Nowadays, businesses such as spas and salons require expert point of sale (POS) systems, as they do more than sell a service and collect payment. Service professionals need a robust salon POS system and appointment scheduling software to interact with their customers in a more personalized way. Luckily, many companies have tailored their services to create specially designed systems for these businesses. As a bonus, many of the software created also have POS functions. These systems host a multitude of features that are central to companies such as spas or salons.Learn More See Blog
In choosing a sound POS system, you have to ensure that the features are specialized or tailored to meet the needs of your business. Therefore, do proper research to identify the functions your business would require before investing in POS software. A specialized salon POS system offers features to centralize business operations and provide enhanced convenience and productivity. Depending on the type of business you operate, and your needs, services that may benefit you include:
Having integrated booking features is not a must, but it will make your job easier. Some spa and salon POS systems come with appointment scheduling software in-built, while others use separate booking and scheduling software apps. If your POS integrates with an appointment scheduling system or app, you likely have to invest in a different booking program. Using this complicates the process of viewing no-shows and cancelations. Having one centralized system allows you to track everything happening in your business, for example, bookings, sales, and staff assignments. A POS system with in-built appointment scheduling features enables the generation of detailed reports, providing a better understanding of your business. POS systems come in many forms of hardware. Let us examine a few of the facts on the equipment needed for a sound POS system.
Businesses need to understand the components of a good salon POS system before they invest in one. You can buy POS systems with or without software. Let us examine some POS hardware components.
The main element of a POS system is the central processing unit (CPU), or computer, that operates the software. It is best to use your POS computer only for sale, inventory control, or report based transactions.
Another essential component of a POS system is the cash drawer. Money, debit and credit card receipts and other paperwork are stored here. It is the part of the system that opens upon receiving a signal from the computer or receipt printer. The cash drawer needs to be strong enough to manage the constant opening and closing it is required to do.
There are various choices as it pertains to POS monitors to add to your system. There are types such as Flat-panel LCD monitors as well as standard CRT monitors.
Although optional, this part is helpful as it displays the transaction for the customer’s view. It shows the total of the sale, the amount paid, and the change tendered. It can also be useful in displaying customized advertising messages.
The keyboard is the main interface to the POS system. They range in selections from standard models to industry-specific POS keyboards. When choosing a keyboard, consider the size, if it is programmable and its magnetic stripe reader functions.
Most POS systems tend to use the small, handheld scanner. For larger businesses, they use an embedded scanner; for example, the ones at the end of the conveyor belt in the supermarket checkout line. The barcode scanner works by reading a barcode on the product, decrypting the information, and forwarding it to the computer. These devices allow for more accuracy and are time-efficient when checking out multiple products. They can also be used to add inventory to the POS database.
Most POS systems have the added feature of credit card terminals. They may include card readers. However, this is unnecessary if the monitor or keyboard has a magnetic stripe reader. The signature capturing device holds the customers’ signature at the end of a transaction. It is useful for debit cards, credit cards, gift cards, and loyalty programs. Doing this helps to simplify the sales and paperwork.
The last item required for a salon POS system is the receipt printer. The business needs to be able to print a record of customer transactions for the customer and the store. There are many types of receipt printers. These include serial dot-matrix printers, which are cheaper to purchase; however, their pins and ink ribbons need replacement periodically, which comes at a cost. There are also thermal receipt printers that work quicker and quieter, but use special paper that is quite costly. Also, there are receipt printers that use Magnetic Ink Character Recognition (MICR). These printers can print, read, or endorse cheques in one go.Learn More
Many features are imperative to have if you are investing in a salon POS system or appointment scheduling system. Some of these critical POS features include:
Having a salon POS system is very beneficial, especially if you are upgrading from paper appointment books. These systems provide an efficient way to manage your bookings, prevent double booking, arrange employee schedules, and keep abreast of cancellations and no-shows. Having an appointment scheduling feature helps to notify staff of last-minute changes to their agenda, and also keeps them aware of the appointment times, so they are ready when customers arrive.
According to research, 40% of customers prefer to schedule their appointments outside of normal business hours. Offering online booking options helps you to retain those customers and profit from their business. Online booking affords customers the ability to schedule their appointments at a time of their convenience. Also, integrating an appointment scheduling and booking system, you have access to greater benefits. These benefits include:
It is essential to understand the importance of customer relationship management. Engaging your customers, providing personalized service, and interacting with them as a whole benefit your business. Customers are more likely to keep supporting a business that tailors its services to their needs and recognizes their importance to the business. The POS systems provide essential features that allow you to collect data on your clients that allows you to provide them the best customer experience possible. It also facilitates a feedback system that allows your customers to voice their opinions on things that can be improved to provide greater service. Hi-tech salon POS systems even have a feature to upload photos so that you can replicate a previously done style.
Understanding that the relationship you have with your clients is a factor that determines how likely they are to return is essential. To appeal to customers, you have to engage them by appealing to their emotions and needs. Having a loyalty points system or reward points system simply is not sufficient to drive customer loyalty to your brand. A good salon POS system should include a loyalty and rewards program for its clients while collecting data to benefit the business. For example, it should make you able to identify their preferences and the frequency of their visits. Having membership programs tailored to your customers is very important, for example, offering discounts or special offers on certain styles every week. Also, gift cards, referral codes, and other incentives motivate customers to buy more as it shows how much you value them.
Email marketing is quite a revenue booster and is a great tool for customer engagement. Modern POS systems allow for ease of access to compose, design, and send out marketing emails to your customers. With email marketing features, you can create and manage your list of subscribers. You can then synchronize the customers POS dealings, and use that data gathered to keep track of specific customer preferences. An advanced salon POS system should have email marketing features such as the ability to automate, customize, and send out newsletters or mass emails to clients. It also allows you to track purchase history or customer buying behavior, and shows where to tailor the discounts and offers made to individual customers. Lastly, a good POS system should have the ability to incorporate reports that tell which campaigns make higher sales.
Real-time reporting gives you the ability to view activities while they are happening. Having a POS system with this feature allows you to monitor inventory, scheduling, revenue, and costs. This feature allows you to immediately view the effects of your campaigns on the level of traffic you receive. It helps you to view new content, see which promotions are driving traffic to your sites, and monitor traffic from blog posts or social network posts. Advanced POS systems also enable you to monitor reports on key performance indicators towards the business’ goals.
Being able to keep track of your inventory is essential to the operation of your business. A good salon POS system should allow you to organize your inventory and sales. This feature also allows you to set reminders for when you are low on items in your stock and need to replenish it. Also, by running inventory and sales reports, you can view the styles and products that are in high demand by your customers. Doing this enables you to keep abreast of the necessary stock needed to function daily, so you never find yourself running out.
Employee management is a significant function of a POS system for salons and barbershops. A good system should feature work, to allocate shifts and swap shifts for employees. It helps you make knowledgeable decisions on your scheduling needs, so you do not end up understaffed or overstaffed. Employee management features show you how many employees are on schedule to work, how many are working, and what job they are doing. The POS system with this feature also allows you to track employee appointments, create and edit schedules, and view the money generated by each stylist. Investing in this software is beneficial as it allows you to generate labor reports, retain top talent, and reward employees that are performing well, and help underperforming employees.
Operating a cash-only business can severely affect your business, as it prevents certain types of customers from accessing and enjoying your services. Therefore, it is essential to provide other payment options. Most customers appreciate the ability to use a debit or credit card to make their purchases, especially if they are low on cash. This feature comes in very handy, especially for businesses that offer online booking options. Your POS system needs to have an integrated payment processing system that allows you to process credit and debit cards. However, whatever system you use should be specially equipped to protect customer data from breaches or card fraud safely. Some significant features to have included: - Pre-payment and pre-authentication capabilities to ensure customers have the required funds before providing the service. - Auto-added cancelation fee no-show customers - It integrates with external payment processors - In-house payment processing
One of the most important things to note is that the POS system you use has to be supported by excellent customer service. Aspects of this include customer service options for queries, installation issues, and ongoing support. Your POS provider should be able to cater to customers by monitoring your POS system and providing regular maintenance assistance remotely, to minimize lost time.
Most POS systems have their mobile apps that function on handheld devices or are at least compatible with existing mobile applications. Some can operate on Android, IOS, and Windows, among other operating systems. Most of these apps are cloud-based.
Although your POS system needs tailoring to meet the needs of your business, there are some general vital features you must ensure it has. These key features include:
A POS system needs to be easy to operate by the persons using it. Otherwise, it becomes a liability, because if it is too complicated for your staff, you will have to spend additional time training them to operate the system correctly.
The POS system chosen needs to be scalable, in conjunction with the number of employees in your facility.
An ideal POS system costs will be more than just the price you pay to purchase the components and have it installed. Therefore, it is wise to note that you have to budget for the costs of operating your POS system.
After viewing all these suggestions, it should be simple to choose the best pos system and appointment scheduling software for your barbershop, salon, or spa. Utilizing any of these systems will guarantee you better results, as they protect against missed bookings, cancelations, and other obstacles. You can also make use of customer reviews in selecting reputable providers for your salon POS system. Carefully selecting the best POS system can result in a high return on investments in the form of loyal brand customers, employee satisfaction and retention, and efficient business operation. With these integrated software solutions, you can relax and let your POS system take on the hard work.