Ok guys, we get it… 2020 was a rubbish year. From bushfires in Australia to a global pandemic, lockdowns to protests, to wild weather and a wild ride of a US election thrown in, it was a year that was… a lot… to handle. At best. But in amongst the real-bad, we like to think there was some good.
For one, it brought people together. It made us all realise and appreciate the time we did have with our friends and family.
It brought big challenges, but also ingenuity, to the hair and beauty industry. You all proved to the world how hard you would fight to keep your businesses surviving and your staff afloat. You proved that when faced with harsh restrictions and lockdowns, you could find new ways to reach your clients and retain the community and client base you worked so hard to build. Seriously, hats off to you!
For us, 2020 was about helping you as much as we could. We supported you with relief where possible, SMS bundle bonuses to keep you in touch with your clients, and offered up 3 months of free Social Sorted content so you had content to keep your social accounts flourishing. We also released brand new features like Cardless Checkout and Cancellations, and reminded you of some old favourites, like Rewards Club, setting up a Shopify site to sell your retail online, using Upfront Payments to secure some revenue on those re-opening bookings, and selling Online Gift Cards!
So here’s a wrap up of our silver-linings from 2020:
We announced Cancellations and Cardless Checkout
If you didn’t hear, Cardless Checkout is a new Uber-style way of paying for appointments. With Cardless Checkout, guests can provide their credit card details, which are then securely tokenized to allow for easy, cardless checkout at your point of sale. When your client’s service is complete you can charge their credit card on file rather than having them wait in a queue to pay using a card at your front desk.
Ultimately, Cardless Checkout will help you create a super seamless checkout experience for your clients, help reduce queues at the front desk, and reduce card handling to support COVID-safe plans.
On the other hand, Cancellations is the perfect feature to make sure your guests show up for their appointment and safeguard your salon from lost revenue due to no-shows or pesky last-minute cancellations. When the average salon loses tens of thousands of pounds to no-shows and cancellations each year, you definitely need a feature like Cancellations on your side!
With Cancellations, you can set a time frame and amount to charge if they decide to cancel or no-show. Simply collect a client’s card details at the time of booking so they can be stored securely in Stripe. Simple!
Our little developer elves have been working frantically to get our Cancellations and Cardless Checkout features absolutely perfect for you. Sometimes perfection can take a little longer than anticipated, so while these fancy features haven’t landed in your Shortcuts system just yet, they’ll be there very soon!
We released Pre-Arrival Messages and Ad-Hoc SMS
One of our goals this year was to help you communicate with your clients better. And with so many COVID-related messages you needed to send to your clients, we knew that giving you some more email and SMS functionality was a MUST!
We added automated Pre-Arrival Messages to Marketing to help you schedule emails or SMS to automatically send to your clients before their appointment.
A lot of our customers wanted this functionality so that they could remind their clients to wait in their car when they arrived for the appointment. It’s also super helpful to send any links to your COVID-safe plan on your website or any COVID forms they’d need to complete, as well as reminding them to call to reschedule if they were feeling unwell or experiencing flu like symptoms.
Pre-Arrival messages can be sent anywhere from 5 minutes to 24 hours before an appointment – the time frames totally up to you! Once you’ve set it all up, the messages will run automatically for any new appointment scheduled after that point.
Another one of our fancy-schmancy enhancements was Ad-Hoc SMS with customisable text. This means you can now create SMS templates for messages you need to send regularly, and your team can send them to clients directly from the appointment book! So if you want to let your client know you’re running 5 minutes late, or give them personalised pre-appointment tips (like shave 24 hours before their laser appointment) then you can do so!
We reintroduced you to Rewards Club
When the pandemic hit and our countries started going into lockdowns, we hurried to find a way to help you keep your businesses afloat even when you couldn’t see clients.
And that’s when we had a 💡lightbulb moment💡 and remembered Rewards Club.
This little-known feature has been tucked away in Shortcuts for yearssss (we’ve been around a while ya know!) Rewards Club is included within the Clubs feature of Shortcuts which can be accessed by ALL of our customers, right away.
It enables you to set a variety of upfront payment level tiers such as £250, £500, or £1000 packages for example and give a certain amount of redeemable points for every £1 of the package. It’s essentially a spend and save program for the client that guarantees you immediate revenue, with additional value for a loyal customer that won’t cost you an arm and a leg.
We kept you in the loop
Last, but not least, we made it our mission to keep you as up-to-date as possible and give you easy-to-use resources to help you through the most challenging stages of the pandemic. We wanted to remind you of everything your Shortcuts system could be doing to help you, your team and your business – so we made sure we were shouting about all the features we knew could help.
When COVID-19 first came to the UK, everything moved very fast! Our government were creating new rules and restrictions pretty much every day (if not every hour) and keeping up with them and how they related to your business was very overwhelming.
We wanted to make this time as easy as possible for you, so we whipped up a resource hub full of blogs about updates and information that directly related to the hair and beauty industries. We also created a communication kit full of email templates, SMS templates and social media posts so you could communicate these critical changes to your clients.
👉You can check out our COVID-19 Resource Hub right here (but fingers crossed you won’t need it again!)
The feedback we received from our customers really warmed our hearts, and we really hope it helped you at the time! At the end of the day, we’re all in this together <3
So with all of that now in the rear-view mirror, can we just say how EXCITED we are for 2021?! Like yes, the world won’t automatically revert back to our “old-normal” but a new year holds so much opportunity. For us, it holds so many exciting features and improvements that we are just busting at the seams to tell you about. We feel like 2021 will be a year of glow-ups…
But you’re just going to have to wait until next year to find out, aren’t you 😉