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Selecting the Right Salon CRM

January 26, 2012

There are well over 200 reputable salon software systems currently on the market. However, all salon-spa software programs are not created equal, and sorting through the numerous software and hardware packages, multiple options, hidden costs, and service/support programs can be a daunting and excruciating task. In addition, just because your previous employer or the salon next door has opted for a specific software program does not mean that it will necessarily meet your salon’s unique needs. Purchasing salon software is like buying a car or selecting a cell-phone provider. The only way to get it right is by doing your homework first.

Before examining the various vendors, begin by assessing your needs, being sure to factor in single-door or multiple locations, the number of computer stations you wish to run, the number of columns you will need, the types of service you offer, the amount of staff you have, and the number of retail lines you carry. Then determine exactly what you wish to track i.e. staff productivity, retail sell-through, pre-booking performance, referral ratios, discounting, client visit frequency, color usage, etc.

Once you have an idea of your basic requirements, you’ll need to compare costs. This should include add-on features, hardware, training, setup, and the option of either buying or leasing the software license and equipment. Don’t be lured into buying a $299 desktop computer or compromise on the software’s capacity. As with most things, you get what you pay for.

Unless you are a real computer techie, opt for software that offers a full implementation package. Ensuring that the system is set up correctly from the start and that it will be fully operational on day one will be worth every penny invested! Other considerations to explore when assessing different software providers include: CRM module integration, Tech Support Plan, Launch & follow-up training, maintenance & upgrade subscription costs, Gift Card modules and Built-in Reports.

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