Success in any business starts with finding the right tools and understanding how to apply them to maximize the customer experience. For the salon industry, one of those tools is Presence AI.
Presence AI is an artificial intelligence tool that’s a programmable voice for your business, and works directly with SalonBiz software, to provide a next level guest experience and streamline communication between clients and salons, seamlessly.
Now, before you jump to conclusions about AI, take a step back and consider the cost savings and freedom it creates for salon business owners.
Think about all the times you needed extra staff to handle busy times. Then consider what those staff were doing. Was it hair appointments and general business operations like product upsell and management? Or was it tasks such as:
- Booking appointments
- Rescheduling appointments
- Providing reminders of upcoming appointments
These are just some of the simple reasons Wade Zylstra, owner and Creative Visionary of Lux Salon in California, has been a user of SalonBiz software since 2002. He could see the financial potential of using the software platform to manage daily cash and credit card transactions, deposits, and appointment management for his salon.
Zylstra was also an early adopter of Presence AI and has never looked back. He feels automating simple tasks like scheduling and appointment reminders allows staff to focus more on the customer experience and appreciates the ways AI provides a high-end feel to the whole guest cycle process.
“SalonBiz successfully manages every aspect of my salon business because it’s built on feedback from Aveda salon owners and our customers,” says Zylstra. SalonBiz also offers a variety of apps to expand functionality, allowing us to expand outreach to customers through marketing, expanded payment options, and providing private online communication options between stylist and customer. It’s a simple way to build stronger customer relationships between appointments.
“The Receipts” Show Positive Impact of Presence AI
“We want to make it as simple as possible for customers to communicate with us in a way that’s easy for them,” says Zylstra. What does that include? Offering customers the convenience of using a quick text to book an appointment, and a follow up courtesy text to confirm. Both features are automated through Presence AI.
Presence AI also easily checks availability of a stylist, matches it with a customer’s appointment preference, and sets the appointment. Details go directly into the online booking schedule and are viewable by the stylist and salon owner.
Enabling the text feature is convenient all around and reduces no show rates. If customers are able to reschedule via text, they don’t need to call or spend time talking with someone in the salon who’s trying to help clients at the service desk.
In fact, focusing on customer convenience first is what helped Lux Salon achieve the following in December 2018, all through the use of Presence AI.
Lux Salon communicated with over 800 clients without picking up the phone; Nearly 100 were new bookings. The breakdown:
- 680 Confirmations
- 89 Cancellations
- 33 Reschedules
- 74 New Bookings
Beyond these statistics, Zylstra sees the bigger impact Presence AI has in evolving the salon experience – to grow in pace with what customers want most – simple, fast, convenient service.
“Using Presence AI helps us understand the customer better and their evolving needs and desires. People are looking for quick, instant gratification and need it now, which makes email communication a slow, outdated tool for customer outreach. I like to think of Presence AI as a concierge that’s available 24 hours a day at the customer’s convenience and can easily communicate to meet specific customer needs. We’ve seen drop off rates improve because clients are being communicated to how they wish.”
Presence AI also continues to learn and evolve through customer interaction. It acts as your eyes and ears picking up trends and learning customer behaviors to help improve the guest cycle overall.
According to Zylstra, using AI has highlighted three key things:
- Salons need to communicate how the customer is communicating in 2019
- Individual communication commitment levels are different among people
- People want the ability to communicate quickly if they are running late or need to reschedule
Bonus Side Effects of Presence AI
According to Zylstra, “First and foremost, less phones ringing, and manual follow up calls are a thing of the past!” It’s also easier for staff to focus on the customer in the salon as phone duties are delegated to Presence AI, and staff can be redistributed to high need areas.
On days the salon is closed, Presence AI still works just like a person. It answers calls and provides proper responses to customer service questions. It’s also easy to program an informative text regarding delays or weather closings, then automatically change and confirm the new appointments based on responses.
“Overall, Presence AI improves client commitment and wastes a lot less time”. But, there’s always a human back up that can jump in if needed.