The other day, I met a friend of mine who used to stay in my neighbourhood before. Recently, they had shifted to a different locality, which is almost 10 kilometres from mine. Chatting with her for a while, I asked her what brought her here. She told me, she had to get a haircut and routine facial from a well-known brand of spa and salons in my locality.
I was curious to know why she had come all the way here riding 10 kilometres when there was a branch of the same salon branch near her new residence. That’s where I came to know that she is used to a stylist and therapist here and not ready to take a chance with a new one. After some more chit chat, we parted ways.
Being a student of supply chain and logistics, I just wondered would it make more sense to make the patronized stylists and therapists travel rather than make the customer do it? Considering the fact that a spa and salon brand has many branches, the demanded therapists, stylists and coaches can do the shuttling around and provide the consistent personalized service that the customer expects.
What could be the other benefits of such a design?
- You can operate on lean model: Considering you have a bunch of specialists in haircut, facial, massage, etc. who are patronized by your customers, you can try to run more outlets with minimum employees.
- Retain and reward the best: With a few best in hand, your overall employee cost would come down while inturn you can reward the best with more incentives and profit sharing and ensure reduced turnover among employees
- Minimize the unproductive hours: Instead of a stylist or a therapist lazing around during the lean hours of a particular branch he/she can be utilized effectively in other branches of the brand.
- Your customer stays with the brand: It is common for customers to get used to a particular stylist and therapist. But in scenarios where they shift their residence they would still have the luxury of getting the services from their favourite service providers.
- Reduce customer waiting time and crowding: As the stylists would start operating according to a more organized schedule ,it would become easier to manage customer appointments accordingly.
- Increase in number of customers: Your customers would become your marketers in their new area. They would definitely tag their friends to their trusted beautician or therapists
What it demands to manage such a set up?
As in many scenarios things are easier said than done. It is mandatory to capture the resources, demands, customer feedback and manage the appointments across locations. A software or an app becomes a prerequisite for such an efficient and lean model of operation. With a suitable and customized software program an owner can do wonders in increasing his bottom line.
Employee retention and compensation is one of the biggest headaches of salon owners for which no massage is available in their own outlets.
If the salon software is also designed in a manner to enable a robust compensation and reward structure that captures the demand of the stylist, number of appointments, customer feedback, then that would be a dream come true for every spa owner.
Wow! That small chat with my friend, that small idea that it triggered has led to such a beautiful flow of thoughts. Maybe with such software for salon and spa can be the next cash cows in our growing Indian market.
Words by : Abinayi Pavithra