How improved communication can bring back clients for your reopening
The lingering lockdown takes a toll on hair and beauty business owners, to the point where sometimes it’s difficult to even communicate with your own staff members, let alone clients. However, maintaining suitable communication is the key to keeping your customers interested in your services and loyal to your salon. Moreover, there are adjustments you will have to introduce once you reopen – and your clients have to abide by them. Finally – be aware that a silent beauty business with an empty feed screams “we didn’t make it” (or, even worse – “we don’t care”), and that’s definitely not the message you want to send to the world. What should you say to your clients (and via which mediums) to keep them engaged, well-informed and make them count down the days to your grand reopening?
Keep your clients updated on the important news
Let them know when the reopening is to be expected
“Okay”, you can say, “but I’m not even sure myself, the government’s official statement has set the 4th of July as the earliest reopening date, but it’s not certain. How can I tell my customers when they can expect the grand reopening, when I literally have no clue?”.
The thing is – this lack of certainty is exactly why you should talk with your clients. In the flood of contradictory and often frightening information, the official statement coming from the salon owner cannot be overestimated. There is nothing wrong with openly admitting you cannot give them a definite date – they will understand. Publish an uplifting post on social media, in which you explain the situation – tell your clients that you miss them and cannot wait for being able to host them again and that you will let them know as soon as you have more information. Encourage them to subscribe to your newsletter (if you run one) and whenever there’s an important update, make sure to inform them about it via SMS as well. If you are using Versum, simply use the bulk SMS messaging option – the whole process will take you just a few minutes.
Let them know you offer online vouchers
You may not be able to provide services, but you can still sell them. You may be surprised – aren’t online vouchers mainly a way for me to make a profit? Yes, but they mean a lot to your clients as well – being able to purchase a future appointment is genuinely comforting and makes the client feel that better times are soon to come. These difficult days we all seek ways to normalise the situation. A promise of a visit to your salon brings a whole palette of positive emotions. They will also be happy to support you! Make sure to promote the vouchers on your social media pages and via SMS marketing.
In Versum, we have introduced the Online Vouchers feature, thanks to which you will not only earn much-needed revenue, but also maintain good relationships with clients. You keep financial liquidity and your clients can rest assured that they will get their hair and beauty treatments as soon as possible.
Invite them to get their favourite products from your online store
Similarly, the possibility of getting one’s favourite care cosmetics is a great mood booster. During the lockdown, clients still want to take care of themselves – and what better way for doing so than by getting professional-grade products, hand-picked by their favourite stylist? By introducing an online store, you show your customers that you care about their needs and want to deliver a way for them to maintain their good looks the best way possible. Inform them about this possibility by posting on social media fan pages and via SMS marketing.
Using Versum, you can activate the Online Store feature, thanks to which you can get back money frozen in your commodities, make a profit and maintain good relationships with your customers at the same time.
Prepare your clients for the changes that will occur once you reopen
Explain the steps you are taking to ensure their safety
As any responsible business owner, you’ll surely introduce salon protocols to ensure the safety of your guests and employees and will take care of proper spacing and disinfection in the salon. It’s good to inform your clients about the steps you will be taking to ensure their safety in advance. By doing so, you not only show them that you hold yourself accountable for their well-being and will abide by all recommended safety protocols, but also prepare them for what to expect when they arrive for their visit. It’s a great moment to explain what is going to change and why – some safety protocols may seem very rigid and may surprise your customers at their first visit.
Once the actual salon reopening date is known and we’ll have an official list of safety protocols to follow, it will be a moment to explicitly communicate to all you clients, present and potential, what the restrictions will be once you reopen. Then it’s important to utilise all your channels, from social media fan pages to emails, SMS messages and even appointment reminders. Prepare a whole section on your website where you describe everything in detail – you might even consider making a banner or pop-up. There’s no such thing as being officious in this matter – they have to be aware and well-prepared for their visit. What’s more, they will take comfort in your serious efforts.
Show off the adjustments in the salon’s interior
You’re going to have to rearrange your salon’s interior once you reopen – most probably, you will have to temporarily get rid of elements of decor, reduce the number of clients at the reception area and rearrange the stations. Let your customers get acquainted with these updates as well – you can publish a dedicated post on your social media accounts and include some photos. Let’s be honest – clients are going to be a little shocked when seeing it for the first time, so getting familiar with the view in advance will definitely help. Especially if you include yourself or your team members in the photo, waving and doing funny faces behind your masks and face shields!
Inform about the new booking methods
After the lockdown, making appointments in person will most likely be deprecated. Instead, it is recommended to allow your clients to book online – it’s the safest and most efficient way, as you limit face-to-face interaction, don’t have to stop mid-service to answer a call (and spend another five minutes disinfecting your hands and phone again) and additionally avoid misunderstandings and double-bookings.
No matter if you decide to introduce this method now or are offering it already, you should inform your clients of the new booking procedure – they have to be aware that being a walk-in or asking for an appointment in person is no longer an option. This time, aside from posting on your social media channels, it’s best to make use of SMS marketing as well – it’s very crucial for this information to reach your entire client base! Make sure to let them know the details, for example, if you’ll have a waitlist – and if you offer priority booking to clients who bought vouchers online, send them a proper note first.
Tip: Looking for a salon management system that offers a well-rounded online booking feature? Try Versum today!
Film a light-hearted report from the salon
Whenever you are visiting your salon, for example, to rearrange the interior or to prepare retail products for shipment that have been sold via your online shop, film a short report. Let them see that you are still going strong and that it’s just a matter of time before you will offer services again. Take a few close-ups of the retail products you offer in your online store and mention who they’re for. Showcase your new interior and humorously point out your new work outfit. Get people excited for your reopening and make the unavoidable changes feel more normal. Such short relations will be the perfect material for your Insta Stories!
Gargantuan regrowth, split ends, desperate need of a lash refill and brow trim… the lockdown caused many of us to lose a little bit of confidence when it comes to our appearance. After all, we all like to look well-groomed. You sympathise with your clients and therefore you want to help them maintain good looks – and don’t want them to make mistakes they will regret later. Share short video tutorials in which you present, for example, how to properly deep-condition your hair (using, of course, retail products that clients can purchase via your online store). Mention the risks of trying to colour or cut your hair at home – you can even offer special bonuses added to their next visit for clients who will proudly display their regrowth!
Show off what your staff members are up to
Many hair and beauty specialists decided to use this time to boost their skills and keep learning. If that’s the case in your salon as well, let your clients know! They will be happy to see their favourite stylists, cosmetologists, lash artists or nail technicians develop. What’s more, short “Who are they?” posts regarding your team members will be a great idea for the content on your Facebook fan page.
Evoke positive memories
Finally, reach to your archives – maybe you have old photos of what your salon used to look like? Or a video from an event you hosted last year? Share the most beautiful transformations and make sure to do a shout-out to the team members who did them. Encourage customers to share photos in the comment section as well – create a small corner of comforting memories.
Your clients are waiting impatiently for you to come back – make sure they know that you are doing everything you can to reopen stronger than ever. Don’t leave them hanging – if you keep proper communication processes during the lockdown, the reopening will be not only easier but also much more profitable. Help yourself with technology that allows you to not only prepare yourself better for the post-lockdown reality but also to keep in touch with your customers – they will definitely appreciate your efforts and your business will flourish, no matter the circumstances!