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Overcome Salon Staffing Challenges With AI

June 30, 2023

Increase Efficiency and Productivity – Without Hiring New Staff!

Running a salon business comes with its fair share of challenges, and one of the most common hurdles is finding and retaining qualified staff.

According to the National Hair and Beauty Foundation, 57% of salons have unfilled vacancies, with more than half of those vacancies taking over 16 weeks to fill. Additionally, the labor shortage has forced many salon businesses to cut hours or even stop offering certain services altogether.

As a salon owner, you know how crucial it is to have a reliable and efficient team to deliver exceptional customer service. That’s where an AI-powered client communications tool can be a lifesaver. This innovative solution has the potential to ease staffing challenges by increasing efficiency, profitability, and employee engagement. Let’s delve into the details.

How Does an Artificial Intelligence (AI) Tool Assist with Staffing Challenges?

Increased Efficiency

Imagine a virtual assistant that can handle customer inquiries, appointment scheduling, and even provide information about your salon services. An AI-powered client communications tool does precisely that. By automating routine tasks, such as answering common questions or managing appointment bookings, it frees up valuable time for your staff. With fewer administrative responsibilities on their plate, your team can focus on what they do best—delivering salon services to clients. This streamlined process ensures smoother operations and increases your staff’s productivity. If you adopt a powerful AI messaging solution, you may be able to scale without hiring new employees. If you routinely pay expensive overtime, the improved efficiency can slash those costs.

Improved Profitability

A thriving salon is one that attracts and retains clients. With an AI-powered client communications tool, you can enhance the overall customer experience, leading to increased satisfaction and loyalty. The virtual assistant can promptly respond to customer inquiries, provide personalized recommendations, and even send reminders for upcoming appointments. These proactive interactions not only make clients feel valued but also contribute to repeat business and positive word-of-mouth referrals. As a result, your salon’s profitability is bound to soar, with a steady stream of satisfied clients driving growth and revenue. Furthermore, a healthy bottom line helps you pay a competitive wage – and it’s virtually impossible to attract quality employees if your wages are on the low end.

Increased Employee Engagement

When your staff members are constantly overwhelmed with administrative tasks, it can dampen their spirits and hinder their ability to deliver quality service. However, with an AI-powered client communications tool handling the routine aspects of client communication, your employees can focus on what truly matters—their craft and connecting with clients on a deeper level. By relieving them of mundane tasks, it enables your team to engage more meaningfully with clients, fostering stronger relationships and a sense of fulfillment. Happy and engaged employees are the backbone of a successful salon, and an AI-powered tool paves the way for a positive and thriving work environment.

The impact of employee engagement on staffing challenges cannot be overstated. Salon owners have noticed a renewed sense of enthusiasm and passion among their staff members. For example, an AI-led virtual receptionist alleviated a significant burden from the concierge position at Frenchies Modern Nail Care. Frenchies’ concierges greet guests at the door and give them their full attention until they escort the guest to their nail artist for their service. If the concierge has to juggle phone calls while trying to serve onsite guests, it makes their job much more difficult – and stressful.

How Does Employee Satisfaction Ease Hiring Challenges?

Employee engagement is the gift that keeps on giving when it comes to staffing problems. Here are the three main ways it impacts staffing:

  1. Happy employees are more likely to stick with you for the long term – reducing the money you spend to source new employees.
  2. Happy employees refer people in their network for open positions – and internal referral hires typically perform better and stay longer. Plus, it’s less expensive to hire an internal referral than rely on staffing agencies to source applicants.
  3. Employees leave employer reviews on sites like Glassdoor. The more positive reviews your business receives, the easier it is to attract applicants for open positions.

Consider the case of a 60-location business that was finding it impossible to hire front desk employees at the onset of the pandemic. To address this issue, they added an AI-led messaging solution to support both their centralized call center and to manage call overflow. With the tool capturing all calls and coordinating scheduling with individual locations, they have been able to scale quickly over the past three years without significantly adding to their administrative headcount.

Why Is There a Labor Shortage in the Beauty Industry?

Several factors contribute to the tight labor market in the beauty and wellness industry. First, retiring baby boomers haven’t been replaced by enough workers. Secondly, the closure of many cosmetology schools during the pandemic has resulted in a shortage of entry-level salon talent. Thirdly, some stylists have chosen to operate out of their homes or pursue higher-paying remote jobs in other industries. The upshot is that hiring isn’t likely to get easier any time soon.

The Costs of Hiring

The cost of hiring and training new employees is a significant burden on businesses. Replacing an employee can cost anywhere from half to twice their annual salary. On average, a receptionist’s monthly salary is around $3,165, and it can take up to six months or more for a company to break even on its investment in a new hire. With these numbers in mind, it’s clear that hiring challenges have a financial impact on your business.

What is an AI-Powered Communications Platform?

An AI-powered communications solution automates multiple customer service workflows:

  • Consolidates chatbot, SMS, voice messages, call center platforms and multiple locations into one inbox
  • Captures 100% of calls and fulfill callers’ requests via SMS chatbot
  • Handles FAQs with human-like language
  • Prioritizes follow-up calls so your team doesn’t have to dig through all conversations to make callbacks
  • Creates a customer profile automatically in the booking software when a new client calls
  • Automatically follows up via text with every digital lead regardless of source
  • Automatically books appointments and registers them in your booking software

Final Thoughts

If traditional hiring methods aren’t working, we invite you to consider an AI-led communications platform. It will help you improve your business using your existing staff and established workflows. By exploring creative solutions and attacking the problem from different angles, your business won’t be held back by labor shortages and skills gaps.

Book a TrueLark demo today to start solving your hiring problems.



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