When I first moved to New Orleans 13 years ago, I started working at a salon called Paris Parker. I was in love. I had found an amazing place to be and an incredible (and I do mean incredible) cast of characters to be around every day. One of the biggest characters is my friend, hugely talented stylist Chris Guidry. We were together quite a bit–at the salon, at basketball games or at the neighborhood bar (we also both lived right around the corner from the salon)! Since I moved to the DC area, we don’t get to see each other as often as I would like, so when I heard he’d been using the Stylist App with his Apple Watch I had to give him a call and get the scoop!

Name: Chris Guidry
Role: Design Educational Director for Paris Parker Salons
Years in industry: 20

Coffee or tea? Coffee

Other than the SalonBiz Mobile app, what other apps do you use?
Hairbrained, BBC, Bleacher Report and Pandora.

How do you use technology to prepare your day?
As soon as I arrive at the salon and I get my iPad out. I go through my schedule client by client and review their history. I find their last visit and note the number of weeks since their last appointment so that during today’s service, I can reference it and we’ll pre-book their next visit.

Using the history, I’ll also look to see if there’s a pattern of service. If my client is coming every 8 weeks for example, we’ll talk about booking standing appointments. This is especially important this time of the year so we can get those all important holiday appointments reserved now. I make it a point to know how many weeks until the next big even or holiday – it’s surprising how quick they sneak up.

Do you ever think about the technology that was in place when you started in the industry?
I do remember a time before Facebook, and the client list report was the Holy Grail. Now all of the staff are already connected to their clients on social media and that list is now very transparent.

What’s your favorite feature of the watch?
My favorite feature of the watch is the notification. I know the moment my client checks in with an alert on my wrist. I love this because, not only is it not disruptive to my client already in my chair, it prevents a long wait for my client who just arrived. And because I’ve already researched their history, I’m ready for them! It’s really awesome.

The watch is also great for stylists who do color services. The ability to view color formulas is amazing. If the “back” computer is busy then the colorists can check their watch and start mixing.

Does the notification distract you?
No, not at all. Actually, it’s been a great topic of conversation with my clients.

Do you use the watch to review your book?
For now I mostly use it for notifications. But I can reference purchase history, so I can see product and service purchases, notes and my book.

Any tips or tricks to share on the mobile app or apple watch?
Honestly, it is so easy and fun to use. It puts everything you need in your pocket, on your wrist – right at your fingertips. You’ve got your book, your goals and all the information you could want to be great at your job.

How often do you use the mobile app on your phone?
Not often at all during the day. I personally don’t like phones on the salon floor because even though you are working, it just doesn’t look like you are working. Now that’s just my personal preference, so I typically use the iPad app to stay up-to-date on each client and still look professional

Even though I may not have my phone out on the styling floor, I do use it all the time. I love that I can book an appointment if I run into a client outside of the salon hours and can use it on my sofa at 9:30pm on a Sunday night for an “emergency” booking. It’s such a great tool to have.

How often do you check your stats and goals on your phone?
Daily–I always know where I am and what I need to do to hit my goal. 

What advice would you give to other stylists and managers?
My recommendation for everyone is to be current.

As stylists, we have to be current in not only trends but also in technology. You have to spend time with the younger generation and listen to them about what’s interesting, how they are sharing information and what they are using. If you are going to spend time and money going to class to learn about the latest technique, you should put that same energy into to having ALL of the tools necessary. The better the technology you have at your disposal, the more time you have to focus on your craft.

As managers, you have to adapt to the world around you. You can’t fight technology. The people who fight technology aren’t riding to their salons in a horse and buggy. You have to adapt. If we are going to empower our team and our future with techniques, we need to do the same with new technology. With the rise of the tech-savvy youth, comes the rise of the well-informed employee. So, as an owner, what are you doing to keep up?

What do you see in the future?
I think eventually with technology we can eliminate the front desk. Not the Front Desk team per se, but then they can be focused on supporting retail as a service instead of having clients wait in line to check in and pre-book. I love being involved in technology and providing feedback on how I use it and think we should always be asking ourselves… “Now what?”

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