Pre-COVID, most salon leaders and stylists probably felt like they had the basics of client recruitment and retention covered. Technical skills were on point, extra touches like remembering birthdays and offering a special incentive at holidays were part of the established routine. The salon experience was relaxed, comfortable. Why would a guest go anywhere else for cut, color or style?
Keeping Clients: A Whole New World
Fast forward to today’s reality. Salon practices that could have been considered “above and beyond” in the past are essential to salon survival now. And, with a new emphasis and customer value system built around safety, wellness and clean beauty, there are whole new areas that savvy salon owners and beauty professionals need to refine to set their salon apart as a secure, welcome beauty destination that clients choose to return to again and again.
According to the salon support team at Eufora, the clean beauty company that offers a proactive Salon Partner and loyalty program, the customer relationship has proven to be even more important than quality service, especially during the pandemic.
Eufora’s message to salon owners and stylists looking for a competitive edge? With so much to consider before venturing out, any consumer is sure to have a wandering eye unless your salon crafts a unique and personal experience that complements your culture.
What Works: The First Four Steps to Success
Eufora offers plenty of programs and partner support to salons. During quarantine, Janine Argila, owner of Prism Wellness Salon in Long Island, New York, realized she needed help and leveraged her relationship with Eufora to build new and stronger relationships with guests.
“As the owner, I hadn’t worked behind the chair in two years, and had lost some of that connection,” she says. “The Eufora class opened my eyes to the importance of being in constant communication.” And it taught her current ways to do so.
Argila says having Eufora as a partner to guide and give her salon access to best practices and digital resources through the Eufora Education Portal was a tremendous benefit.
From one of Eufora’s proven salon programs, “Eight Steps to Success,” Argila and other salons point to these four key action items as particularly critical:
Let guests know what to expect. A salon’s website and social media are great ways to make guests feel comfortable before ever setting foot in the salon, Argila learned. Anticipate questions and concerns, and address them up front, Eufora advises. Post FAQs and send protocol reminders with every appointment confirmation, even if the guest has already been back to the salon. Most important, share recent salon images on social that show guests and stylists engaging in the salon environment in a different, but still fun and friendly fashion. Seeing the salon culture in action will ease uncertainty.
Master the warm and friendly greeting. Hugs are out, but a salon can still manage the new safety protocol experience to ensure positive interaction. Keeping the guest comfortable from the very start and through every step in the salon is vital to business. Most important? Make sure your “gatekeeper” speaks first, addressing every customer as they approach.
Greet the guest by name if possible and say “Welcome! Are you ready for us to take care of you today?”
Proceed with required check-in protocols, like masking up, taking temps and hand sanitizing.
Explain what the service experience will be like every step of the way.
If asking guests to wait in cars, offer a bottle of water and check in if the wait is 15 minutes or longer.
Rethink sampling. With community testers no longer an option, it is important the guest feels secure making product choices without trial. To overcome this hurdle, share product info during styling. Let the guest see the package, offer an individual sample if available or as a safe sample application at the station. To capture attention and loyalty, always have a recommendation to share as part of the complete service.
Get real with the consultation. Go in-depth to discuss the guest’s hair care routine. Ask what products she is using and loving (or hating). Open a conversation on beauty trends (maybe she is loving a bold new color trend), top product picks (yes, even competitor’s or non-professional), and eventually segue into your recommendations, customized to her likes, hair type and lifestyle. Sharing implies caring.
Lock in Loyalty: The Rest of the Story
Every guest has access to other avenues for a haircut, and can certainly find products online, but those who consistently experience the “extras” outlined above when choosing your salon will look forward to each visit and prebooking the next.
What else can you do to strengthen customer relationships, guest retention and get more referrals?
Download and read the complete Eufora Eight Steps to Success e-book and explore other Eufora Programs at www.eufora.net.
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