Using Latest Technology to Cut Costs, Drive Profits
How are you using the latest technology to cut costs and drive profits in your salon?
|âWe want to reach our customers and we use every means we can think
ofâwe started with a web page, and now we have a blog, a fan page on
Facebook, online appointments with automated e-mail reminders, and we
even text from personal phones on occasion. We want our clients to feel
connected, and we havenât had any issues with anyone (staff or
customer) crossing the line and being too invasive. Salons that arenât
using these free services to connect with current and potential clients
are missing the boat!â|
âOur clientele are savvy businessmen, so being progressive with technology not only improves our customer experience, but also has become part of our brand. Our POS software allows us to e-mail appointment reminders, to save us time. We also use the e-mail function to build client relationships with birthday offers, anniversary offers and reminders when itâs time to book their next appointment. We use Constant Contact to send out a monthly newsletter to 14,000 clients (active and inactive). We are beginning to utilize a survey feature to poll our clients to help us deliver what they want.
âBecause we have two locations, we use a system called Talkswitch, so we can advertise one phone number and, at the menu, the client can choose their location. Each location has an attendant console program running on their desktop to track calls in queue. We created custom hold music promoting our services and promotions while clients wait. We also offer online booking, which is very popular with our tech-savvy clients. We recently launched a radio campaign where the listener texts a word and receives back a âcoupon,â so all they have to do is show their phone to get our special offer. Our website is one of our biggest marketing tools and we completely overhaul it about every three years.â
âWeâve done client appointment reminders by phone for the past 20-plus years, now we text. If clients request an e-mail reminder, we do it two days prior to the appointment. This is all based on the client response as to how they would like to be contacted. Also, we electronically send out postcards for first-time client visits, client referral thank you notes, birthdays and retail specials. With the cost of postage continuing to increase, e-mail saves our marketing budget and has a greater impact for the clients we service and ensures a greater chance of eliminating no-shows.â
âOur salon is trying to be on top with the college students and professionals in the areaâwe use BlackBerry and the internet, via our website, to confirm appointments by e-mails or texting. We feel that it is a friendly reminder and also verifies a full book and lessens the chance for no shows. We send out e-mails to let clients know upcoming >> specials, style tips and fashion-forward ideas to help stimulate interestâand we ask them to forward the e-mails to their friends to help grow our business quicker. Web presence is our most popular medium for success; including clients in our web photos has helped business because they then pass along the word. Even though Iâm not that technically advanced, I have to say I am getting there. I hold the BlackBerry everyday and keep in contact with my clientsâwhen they need us we are thereâand answer quickly!â
|âWe currently have 25,000 e-mail addresses of active clients. Through
weekly e-mails, we keep marketing costs down and revenues up. We use
our technology to go deep and narrow with e-mail blasts. We are
currently developing our Twitter account for daily tweets of
information, quotes and specials; being proactive in communicating
opportunities to our guests and being more productive. |
Web booking is loved by our guests and has been a big hit. In addition to being a convenience to our guests, this has freed our guest coordinators to focus on the experience of the guest in the salon.â
Roy A. Fredericks
âAbout a year and a half ago, we had Rinnai tankless water heaters installed in our salon/spa. We had been wasteful with our gas water heaterâconstantly running to keep our tank of water hot, especially when we were closedâand we also ran out of hot water on our busier days. Installing the tankless water heaters have cut our gas costs in half. Also, they are better for the environment and the government offers tax breaks for having them installed.
âCutting marketing costs is not easy, for you have to spend money to make money. However, we kept encouraging our staff to utilize Facebook and other online free services to market themselvesâand it has paid off. We set up a salon Twitter account and Facebook account, a profile on whodoesyourhair.com and another on searchhairstylist.com. We utilize pay-per-click advertising on Facebook, Google and MySpace to target our specific demographicâwe may get 1,500 impressions (thatâs 1,500 ad views) and if 100 clicked on the banner, we only pay for those 100 clicks. Probably half of our new clients come from our internet marketing and the other half from referrals. We definitely still utilize print for image brandingâbut we stick with the local newspapers, for they give us the best return on investment.â
âWeâve been utilizing laser hair therapy in the salon for more than four years. A 90-percent client satisfaction rate has helped us achieve a successful revenue stream in the salon. Our laser hair therapy program also has minimal overhead, as service commission is not paid out. After the initial skepticism passed, clients and staff have noticed the results of healthy, thicker-looking hair. Involved in hair restoration for more than 41 years, we have helped other salon and hair restoration studios in North America and now in Europe implement a successful laser hair therapy practice.â
Vito Mazza Jr.
âWe are getting a ton of business from our website through salonbuilder.com. We have signed up with SpaFinder and, since mid-November, have redeemed more than 35 gift cards and certificates from new clients for only a $50 investment with SpaFinder. We are doing e-mail reminders, online booking and marketing through Salon Transcripts. I am plunging into social networkingâmy original idea was that it would be shameless free marketing, but much to my delight and surprise, it has connected me with an amazing amount of marketing for the industry and now I am receiving marketing insights and doing webinars. There is more information than I can digest at the moment! My next goals are to set up Wi-Fi, e-mail blasts and a blog for our salon guests.â