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Software Buying 101: From selection to implementation, for any organization

The Top 20 Most User-Friendly Salon Software

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Whether you want to upgrade or are totally new to the playing field, beginning the software search for your business is never a fun task. Where do you even start? A simple Google search is overwhelming, with solutions upon solutions listed, all claiming to be the best. Combing through the hundreds of solutions out there is tedious – there must be a way to find the top solutions without signing up for hundreds of free trials….right?

We’ve got some good news for you!

Capterra has put the business’ statements to the test to create the Top 20 Most User-Friendly Salon Software report. The report is a great place to start looking for the software that is not only most compatible with your business’ needs, but is also is intuitive and painless to learn.

This list is not all-inclusive, and is meant to help you out at the start of your software search. Since nothing can replace your own research, check out our Salon Software directory for a full list of solutions – those featured here may not always be the best fit for you!

Research

This research is part of our series of Top 20 reports. When ranking solutions, we consider its usability (how easy a system is to use), available customer service options, and reviews from across Gartner Digital Markets for all of the solutions considered. The usability of a system is determined by hands-on user-testing at Capterra, where our team researches important features of a software market are for buyers and tests each system. We measure how quickly our testers can complete the tasks listed below, measured via time and clicks, until task completion.

Task List

  1. Add a service provider
  2. Add a service
  3. Add an item to inventory stock
  4. Add a client
  5. Schedule an appointment
  6. Add a note/interaction in client profile
  7. Generate a report

Our team tested all salon software available to us, and each performed two rounds of testing in each system. In the first round, our testers entered the system blind (with no training) to test intuitiveness. The second round occurred after reviewing training materials provided by the Software Company – testing learnability of a system. Our testers collected time and click data per each task for both rounds. Below you can see how our top systems compared by time-to-task-completion. These numbers are referring to the average for each system over all tasks and all testers.

On average, the task completion time for any given task in all of the salon systems we tested was 42 seconds. That’s pretty fast, but the Top 20 Most User-Friendly solutions made the others look like snails in comparison. The average task completion time for the Top 20 was 28 seconds on average — almost half the time!

While those times might be impressive, there are more things to consider than simply speed. For instance, availability of features and resources is vital. A software may be easy to use, but if it cannot complete every task your company needs it to, its speed will be irrelevant.

Another important factor that be easily overlooked is customer service. You may think if a system is easy to use, why would you ever need to be on the phone or spend your time on an email chain to resolve an issue? Well, it’s like insurance. No software is perfect, and if anything happens, or if any questions arise, it is always good to know you can rely on great customer support.

To take some of this into account, we scored software on the following resources for this report:

Implementation resources:

  1. Accounting software integration
  2. Website integration
  3. Social media integration
  4. Mobile responsive
  5. iOS and Android apps
  6. Email marketing (integration or built-in)
  7. API access

Training resources:

  1. Videos
  2. Articles or training documents
  3. Free demo
  4. Training webinars
  5. Free trials

Support resources:

  1. Help desk or email
  2. Knowledge base or FAQ page
  3. Via phone
  4. Live Chat

Finally, we considered reviews from real customers. Since our testers are not always typical software users, we wanted to take into account how real software buyers use and rate their system. Our reviews are broken down here by “ease of use” and “customer service”. Reviews are gathered from across Gartner Digital Markets websites, including Getapp and SofwareAdvice. We consider both number of reviews and star rating out of 5.

Conclusion

Capterra’s series of Top 20 reports are meant to help buyers like you narrow down the list of potential software for your business. Still, it is important to be mindful that while the lists are a great starting point, it is recommended that you sign up for free trials, demos, and reach out to potential software companies in order to find the best software for your business.

Additionally, be mindful of the words “easy to use”. While a system might be just that, it may not have all of the features you need or proper customer support options. We advice that you take all factors into account to make your decision, or you might end up spending money on a system that isn’t the glass slipper you thought it would be.

Take a look at our Top 20 Most Popular and Top 20 Most Affordable Salon software reports as two more tools to aid you in your search!

What do you think? Did we miss anything? Let us know! We plan on updating this research annually.

Looking for Salon software? Check out Capterra's list of the best Salon software solutions.

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