Voice to Text: A Valuable Customer Service Asset for Nickélle

A full-service hair salon in Kingston, Massachusetts, Nickélle Beauty Salon & Boutique is no stranger to the importance of client connection and communication. Between its two founders, Nicole and Kelly, a team of six stylists, and several receptionists, there are a lot of moving parts. The salon handles everything from color correction, conditioning treatments, and Brazilian blowouts to extensions, bridal updos, and balayage. But perhaps the biggest offering is the client experience. Spreading positivity, delivering exceptional work, and nurturing client relationships are everything. Thankfully, cielo’s CoreNexa app is helping them do just that! We spoke to Co-Owner, Master Stylist, and Make-Up Artist Nicole Bouchard, along with Salon Manager Shannon Parsons, to learn more about the salon and how cielo is helping the business thrive.

What inspired you to open the salon?

Nicole: Opening Nickélle was a joint venture between me and my business partner, Kelly, and it all began with a hairstyling connection. I started my career as a stylist straight out of high school, and that's when I first met Kelly. She was still in high school at the time, and I had the pleasure of doing her hair for special occasions like prom. After she pursued her cosmetic education, we reunited when we both found ourselves working at the same salon.

Over the years, we embarked on a journey of education and collaboration, spending eight years at the same salon. Our shared vision of creating a salon with a distinctly positive and supportive atmosphere, one where women empower one another, led to the birth of Nickélle in 2017. Little did we know what to expect when we opened our doors, but to our surprise, we were bustling with business from day one. Fast forward, we're now entering our seventh year.

As for the name, "Nickélle," it's a fusion of our names, Nicole and Kelly, and it embodies the meaning "people of victory." When we discovered this, it resonated perfectly with our vision, and the name was born.

Additionally, we both have deep roots in this town (Kingston), with our families knowing each other to some extent. Since our inception, we've remained in the same location, serving our community.

Tell me a little bit about the scope of the business.

Shannon: Nickélle is a comprehensive hair salon offering a range of services. We're home to six skilled stylists, which includes the co-owners, Kelly and Nicole. Our primary focus is on hair services, such as various cuts and colors. While we once delved into aesthetics, we've now centered our efforts on all things hair-related.

What is your favorite aspect of running and operating the salon?

Nicole: Running Nickélle has allowed me to create an environment that exudes positivity and welcomes all who walk through our doors. It's all about fostering a supportive and harmonious atmosphere, something that's not always prevalent in the industry. We've made it a priority to incorporate this sense of positivity into our hiring process, ensuring that everyone on our team works together cohesively. When we encounter a new client unsure about their hair choices, we come together to find the perfect solution. If someone is running behind schedule and needs help, there's always a willing hand. We've built a space where teamwork thrives, and it's incredibly rewarding.

Shannon: Personally, I love interacting with our clientele and being a helpful presence. This industry relies heavily on follow-up and client engagement, and this is where CoreNexa has played a pivotal role. It facilitates that essential connection.

How does the CoreNexa app and cielo’s service help you maintain a collaborative and positive environment?

Nicole: The seamless integration of CoreNexa into our daily operations has elevated our client communication to new heights. It's all about the convenience of reaching us, even on weekends and during our closed hours.

Shannon is a crucial part of this dynamic. She welcomes clients at the front and manages most of our customer service interactions.

How important is it to you for the business to adopt new technology?

Nicole: While I'll admit that I'm not the most tech-savvy person, the CoreNexa system has proven to be remarkably user-friendly. One of its standout features is the ability to handle calls remotely, which comes in handy on Sundays and Mondays or during unforeseen disruptions like snowstorms or power outages. We can answer calls from home, ensuring that our customers remain well-served. Prior to implementing cielo, this level of flexibility was beyond our reach. In the face of potential closures, we used to resort to printing out appointment details and making calls from our personal phones, which was far from ideal. CoreNexa has truly been a blessing in this regard, enabling us to check messages on Monday evenings and prepare for the week ahead. It's a significant contributor to our customer-centric approach and the overall positivity of the salon.

Shannon: Our need to manage multiple calls efficiently is essential given our busy schedule. We've implemented multiple lines to handle the volume of calls we receive. Additionally, we offer online booking, and having these functions readily accessible, especially when we're not physically present in the salon, is invaluable. We can access our salon phone functions via our mobile devices, ensuring we remain connected to voicemails and appointment changes.

How do you feel the application helps simplify daily operations?

One significant benefit is that the app allows us to call clients with the salon's number displayed rather than our personal numbers. To have the number actually appear as “Nickélle” makes a huge difference, as it eliminates the confusion that sometimes arises when clients think they should contact us directly.

Rumor has it you utilize the voicemail-to-email feature. Tell me a little bit about that service and how it helps the business operate.

Shannon: The voicemail-to-email feature has become a huge part of our operational efficiency. When a client leaves a voicemail on our phone line, it's instantly sent to my email address. This eliminates the need to log into the CoreNexa app separately. I can listen to voicemails from wherever I am, simply by checking my email. It provides the added benefit of preserving voicemails that might have been accidentally deleted, allowing us to revisit them by searching for the client's phone number.

For instance, in the past, there have been instances where a client claimed they'd called and spoken to our receptionist, but I couldn't locate the information on my phone due to call history limitations. Now, I can search for their number in my email and verify if they left a voicemail. This functionality has transformed the way we handle client communications, making it more efficient and ensuring that no important details slip through the cracks.

Nicole: The email functionality, particularly the voicemail-to-email option, stands out as the most beneficial aspect for me. It not only simplifies our communications but also serves as a valuable search tool.

If you could pick out a standout aspect of cielo's service, what would it be?

Shannon: cielo's exceptional customer support is undoubtedly a standout feature. Their tech support is top-notch, and they are consistently responsive to our needs. Whether it's setting up voicemail while I'm away on vacation or closing for a holiday, they are readily available to assist. This level of support provides peace of mind and contributes to the salon's operational efficiency.

Was the cielo system easy to integrate?

Shannon: The integration of the cielo system was surprisingly straightforward and self-explanatory. As the person responsible for handling most of the operational aspects, I can attest to the ease of adoption. While Nicole, Kelly, and I use the system, our other receptionist utilizes the phone app, with no need to access the CoreNexa system.

We love supporting local businesses. Do you have any favorites to recommend?

Shannon: Located in the Stop & Shop Plaza in Kingston, we have the pleasure of being surrounded by various local businesses. One spot we highly recommend is the Blueberry Muffin, a wonderful breakfast place that we frequent regularly.

Nicole: Absolutely, the Blueberry Muffin is a daily go-to for my coffee fix. In addition to the Blueberry Muffin, we often enjoy visiting the West End Grill, which is conveniently situated just across from our salon. The excellent service they offer keeps us coming back regularly.

Nickélle Beauty Salon & Boutique is located at 160 Summer Street, Suite K2, in Kingston, Massachusetts. If you’re interested in any of their services, you can contact them at (781) 936-8219 or visit their website at nickellebeauty.com.