Prize provided by:

Skin Inc Video Education

One lucky respondent to this month's Vocal Point question will receive free registration for the Physiology of the Skin course from Skin Inc. Video Education, a $149 value! Based on the beloved book by Peter T. Pugliese, MD and Zoe Draelos, MD, this 4-lesson course will arm you with the knowledge you need to better serve your clients.

Note: Winners will be chosen by random drawing and will be notified by e-mail. Prize will be sent directly from the sponsor. Winners are only eligible once every 12 months. All decisions of the editor are final.

Vocal Point Survey

The results are in! Here's what you had to say about our question from April 2011.

The Vocal Point responses have not been edited, and are posted as they were originally submitted. The opinions expressed in these responses are not necessarily those of www.SkinInc.com or Skin Inc. magazine.

As a skin care professional, how do you use technology—such as smartphones, iPads and other mobile accessories—in your business?

This month's Vocal Point Survey winner!I use my IPhone for mobile booking, social media and scheduling. It is super convenient. If I am away from the office, I do not need an appointment book, as I can view my schedule in the palm of my hand, book the appointment and continue with my errands. I also use the IPhone to tweet/post last-minute appointments, specials or discounts via Twitter and Facebook. As I attend interesting trade shows and seminars, I may keep my clients in-the-know, by posting photos and updates about what I'm learning and who I'm seeing. I can use Twitter at the trade shows to connect with other industry professionals who are also in attendance. It is a great way to network!
- Jamie Nelms, Owner, Massage Therapist, Esthetician, Your Body's ReTreat, Hurst, Texas
We use opt-in SMS text messaging to alert our clients to exclusive offers. This method has actually spread beyond our own clientele when we had a special gift-with-purchase promotion!
- Elaine Greenberg, Owner, Ageless Remedies SouthPark, Charlotte, NC
We use them to forward calls after hours and during busy times. That way our clients are always talking to a live person. This is the best customer service you can offer to your client in the digital age: There is still a human voice.
- Faith Hanisco, Esthetician/Author, Top Skin, Studio City, CA
I absolutely love my e-reader (I use a Kindle)! I have several Cosmetic Dermatology texts on there as well as a cosmetic dictionary. I would never be able to lug these textbooks with me otherwise. I can quickly look things up during the day, or catch up on my education in between clients.
- Nicole Fletcher, Medical Esthetician, Accent On Skin, Loudonville , NY
I carry an iPhone, which allows me to receive and make calls, e-mails and text from clients, customers and other business. I update my company Facebook page where I post specials and transfer client-made appointments. I'm able to do banking and review merchant (credit card machine) services.
- Monica Salvatierra, Owner, Aqua Essentials Day Spa & Salon, Madera, CA
I keep my calendar on my smartphone so whenever I am out networking and chamber mixers and meetings. I can schedule an appointment for someone right on the spot. Also handy is having the browser, so if someone is asking about ingredients or allergy reactions, I can look that up, too.
- Kari Ainsworth, Owner/Therapist, Kia Massage, LLC, Millsboro, DE
I used smartphones to send e-mails to my clients about any special running in the spa, and also use ipads to customize the music my clients like.
- B. Molano, Owner/Therapist, True Skin, Bay Point, CA
I get all my e-mail sent to my phone so I can stay abreast of my latest e-mail updates.
- Pamela Sanchez, Owner, Pamela Sanchez, Manitowoc, WI
One of our massage therapists brings his iPad when he is doing chair massage. Since our appointments are web-based, he can open our appointment system and book on the spot for a chair massage client. I can update our spa's Facebook page any time from my iPhone.
- Paulette Staats, Spa Director, Harbor Bay Club, Alameda, CA
A majority of my clientele prefer text reminders instead of phone calls. They don't feel they need to return a message. It's faster and more convenient.
- Amy Hackett, Owner, Indulgence Delivered Day Spa, Wellsville, NY
I use technology to better serve clients. We also use social media to reach current and potential clients and are looking at a text messaging marketing service to start sending deals and messages to our client's cell phones.
- Janette Daher, Operations Director, Ageless Aesthetic Institute, Weston, FL
I use the smartphone to check my requests for appointments online. I'm able to confirm the appointments as needed. Also, I send regular promotions to clients, with color and graphics, to alert them of my specials for the month. When I'm out of town, I can still see how many gift certificates we've sold through the website, the dollar amount and the to and from info. If needed, I can also update my website via the smartphone.
- Dora Ochoa, Owner, Body Sugaring USA Day Spa, Mandeville, LA
We have loved online booking options. We also utilize Twitter with slow day specials to help fill the calender.
- Rebekah McCabe, Owner, Essentials Skin & Wellness Center, Moses Lake, WA
I text to remind clients of their appointments and also have several that contact me through Facebook to make or change appointments.
- Shawna Barber, Owner/Esthetician, Naked Yeti Waxing, Cranbrook, BC
I used it to keep up with e-mails, my calendar, scheduling, place orders and keep track of inventory. Your business is on your smartphone and it goes wherever you are.
- Sue Scal, Owner/Esthetician, SpaFleur, Brentwood, CA
I use cell charge for credit cards, apps for my iPhone and 24/7 contact point for clients. Staying connected and keeping clients informed with up-to-date info ... via text, tweet and e-blast keeps us all united. Also giving presentations via PowerPoint and showing before-and-afters on the computer is awesome. Also, I have moved to being a mobile esthetician door-to-door service in the comfort of your own home, so I use my iPhone a lot for taking before-and-after pics.
- Heidi Lenz, Owner, Heidi Lenz Skincare, Waialua, HI
We only use our web page.
- Chris Carnes, Owner, Jeunesse, Colko Passages, CO
I'm not super high-tech yet, but I can see how this would be a real asset in this business. Definitely my cell phone has been a real help in scheduling appointments when on the go and away from the spa.
- Kathy Baker, Owner, Women's Wellness Spa, Patten, ME
Downloadingapps and creating one that is directly related to your business is the most useful. When customers order they can order in real time with Red Carpet Skin Care/Goddess Cosmetics by Holly and the orders go out that same day without delay. The customers get most of their products as soon as the next day. Whether the customers just had a facial or need touch-up tips regarding makeup, their questions can be answered right away. It's great when uploading new products, services and specials. It makes your customers feel more involved and connected.
- Holly Cranshaw, Owner/Esthetician, Red Carpet Skin Care - Goddess Cosemtics by Holly, Hayward, CA
Mobile devices give me instant connections with my clients. They are very valuable tools!
- Cathie Wong, Principle, Healthy Aging, Danville, CA
I couldn't get along without my iPad! I am a single practice business without a receptionist. I let technology do as much work for me as possible. Even my voicemail instructs callers to login on to my website for scheduling, as well as services offered. It's great for me and my business. I also rely heavily on my smartphone to link me to all of my scheduling, as well as social/business networking sites, such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. I embrace all opportunities available to me.
- Marci Delaney, Owner/Esthetician, m.d. Skin llc, West Columbia, SC
We use online booking, which is great when we are doing events out of the spa to be able to book appointments right on the spot. We also use text message marketing to send out last minute specials and sales.
- Cassi Crum, Co-Owner, Alter Ego Spalon, Peoria, IL
As a licensed esthetician, having a tranquil environment in the spa room is imperative to the client's overall experience and ability to let go and relax during the treatment. So, I used the Pandora application on my iPhone 4 with an iHome speaker system. The Pandora app allows me to stream free Internet music, from the Enya channel to Spa music. I am not hearing the same old CDs for each client, and their experience will be different each time, because the play lists are constantly changing!
- Kristin Tortoriello, Licensed esthetician, Persuasive Looks Salon, Dyer, IN
We use a software system in the spa and have about 10 staff members now that have iPhones, iPod Touches, and now we have an iPad. We can make appointments anywhere we have wireless or service. Staff members get 'dinged' when clients arrives and are checked in, so there is less of a need for the front desk to leave and tell the staff. The iPad is great for all the same reasons, plus I have found some great apps that have hairstyles on them that we can browse instead of books, and we can also look up a celebrity's look right there at the chair, save it to the screen and discuss the look. We also subscribe to a text marketing service to let the clients know about specials right to their phones.
- Sandra Haynes, Owner, What's New The Salon, Murfreesboro , TN
I use my smartphone to run credit cards and to stay in contact with clients via e-mail and text message. Everyone is into instant information, so it is important to have ways to get quick turnaround for questions or last-minute appointments. If customers feel that they are special to you, they are more likely to be loyal and refer other customers to you.
- Elle Kersey, Skin Therapist/Owner, Everyday Glamour Girl, Greenvillle, SC
I use iPads for spa music.
- Mihaela Seciureanu, Esthetician, Nora's Skin Care Salon, Highwood, IL
As a skin care professional, I use my mobile phone to call clients, check up on their at-home care and see if they have any questions for me.
- Lisa Chandley, Esthetician, Skin Essence Day Spa, Santa Cruz, CA
I use my iPhone for my calendar, use the text for confirming appointments and, when it is a slow day, text clients the specials of the day.
- Maryam Lotfizadeh McCall, Owner/ Esthetician/Nail Tech, A New Beginning Beauty & Wellness, Laguna Hills, CA
Interesting question ... I have a Facebook page for my business and a Twitter account for my business. Since I am an independent contractor, I list my business phone contact, which allows me to text client appointments and respond to inquiries. I have also done test contests to see if anyone is reading my posts on Facebook, example whoever calls for my last opening this Saturday for a facial receives their brow wax free. I am still searching for a landline phone system that allows the receptionist to confirm appointments by texting.
- Wilona Betzen, Esthetician, Guccione Salon & Spa, Columbus, MT
On my website, I periodically send out blasts to my clients who have given me their e-mails for any type of special promotional event we may be doing in the spa, or a discount that we may be offering. I will also use the e-mails to share a new product that I feel is results-oriented and will benefit my clients.
- Pam Broad, Owner/Esthetician, Diva Boutique, Marco Island, FL
I have all of my e-mails come to my phone, so that I'm in the know, even on my day off. We are beginning to use iPads to check people in, as clients are greeted at the door. We are currently installing client iPads for capturing client data, rather than using paper and manually entering what the client has written.
- Jeff Paul, Customer Service Specialist, Blue MedSpa, Atlanta, GA
We text reminders of appointments, special offers and events that we are having to our clients.
- Elana Clayman, Owner, Miracle Spa, Jacksonville, FL
I use them to keep track of appointments and staying in contact with clients.
- Zee Dao, OWNER/ESTHETICIAN, Aesthetics by Zee, San Jose, CA
We use of the iPod to play spa music as well as clients being able to use the iPod speaker attachment to play the music they enjoy.
- Kelly Freeman, Owner, Secret Rituals Day Spa, Livonia, MI
I use my Droid to send out calender reminders to clients who also have smartphones. Also, most of my regular clients use texting to book appointments with me. I can also update my website and post specials and events on Facebook page from my phone.
- Jennifer Ulrich, Owner/Esthetician, Spa Glow, Ord, NE
We sent out specials via phone, and also have an app set up through our spa!
- Tamara Friedman, President, Tamara Spa + Wellness , Farmington Hills, MI
I'm sorry to say I am way behind the times because I cannot afford to use any of these. I have thought of the credit card use with a cell phone, but have not even progressed to that!
- Jennifer Morsch, Owner/Esthetician, Mind~Body~Soul Day Spa, Avon, NY
Most of my clients book via e-mail or our website. I use my smartphone to look at medical info websites when I need information.
- Marilyn Dahl, Electrologist/Esthetician, DahlFaces, Salinas, CA
I use my cell phone to send weekly spa specials via texting.
- Akissi Jones , Owner/Operator, Spa Experience, Inc., Matteson, IL
I use a cell phone and still use a paper notebook calendar for scheduling appointments.
- Colette Keigwin, Owner, Colette's Skin Care, San Rafael, CA
Texting has proven invaluable to help communicate discreetly with my clients when I am in treatments. As an independent contractor, I am not always able to take calls or I may miss messages when the phone is on 'silent.' It can make my day run more smoothly if my client is running late, or I have fallen behind. I can confirm appointments or schedule new times. If I have a walk-in appointment, the front desk can send me a message so I can prep for it.
- Angela Aliano, Skin Care Therapist, G'Day Aussie Skin Care, Land O Lakes, FL
We use smartphones for text messaging and to update Twitter and Facebook.
- Susan Kerr, Owner/President, Silk Touch Medspa and Laser Center, Eagle, ID
We use a iPad to upload the latest version of the beauty magazines to keep abreast of all current cosmetic and esthetic changes and updates. The manager/staff all use their smartphones to keep in 24-hour constant contact with all patients for questions concerning our business.
- Kiley Adams, Spa/Laser Technician, Skin Medics Medi-Spa, Sikeston, MO
I only use my cell phone as an alternative number for my clients to reach me at when I'm away from my clinic.
- Laurie Nuessmann, Owner, New Age Skin Care, Foster Ctiy, CA
I use my IPhone for mobile booking, social media and scheduling. It is super convenient. If I am away from the office, I do not need an appointment book, as I can view my schedule in the palm of my hand, book the appointment and continue with my errands. I also use the IPhone to tweet/post last-minute appointments, specials or discounts via Twitter and Facebook. As I attend interesting trade shows and seminars, I may keep my clients in-the-know, by posting photos and updates about what I'm learning and who I'm seeing. I can use Twitter at the trade shows to connect with other industry professionals who are also in attendance. It is a great way to network!
- Jamie Nelms, Owner, Massage Therapist, Esthetician, Your Body's ReTreat, Hurst, Texas
I use my cell phone to make appointments and to keep in touch with and counsel my clients. One-to-one conversations with my clients are important in order to maintain a good relationship with them. I think they appreciate the personal touch.
- Maria Sutherland, Owner, Muneca's Spa, Roseville, CA
I use my mobile phone to remind me and update me on appointments I have that for the work day as well as the work week.
- Lauren Reddoch , Lead Esthetician, Endless Summer Salon LLC, Rohnert Park, CA
We use it to communicate with all three of our spas, we use it to communicate with our therapists, we use it to check our security cameras, we use it to send e-mails to our clients. We can leave the office and still be in touch with the company and help our staff with concerns.
- Kristen Matthew, Director of Operations, Mellow Me Out Day Spa, Sacramento, CA
It's simple: If I didn't have a cell phone, I would feel disconnected from everything. I live 45 minutes from work and a lot can happen in that time. I can't afford to be out of contact for any length of time as my partner and I share one room. We schedule around each other and we all know schedules can change in a hurry. Love our IPod! Already set up, we just pop it in and we're good to go. Looking forward to getting an IPad soon so I can use it for appointment scheduling, researching on the go and so much more.
- Lori Helmuth, Esthetician, Bloom Esthetics, Clovis, CA
To be on top on my appointments, and to look up information to answer questions that a client might have that I don't know the answer to.
- Judy Becerra, Esthetician, Spa Pura, Duarte, CA
I use online booking to keep my calendar and allow clients to book their appointments directly online. The program then e-mails me and sends a text message notification that I have an appointment to my cell phone (or one of my technician's cell phone). With my 4G cell phone, I also can answer my business calls any time I am out of the office and put the call on speaker and go online to see my appointment book and book the appointment. Clients can actually Google us on their phones, make the appointment directly online and use the gps to find us.
- Colette Fontana, Owner/Esthetician, A Touch of Bliss Day Spa, Clearwater, FL