Is your salon operating as smoothly as it can? Do you find that you and your team spend too much effort doing small tasks, taking valuable time away from your customer service? There are better ways to make your operation more effective (and profitable). Here are some easy ideas to get you started:
Create a powerhouse front desk – In addition to acting as the salon concierge, train your reception staff how to up-sell (think add-on services), cross-promote (such as nail or spa services to go along with all formal or bridal bookings), and seal the deal with retail sales. No client should leave without at least proper product recommendations and pre-booking their next appointment.
Be transparent & competitive – Be well aware of what your competition charges and price your services accordingly. If your prices are too low, you’ll lose money, but if they’re too high, you risk losing clients. Be realistic but confident with your pricing, displaying them on your website for easy access – that way your clients don’t have to ask and therefore are not surprised at checkout.
Fill in the blanks – If you find that your schedule has openings, send an email or post on social to try and fill in the blank spots. You can also offer discounts or rewards points for filling in a cancellation, booking on lighter days or working with new talent.
Let clients do the booking – Offer online scheduling so your clients can book their own appointments based on when it’s convenient for them. This simple service relieves pressure from your front desk while offering customers the convenience that they expect.
Message service – Consider adding a message service to your phone line that takes callers through a brief introduction. Give them the option to get pre-recorded directions and salon hours or to stay on the line for the receptionist. In that time, the messaging can mention saving timing by booking or shopping online through the salon’s website.
Use automated confirmations – Look for salon or spa software that offers automatic email and text confirmations, so your receptionist won’t have to make the calls each day. This feature will save hours of time and aggravation every day.
Do shifts on each station – Try to pair up part-timers or to balance two service operators who have opposite schedules in order to maximize the effectiveness of the space available.
Profit centers – Find your most profitable service and market the heck out of it. Most salons find that hair color services have the most significant value, so the recommendation is to find ways to expand your color offerings and to streamline the color workflow. Think through your color dispensary system and area and then research ways to conserve. Add a color processing room, section or bar so service providers can take another appointment while color clients process.
Offer add-on services – Make it part of your salon’s consultation to offer add-on services whenever possible. Adding a deep treatment, eyebrow tint or other massage, facial or waxing service can add up by the end of a year.
Offer interesting retail offerings – A great way to set your salon apart from your competition is to carry a decent range of professional and even unique retail products. Also, create an online retail store to give your clients the convenience of shopping online from a trusted source.
Create a loyalty program – Give clients the opportunity to earn points for every product or service that they purchase at your salon or spa. Consider other ways that they can earn points such as pre-booking appointments, scheduling online, filling in cancellations or booking on a slower day, purchasing products from your online store, or even referring a friend. These points can be applied to future services or purchases including gift certificates for friends and family.
Automate correspondences – Set up your salon software to automatically send out thank you emails, wish clients a happy birthday or anniversary, and remind clients that they are due back in the salon but have not booked an appointment yet.
Scout the MIA – We all have clients that stop coming in, for whatever reason. Make a conscious effort to reach out to these customers to see how you can recapture their business. Send a personalized card or email and offer them a chance to reconnect with a special offer.
Think ahead – It’s vital always to cultivate new clients. Consider having another pricing tier for students (tomorrow’s workforce) and offering a discount for immediate friends and family – a great way to market within the salon. Also, set up a referral program so happy customers can refer others and help continually build up your client base.
Send out a survey – With every business, there is always room for improvement. Send out a survey request to your clientele to see how your salon is stacking up.
Get help – Find a mentor, business advisor or follow successful industry leaders to see what they are doing right. That way you can put some of the same practices to use at your salon.