The past few years have shown now, more than ever, that technology is going to play an increasingly important role to barbers across the world. We’ve recently seen this brought to light with the contact tracing efforts so many businesses have had to put in place due to the pandemic.
We chatted with Ingrid van de Berg, our fab New Zealand Sales Manager, about how the industry is evolving to include more technology and progress their business even further.
Q: How do you think COVID has changed the way barbers use technology in their businesses?
I: Pre-Covid so many barbers just took walk-in’s, and those who didn’t and took appointments were making it work for them. But with contact tracing and the need to collect accurate data and records changed the game bit. Suddenly, barbers couldn’t run a walk-in business anymore – their clients had to book online to be able to get a haircut.
I think this opened a lot of barbers’ eyes to the need for software in their business, where maybe before the need and benefits weren’t as apparent as the costs. COVID made so many barbers in the industry sit down and analyse the cost of having a software system versus the benefits of having a system to support their business moving forward.
The way I see it too – there’s always going to be a cost to the things you value. There was a great quote from the Social Dilemma on Netflix recently that said, “If it’s free – you become the product.” Which I think is just so true!
Q: So from a technology point of view, how can barbers improve the way they run their businesses?
I: Having any sort of technology solution enables you to keep your finger on the pulse. You have all this data that you can work with to better plan for your future, and drive your marketing to keep existing clients engaged. I think getting even more intricate with your marketing and putting your brand across more platforms is going to be hugely beneficial. Using tools like Reserve with Google to gain new clients is going to be a huge asset.
Q: So tell us – should the industry be going for cloud solutions or more traditional software?
I: Honestly, use both! Everyone is so time poor especially with the added responsibilities around COVID. A blended solution that uses both cloud technology and software installed on a computer can accommodate businesses who have both walk-in’s and appointments. Using technology to create a seamless, fluid, professional experience and promoting return business makes all the difference, I believe, and leaves a lasting impression.
The best part about it is a blended solution is the most reliable – you have the flexibility of the cloud with the security and reliability of your on-premise software.
Even if you have internet problems or face extreme circumstances like theft, fire or flood, you can still access all of your data. It’s yours and you own it!
Q: What are some Shortcuts feature you think the industry can’t live without?
I: If you’re a walk-in based barber business, definitely the Walk-in Manager and the Wall Board. These features work together to help you manage your walk-ins – your guests can check themselves into the queue, and view the queue and wait times up on the Wall Board dashboard so they know when it’s their turn.
The dashboard gives you so much visibility over your business anywhere in live time. It helps you identify where your focus is required and gives you the ability to pull so many reports to drill down on – data is so useful to your businesses success!
Marketing features is also another huge one – without marketing, it’s going to be a lot harder to attract new clients and retain existing ones!
Shortcuts has fully integrated marketing so you can follow up with no-shows, remind clients of their appointments, send out time to see you again campaigns and so much more without even having to think about it!
Our SMS bundles are very competitively priced as well to help you get the most out of your SMS marketing and appointment confirmation messages.
A bit about Ingrid:
Ingrid comes from an extensive background in Business Development and Training Management with leading brands within the Beauty Industry. She is passionate about the importance of customer service and identifying areas to promote growth within service orientated establishments. She joined the Shortcuts team in 2019 to connect with New Zealand businesses and help them evolve with software solutions to suit them.