Many Happy Returns – How to encourage customers back to salons post-pandemic
As restrictions finally begin to lift, many salon owners may be feeling that we’re heading back to the world that we know. In reality, however, a lot of people are – quite rightly – remaining cautious until things start to look a little clearer.
For some salons, this comes as a major disappointment as customer numbers resemble more of a trickle than a flood. As we continue to storm through the vaccine rollout, customers will almost certainly become more confident about revisiting their favourite establishments and, in the meantime, there are a few things that salon owners can do to encourage their clientele back through their doors:
You have, of course, worked hard to make sure that your salon is as safe as possible – now it’s time to shout about it. Social media is an incredibly effective tool for salons and is a super cheap way of getting your message across. Make sure that you join as many local groups as possible and create posts which demonstrate all of the measures that you have put in place.
Video can work really well here in providing a virtual walk through of the salon, showcasing all of your new measures. While this can really help, it doesn’t stop there; make sure that you engage regularly with your followers to answer any concerns and to offer updates. In a lot of cases, customers want to return to your salon and, so, reassuring them of the safety of your space can often be the push needed to get those appointments booked.
Enter through the inbox
The best way to start filling your salon again is to get in touch with previous customers. Email marketing is a great way of reaching out to your clients to tell them about the changes that you’ve made and, if you’re able to offer a ‘welcome back’ discount or incentive, so much the better.
Throughout the pandemic, the resounding message has been that customers are happy to support businesses who are actively trying to help the local community. For the salon owner, getting involved in the community is a great way of connecting with potential customers and to demonstrate your commitment to the bigger picture. You may want to think about volunteering at a testing or vaccination hub or, perhaps, offering free or discounted treatments to those recovering from Covid-19.
Pivoting the product
A common mistake made by salon owners is in assuming that things will be the same as in the ‘before days’ and that, therefore, customers, will want the same treatments.
After what has been an incredibly tough time, many customer requirements have changed and salon owners need to be aware of this. Whereas customers may once have wanted luxury branded products, their priorities may have changed – particularly those who have been hit financially by the pandemic. Owners will do well to take a close look at what’s going on in their local area and to then think about changing their products and services accordingly.
While relaunch events may seem a little naff, they can actually be really effective in reintroducing your brand to customers. These don’t need to be elaborate or expensive – even having your staff hand out tea and coffee with discount vouchers can be a really good way of drumming up business. If you want to get a bit fancy, you can even think about recruiting a local artist or musician to help with your event.
If your salon is located in a shopping area, you might want to think about approaching another business – for example, a coffee shop or boutique, in order to collaborate. This could be as simple as promoting each other on social media or teaming up to offer ‘bundles’ for both businesses.
While your salon is quiet, it’s a great idea to think about upskilling your staff – something which may not be possible during busier times. Upskilling and reskilling is a really good way of taking your salon in new directions by offering new products and services to your customers.
While you’re at it, now is a really good time to look at tools such as Booksy which can help you to manage your salon more efficiently and therefore keep costs down until you get back up to speed.
Although a lot of salon owners may be disappointed that getting back to business hasn’t been quite the success that they hoped for, they can rest assured that the customers will be back – they may just need a little extra encouragement.
Getting onboard with some of the tips in this article – particularly in terms of engaging with customers – can really help to shift the balance and to engender confidence in customers both now and in the future.