Jennifer Saxon, director of communications for salon business tool Mindbody, shares her tips for attracting new clients online. Here, she lets us in on few ways to keep your newbies coming back.
“By far, the best way to turn a first-time client into a loyal customer is to give them an experience that delights and convinces them to come back,” says Jennifer Saxon, director of communications for salon business tool Mindbody.
This includes ensuring your salon space is best it can be, hiring the right people, making booking easy, and continuing to interact with clients after their appointments using social media.
Your salon space
“Evaluate your clients’ experience, starting with their arrival,” advises Saxon. “Walk your space and look at it as a client would – from their car, through reception, to their chair, to the restroom and back.”
While you’re taking a walk through your salon, think about:
- Are there opportunities to delight clients that you aren’t taking advantage of?
- Your layout: does movement through the space flow well?
- Is your interior design simple, clean and organised?
- Is a visit to your location a respite away from home? For example, do you have luxurious materials/furnishings/surfaces/lighting?
It’s also important to think about more than just your physical surroundings, says Saxon, and to offer clients small, unexpected surprises.
“Think about the music playing, the scents. Consider offering small but thoughtful perks like special drinks or cocktails, complementary treatments and special services for clients who’ve been with you the longest.”
Of course, your staff members are a vital part of your clients’ visit. “Happy, successful staff makes for happy clients who enjoy extraordinary experiences, which makes your business successful over the long-term,” says Saxon.
So, how can you ensure you get the best people?
- Hire staff that are not only very good at what they do, but who are also passionate.
- Look for people with natural customer service skills. You can teach staff members tasks, but passion and customer service are less trainable.
- Promote your staff online through your website and social posts.
- Teach staff to greet people by name and make sure they are across all your services, prices and products.
A great way to get clients to re-book is by making things as easy as possible for them by offering an online booking system says Saxon.
“Don’t add to your clients’ stress by making them play phone-tag with you to book their next appointment,” she advises. “Lessen their stress levels by allowing them to book with you online via your website or Facebook page. Convenience for them means more business for you!”
With an online booking system, you can:
- Manage your schedule from one screen.
- Add, modify, pre-book and check out appointments with just a few clicks – no messy crossing out in a physical appointment book.
- Create reports that reveal attendance trends, popular therapists, popular services, etc.
- Let clients see your availability anywhere (including your website, Facebook page or app) and at any time, even when your salon is closed.
Your online presence
Once they’ve come in for a treatment and (hopefully) re-booked, keep the conversation going with your clients through social media.
“Social media sites are great engagement tools to keep your salon top of mind for your clients when they are away from your location,” says Saxon.
“You need to create engaging content – only engaging/interesting content can cut through the noise of all the other social posts your clients are following.”
To make this more manageable, Saxon suggests thinking of your social posts as ‘micro-content’. “[That is], tiny, unique nuggets of information, humour, commentary or inspiration that you can create, share, find or re-purpose each day.”
Quality, relevance and good timing are also extremely important when using social media.
“These things matter far more than many marketers realise,” says Saxon. “The key to great marketing is remembering that even though you’re all about your brand, your customer is not. Give them information that is of interest to them, even if it doesn’t directly promote your salon. They’ll associate you with quality and relevance, and you’ll stay top of mind as an expert when they need you.”