As I write this, I am reminded daily of what technology can do for a small business. When I first opened I knew I had to offer convenience to men. Offering men the ease of booking an appointment from their phones was a goal of mine. The idea has been percolating for over a year. As a new barbershop/ salon for men, I wanted to provide the best and easiest way for men to reach Men's Cuts. My husband suggested I try Demand Force. Demand Force is software that performs, email, & text confirmations as well as online booking for medical businesses.
When I first signed on in June of last year, they had live tech support. Everything was great the first month or so. But then, in September, I noticed men were not being confirmed by email and text. We had no-shows because the guys didn't get reminders. I missed an entire month of September confirmations. I called and got live tech help on the phone. It took over week and 3 different people to fix. They didn't charge me for September's losses. Then in December, I had another hiccup with DF. But this time, they only offered email communication and the company would direct customers to online video tutorials to fix problems. They got rid of live tech support. This was so irritating. Something had dramatically changed. The mammoth company who owns Quicken bought Demand Force and just obliterated its live customer service. Everyone knows Intuit doesn't care about customers.
Then around January, I started having problems again. This time I would not get emails sent to my inbox alerting me of customers booking through Demand Force or they were sending alerts to customers who just came in for a cut. I tried to self-diagnose with their tutorials, but gave up after several hours. "Why am I paying for a service that isn't performing the way I need? They have the worst service?"
In April, I was out of the country for a few days, logged into Demand Force and discovered Yelp hi-jacked my page. I could not log-in to DF. Instead, I was forced to answer 10 questions about using Yelp. If DF was partnering with Yelp, I had no clue. As a subscriber to DF, I was never informed. Ok, I was on vacation. This kind of garbage ruined my morning. I was so infuriated. I spent two hours looking for links to explain how I could opt-out Yelp. I was not going to be beholden to Yelp.
When I got back to the states that week, I looked up my contract agreement with Demand Force. I immediately fired off an email to cancel my contract providing a 30 day advance notice with Demand Force.
Men's Cuts is transitioning to a new software that will enable men to book online, receive text and email confirmations this month.
To all our existing and new customers, Thanks for your patience as we we move into the next new phase of being the most hi-tech barbershop of Cleveland.
On another tech note: I now defer to Geek with a Heart. Tak Sato is a a tech guru, The Geek Founder. He is my go-to tech guy for all my tech needs in the salon now. If you are tech challenged, he is the guy. I met him through The Rocky River Business Chamber.