If you have clients who own beauty salons, their businesses are likely struggling due to the current health crisis. Your agency can be a key part of the salon owners’ recovery.
This blog post will explain how to bring back customers who stopped making salon appointments due to COVID-19-related health concerns. It describes a strategy for using willing customers to convince wary customers that it’s safe to visit the salon. We’ll wrap up with a look at how your agency can take a more direct approach to engage long-absent customers.
Current Salon Customers Will Help You Attract Wary Customers
The phone chimes. A salon customer, reluctant to make an appointment due to COVID-19 safety concerns, sees a Facebook post from a friend who just got a great looking haircut. Reluctance fades, and within a day, after some gentle marketing outreach, the person books an appointment.
Your agency can trigger that chain of events.
This section will explain how you can prompt customers to share their salon experience with friends and family. The customer intel that comes from WiFi marketing is the key element in all the approaches described below.
Encourage Post-Appointment Social Sharing
Shortly after an appointment is the best time to get customers to post about how great their hair looks on social media. When a person who’s reluctant about visiting a salon sees the post, their fears will fade, and they’ll be more likely to book an appointment.
Here are some guidelines that will help you get the maximum number of people to share their salon experience on social media:
- Your prompt for social sharing can be done using email or text.
- Make your message enthusiastic. In a way that speaks to your customers, say “Your friends will want to know about your new haircut. Please post about it!” You can secondarily mention that a share will help the salon.
- Run a contest in which people are automatically entered if they share on social media. This can create a buzz among your followers and draw in more people. When sharing on social media means possibly winning a prize, people are more inclined to do it.
- Offer a discount for users who share on social media, but do it in a discrete, creative way to hide the fact that you’re trading discounts for social shares.
When you have your message contents worked out, it’s time to focus on timing. WiFi marketing makes it possible to time your messages with precision, maximizing the likelihood that the recipient will take the desired action. Send two messages:
- Your first message for encouraging social sharing should be sent very shortly after the person’s appointment. When a customer leaves your client’s salon, they’ll have positive feelings about their visit, making that the perfect time to prompt for social sharing. A few minutes after the customer disconnects from guest WiFi, reach out with text or email.
- The other message can be sent the day after the appointment. Since the recipient may have already responded to your request for a social share, that should be a prominent but supplemental point in this second post-visit message. The main point can be a sincere thank you, a discount offer, or any other promotional message you come up with.
Thanks to WiFi marketing, this one-two punch can be executed in an automated way—the sending of predefined but personalized messages is triggered by the customer’s disconnection from the guest WiFi network.
Email Loyal Customers to Reach Their Friends
Your agency can help salon owners attract reluctant customers by getting their friends to tell them about the salon and its response to COVID-19. You should email salon customers who have continued to make appointments since March 2020; the goal is to have them share your message with a wary friend. The email should make these points:
- Summarize updated cleaning standards and COVID-19 policies. Even though this info may not matter to the primary recipient, when the email is shared, the safety details will reassure the secondary recipient.
- Come right out and ask them to share the email, perhaps even offering a referral discount.
Based on a metric made available by the WiFi marketing solution, Date of Last Visit, an email list of loyal customers who have visited since March 2020 might be quite large. That’s great for a shotgun email blast with the relatively broad messaging described above.
There’s another angle you can take that involves people who were in the salon within the last couple of weeks.
Even with regular customers, opportunities for onsite engagement and post-appointment outreach come along only about once a month. That’s too long to go without customer contact, especially when your goal is to play off the recipient’s enthusiasm about your salon. For this group of people, your email can make the points listed above—the salon is safe, please share this email—but with a more personalized approach.
Engage Wary Customers Directly Using a Pandemic-Sensitive Approach
What we’ve described so far is a strategy that’s geared toward reaching concerned customers via their friends and family. While this will prove effective, there’s no reason your agency can’t run a simultaneous campaign targeted directly at wary, long-absent customers. It will, however, require different messaging.
All customers who have not visited the salon since March 2020 (and all prospects) should receive an email message that doesn’t just summarize your client’s response to COVID-19, it should describe updated cleaning standards and COVID-19 policies in detail. Learning about the business’s COVID-19 safety measures will play a big part in changing the minds of reluctant customers. Describe the steps your client has taken to adjust their salon’s disinfecting practices in response to the pandemic.
It’s smart to state the establishment’s current COVID-19 policies that apply to customers. Explain social distancing and mask usage while putting a positive safety-first spin on it. For some salon customers, learning there’s a mask requirement for all customers may be the final reassurance they need to book an appointment.
Highlighting your client’s COVID-19 policies won’t turn off less-concerned customers, and for those who are afraid, the information can provide a significant boost in confidence.
Don’t make the whole message a pandemic downer—include some of your brand-aligned marketing messages, and maybe even offer a discount. If you do that, downplay the offer. Heavily promoting a discount at this time could seem like an act of desperation, which, for some customers, will only strengthen their resolve to stay away.
Give Salon Owners the Mid-Pandemic Boost They Need!
For salons, most marketing strategies that would have worked before the pandemic are not advisable, at least not without some serious tweaking. While retooled cold outreach can be effective, your top priority should be customer communication that’s targeted at willing customers.
WiFi marketing can help you leverage the influence that people have over their friends and family. People who stopped visiting the salon due to COVID-19-related health concerns can be persuaded to change their minds. A two-pronged approach is best. Prompt recent customers to share their salon experience with friends and engage long-absent customers with special messages designed to ease their COVID-19 fears.
For your clients who own a salon, the pandemic has had a major negative impact on business. Use WiFi marketing to help them rebound!