Photo: Yanick Dery

By: Alain Audet

It wasn’t that long ago that many of the great salons and spas in Canada were still using a
calendar book and pen as their primary data collection strategy. Fast forward to today, after 18 months of various levels of confinement and personal services closures, we are all still adjusting to this new normal and its influence on how our clients will behave. This means beauty businesses will need to adapt and understand our customers more than ever.

Nowadays, online booking is the preferred method for so many of our clients. According to Phorest’s client base, two-thirds of pro beauty businesses offer online booking and one-thirds of appointments are now made online. This can be as high as 50% in British Columbia and Ontario. Having access to that customer data during this changing landscape has proven more valuable to business survival than the usual key performance indicators, such as client acquisition, client retention, and average transaction.


This means a fully integrated software system, like the one created by Phorest Salon Software, is a non-negotiable, critical part of doing business today. Gathering data in multiple ways, such as a “click here” button on Instagram or Facebook, a self-branded app, or a two-way texting feature that encourages and manages online reviews, gives you the ability to understand how your customers engage with your brand. This can improve your client rebooking by over 50%.

Yet, it’s not enough to simply have the data—it’s how you use it. This is why client engagement is the name of the game. Every feature of your software must be deployed so that your clients are never too far away from your touch. Having a great data system allows you to deploy highly personalized email and text blasts that inspire rebooking and acknowledge special moments rather than hoping clients visit your brand on social media. The most important thing is this: we can no longer wait for our clients to simply walk through the door. By creating important client engagement touchpoints, they can feel as if they have never left.

Alain Audet – General Manager -Canada – Phorest Salon Software. Alain has contributed over 100 business articles for Canadian Hairdresser Magazine over a 10-year period. He is known in the pro-beauty industry, among many things, for being the former Executive Director of ABA Canada, being a Salon and Spa business coach, and for launching Kérastase in Canada.