beauty industry business is different, there are definitely a few standard elements that are common to most salon or spa software systems and how they are implemented within the business. Here are just a few of these similarities that we have found in our years working with salon software and the businesses that use these systems.

First, most salon management software will contain two access levels: one level for owners or managers and another level for employees, stylists, service providers, etc. This typically makes it easy to create a scenario where certain users will have access to administrative settings and all employees’ books, while other users will only have access to basic functionality and their own books and clients. This is ideal for a booth rental salon where the security of client lists is vital to maintaining a healthy and successful work environment.

With this typical setup scenario, most salons will use a mixture of standard PC or Mac computers and tablet devices, namely iPads. For instance, most of the time it is easier for managers and receptionists to work from a computer with a monitor, keyboard, and mouse, primarily because these employees will be looking up and booking appointments for several different service providers. Similarly, it is more convenient for individual service providers to use tablet devices or even smartphones to quickly check schedules, look up past clients, and even receive payment via cash or credit.

Using a salon system setup like this on a regular basis has helped many businesses become more efficient and successful. Most salon owners will tell you that the key to a successful beauty industry business is in providing a pleasant and unmatched customer experience. Using technology like cloud computing and mobile devices will continue to enhance customer experience and drive more business owners to reconsider the salon software they use today.

Supercharge Your Marketing Efforts With the Right Salon Software

In today’s fast-paced, information-driven world, there is one thing that is the key to every successful business: marketing. Doing it right will bring you success and doing it wrong will set you back; however, not doing it all will absolutely devastate your business, especially if you are in the extremely competitive beauty industry.

Perhaps more than any other industry, businesses in the beauty industry need effective marketing in order to survive and prosper. When potential customers are searching for a hair salon, spa, or barbershop, they are, whether consciously or not, critiquing the message and image that your ad, website, or other marketing content conveys to them at first glance. Just think about it: if you were trusting your physical appearance with a business, wouldn’t you want to make sure that they put a solid effort into the appearance of their brand and professionalism?

That said, it’s not easy to properly market your business, especially when you have so many other tasks at hand. Bigger companies might be able to hire a dedicated marketing professional or team to handle that side of the business, but if you run a small to medium sized operation, there’s no way you can afford that option.

This is why you need to invest in salon software that assists with and automates certain marketing tasks that could take hours or days to accomplish on your own. For instance, today’s salon software suites have the ability to integrate with user-friendly third-party marketing apps, such as MailChimp. MailChimp is an email marketing app that makes it easy for anyone with a goal and a list of emails to start an email marketing campaign that produces results. ConnectBeauty is one salon software app that gives you the ability to connect MailChimp to your client list to gather emails and send out email blasts quickly and painlessly.

Similarly, text message or SMS marketing is another marketing avenue that the right salon software can help with. Again, the trouble with SMS marketing oftentimes is getting a list of customer phone numbers together and keeping that list up to date. Clickatell is one of the leading bulk SMS providers in the world, and with ConnectBeauty, you can keep your client list synced up with your Clickatell account. You can also create message blasts within ConnectBeauty and send them out with a single click.

Even with little to no background in marketing, the right tools can help you learn the tricks of the trade. It’s even better when all of your tools talk to each other, which is exactly how ConnectBeauty works to supercharge your marketing efforts. Give it a try, and you’ll find yourself spending less time switching back and forth between apps and screens and spending more time connecting with your customers.

3 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Choosing a Salon Software System

Whether you currently own a salon or are thinking of taking the plunge and opening one of your very own, you know that one of the most integral parts of keeping any beauty industry business running smoothly is the salon management software that an owner chooses to implement. Without the right software, you’ll find that employee hours are hard to keep track of, product inventory is never accurate, and double booking appointments is causing headaches on a regular basis. Yet, with so many systems on the market, how is an owner to make the right decision the first time.

Well, sometimes it might just be bad luck that you end up with a salon software system that just doesn’t cut it, but most of the time it’s because you just didn’t do all of your homework. Here are three quick questions you should ask yourself before choosing software and why these questions are important.

1. How will I be taking appointments?

One of the most crucial aspects of a salon is how the business chooses to schedule (or not schedule) clients for appointments. While some salons require that all clients book at least a few days or even a week in advance, other salons only take same day appointments or walk-ins. Similarly, some salon software is made to handle complex books that might be scheduled months or even years in advance, while other systems are more capable of dealing with a day to day schedule and random walk-in appointments.

2. What are my needs for reporting capabilities?

Although almost every application you look at will have reporting capabilities on some level, all systems are not created equal. Thus, if you are a bigger salon with several stylists, you may want a system that has more in-depth reporting. If it’s just you and a partner or two, then your reporting needs might be less complex.

3. Do I want to allow my clients to interact with the system?

This question is crucial because not all applications you find will allow for client interaction with the system. What we mean by this is do you want your client to be able to book appointments online, confirm appointments via email, view your stylists’ schedules, etc.? Or, conversely, do you want to have complete control over the system and make clients come directly to you to book & confirm appointments, etc.? Many clients find online booking and email confirmation to be very convenient; it’s definitely not for everyone, however, so this is something you really need to think about.

Remember, these are just three of several questions you should ask yourself before making up your mind about a salon POS software system. Other factors to consider are the hardware you want to use, what types of payment you want to accept, what your budget is, and much, much more.