Richard North, General Manager for Skinsmiths UK (Feb 2019)
I am Richard North the general manager for Skin Smiths in the UK, we have our parent company in New Zealand called Kasey part of the FAB group. In the UK have got the Skin Smiths Clinics. Currently in the UK we have got 9 with our 10th clinic to open very shortly.
That’s right, so we focus on injectables, laser hair removals and skin conditioning treatments what we were looking for when we contacted ClinicSoftware.com was somebody that would work with us to help us create something that wasn’t an of the shell product. We didn’t just want the simple transactional product there we wanted people to be able to build a system with us but we didn’t want to just have all the responsibility of doing all of that ourselves we are not the experts of building systems, that’s what ClinicSoftware.com offered.
Which treatments do you provide to your clients?
Laser hair removal, injectable in forms of toxins and fillers and skin conditioning treatments such as acrodermabrasion, sulpheresis and microdermabrasion those sort of treatments.
We wanted some cutting edge software and we are not by any means technology experts, when we saw ClinicSoftware.com as a product and what they had to offer in combination with how personable they are and how friendly they are, and how reactive they are towards the sorts of things we were asking about, it just made complete sense. They want to see us succeed ultimately and that was really important to us. We were building a subscription model which was a little bit different to what most people were doing where as where we had looked at certain membership systems the interface was not fantastic but with ClinicSoftware.com the user interface was fantastic and they were willing to help us build a subscription model and membership model in the background. There have been many changes along the way, they have also been very good at working with us. It is never too much to pick up the phone or drop an email and make the changes that needed to be made.
There is nobody out there doing what we are doing, what Skin Smiths are doing and we needed a piece of software that would match what we are doing and ClinicSoftware.com with the company, with the technology and just the right approach ultimately to help us get there.
Do you have a favourite feature?
One of my favourite features would be the online booking, so we had that built fairly recently where we saw a good uplift in our sales numbers coming straight through to the clinic so that means we don’t have to spend so much time going out there looking we just have top get a good website out there and they just book on there and automatically it pops up on the system. We can have the text message and the email confirmation going out as well so without really speaking to people, things especially like laser hair removal- which is quiet popular anyway, people are just coming through the door, straight from the website in through the system.
Another feature would be, being able to input the units on peoples faces at the point of taking the photograph so there is no misunderstanding of writing on any manual forms it is all electronically saved, it is all saved and secure, the fact that it is all block chained protected is good as well.
Wow what are my favourite features; there is so many.
Building the reports, you can see exactly what is happening so for us, understanding how long somebody is a member within our business is very important to us. Again you don’t get that from any other competitor/ software providers we can build the reports that we need based on any number of field data that we require.
We put a lot of value on the words and language that people are using. We want to make sure that we are using the one opportunity and maximising the outcome so we have made some changes to the SMS, the emails to make sure that we are doing exactly that and ClinicSoftware.com are always fantastic at accommodating that. We make numerous changes and we will probably to continue to make numerous changes such as wording around those features but it is great knowing that we decided to make a change and they are receptive to working on that; quiet often they will do a few free bits here and there but that is not always the case but ultimately we are getting the outcome that we need at every stage.
There should be no paper, we are living in a new world, a new age, they are all hosted in the cloud, safe, secure and they are well protected. They are easy for customers to complete, in our clinics they will complete the forms in reception or the waiting area and its very easy to upload them up to the different treatment rooms so it’s a seamless journey for the customer and we are able to pull that data at any stage that we need to whether its from the support office or the clinic from clinic to clinic. So as we see people booking across clinics and we can actually get all the data that we need; its safe and secure. As long as the information that has been out in is right; people can monitor their own and can see their own performance.
So we have a contact centre where people can call in and we can book people to any clinic that they want, we have full visibility over all the different clinics no only that but if you were a member at Liverpool Street Clinic and you work in Bushey and you decided you wanted your appointment there, you can actually get that appointment booked straight up there and the staff in Bushey can see all your clinic notes, they can see the number of units you had for toxins or filler, they will be able to see what number course of laser hair treatment that you are on. Being able to see that sort of data in real time, straight away that’s imperative to the growth of the business if we are looking at 50, 60, 70 clinics down the line. We want to be convenient, we want the customers to have a convenient and enjoyable experience. If we can fit around their lifestyles, using the technology that we have got and the software that we have that’s a win win situation.
For me it has got to be, being completely paperless. So being able to take photographs of your clients, customers on the computer, tablet or whatever means you need to take it. Seeing exactly how many units of toxin or filler they need, being able to see how many treatments they have had and where exactly they are in a course of laser hair removal for example, being completely paperless is absolutely the key. It’s more than being paperless its being able to see you go from clinic to clinic and having completely clarity on that customers’ details, right down to seeing what drink that they want, maybe if it’s tea or coffee and it’s knowing what they want before they come into your clinic. It might be that they have never been into one of the clinics before or they might have spent all their time at Clapham South and one day they want to go to our clinic in Belgravia, they show up to Belgravia and they have got their drink that they always have in their normal clinic where they are going for their treatment.
Being able to capture all of that data, consistently, every single time right down to each minuet detail in terms of how many units they have in a specific area.
The biggest challenge for us was finding a software company that would work with us, so we spoke to a number of different software companies about what is it that we would want to achieve and they were offering off the shelf solutions which wasn’t a solution to us. We wanted a company that would work with us specifically to develop a subscription model and that’s exactly what ClinicSoftware.com would do. But It wasn’t just a subscription model it was having that really good user interface as well. You can buy a number of subscription packages from different software providers but if its not right for your industry then its not going to be right for your customers; there’s no body in the industry doing what we are doing so ClinicSoftware.com having the flexibility and all the solutions. I mean we’d throw out ideas on these problems and challenges how are we going to get through this. They were always keen on looking at different ways of doing things which is really refreshing.
So since we have taken ClinicSoftware.com on we have a more organised system we are able to get more reports out of the system, we have more consistency with the customer journey. It made our life easier in terms of the online booking capabilities. It’s just made our system more easier to manage from system to point of view and when you have the system taking care of it selves it means you can focus on other areas of the system which is really important as you grow.
I was surprised at the price. It offers really good value for the money, especially once you’ve been in there, in the system using the software you actually really start to see the value in there. But I was really surprised at the start at what the actually set up costs was the ongoing fees. I don’t wanna say its cheap, but it offers you really good value for what you are getting out of it.
Whether you are a single clinic or a single customer of ClinicSoftware.com or with multiple clinics or sites it covers all of them, so we’ve had 4 or 5 clinics where we have migrated from an old system to ClinicSoftware.com, we’ve had brand new clinics setting up with ClinicSoftware.com. The process has always been pretty seamless and smooth as you expect it to be. We always put the customers in front of the journey, we need to make sure that they’re looked after and everything is right for them, so we go through a series of questions and testing to make sure that everything is going to be pretty much spot on. If you’ve got one clinic and your looking for some software, inevitably you’re going to be looking at doing more and more clinics, potentially as a business you would continue to grow. ClinicSoftware.com will allow you to do that, I know that because we have been there, we started with a few clinics and we have multiple clinics now so I can’t really recommend them enough. I had these sorts of questions in my own mind at the very start of the journey around how they were going to help us scale; they absolutely do.
Yes, absolutely there’s many things that make up the value of a business and software, especially software in this day and age is a massive part of that. I think to the customers its probably one of their biggest asset. All of their data is held on this software. It has to be safe, it has to be secure, it has to be scalable; it offers us all of those things. You know, you can build businesses on paper or you could build them with technology. The technology that we have here is fantastic and it does definitely add value to the business. Training is fantastic, we’ve got online training we’ve got the on line in person live training as well so we’ve done both. We started off doing some live training then we moved on to some online training then we topped that off with some more live training. Because of the uniqueness of what we were creating they were keen to put together some bespoke training packages to make sure that we were getting the most out of the system that we could do and that the teams at the clinics were making the most out of the system as well.
Some of the key things I guess we sometimes over look is the fact that we talk about the technology all the time of ClinicSoftware.com and forget that there are real people behind the scenes there working tirelessly to get the solutions that we need as business owners. There are numerous people that I have spoken to, to get any number of features added or taken away, wording change. It’s never too much of a problem. They are always happy to help, they offer pro active solutions and it’s just as important that in that component in software development you have people that can capture what it is that you need turn it into a technological solution. Because its not just an off the shell product- it can be if you want it that way. But to build the sorts of things that we have been building you need people there that can have the you can have those discussions with.
So the support department at ClinicSoftware.com are fantastic, they were very responsive and they are very quick to respond as well. In the rapidly changing world that we live in when technology is growing fast as anything else, it’s really important that you get the answers that you need. On time and when you say that you are going to deliver them. Every time that we had tight deadlines the team at ClinicSoftware.com have always been really good to get solutions and get them quickly to us as possible including testing time before we release them as well. Its really important that we are getting the right stuff released. I can’t fault the support; it’s been fantastic right through the process.
Probably diversifying into different industries I would expect, this industry that we are in now is fantastic and they are doing a great job with this industry and the industries they’re in, I think they will start branching out into other service led industries and into other countries as well. It doesn’t look like its going to be too difficult to shift from sterling to euros to any different currency and then I guess there is going to be the different currencies and different languages globally as well and hopefully they will help Skin Smiths on that journey.
A lot of my background is from the health and fitness industry and gym industry so I would have no hesitation especially having seen the membership models that have been build with the new medicine and aesthetics industry I have no hesitation in recommending it to people in the gym industry and health and fitness. There’s a lot of providers out there, these guys know what they are doing. I definitely think you guys should approach the gym and fitness industry. It’s a growing market place, there are a lot independent gyms and chains and I think there’s an opportunity there for the right software providers to capitalise.
That makes our lives easier from the software side of things so we can focus on other areas of the business, whether it’s people, strategy all that sort of things.
Staying close to a smaller team, if you are from a larger clinic chain and you have people sat in head office who want to make a change across 10, 20, 30 clinics its not going to be too much of a hassle to have that conversation with the guys at ClinicSoftware.com. They will make their recommendations and you will have a discussion around what it looks like what the solution is, what it will look like at clinic level and then it’s scalable and it goes out across the whole system. It’s quick, it’s seamless.