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Exploring New Business Technology

By: Victoria L. Rayner
Posted: June 23, 2008, from the June 2006 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.

page 4 of 4

When choosing a telecommunications system, the basic rule is to opt for one that exceeds your spa’s needs. Always focus on the most important services that will be provided, and then make your selection. A small spa should be equipped with at least three to four telephone lines—one to field incoming calls, another for outgoing calls and a third dedicated to a fax or Internet connection. The telephone configuration and the number of lines should be evaluated at least once a year.

Special features to consider, depending on the size of the facility, include voice mail, call forwarding, call holding, caller ID, speed dialing, three-way calling, redial and speakerphone. A spa also would benefit from an auto-attendant that enables callers to hear preset options. Set up mailboxes by group, as well as by individual names. Research online by searching for “business telephone systems,” and look for technical support packages that offer warranties from two years to 36 months. Costs vary from less than $2,000 to $7,000 or more. Other options include checking with wholesale suppliers and purchasing less expensive refurbished models. But be careful not to acquire antiquated, discontinued systems that lack technical support and upgrades.

A business partner

Although only a few years ago a skin care facility required less complex and more manually driven technology, those days are gone forever. There is no question that a functioning technology system delivers useful and crucial management capabilities that help a spa conduct business. It is important to learn how to partner with these new business aids, while being prepared for the inevitable possibility of mishaps. After all, what separates man from machine is his ability to allow and compensate for an intrinsic trait in all of us—human error.