Developing a Powerful Communication Strategy
“Repeat business or behavior can be bribed. Loyalty has to be earned “ -Janet Robinson
What sets one salon apart from another is more than just the quality of their stylists and services. It is how well they connect with their customers.
Sadly, many salon owners take their customers for granted and do not develop strong personal and business relationships with them. This kind of attitude can be devastating to a business. Consumers know there are plenty of other salons to choose from, if they don’t feel a sense of loyalty to yours, there will be nothing to stop them from taking their business elsewhere.
Build the reputation of your salon not the reputation of your hairdresser
Your salon works hard to attract and keep new customers, but it’s even harder to turn those new customers into a solid and dependable customer base. When you learn to connect with your clients in personal and meaningful ways, you will cultivate the kind of customers who will remain loyal to your salon, not just to a particular hairdresser. And a loyal client who refers friends, relatives, and business associates is pure business gold. The positive word-of-mouth publicity generated by a satisfied customer will always be your cheapest and most effective form of adverting.
Connecting with your customers is as simple as sending out a monthly newsletter
You need to stay in touch with your valued customers, and make it a top priority. Think of it this way: the more you keep your salon’s name in front of clients, the more they will know about you. The more they know about you, the more they will see you as a business that cares about them. And the more they see you as a salon that cares about them, the more loyal they will become loyal to your business.
There are many effective and inexpensive methods of reaching out to your current and future customers that can be accomplished through social media,you tube,your own web site, email,newsletter,post cards, etc. Through these mediums you will be able to:
- make special announcements,
- introduce new staff members,
- send personal messages of thanks to your customers,
- keep in touch with current customers,
- offer salon incentives or coupons,
- broadcast press releases,
- publicize early bird specials,
- lure back lost customers,
- provide fashion and design tips,
- sell retail products,
- measure customer retention,
- ask for customer feedback, and
- build name recognition, branding name recognition
- Improve your market position in the community.
- Combat losing customers due to turnover
Your powerful communication strategy will also help you gain a competitive edge!
Regular, ongoing communication with your customers is a powerful marketing strategy little known and rarely used by your competitors, and one that will help your salon stand out in the crowd. For example, let’s say you lose one of your hairdressers to a competing salon. Your email newsletter would allow you to stay in touch with any of your clients who may follow their stylist to the new salon. Rather than lose a valuable customer,you may want to fight back by offering incentives to continue as customers or return to your salon with one of your other hairdressers. This shows your potential lost customer that you value their friendship and patronage. This is the kind of personal connection your clients appreciate, and it will differentiate you from the other salons that may not communicate with their clients at all. This is also a great deterrent to staff turnover.
An excellent tutorial on how to set up your email newsletter is www.constantact.com.
Most likely, you’ll find that the majority of your clients have email accounts, but for those who don’t, simply send excerpts of your newsletters via direct mail, postcards, or offer a printed version in your salon brochure. And if you need help writing articles or designing your newsletter, there are many cost-effective resources available. In fact, try your local college. They probably will be able to recommend a student who is proficient in this area and willing to help for little or no cost. Craig’s list also offers local talent that will help you with your efforts.
Please refer to my book, Growing Your Business, for other helpful and cost-effective ideas. Then I urge you to take the time to explore and develop an effective communication strategy of your own. The success of your salon’s marketing efforts is riding on it.