As a salon owner if you were asked to identify areas of your business that upon improving would make a significant difference to your turnover and profits amongst the list would be filling cancellations at short notice, filling gaps in staff columns/appointment diaries and reducing client “no-shows”.
The significance of these areas can not be underestimated in fact it’s often shocking to learn that if on average a salon was to fill two cancellations each week and just 4 gaps that they previously would not fill they would increase their turnover by £11,000 per annum.
Cancellations that you get at short notice say within 4 hours or on the same day of the appointment are traditionally very difficult to fill. You can keep a last-minute list of clients that have said they want a space but how often have you called someone only to find out they have booked elsewhere or since changed their mind? Facebook is something that can work if the cancellation is for an appointment in a day or 2 time however it’s still not that reliable since on average a Facebook post will only get in front of 3 – 5 % of your page followers. You could send an SMS message to all of your clients however this would defeat the object since the cost of the SMS would often outweigh the cost of the appointment.
As a result the cancelled appointments usually don’t get filled. So why are out salon clients saying things like this?
The answer to this is to publish your gaps in an easy to view format in the areas that your current and potential new clients look on a regular basis, your website and your smart phone app. Our system allows this through the administration area and the inclusion of 2 lines of code on your website. Adding these lines of code to your website will produce a ‘Tab’ on the left of your webpage that when clicked will produce a fly out area showing your list of diary gaps over the next 7 days.
The key with this system is that it publishes your gaps to both existing and new clients that view your website. This provides an easy way of potentially new clients to grab a time at short notice without having to check booking systems or calling the salon, a service that your clients want and which they use. These gaps are also shown on your app and current clients over time will start to use this service too. The system keeps track of what revenue you have recovered by using the last-minute times system.
When running a salon one of the most frequently faced challenges is keeping people coming through the door. You want to encourage new and existing clients to visit you as much as possible and to find ways to incentivise people whilst running a profitable business.
Salon offers are a bit of a balancing act, with the need to entice clients, without losing profit.
So here are some of the best salon offers that encourage clients to return while helping you to build your business.
One of the best marketing tools for a salon are referrals; trusted clients recommending their friends and family to your business, which can greatly increase your client base. With this in mind, why not run a special referral based offer in your salon? Offer bring a friend days, where your client and a plus one get a discounted treatment or a bargain pampering day. Clients will love spending time being spoilt with their friend and you will introduce your services and business to a new face.
Offer clients a little something extra on top of their usual service, a mini treatment for example. Introducing them to a different service may result in them becoming regulars for that treatment too. How about a complimentary blow dry or head massage? Adding value in the form of ‘treats’ is a lovely way to enhance a client’s experience in your salon.
Filling last minute appointments is notoriously tricky in the salon industry. How do you go about letting clients know that you have a cancelled slot available for instance? Pushing notifications through a salon app let clients know about your last minute cancellations and help you to recover lost revenue. If you offer a discount on these appointments you are even likelier to get them filled. A small discount, say 10% off, is no loss to your salon if you can fill an appointment that would otherwise be empty.
Put together packages of your products and run a buy 2 get the 3rd product free offer. Many big names in the beauty industry run these schemes to great success. You can promote a similar offer in your salon, perhaps on a line of hair or nail products. Make sure the product you are giving away is the cheapest.
Never underestimate the power of a traditional points-based loyalty scheme. When run properly, they can increase spend in your salon, with little effort on your part. Clients accrue points for every treatment they have in your salon and can redeem them against a service of their choice. Award points based on spend, such as 100 points when you spend £30. Alternatively, you can award points based on service, e.g. a colour is worth 150 points. Then you can work out what those points can be redeemed against. Again you can do this by price or service. Those 150 points could get you a free blow-dry or could equate to £5 off.
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Yell and Thompson are both well known for their printed directories. Historically these were the go-to tools for people looking for a service or business. If you wanted to find a painter in your local area, you would leaf through one of these directories. But it’s been a long time since this was the case, you may have noticed that these directories have been physically shrinking in recent years and Thompson may even stop printing their directory in the near future. The reason for this change is the vast increase in the use of online searching.
With that in mind, the printed directories are pretty much redundant, so how do you make the most of an advertising budget? Firstly, it’s worth thinking about where people go to search for businesses or services online. Around 90% of all searches are on Google. So only a small percentage of people would search through a directory like Yell or Thompson. Yell.com however, has a lot fewer users than Google, with far fewer searches for specific terms, actually giving them a much higher conversion rate than Google. People who do use these directories are in ‘shopping mode’, actively searching to find contact details for a service provider and as a result click through to websites more often. So while having a listing may be worthwhile, remember where most searches are taking place.
We recognise that salon owners and managers are busy people, so you may not have much time to market your business. Luckily there are some great tools that make marketing quicker, easier and cheaper for you. Here’s our pick of the best:
A salon app is really the holy grail of salon marketing. They can do so many tasks and improve on many common salon problems. Do you have a lot of last-minute cancellations that you struggle to fill? Push notifications alert app users to these appointments and encourage them to book. Are Client Loyalty schemes expensive with printing costs? An app such as the one by Bright Salon has up to four client loyalty schemes, where you scan a client’s smartphone to redeem them.
There are so many benefits to an app, but in a nutshell all or your marketing tools are in the palm of your client’s hand.
Music is important to salons for a variety of reasons, with the right music you can improve staff productivity and increase client sales. Salons use music to help represent them and their brand. Whether you realise it or not, you will have some form of salon brand. Think about what imagery you use for your salon, the décor inside and the type of services you offer. Music needs to reflect this. If your clients are older you probably don’t want to be playing heavy metal music. Equally, if your salon has a trendy, young client base you might not want to play hits from the 80’s. If you want to have music in your salon, or put together a playlist, think about what atmosphere you want to create. Many salons provide services that aim to be a relaxing and pampering experience for clients. Think about how you can create this with your choice of music. For the busy mum who has just rushed to make her appointment, entering a salon with calming music automatically starts the relaxation process.
A survey by VisionWorks states that 84% of customers think that playing music makes the salon’s atmosphere more welcoming or exciting.
Another great blog post from Salon Marketing Ideas.
This is the latest blog from Salon Marketing Ideas, which we think is full of useful information.
There’s no doubt social media should be a part of your marketing. It’s prevalent, popular and expected in modern society. With smartphone ownership rocketing, social media is in the palm of people’s hands. So what happens if you set up a few social media platforms for your business, write some interesting content and don’t get much engagement in return? It could be down to the time of day that you are posting.
Customer service is so important to a salon business. It is vital in ensuring clients return and keep returning and needs to be central to the experience your salon creates. Luckily, small details can go a long way, personal touches, friendly staff, and good coffee all help a client have an experience that they will want to repeat.
Keeping clients returning time and time again to you is essential for your salon business. You need existing clients to keep coming back and recommending you to their friends, for new clients to return and become regulars. So how do you improve client loyalty? Here are some top tips from the great Salon Marketing Ideas blog you could try:
Build Personal Relationships
Developing a relationship with your clients is one of the most important things you can do to improve client loyalty. Talk to your clients, pay attention to things that are important to them and remember past conversations. Remembering that your client’s daughter is getting married or that they recently had a special holiday is a great way to build rapport with people. If you employ stylists, make sure they are doing the same too and remember to hire friendly people!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.