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The Beauty Salon 2.0: iPads help stylists trim scheduling hassles

At The Beauty Room in south Minneapolis, the iPad has become as indispensable to its stylists as a pair of scissors.

The six-year-old salon, which recently moved to a new location at 4300 Chicago Ave. S. in the Longfellow neighborhood, was having an increasingly difficult time coordinating the schedules of its 19 specialists. If a customer needed a perm, a wax, and a manicure, for example, a clerk would have to consult three separate paper calendars to find a window of time when all three specialists would be available.

"It was just a nightmare," says owner Mi Shaun Schmidt-Schwab.

In November, the salon switched to an all-electronic scheduling system that syncs to everybody's personal iPad, iPhone or iPod touch. Now, instead of someone at the front desk spending up to five minutes searching for an open time, any of The Beauty Room's specialists can quickly schedule clients from anywhere using their Apple device.

The same system also allows staff to check-in clients when they arrive, which automatically pings an alert to the stylists' iPad or iPhone. It's eliminated the need for front-desk staff to track down people in the often busy salon to tell them their next customer has arrived.

Schmidt-Schwab says switching to the iPad solution has freed up front-desk staff to focus more on customer service, things like greeting and making customers feel welcome, instead of being tied up on the phone. If a customer wants to book another appointment, the stylist can do that from their station while they're still in their chair.

Several stylists already owned Apple devices. Others have since purchased them. The app that runs the scheduling system costs $4.99. Schmidt-Schwab expects the investment will pay for itself by freeing up time from administrative tasks to focus on its services.

Source: Mi Shaun Schmidt-Schwab, The Beauty Room
Writer: Dan Haugen
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