Dave Corgat is managing director at Rainbow Global Network Services, the leading supplier of some of the world’s premier telecoms, data and technology brands.
Salon independents and chains alike are constantly seeking out innovative methods of boosting revenue and embedding efficiency into the heart of salon marketing and client relationship management.
One place often overlooked, in particular by smaller independents and start-ups, is technology. Just saying the word can strike fear into even the most open-minded salon owner: fear associated with capital outlay. Traditional IT and telecoms systems do indeed carry a hefty price tag due to the need for hardware investment.
However these days, thanks to the ‘cloud’, there are some highly efficient and very powerful opportunities out there, all without the burden of capital outlay.
Here at Rainbow Global Network Services we take care of the telecoms for Rush and Headmasters, as well numerous independents and the largest UK salon sector distributer.
A large proportion of what we offer nowadays is cloud based, or what’s also known as ‘hosted services’. In a nutshell, we’re talking about services that are internet based. And these services have great benefits for the salon sector:
- Cost savings: Hosted telephone systems offer great cost savings in comparison to traditional versions. Usually there is little or no capital outlay because there is no need for a physical ‘server’ to power the system, as it’s all run through the internet. An affordable monthly charge covers everything. Plus most of the systems come packed with extras like free handsets and free minutes.
- Client relationship management: A hosted telephone system offers some great features for keeping in touch with clients. If you are running a CRM application, or use Outlook to manage your contacts, then it can all be integrated. So the phone rings, and up on your screen pop your client’s details: date of last appointment, services they have, preferred stylist, etc. There is also the option to integrate your booking system and create appointment confirmations and reminders by SMS.
- Disaster recovery: Vital when you need to keep your business running in the midst of an unexpected issue. Calls can be temporarily diverted to other branches or any individual’s landline or mobile.
- Marketing: A sophisticated hosted telephone system will collect a range of dynamic data from inbound calls that will allow you to fine tune and really target your marketing.
And it’s not just telephone systems that can be hosted. Cloud based desktops allow you to access your own familiar applications, contacts and documents, including bespoke or salon-specific systems, wherever you are. So all your branches can log in to a central database, and you can, if you wish, literally take your work home with you.
Security systems can be hosted too, again cutting the need for massive investment in hardware in order to reduce losses through theft. Hosted CCTV and door entry systems can be operated and monitored remotely from any location, so whatever branch you happen to be working at on any one day, you can monitor what’s happening elsewhere.
As you can see, cloud based technology really does have a lot to offer. Certainly the feedback we’ve had from our salon sector clients is extremely positive when it comes to boosted revenue and enhanced efficiency.
We hope you find this information useful, and if you’d like to give hosted a go, we’d love to show you how it can work through one of our no-obligation free trials.
Dave Corgat: managing director, Rainbow Global Network Services