In the marketing world, there is a phenomenon called the “build it and they will come” syndrome. Those affected by it believe that the mere creation of a website (or anything that supports bookings or sales for their business) will be enough to have people making salon bookings or purchases.
Imagine for a second that you built a salon in your backyard and never told anyone it existed. While a few may stumble across it, it would be easy to see why business wasn’t so good, right?
Listen to the audio version of this blog, and subscribe to the Phorest Blog Podcast here:
The same applies to driving traffic to your salon or spa’s website, and generating online bookings. If you want to reap the rewards, simply having the structure that allows it is not enough.
The COVID-19 global pandemic has accelerated the need for all businesses to connect, sell and communicate online. Is your salon business prepared for the new way? Take this short survey to find out what your salon’s Online Health Score is and get an individual report on how you can set your salon up for success in 2021.
Why does this even matter?
Imagine a client — let’s call her Marie — visits her stylist, Claire, every seven weeks for a cut and colour. Her next appointment is in a week from now.
That same night, Marie’s boss calls her to say that her colleague has called in sick and won’t be able to make the big presentation in the afternoon. It’s 9:00 pm and for Marie, this means she needs to get her hair done, and fast. Her immediate reaction is to call Claire, but the salon is closed. She panics a little. She doesn’t want to take the risk of waiting until the morning to make a booking. To ease her nerves, she googles hair salons in her area and realises she now has a few options for bookings in the morning. She picks one and makes an appointment.
This other salon now has an opportunity to turn Marie into a regular client.
What Marie didn’t know is that she could also have booked online at Claire’s salon! Unfortunately, because of a lack in advertisement, Claire is now at risk of potentially losing a regular and loyal client.
We see this happen thousands of times in beauty and hair salons alike.
9 Ways to help you generate salon bookings through your website
Just because you have online bookings on your salon’s website, doesn’t mean people have heard about it.
1. Update your voicemail greeting
When people call and you’re too busy to answer or the salon isn’t open, make sure people know they can go book online. Update your voicemail greeting and make sure you add in a line about alternative ways for clients to book. For more voicemail greetings tips and templates, click here.
“Thank you for calling [Salon ⁄ Spa Name]. Conveniently located at [Insert address here] our hours of operation are [Insert hours here]. A member of our staff will be happy to help you book your next appointment when we return to the line, or please feel free to book online through our website or our Facebook page! Have a beautiful day!”
2. Use your Facebook cover photo
Phorest gives you the ability to take salon bookings through your Facebook page, website and app. Hence, your Facebook cover photo is an effective way to tell the work that the option is available. Often, a simple “Book online!” does the trick.
To learn how to add a “book now” call-to-action button to your Facebook Page, click here.
3. Promote your salon app on the mirror
Graphics of your branded salon appointment app can be installed on walls, mirrors, doors, your waiting area table. Use the furniture and space in your salon to put up a sheet or photo advertising your online bookings. Cash in on clients who want to book, rebook and manage their appointments in their own time.
Learn more about the benefits of the Phorest’s Salon Branded App.
4. Get the rebooking, but if not, advise booking online
You should always try to get the rebooking when clients are paying at the front desk. However, if they don’t want to rebook on the day, take it as an opportunity to tell them about your website and how they can book from the comfort of their home.
Find out about the one script you’ll need for rebooking clients.
5. Send an email or SMS to your database
If you send a promotional email or SMS and make sure you add a “book now” link:
- It tells people that they can book online through your website.
- It may prompt the client to book there and then.
6. Email confirmations
Even if someone calls in to book, you should send them an email confirmation with the details of their appointment and a line saying ‘Did you know that you can also book online?’, and add your online booking link for future reference.
7. Make it easy to find
If someone lands on your website, you want to make it as obvious as possible that they can book in with you online. Many salons have the functionality and promote it, but then make it virtually impossible to find. Make your “Book Now” button stand out by using a contrasting colour or putting it in the navigation bar (website menu).
8. Tell your customers in the salon
It might seem really obvious, but telling your customers that they can book online when they are in the salon is one of the most effective ways to drive bookings through your website. Salons and spas who market their online bookings well always make sure to remind their customers about it, whether that’s at the front desk or during the service. Phorest’s hair salon booking system offers a range of prompts and reminders that you can utilise to help with this.
9. Include the URL in all of your marketing material
Anything that you are sending out to clients — whether it’s Facebook and Instagram posts or email newsletters and SMS promotions — always include your online booking link, salon’s website URL and social media icons.
Listen to Phorest FM Episode 43, on which Alan Stewart, founder of Rainbow Room International discusses how being ‘open’ 24/7 on multiple platforms has positively impacted the growth of his business over the years:
Love these ideas? Got feedback? Let us know either in the comments below or tweet us @ThePhorestWord! (Pssst! We’re on Instagram too!)
Thanks for reading! #TogetherWeGrow