5 ways to make sure your clients can find (and book) your salon post-lockdown
It’s official. UK salons finally have a date in their diaries for when they can to be able to cast open their doors once again: July 4th.
(That’s hair salons only, at the moment – beauty salons are still waiting for more information.)
But while everyone in the community is excited for the big day – visiting a salon was one of the top 3 things customers are planning on doing as soon as they can – it’s not surprising that there’s a bit of anxiety about how to actually pull off a successful re-opening, too.
So, to help you get ready we checked in with our salons partners and customers around Europe to find the 5 key things you can do right now to make sure you’re getting found post-lockdown. Let’s take a look.
UPDATE: The government has just announced new guidelines and restrictions for re-opening. Read them in full here.
1. Make sure you’ve got a presence online
Client behaviour is changing.
After months of turning to the online world to order and manage their lives, customers are more at home with using the internet to book all their services than ever – and that’s set to continue.
As salons across Europe have re-opened, we’ve seen record numbers of people looking for their treatments online. And, with more people working from their homes and public transport largely off the table, more people than ever are also looking local.
That means there’s plenty of opportunity for you to get discovered by new customers – as long as they can find you where they’re looking. Make sure you’ve got a website, claim your business on Google, and get yourself included on listing sites (like ours). Getting your salon in front of people online for them to find has never been so important.
Treatwell partners don’t just get in front of millions of potential customers, but are also fully bookable online before their doors open, so they know they’re coming back to a full column. Find out more here.
2. Get loud on social media
Social media is all about community. As a tool for your salon, it’s perfect for engaging directly with your clients, you can keep your salon top of their minds for when they’re choosing where to book first, post-lockdown.
What you decide to post is completely up to you, but it’s a nice idea to think about what they would want to hear about – what you’ve been doing in your downtime, your best at-home tips and expert advice, and how you’ve increased your hygiene measures to keep them safe.
As opening time gets closer, you can even encourage clients to start pre-booking you straight through your profile to make their experience even smoother.
Social is the ideal place to build up human connections with existing clients and to reach brand new ones, and get them excited to return for appointments.
3. Prepare a dedicated opening marketing campaign
Opening back up is a big moment for everyone, so make your making the noise about it it deserves.
Reach out to your clients as many ways as you can once you’re ready. That means preparing emails, posting on your social media, reaching out via text or WhatsApp, as well with your window display.
Include the key information they need to know that’ll help them take action: when you’re going to be open, what that’ll look like when it comes to any new processes you’ve got in place, and how to book in their appointment so they don’t miss out.
Keep your messages consistent across all the different channels will keep your campaign useful and memorable – it’s a real chance to build up some more excitement and start filling up your calendar so you can come back and hit the ground running.
Preparing for a whole campaign is time-consuming, but there are tools out there (like ours) that can help you can create multi-channel marketing campaigns easily – just pick your messages, contacts and send them out to everyone in one go.
Speaking of window displays…
4. Upgrade your window display
Just because walk-ins are gone doesn’t mean walk-bys are. Clients are still out and about in their local neighbourhood, so it’s important that you keep your salon looking appealing.
Spend some time before opening upgrading your display – let them know when you’re set to open, any special offers you’re planning on running, what hygiene measures you’re putting in place to keep them safe and tell them how they can book in advance to avoid disappointment.
According to our customers, booking a place they trust and feel safe is a key priority when choosing where to book post-lockdown, so make sure you look the part.
5. Shift up your opening hours
Something that’s been consistent across all the salons we’ve seen opening up in Europe is a change in normal customer booking hours. With people working from home and booking online so they’re not chancing walk-ins, we’ve seen traditional peak hours largely disappear.
This, coupled with having to plan in extra cleaning time between clients, means it might be well worth your time to either adjust or extend your business hours a bit to make the most of the heightened demand instead of trying to cram customers into your normal slots.
Every great experience is another potential regular client, so making sure you can fit them in comfortably instead of rushing or making them feel unsafe is absolutely worth investing the additional time – and after months closed, it might also be a good opportunity to make back a bit extra.