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Get to Know the COVID Five

When things are turned upside down, arguably it’s the ideal time to try something new. If the change poses NO risk and has significant upside potential, the only real question is when and where to begin.

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on the world in remarkable and unexpected ways. While the overall economy continues to struggle to re-stabilize, many small- to mid-sized businesses have yet to reopen. The first businesses to brave our new day-to-day reality are also still navigating the best ways to recoup losses, protect staff and clients, and restructure safely, efficiently, and profitably.

The beauty and wellness industry is at the forefront of this journey forward. So far, in the first half of this year, Salon and Spa owners have been tremendously impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. They have also proven how adaptable they are and how their forward-thinking use of specialized technologies keeps businesses afloat in the short term and are vital to a long-term resilience and growth strategy. Smart scheduling automation offers advantages that are needed more now than ever:

1. Eliminate GUESSWORK:

Pre-COVID, businesses would have a somewhat predictable seasonal ebb and flow and we could prepare for busy and slow times. Now external factors, such as abrupt closures and competition closing doors, makes the volume and cadence of business almost impossible to know. With smart technology applied to analysis of past, present, and future transactions, we can now learn from client patterns and preferences and plan better around erratic circumstances. Smart insights, informed forecasting, and real-time automated scheduling of open appointments prevent the stress around uncertainty and eliminate unnecessary drains on resources.

2. Increase REVENUE:

Many people assume platforms that use sophisticated technology are expensive.  On the contrary, with high-end, smart revenue- generating platforms, you ONLY pay for monthly results*. This is possible because Artificial Intelligence aggregates, analyzes, and mines every practical detail to transform data into marketing gold. Surprisingly, most businesses that collect client emails and valuable POS data don’t do anything with it. Smart scheduling automation platforms harness this powerful data to learn who clients are, what they want, and then trigger real-time, thoughtful communications and take actions that fill empty seats.

3. Provide EXCELLENCE:

Across the country, salons and spas are ramping up smart communications to address the full range of new and legacy client needs. Effective technology finds new opportunities and enables efficiency without compromising service quality. Smart scheduling automation builds and nurtures long-term client relationships with friendly, personalized, engaging online interactions that make it effortless for clients and service providers to interact. Automated birthday greetings, reminders, and offers, enable businesses to provide the convenience and VIP treatment that clients expect and demand without having to lift a finger. As a result, clients return more often and spend more when they do.

4. Improve SAFETY:

Some of the challenges posed by COVID-19 are obvious and tangible, such as new mask-wearing rules, heightened sanitation practices, limited number of clients at a time, and new structural setups.  Inherent in smart scheduling technology, you will find features that are naturally aligned with this moment in time. With contactless and online booking, payment, and tipping, no one has to manually touch a credit card, handle cash, or even grab a pen. Fewer physical touchpoints mean that clients and staff are more protected, more at ease, and more focused on enjoying their service and time together.

5. Fortify INFRASTRUCTURE:

The details in POS transactional interactions hold the key to long-term stability and resilience. Sophisticated analytics provide valuable insights used to book business, communicate with clients, and provide a seamlessly safe and contactless client experience. Over time, the more data there is to “learn” from, the more accurate the insights, and the more significant the bottom line and return on investment (ROI) impact. An easy-to-use automation platform such as REACH efficiently does exactly what you need in real-time, 24 hours a day, and gives owners and staff back huge chunks of time to focus on other tasks that contribute to a thriving business.

There are many things we don’t know about what the future holds. We DO know that your work is needed and valued. Although we all appreciate the fervor of clients emerging from their homes to come in for service, scrambling to field calls, fill last-minute openings and cancellations, and answer questions is overwhelming. When uncertainty is compounded with all of the other new responsibilities and the lack of time and resources, you have the perfect storm.

Small businesses that want to survive, compete, scale, and thrive must adapt. Clients expect, and demand, personal, relevant, and timely attention between visits to supplement their stellar onsite service. Now is the perfect time for a new technology-based approach to higher quality client interactions, stronger infrastructure, and more efficient overall practices. Since these external circumstances aren’t going away any time soon, implementing the best technology available is the next best thing that business owners CAN control to drive marketing, stability, and growth.

Octopi Commerce creates seamless solutions for our partners and their customers. Join us for a personalized demo of Reach CDP, our Connected Customer Data Platform. If giving us a call is more your style, dial 888.796.5755 for the scoop on what we offer and what we’ve been up to lately. Thanks!

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