Your salon may be closed but chances are you’re spending hours thinking of the best ways to communicate with your clients right now and in the future. These are unprecedented times, but one thing is sure, your clients will welcome communication. Like all of us, they are exposed to endless news and negative messaging, but you have the power to spread positive vibes allowing them to focus on themselves and their haircare.
The way we conduct business and act as consumers has changed dramatically over the last few weeks and of course media consumption has grown out of all proportion. The general advice to any brand wanting to talk to consumers is that this is the time to authentically connect and offer solutions. The way to do this is with entertaining, uplifting and relevant content; in other words, to give your brand ‘humanity’.
Across the globe there are of course different rules set out by governments that impact what salons can and cannot do, but one thing is certain: salons that are pushing their creativity to reach out to their clients will retain their clients.
Fuse spoke with salon owners in the US and Europe to see what inspiration they can offer you.
The obvious connection is via e-marketing and if your database is up to date, you’re ahead of the game here.
SHOW YOU CARE
Becky Grace, TIGI educator, colourist and owner of Bespoke Salon in Atlanta, Georgia, has explained on Instagram why she is being socially responsible in closing her salon, which legally can stay open. Her impassioned message will undoubtedly keep her clients 100% loyal to her. Take a look at @beckygracecolourist. Becky is also connecting via email, sharing quick tutorials, including one that has proved particularly popular, on how to use dry shampoo.
One thing however, that she and several other US salon owners have said they are doing is to organise “curbside product pick-ups.” This may not be allowed in many countries, but in the near future rules may be eased and this is a good idea to keep in mind. Certainly, in the UK this is being done by businesses selling food. You pre-order your products, pay over the phone or by money transfer, and pick up what you have purchased at an agreed time and in safety.
USE YOUR IMAGINATION
Anne Evans-Bayer of Sisu in Lincoln, Nebraska, was the first salon in her city to close and she’s dug deep to see how to retain her business now and for the future. Anne advises asking yourself the following: Why do customers walk into your door? Is it just for a color and cut? Is it for the fun, upbeat atmosphere? Is it for the cute accessories you sell? Are they TIGI Copyright obsessed? Use the answers to help guide your decisions, instead of fear!
“We are retailing specialty scrunchies that I had designed two months ago as a fundraiser but are perfect for now and lots of fun,” says Anna. She’s also running a ‘I #rootsforSisu’ campaign and competition. Clients DM or post their roots the entire month of April and a winner will receive a $100 service gift card.
On top of this, weekly emails to clients keep them updated and, on social media, Anne hosts weekly Live conversations on various topics so clients can interact and ask questions. It’s all about using her imagination to stay ahead.
Since Patrick and Simon Tanzer from Salon Haarschneider in Austria closed their salon a few weeks ago, they have contacted every one of their clients by phone and are now dealing with all customer enquiries themselves. This personal touch has been very positive and has resulted in great feedback.
Thinking of future marketing, Haarschneider have created special discount vouchers that can be redeemed as soon as the salon reopens. The tailor-made vouchers can be easily personalised, printed and paid via the salon homepage.
The salon is also offering its clients a ‘Hair Care Package’ through its social media channels with the tagline: ‘As we can’t cut and colour your hair at the moment, give it a break… and we’ll help you take care of your hair!’ Under this promotion the salon is sending individual TIGI Copyright favourite products directly to their clients’ homes, with free shipping. Orders can be placed easily via the contact page on the homepage or by phone directly with the owners.
GET YOUR CLIENTS INVOLVED
In San Diego, Louanne Ferro owns LaunchPad suite salon. A member of the TIGI Collective Team, Louanne closed her salon on 19th March. “We all know the backbone of our industry is relationship and connection” she says. “I started a #showyourroots campaign and to show solidarity with my clients, I am not colouring my own hair until the salon reopens. I’ve asked all my team to join in and have invited everyone to share photos of their roots on social media.”
Every week Louanne sends out a newsletter and communicates on IGTV incorporating:
Louanne adds that business is always at the forefront of her mind. She’s been checking for grants and all benefits available for her business and her stylists. (And all this whilst keeping a dog and five-year-old amused!)
IT’S ALL ABOUT COMMUNICATION
Ashley Gill is another member of the TIGI US education family and salon owner of Fibre the Venue salon.
“If I can stress anything to salons during this time it’s to keep up your communication!” says Ashley. “Communicate with your clients regularly. My salon is in San Diego, California, and our re-open date is a moving target so instead of cancelling clients from now until the current open date, I leave them in my online booking system. Each weekend I connect personally via text, phone call or email each and every client booked that week. Then I do not remove them from the calendar, because by leaving them there I know exactly who has been affected by the closure and when we can finally reopen, I’ll give them first booking priority. I communicate this in our conversation, so they know why the appointment reminders are still coming. We also let them know they can continue to purchase shampoo, conditioner and styling products through the salon and I myself package them up and deliver them to the doorstep wearing gloves. We’ve also made tote bags and hats available for purchase with cute slogans such as ‘I’m waiting for my hairstylist’ and ‘I have roots but I’m still cute.’”
Ashley also sends newsletters via email to her clients just letting them know: “we are here for them; we miss them and hope they are staying safe.” And she always ends with a reminder about the products, hats and totes.
BEING SEEN AS PART OF YOUR COMMUNITY IS KEY
“Communicating and offering support within your community is very important” says Ashley. “We thank the local grocery stores, fire department and hospitals through social media. And the salon is donating 10% of all sales during our closure to a charity started by a local bar to assist our neighbours who have lost employment and are in need of groceries.”
Another salon that is ‘supporting local’ is Shannon Bingham of Seven Omaha salon, who has created T-shirts emblazoned ‘Support Local’ that she is promoting to clients on Instagram. Shannon has created a special care promotional box containing TIGI Copyright, the Rescue and Rest set to Reconstruct Your Hair. These can be purchased over the phone and picked up ‘curbside’ at very limited times on three days of the week.
BUSINESS COMES FIRST
Many salons are, of course, trying to manage their businesses as their first priority. In the UK, John Forrester, who heads up the Forresters 4 Hair eight-salon group, anticipated the closure by emailing 10,000 clients to let them know what was happening. He made the decision to close all his salons early because he wanted to ensure his staff and clients were safe and, since then, he says he has been incredibly busy talking to banks, filling in forms and sorting out grants.
But John says his staff members are his main focus. They are all ‘home grown’ and he is very close to everyone in his employment. He wants to be certain they are mentally and financially okay, and he is personally speaking to his managers and team members. Meanwhile, his 27 assistants are all continuing their NVQ training at home and, if the teachers’ reports are correct, many are doing better than when they are in the Forresters’ Academy!
To connect with his clients, a further 10,000 emails are to be sent out with information on haircare and managing growing out colours and hairstyles. As we spoke last weekend, a new social media plan was about to be launched. But above all, John says he knows his staff are excellent and he has confidence that when the salons reopen, his clients will be back.
PLANNING FOR THE FUTURE
Yvette Frontany from Creative Mix Salon in Chicago, has a city centre salon. Her solution to the current situation is all based on future planning. “I want my clients to know I miss them” says Yvette, “so apart from regular emails to my database and using social media to deliver home haircare tips, I am pre-booking Post Quarantine Bundles combining amazing product deals and in-salon services. With our current marketing we’re hoping to inspire a giggle, so we’ve created amusing package names such as: ‘Step Away from the Box Colour!’ which includes a complimentary TIGI Copyright Shine Booster when they save their roots for us. Also: ‘When in Doubt Go Blonde!’ which includes an TIGI Copyright SOS treatment with a pre-booked lightening service, and ‘What Your Momma Didn’t Teach Ya!’, a custom-selected home product package and in-salon demo on usage, plus a blow-dry.”
Most importantly, like many salons Yvette is pre-selling ‘Save our Stylists’ gift cards, but she’s also giving the proceeds of all sales to first responders, for as she says: “People are our business and while we take care of their crowning glory, we care for the whole.”
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