Attracting clients to your reopening

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With the reopening date edging closer and closer, the hair and beauty industry can barely hold back the excitement. Salons, home-based and mobile specialists have been waiting in anticipation ever since the lockdown was enforced, and their clients even more so. Appointment books are filling up like crazy and stylists and beauticians are rejoicing like it’s the December rush – but not everyone is satisfied with the number of bookings for their reopening. A knee-jerk reaction to this situation is obviously looking for ways to attract clients just in time for your reopening, which is just beyond the horizon. So what can you do to encourage more bookings during this time? Well, we asked some of our users how they’re responding, and here’s what we learned.

Make clients feel safe

It’s not only salon owners and staff that are afraid to go back to work – customers are beginning to have second thoughts about getting treated during your reopening. Put yourself in their shoes – your clients know that you’re going to be busy on reopening day, and the days that follow. They can already imagine people frantically rushing to the salon in order to secure their spot in line, and obviously increasing the possibility of a COVID-19 outbreak. So instead of booking the first week or two after your reopening, appointments might start to dribble in at a later time – after all, your customers have been living with 80% regrowth for some time now, so what difference will a week or two make for them?

If however, you notice a substantial number of empty appointment slots when nearing your reopening date, you may want to act fast in filling them in. Clients who are looking to book a visit sometime after your reopening might reconsider if they feel that you’re taking the right precautions in ensuring their safety. Chances are that they aren’t well-informed about strict reopening protocols that have gone into effect in your business – instead, they might imagine quick in-and-out servicing of dozens of customers, a jam-packed waiting room and a sloppy chair wipe after each treatment. In this case, time is of the essence, and you should be informing clients about the precautions you’ve taken to guarantee their safety. On your social media fan pages, website, and booking page, share information on your spacing and disinfecting protocols that you’ve implemented, and how these changes will ensure clients’ safety.

If you feel that this isn’t enough, consider creating a reopening consultation form that must be filled out prior to each appointment. If you use hair and beauty management software like Versum, you can send these consultation forms directly to each client via email. Once they fill them out and send them back to you, you must go over them and decide who to treat and who to politely decline. Questions such as whether or not a client has been in the presence of someone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 should be included in your form, in order to avoid having an outbreak. Customers will be able to rest easy, knowing that you hold their health in the highest regard.

More benefits

Did you know that your grand reopening is also the perfect time to attract new customers? You’re not the only hair and beauty business that’s reopening once the lockdown is lifted – your competition is preparing marketing campaigns and offers even while you’re reading this article! But the thing is, what happens when their appointment slots fill up? Their clients will have to go elsewhere to get their hair and beauty treatments done – and that’s where you come in. It’s far less expensive to retain loyal customers (especially with the help of a loyalty program) than it is to gain new ones – but with the lockdown being lifted off of hair and beauty businesses, you have the perfect opportunity to attract new, potential loyal customers.

To do so, consider selling discounted packages of treatments or gift vouchers to new customers – those who purchase them will be able to utilise them whenever they see fit, thus tying your first-time clients to your business for longer. If you decide to focus on attracting your regular clients for your reopening, you may also want to include them in your “welcome-back” offer, and consider rewarding them with more loyalty points if you have a loyalty program.

A unique reopening

Obviously, your reopening is going to include facemasks, aprons, disinfectants and only small talk – after all, everyone will still be stressed out about catching the coronavirus. However, there are a number of ways you can get creative with your reopening, which will help to fill up your appointment book in no time! Here are some great ideas you may want to try:

  • A hygiene party. Clients who book a slot during the first week of your reopening will receive a free sanitation kit, which will include a bottle of non-irritating hand sanitiser, disinfecting wipes, gloves, and other hygienic products to keep clients from overstressing about the epidemic.
  • New treatments and products. If you’ve been planning on introducing a new treatment or product into your menu, now would be an opportune time to do so – especially if backed by demand from your customers.
  • Turn over a new leaf. You’ve got some time before your reopening – how about remodelling your salon? Obviously, you’re going to have to make some space between work stations, but you may also want to try something more creative, like painting your walls a different colour or changing the theme or overall layout of your work area.

Although these ideas sound appealing to your target audience, they won’t help to attract them to your reopening if they aren’t being promoted effectively. To get the word out about your unique reopening, you should utilise a number of different means of communication, namely your social media fan pages, website, online booking page and direct messaging. Each of these mediums helps to get the word out about your business’ reopening, however, a direct notification in text or email format is more likely to be opened by your clients.

Being there for your clients

The most essential part of attracting clients to your reopening might not seem so direct. Sure, revamping your business’ interior, introducing new treatments and even having reopening offers is great, but nothing works better than simply being in touch with your customers. During the lockdown, it’s important that you regularly post on social media, asking clients how they’re faring and what they’re doing to pass the time. Additionally, sending each of them a direct and heartwarming text or email will show that you care about them and can’t wait to have them back in your salon. A business built on positive emotions from its clients will prosper even through difficult times – and no discount at the salon can replace that!

Your reopening can truly be magnificent if everything is planned accordingly – by ensuring customer safety, getting creative with your reopening and simply being there for your clients, you can rest easy, knowing that your reopening is going to be phenomenal!

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