The new rules of customer engagement

We live in an era of complete accessibility. And as a result, clients expect to be able to speak with businesses as easily as they do with friends and family. They want a personalised experience, to feel valued and to know that businesses are willing to be flexible to enhance the client experience. The contact centre as we once knew it has become obsolete – if your salon isn’t visible across web, mobile, and social media, you could be missing out on opportunities.

A recent survey by cloud communications platform Twilio revealed a major communications divide; while seven out of ten businesses think they are communicating effectively with their clients, only two out of ten clients agree.

Embrace messaging apps
Business owners need to get their heads around WhatsApp, Apple iMessage and Facebook Messenger. These apps allow a client to feel they have a direct line with you, that their enquiry is being dealt with. Apps such a Facebook Messenger rate your response time and highlight this to the client, so be sure to respond promptly. 

Respond to reviews
It’s no secret that potential clients will seek reviews before trying a new service. Ensure that you’re across all reviews of your business and respond to them publicly. Rather than trying to explain away or make excuses for any poor reviews, apologise and offer a free service while promising to do better. Just as importantly, reply to the positive reviews, offering genuine thanks.

Don’t overwhelm clients
Once you’re up and running on messaging apps, it can be temping to use them…a lot. Be wary of overloading your database with messages, because there’s a fine line between sharing exciting news and clogging up someone’s phone memory space. If you do go down the mass messaging app, stick to a maximum of one message per week, and ensure each carries a high-quality incentive.

Keep on top of social media
If you have the funds to hire a social media manager, go ahead. But for the vast majority of salons, overseeing social media will fall to the business owner. That said, social media is a hungry beast and she needs to be fed – often. Aim for three posts a day to kickstart the algorithm and promote your visibility. Beautiful images are eye-catching, however, snappy captions that often contain promotions and deals are just as important.

 

 

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