Incorporate Your Existing Booking Into a Salon Dedicated Smartphone App

Incorporate Your Existing Booking Into a Salon Dedicated Smartphone App

Salon App - Salon MarketingThe salon industry is filled with salon booking systems.  Most of them are fit for purpose, some more complicated than others and all have different features and price points, but they’ll provide online booking for your clients.  Sadly most booking systems companies do not provide an app for their system, or when they do provide an app, it’s largely focused on booking alone and does not include other features that a salon would want or use.

Here at Bright Salon, we have created an app that can incorporate virtually any existing booking system.  As well as our own booking system if you don’t already have one, below is a list of booking systems that we know are supported with our app, if yours is not listed let us know and we will investigate:

  • Timely
  • SalonIQ
  • Vagaro
  • Sanadoo
  • Phorest
  • Salon Advantage
  • Shortcuts
  • SalonControl (TotalSalon)
  • Salon Runner

SMS Messaging For Free

SMS Messaging For Free

Do you love SMS messaging for its ability to communicate directly with your clients, straight to their phones and with such good open rates? Are you interested in a free, more responsive, up-to-date method of communication?

SMS messaging used to be the default form of communication on mobile phones, but with the proliferation of free messaging services, the text has become a bit redundant. Younger generations especially have adopted free instant messaging, with over 990 million users on Whatsapp.

Salon App - Salon MarketingSo what can you do if you want to communicate directly with your clients for free?

You send a ‘Push Notification’. With a smartphone app, you can send free push notifications to your customers, effectively communicating news, deals, or last-minute appointments for free.

Our Bright Salon app system allows you to have your own branded salon smartphone app which allows you to send as many push notifications as you wish, free of charge and which take just a few seconds of your time to send.

Like SMS, push notifications have a 90% open rate and are incredibly easy to use, for both client and business. Customers who have downloaded your salon app will receive a push notification on their phones, even when they aren’t actively using your app.  Through the Bright Salon system, as well as sending notifications to all clients you will soon be able to choose who receives your messages from gender, age and their stylist.

One of the biggest advantages salon app customers are finding is the ability to fill last-minute cancellations, something that is notoriously difficult.

SMS messaging is expensive, often regarded as spam and with a niche audience. Push notifications are free, with a wider reach, let you recover lost appointments and communicate directly with your clients.

Improving Salon/Client Communication

Improving Salon/Client Communication

Marketing a small business requires using a mix of platforms and possibly both online and print-based tactics. Having an online presence is becoming of greater importance and certainly, social media is a great way of personalising your business and communicating with your clients.

If you already have various platforms set up, have you thought about how your customers know about them? Perhaps you have a Facebook page, but clients only find it through your website. Or you have a Twitter account, but clients only find it if they look at your blog.

In this sense, your marketing is very compartmentalised. Clients may know of some of the platforms you use, but not all of them.

Salon App - Salon Marketing

Giving Clients One Tool For Communication

A great tool to tie everything together and a marketing resource in itself is a salon smartphone app.

With a Bright Salon smartphone app for your salon, you can have links to your social media sites, your website, booking system together with a click to call feature, location map and your contact details.

This is coupled with the ability to send push notifications directly to clients, removing the need to send SMS messages. Communicating with your clients has never been easier.

Think of an app as a one-stop-shop that can link all your marketing platforms together as well as helping you to grow your business.

Don’t let your marketing go to waste, when an app will let you have links to everything in one place.

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Increase Client Retention

Increase Client Retention

Ensuring a high level of client retention is invaluable to growing your business. In particular, keeping new customers is really important. Within the beauty industry client retention is measured differently, but the main idea is that you want new clients to keep returning to your salon.

There is an often used industry model, whereby if a client visits your salon for 3 appointments, they become “your” client. If you retain a customer for 3 appointments, they also start to discuss your salon as their salon of choice when asked by their friends and family, therefore increasing client referrals.

Client Retention Key Facts

  1. It’s more expensive to get new customers than to keep your existing ones. For every £1 you spend keeping a customer you have to spend £5 to £7 replacing them with a new customer.
  2. Existing customers spend on average 50% more than a new customer. This also increases the longer they continue to buy from you.
  3. Existing customers are easier to sell to. You have on average a 70% chance of selling to an existing customer but only a 20% chance of selling to a new customer.
  4. If your customers like you, they will also recommend you. You have a 70% chance of selling to recommended customers.
  5. A 2% increase in client retention has the same effect on profits as cutting costs by 10%
  6. A 5% reduction in client defection rate can increase profits by 25-125%

So what can you do to improve client retention?

To help with this we first need to establish the difference between the sexes.  Research has shown that on average, women are loyal to their stylist or therapist whilst men are loyal to the salon itself.

Move men, not women, if possible

It’s inevitable that due to holiday, sickness or other factors there are times where you have to move clients around.  In this instance, it’s best to move the men rather than the women.  Men are much less likely to feel uncomfortable with a different stylist and thus more likely to return and not feel ‘put out’.  The less you move women, in contrast, the higher your client retention will be.

Boost salon referral rates as well as retention

Encouraging your female clients to Recommend a Friend. This will get best results when a client’s personal stylist asks them directly.  Make the recommendation process easy to achieve for both stylists and the clients themselves.  Avoid recommendation cards if you can and try to get clients to make the recommendation whilst in the salon itself.

Men, on the other hand, will generally respond better to a request to refer the salon itself (as opposed to an individual) from your receptionist.

Birthday cards say you care

We know that personal birthday messages are likely to score more highly with women than men and thus help retention.  If you can, it’s always best to send real cards, however, if you have a large salon an automated approach is the next best thing – provided the message is personalised and you offer some kind of gift or offer with the greeting.

A backup plan for keeping your clients

Female clients as mentioned earlier are more likely to be loyal to their stylist rather than the salon itself.  Therefore it’s a good idea where possible to encourage female clients to form relationships with two stylists.  This works well for clients that take more than one service, for instance, a cut and colour in a hair salon where the cut is undertaken by one stylist and the colour by another.  If you ever have to move a female client you can then try to put them with the other stylist.

Another way of helping this is for two stylists to be involved in the consultation.  If a stylist does indeed leave they will be slightly more torn about whether or not to leave the salon.

If a client does leave your salon send a lapsed client mailer and always write a personal message with it.  Tell them you are genuinely sorry the relationship has been lost, you miss seeing them in the salon and value their patronage.

Keep them Loyal to you

Running a new client loyalty scheme is one of the best ways of increasing client retention, offering new customers a discounted rate or a free/discounted service or product. People like a bargain and if they are happy with your service, they will be happy to pay for it at the full cost too.

Help in achieving all of the above recommendations

A salon app is one of the best ways to encourage client retention.  A Bright Salon app can run multiple loyalty schemes and removes the cost and clutter of a card-based system.  Automated birthday messages can be set to send when people’s birthdays are near with offers included and with a Bright Salon app, allowing clients to make a recommendation or referral is easy, inexpensive and effective.

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Improving Client Referrals and Recommendations

Improving Client Referrals and Recommendations

Client recommendations are one of the best ways of growing your salon and increasing awareness of your business. A personal recommendation from a friend or family member will always rank highly. If you were looking for a new hair stylist or nail salon, who would you ask first?

Word-of-mouth referrals are still one of the best forms of marketing around and should be encouraged. Just like aiming to retain your existing clients is important, getting their friends and family members to start visiting your salon is just as valuable to your business.

Key Facts – Recommendations and Referrals

  • 84% of consumers say they either completely or somewhat trust recommendations from family, colleagues, and friends about products – making these recommendations the information source ranked highest for trustworthiness. [Nielsen]
  • 74% of consumers identify word-of-mouth as key influencers in their purchasing decision. [Ogilvy/Google/TNS]
  • 68% trust online opinions from other consumers, which is up 7% from 2007 and places online opinions as the third most trusted source of product information. [Nielsen]
  • 84% of consumers reported always or sometimes taking action based on personal recommendations.
  • When specific case studies were analysed, researchers found a 10% increase in word of mouth recommendations translated into a sales lifts between 0.2 – 1.5%. [MarketShare/ Keller Fay Group]

So how can the client recommendation process be simplified and updated?  Most salons either have a recommendation card with some kind of incentive which they give to clients or they simply ask clients to recommend friends or family, but how often does this happen in reality?  Making the recommendations process simpler without cards, pens and printing costs can significantly increase the number of recommendations you receive.

The Answer…A modern approach to recommendations and referrals

A salon specific smartphone app from Bright Salon contains many beneficial features and none less than 2 features designed specifically to help increase referrals and recommendations.

Customer Referral Feature

Salon App - Salon MarketingOur ‘Customer Referral’ area of the app makes is quick and easy to recommend a friend.  Best of all you can encourage clients to complete the form while in the salon as you provide your service.  Taking less than a few minutes the person being recommended receives an email suggesting that they try out your salon and you are able to incentivise referrals with discounts or offers bespoke to them and your salon.  The completed information is also stored in your app admin area allowing you to follow-up on any referrals that have not yet booked in.

Share App Feature

The share app feature of the app allows your clients to quickly and easily share your salon Salon App - Salon Marketingapp with their friends, family and contacts via SMS/text.  Clients simply press the ‘Send your code by SMS’ button and this opens their messaging system on their phone, allowing them to choose 1 or a group of contacts to send the app information to.  The recipients get a link to the app which they can download and a code unique to the person sending.  After downloading the app those new app users pop in the code they have been sent, which is then marked on the original senders share area.  Again you can incentivise the app sharing system to encourage clients to share your app with their friends and family.

Improve Your Client Loyalty

Improve Your Client Loyalty

Client Loyalty is an important part of retaining and building business. Loyalty Schemes are one of the most effective ways to do this. Hair and beauty loyalty schemes are hugely popular, with the Boots Advantage Card scoring highest among women and under 25’s in a recent poll of big brands across multiple industries. The aim of a loyalty scheme is to get customers visiting your salon more frequently and spending more money. A loyalty scheme can be aimed at new or existing clients or to any demographic within your client base. You could promote products, your services or special discounts, the options are endless.

Loyalty Schemes – Key Facts

  • 30% of consumers forget to bring their loyalty card
  • 57% of mobile users admit that loyalty schemes at the top feature of their mobile wallet
  • 69% of consumers say that rewards make them more likely to shop with a brand
  • 40% of consumers would be less likely to shop with a brand
  • 66% of retailers say that Loyalty schemes are the best way to connect with their clients
  • Loyalty schemes can increase a businesses market share by 20% and improve customer acquisition by 10%

So, how do you implement a loyalty scheme? Traditionally loyalty schemes have been paper based; on cards that clutter up wallets, or get lost in the bottom of handbags. Take a moment to think about how many reward cards you currently have in your own purse or wallet. The other main problem with card-based Loyalty Schemes are the associated printing costs and how can you introduce 2,3 or even 4 different schemes without even more cards and higher printing costs?

A smartphone salon app from Bright Salon is the answer to these and many other problems, with no printing costs and without the clutter. Through an app, you would set up your chosen loyalty scheme, which works with a QR code.

Clients download the app to either an Android or Apple smartphone, which is used to scan the loyalty scheme QR code scanned in salon to redeem points towards the chosen loyalty scheme. An app is the simplest, cheapest way of running a loyalty scheme and eliminates many of the problems associated with traditional loyalty schemes.

Bottom line is that every salon should be running at least one Loyalty scheme.  Why spend the money on old fashioned printed cards when you can utilise something that most of your clients use every day, their smartphone?  By having an app you not only benefit from the increased loyalty but improve awareness of your salon between appointments further improving client retention through awareness.

Our salon specific smartphone apps provide up to 4 separate loyalty schemes, allowing salon owners to choose the best options for their clients and for their business.  From schemes for new clients to schemes that encourage purchase of other services and with unlimited combinations of offers and stamps the options are endless.

From the horses mouth…

Don’t take our word for it.  Listen to Andrew himself discussing his own salon app provided by bright salon in the video below.

Recovering Cancellations & Filling Empty Appointments

Recovering Cancellations & Filling Empty Appointments

Last minute cancellations are part and parcel of the salon industry. People get ill, something comes up or their car won’t start. We all have to cancel an appointment occasionally. For a salon owner, however, this may be more than just an annoyance that leaves a stylist twiddling their thumbs. Last minute cancellations equal lost revenue, which is hard to recover.

How does your salon currently fill last-minute cancellations? Perhaps you send out an SMS or post on Facebook or Twitter? We know that success with these options is minimal. We all know SMS messaging is an expensive option and the chances of people seeing your updates on their social media feeds are slim. What if there was an easier, more successful way to fill those cancellations?

Salon App - Salon Marketing

There is a better way.”Push Notifications”

Push notifications offer the ability to communicate directly with your clients to a device that is in the palm of their hand. With a salon app, you can take advantage of push notifications, which are direct messages to your clients’ phones. Smartphone ownership is prevalent in the UK, with 76% adults owning one.

If someone cancels an appointment, you can immediately send out a notification to all your clients, telling them about a last minute appointment. Sit back and watch as you fill those last minute cancellations and recover lost revenue.

Push notifications, like SMS messages, have a 90% open rate however the joy of them is that they cost nothing to send.  With a Bright Salon App for your salon, you can send all of your clients a message in a matter of seconds completely free of charge.  Get a cancellation in the morning for an afternoon appointment, send a quick notification that gets opened by 90% of your clients with your app and see the appointment get filled within minutes.

Bright Salon are salon app specialists, creating apps with an impressive array of useful features to grow your salon business. One of their clients, the Andrew Hill salon, currently employs around 20 stylists. They are recovering on average £120/day using push notifications to fill last minute appointments.

From the horses’ mouth…

Don’t take our word for it.  Listen to Andrew himself discussing his own salon app provided by bright salon in the video below.

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