Iasan and Sebastian Studio Salon is a hip and popular hair salon in Lincoln, Nebraska. They have twelve stylists and emphasize ongoing training so they can always stay ahead of the latest hair trends.
Jason McLaughlin opened Iasan & Sebastian in 2004 to create a high-end hair salon with a strong focus on matching cuts and color to the client’s personality. He has since built a buzzing, successful salon with twelve stylists.
While it’s a good problem to have, the increase in popularity created an issue when the phone rang and no one was available to answer. Often, callers had to be put on hold because the front desk was busy with a guest.
Worse, while one client was on hold any additional incoming caller would just get a busy signal. That type of frustration was not up to the standard of service that Jason wanted to deliver to clients.
Lastly, checking and returning voicemails was costing his staff hours each week, often leading to phone tag frustration.
Described by Jason as “phone juggling,” he needed a way to untangle and streamline incoming calls and messages so that customer calls were no longer put on hold or missed completely.
Jason found Numa through a carrier partner representative who stopped by his salon. After seeing how simple it was to use with his existing devices, he decided to give it a try.
He set up Numa to work with his existing landline so that customers would have no interruption in the regular calling experience. Almost immediately, Jason saw how Numa saves his staff at least an hour each day previously spent listening to voicemails and returning calls.
With Numa, staff simply check the app on the tablet at the front desk, read the voicemail transcripts and messages, and send replies in a matter of minutes. Jason explains,
"Numa definitely saves us time. Before Numa, we would get a call or message and literally play phone tag for days."
Front Desk Manager Miranda Schulze reflects on days before Numa.
“It was cumbersome. By the time I cleared out the voicemails, there were already more waiting. We would have to dial a phone number, put in a code, and listen to a message. Now, just thinking about that gives me anxiety!"
Numa helps manage calls during open hours too, freeing up the front desk to focus on the guests in the salon. The front desk no longer has to stress about picking up the phone, greeting the caller, putting them on hold, and rushing the conversation with the client in front of them.
Jason’s clients also benefit from Numa’s faster responses because their requests were typically time-sensitive, like changing or booking an appointment. Jason has received significant positive feedback from clients and believes Numa provides even higher quality customer service than his front desk staff alone.
"This is way better customer service from our end."
After hours, Numa continues to bring high value to the salon’s operations. New clients, who typically call several salons and book with the first to respond, often book with Iasan & Sebastian because Numa gave them an immediate response at any time of day. Jason credits Numa with helping to bring in more business.
Miranda, the Front Desk Manager, appreciates that Numa doesn’t feel like an AI robot. To her, Numa feels human. She customizes all the auto-messages to be in her voice in case she can’t respond right away. This enables her to continue to give callers a personalized feel without spending the hours it would otherwise take her to manually respond to every inquiry.
“Numa allows me to work smarter, not harder.”
Jason also uses Numa to track down customers who had not returned the salon’s calls. He found that many customers won’t answer phone calls, but when his staff sends them a message with Numa, they respond right away. This was another major pain relief for Jason and his staff. Jason explains, "It's much more convenient to be able to have that text messaging option to start a conversation with customers."
Jason’s customers tell him that they love the texting option Numa provides. Customers see their message was received and know that someone will confirm their appointment soon--a much better experience than leaving a voicemail and hoping that the callback comes at a time they are available to answer, if at all.
"We've had several guests tell us how much they like it. It's more convenient for them too, to reply at their own pace."
It was important to Jason that implementing Numa did not create more work for his staff. He has the Numa app open on the desktop computer at the front desk, making it easy to see any inbox notifications. A few of the staff have the app on their phones, making it very convenient to view and respond to messages in between clients. Numa works like any other messaging app so no new technical skills are required. As Miranda sums up,
“As a receptionist Numa is an integral part of my job now, like my assistant. It’s very supplemental to what I do to make sure things run smoothly on my end. It's a time saver!"
Whether Jason is out of the salon, traveling, or even sleeping, he is no longer concerned that calls and messages will go unanswered. He trusts Numa to answer and engage the client, assuring her a swift response. Not only does Numa help obtain new clients, but Jason believes it helps retain them as well.