Q & A with John Harms: Adjusting to Technology

"John, our receptionist is having trouble adjusting to technology—to the point that we're threatening to ban Post-it notes from the salon. What's your solution for dealing with a valued employee who seems to be struggling with change?"

I feel it’s important that you establish trust with employees and state your intent on why it’s vital for them to use technology like salon software. Once they understand the benefits and see the possibility of simplifying their daily operations, the transition will be easier. There are several advantages of technology over Post-its, paper and pencil:

For one, you don’t have to keep asking a valued, longtime guest for their phone number, email address or membership number; this is only needed on the first visit. The top two reasons for client attrition are poor treatment from the staff and failure to provide service in a timely manner. Time is of the essence when dealing with clients and the fewer questions you have to ask, the better. The system can help you service the guest better by instantly supplying the front desk and service providers with their history, visit notes, formulas, allergies, which service provider they prefer, and even how they like their coffee. With 70% of buying experiences based on how the client feels they are being treated,  guests will be much happier knowing that you are aware of their needs on a personal basis.  

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Another disadvantage of not leveraging technology is that paper gets lost and thrown away. Notes entered into the computer are instantly saved, easily accessed and available on any computer in the salon. Technology will also save time. Appointments can be booked on a computer in a fraction of the time it takes to manually flip through a paper book and find a guest’s file.  Plus, you can easily move or cancel an appointment at a moment’s notice. 

Leveraging salon software will also give you a huge advantage in securing your clients' data. The computer will make sure that data is secure and only accessible to those who need to see it. A credit card number, phone number or email address on a Post-it is no longer acceptable in business and can lead to fines and/or losing your merchant account and privilege to process cards.

These are just some of the things that can be described to an employee who doesn’t understand the value of the computer in comparison to note-taking. Help them understand your intent and the value of using the technology you’ve invested in. 

Most people have learned to accept that computers and technology are embedded in our lives today. If none of this works, then you don’t have the right person at the front desk. With the right team in place, they will not only embrace the technology but probably teach you efficient computer techniques that even you weren’t aware of!

John Harms
Millennium Systems International, Founder and CEO

About: John Harms, Founder & CEO of Millennium Systems International, creator of Millennium Software, has been designing industry leading salon scheduling software and educating the beauty & wellness industry since 1987. Today Millennium is utilized in thousands of businesses in over 38 countries and operating with approximately 150+ employees worldwide.  Millennium currently runs its corporate headquarters out of New Jersey and its international office is based in the U.K. 

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