Customer Convenience and Consistency are KEY!
The salon of today is very different than in years past. The professional beauty industry has always been a hands-on, brick and mortar affair. However, the ways salons interact with their clients have changed. Today, customers desire convenience and quick gratification. That explains why salons are witnessing a demand for online client scheduling, the use of text messaging over phone calls, and an increase in next day or same day appointments. Salon retail is evolving too.
If salons are to grow their businesses, they need to serve customers in a way they are accustomed. To stay relevant, salons must have a robust online presence and offer convenience and mobility for everybody.
To run a salon effectively, owners should start by identifying inefficient business practices:
Having clients leave messages or sending texts to schedule
Confirming appointments manually
Not carrying or selling retail
Not selling retail online
Not connecting with clients through marketing
Incomplete client data (email address, birth dates, color formulas)
No stylist access to their schedule when the salon is closed
No owner out-of-salon access to client information, sales data, business trends, etc.
No online / Google presence
The practices above waste valuable time for both the salon and their clientele. As consumers grow increasingly tech-savvy and sophisticated with how they shop, salons will need to keep up or risk losing out. Instead, salons should implement a client-centric experience that offers services and features that put the client, their needs, and expectations, first. The ultimate client experience starts with the salon itself and includes easy mobile access, online client scheduling, online shopping, and marketing to tie it all together. These features provide a stronger connection with the customer and help build new client growth. This model is independent of the size of the business or whether it involves an individual service provider, a large salon, a booth rental salon or one that is commission-based.
Once ineffective salon practices are identified, the next step is to implement practical solutions such as:
Scheduling & POS management software
Online client scheduling
Automated reminders and confirmations
Integrated inventory for back bar and professional products
Social media and online visibility
The place for salons to start is to throw out their old paper scheduler and to stop wasting time making confirmation calls. Instead, they should implement scheduling and POS software with an auto-confirmation process that saves both time and effort. Providing a platform for clients to book appointments and purchase products online are also must-haves in today's world. And, by going mobile, salon owners can work remotely while stylists can access their schedule even when the salon is closed. Top it off with a robust email marketing program to help connect salons with their customers and drive sales. All of this comes together to form the ultimate experience for salon clients - the entire reason salons are in the beauty business, to begin with!
So, is your business living up to its potential? Do you have a Salon of Today?