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The New Buying Decision: How Clients Choose a Salon or Spa

Neroli-stylist

Neroli Salon and Spa, Milwaukee, WI

There was a time when a referral from a trusted friend with great hair or skin was all that was needed to propel a new client through your door. These days, that’s only the first step before the consumer becomes a professional investigator—Googling the salon or spa, analyzing online reviews, and accessing the website and social media pages to decide if you’re a good fit for them.

This new process is often overwhelming for salon owners, who can barely find time to keep their websites updated or respond to fan comments on their Facebook page. Fortunately, a few crucial and powerful tools can help salon owners attract new clients more proactively and efficiently.

WEBSITE

Statistics show that 70% of visitors to salon and spa websites are unique visitors who have never been to that site before. Most likely, these are potential new clients.

Help them find what they’re looking for.
The most visited pages on a salon or spa website are: location photos, services, and hours. These pages provide the vital information consumers look for when choosing a salon, so make sure that they are easy to locate.

Give them a reason to take the next step and come in.
Knowing that 70% of the visitors to your site are new, you should give them a reason to look no further and book an appointment. Entice them with prominently located “new client offers” on your home page.

Acknowledge awards
If you have impressive awards like “Best Of” awards, business awards or industry acknowledgements, put them front and center on your site.

pps-homepage

Got bragging rights? Leverage them!

REVIEWS

One of the most common complaints from salon owners is the inaccuracy of bad reviews on Yelp, Google, and other review sites. Here’s how to best leverage the good and deal with the bad:

Be accessible.
Today’s discriminating consumers can and will seek out reviews, whether or not you point them in that direction. Including a live review feed on your website and Facebook page indicates that you are trustworthy and confident in your work.

Be honest.
Though it may feel counter-intuitive, you’re better off with a live review feed that includes some negativity than you are with a small collection of old (or worse, non-attributed, non-dated) reviews. Consumers know if you’ve chosen only the best reviews to make yourself look good. And occasional negative review confirms your authenticity—just make sure to respond to these graciously.

FACEBOOK

More and more, clients visit your Facebook page, too. Don’t just treat it like a second website. There are several things you can do to attract new clients.

Be Present.

Post 3 to 5 days a week. Facebook is no longer free: every post must be boosted, or very few people will see it. A budget of $5 – $10 per post ($150 – $300 month), targeted to fans and friends, usually works for most businesses. If you need to schedule your posts in advance, skip the third party app and use the Facebook scheduler, as some sources suggest that third party apps may hinder your reach.

Be Authentic.
Facebook is not a sales platform. Be yourself and speak to your fans like they are your friends.

Respond.
If someone posts on your page or comments on one of your posts, make sure their contribution is acknowledged—even if you just “like” their comment or say thank you.

Reviews and Offers.
The same philosophies for your website apply here—include a live review tab and a new fan offer. We have found that new client offers are downloaded 30 to over 100 times a month—that’s a lot of new clients.

Take advantage of the new—don’t resist– seek to understand. In today’s marketplace, a business owner has more tools to market their business than ever before. And a lot of them are low cost and easy to use. An excellent resource on the subject of why some ideas catch on and why others don’t is the book Contagious by Jonah Berger.

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6 Comments (Comments are closed)

  1. amanda says:

    demandforce isn’t a booking system correct? How does it know to send out reminders to your guests?

    • Neill-TSP says:

      Hi Amanda!
      Demandforce (among other things) is an client communication service, and when integrated with SalonBiz or another salon software platform, it can be programmed to send out an email with a trigger, such as an in-salon purchase or an appointment reservation. It can even be programmed to send out an email 4 weeks after a client’s last appointment to remind them that it’s time to come in and get a trim, which can be a great way to drive business back to your salon. So no, it’s not a booking system, but it works with many of them seamlessly. We’ve found them to be a good resource, you can learn more at http://www.demandforce.com/

  2. Wow! What entertaining and useful information every week. Nowadays it is so easy to do because it is “virtually” at your fingertips. Thanks for these great new tips you have been sending. It keeps us engaged.

    I am very interested in Hootsuite and BuzzBundle. Anyone out there using these and if so which is better or are they incomparable? Thank you in advance.

    • Neill-TSP says:

      Thanks, Pat! We’re so glad you’re liking them.

      As for Hootsuite vs. BuzzBundle, they offer many of the same features. It usually comes down to personal preference. If you’re just getting started and would like to familiarize yourself with social media management software, we would recommend Hootsuite. It’s very user-friendly and popular for that reason. Plus, their most basic version is free, and they offer a 30 day free trial of Hootsuite Pro.

  3. Thanks for some great tips,will be putting them to use .

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