Over the past ten years, the purchasing behaviour of hair and beauty clients has evolved from minimal research and mostly word of mouth salon recommendations to clients actively searching to connect with your brand and a keen interest to get to know you early on in their purchasing journey. Clients expect salons to have beautiful user-friendly websites and a real social media presence, and the ability to book an appointment online, or via their favourite social media platforms. They also expect to receive SMS text reminders about their appointments, as well as, after-care instructions by email. Lastly, a growing trend is the desire to have a personalised and tailored experience to their specific needs and preferences.
It’s clear that a client’s journey with your brand starts well before they arrive at your salon or clinic and continues after they leave. In the hair and beauty industry, we view it as a journey that a client goes through from the moment they decide that they want a new haircut or a facial to booking an appointment and all the way to becoming one of your regulars.
So, what is this client journey?
Why is it important to understand how you make your clients feel the minute they connect with your salon or spa?
What are the strategies and tips can you adopt to connect with your clients at every stage of their client journey?
Read on as we cover these and other questions in the article below.
What is a client journey?
Your client journey is directly aligned with how your potential clients make purchasing decisions and they go through several stages:
- Booking an appointment
- Experience at the salon
- After appointment
Dreaming is when a client is considering what procedure they would like to have done or what need or challenge they want to address, e.g. blemish-prone skin. At this stage, a client is seeking information through browsing the web and social media. They might also seek advice or recommendation from their friends, co-workers and family.
Here’s how you can ensure that your clients have a great client experience at the dreaming stage of their journey:
Build a great website
Make sure you have a beautiful and easy to navigate website with your contact details and business open hours, a link to online booking, photos of your work, and client reviews.
Tip: Check if your website looks good on smartphones and other mobile devices as more than 50% of web traffic comes from these devices.
Showcase your brand on social media
Social media is an essential tool to build a hair and beauty brand. Social media enables you to connect with new potential clients, build brand loyalty and create a community of advocates for your business. It also helps you to showcase your brand, and the work of your staff, and assists clients to share their experiences via word of mouth.
Tip: Younger salon and spa clients, especially Millennials and Generation Z’s, want to be able to book an appointment without leaving their favourite social platform, so make sure that you add Book Now buttons to your Facebook page and Instagram profile.
Start a referral program
Consider launching a referral programme. When a potential client is looking into a new product or service, where are they most likely to turn for advice? Their trusted source of recommendations is their friends, family, and colleagues. Your loyal clients’ referrals are a great asset to your business and an affordable way to get new clients through the door.
Considering is when the client is researching specific salons, spas or clinics. Their goal is to narrow down their options and book an appointment.
Here are some tips on how to build credibility with your potential clients at this stage of their journey.
Increasing the number of reviews on Facebook and Google My Business can help you get more credibility and attract new clients.
Reviews are an important part of Google My Business and play a big role in how high your business ranks in search results. The more five-star reviews you have, the higher your chances of outranking your competitors and getting more clients for your business.
Tip: Increase the number of reviews you have by setting up an automatic email or text message to send after each client’s first appointment. Your message should thank them for visiting, ask them to write a review and include a link to your review page. Kitomba Everyday Marketing makes it easy to set up personalised texts or free emails which are automatically sent out to your clients.
3. Booking an appointment
The client has selected your salon, spa or clinic and is ready to book their first appointment with you. This is your opportunity to reinforce that they have made a good decision by making this process as easy and convenient as possible.
Check out these ideas on how to wow your clients at this stage of their client journey.
Set up online booking
Online booking is a must-have for salons, spas and clinics that want to provide a seamless client experience. Kitomba Online Booking lets your clients easily book their own appointments when it’s convenient for them while filling your appointment book and generating additional revenue after hours.
Tip: Don’t forget to add Book Now buttons to your salon’s Facebook page and Instagram profile so that your current and future clients can book an appointment directly from your social media profiles.
Keep track of client’s information
Set up digital client cards in Kitomba where you can keep all your client’s information, including notes and documents, close at hand, so you can provide an experience personalised to their individual preferences and needs. You can also take ‘before and after’ photos to check in on the progress of your client at each appointment, especially if you are working towards a goal e.g. moving from a level 4 colour to level 11.
Set up digital forms for client consultations
Digital Forms in Kitomba 1 lets you create customised forms that you can send to your client before their appointment to learn more about the client’s needs, get their consent or collect information such as the relevant medical background. You can email your digital form or include a link in a text message so that your client can fill it out when it works for them.
Create a waitlist
If a client calls to book an appointment for a time, date or with a stylist that is not available, then you should add them to a waitlist within your salon management software. When you have a cancellation, then simply drag and drop the client’s details from the waitlist and send them a notification about their new booking. Kitomba Waitlist allows you to fill any cancellations and gaps in your appointment book and delight your clients.
Automate your client messages
Use automatic messages to make clients feel welcomed and cared for even before they even set their foot in the door. Consider sending a new client an email to let them know you’re looking forward to seeing them. Email is great for more detailed content and instructions. Texts are best for an instant, short and easy to consume information. You can enhance your client’s experience by providing directions on where to park, asking clients to arrive five minutes early and explaining what to expect upon arrival.
Appointment reminders are a proven way to reduce no-shows and cancellations. Clients appreciate reminders as it assists with staying on top of their busy lives.
Tip: Send a reminder a day or two before an appointment and include important details such as appointment time and your address. You can also ask clients to confirm their appointment or to contact you if they need to reschedule.
4. Experience at the salon
Once your client arrives at your salon, spa or clinic, all they remember after their visit is how you made them feel. Did you treat them as a revenue source or welcomed them as a dear friend? Did you offer a genuinely warm and inviting welcome, did you engage in conversation about their lives and did you show that you care about their well-being?
Providing an exceptional experience is one of the easiest ways to keep a steady stream of clients coming to your salon, grow your business and maintain strong cash flow. Here’s how to do this:
Know your clients
From the moment a client walks through the door, use Kitomba’s Client Cards to have easy access to unique information about their preferences and organise it with ease to ensure each client receives a highly personalised service. Have a look at the notes under the Client Card to brush up on an individual client before their appointment and delight them with their favourite drink or ask them about their recent holiday.
Take your client consultation to the next level
Make digital forms a part of your consultations. With Kitomba Digital Forms, it’s easy for your clients and staff to complete the forms on any device. You can even add images during your client consultation, and draw on them to mark areas of concern or treatment plans. Forms will be automatically saved to the Client Card, ensuring easy access to the information whenever you need it. With Kitomba’s Give to Client feature, it’s easy for your clients to securely update their details directly from any device.
Take a hassle out of booking appointments
Use Kitomba Repeat Appointments to create multiple appointments in just a few clicks. It’s perfect for booking in all the visits required to complete a treatment plan, or for booking your regular clients in for a whole year of appointments.
Help clients maintain their hair and skin between appointments
Educate your clients about how they can maintain their hair or skin between appointments, as well as provide recommendations on how much product they should use and how to apply it.
Educating your clients goes a long way and reinforces the fact that they should be walking out the door with hair and beauty products. Use Kitomba Recent Retail Purchases button to help clients never run out of their favourite retail products.
5. After appointment
After your client leaves your salon, spa or clinic, your work doesn’t stop! If you want to retain your clients and keep them coming back, stay in touch and continue building trust and loyalty after their appointment.
Here are some ideas on how you can achieve this.
Keep in touch with your clients
There are lots of ways to stay connected with your clients and remind them that you want to be their first choice when they start on their client journey. Technology makes this step easy!
Send a text campaign to remind your regular clients that you’ve got a Mother’s Day discount, or tell all of your clients that your business is reopening soon. With Kitomba, it’s quick and easy to send a text campaign to your clients from anywhere, at any time, on any device!
You can also send an email marketing campaign to share the latest salon news, e.g. new beauty products, services or staff. We’ve integrated Kitomba and MailChimp to help you send out your own beautiful, targeted email marketing campaigns.
Set client messages to autopilot (email or SMS text)
Kitomba Everyday Marketing helps you effortlessly keep in touch with your clients. You can set up personalised texts or free emails which are automatically sent out to your clients. These are some common automatic marketing messages sent by salons, spas and clinics:
- Invite clients to review your salon on Facebook and Google My Business. The more positive reviews you have, the better it is for your business.
- Ask clients for feedback. It allows you to find opportunities to improve your services and client experience.
- Share after-service care instructions. For services that have specific maintenance and care instructions such as laser treatments, it’s important to send reminders. It’s convenient for clients and it shows them that you are invested in their well-being.
- Encourage repeat visits by reminding clients when it’s time to book their next appointment. Make it easy for them to book their appointment by including a link to your online booking page.
- Set up an automatic birthday campaign that sends an uplifting message on or around your client’s birthday.
Automatic marketing is a powerful tool for salons, spas and clinics. If you’re looking for tips and ideas on where to start, download our free guide.
Start a client loyalty programme
Client loyalty is key to repeat appointments and your business’s bottom line. While getting new clients through the door is important and helps your business grow, the investment of time and advertising budget to keep an existing client is only a small fraction compared to that of acquiring a new client! Your loyalty programme with Kitomba will keep your clients coming back for more.
One way to show your appreciation to and reward your regular clients is to launch a strong loyalty programme. It’s easy to kick-start and customise your loyalty programme with Kitomba. You can easily select clients, set earning rates, record points and redeem rewards all within one program.
Offer salon memberships, packages and concessions
A great way to entice loyalty is to offer memberships and concessions. It’s easy to set up and track concession cards with Kitomba Concessions feature. Kitomba also partnered with Salon Pay to offer customised salon memberships and set up a variety of recurring payment options.
Group services and retail products into packages to ensure your clients get the long-term results they’re after or delight them with packages at a special price.
Client experience through COVID-19 uncertainty
COVID-19 has brought many challenges to how you run a hair and beauty business and also reshaped client behaviour. How can you ensure that your clients feel safe and comfortable going forward?
Update your website and social media
It’s important to let your clients know what to expect when they visit your hair and beauty business. Make sure that your website and social media profiles have up-to-date information, and updated business hours, as well as clearly communicate if you have any new policies or procedures you’d like your clients to know about.
Stay in touch with your clients
Keep your clients up-to-date when it comes to reopening your salons, changing business hours and new requirements for proof of vaccination by setting up email or SMS text campaigns.
Share and record important COVID-19 information
Depending on the rules and requirements in your country or state, you might be required to collect vaccination information. Use Kitomba Digital Forms to inform clients about your current COVID-19 related policies or get consent to your terms and conditions.
We’ve put together a list of Kitomba features that help you share and record important COVID-19 information, as well as tips on how to reopen your salon, spa or clinic after restrictions.
Designing your client’s journey is important because it’s a strategic approach to better understanding your client’s needs and providing an exceptional client experience. The client journey starts well before they set foot in the door of your salon or spa, and continues after they leave. When you consider each stage of a client journey (dreaming, considering, booking an appointment, experience at the salon, and after appointment), it provides you with an opportunity to clearly understand your clients, as well as, their expectations. It also gives you the opportunity to provide personalised service and tailored communication which leads to building a strong and loyal client base that advocates for your business.