The term “customer experience” has become quite common in today’s marketing world. The reason for this is that the modern consumer craves personalized services, products, marketing messages, and customer care. This client demands high-touch experiences throughout their entire client journey. It, therefore, goes without saying that all service-based businesses (especially salons) have to invest in a seamless customer experience strategy if they are to grow their clientele and revenue.
Customer experience should not be confused with “customer service”. Customer service, also known as customer care, is just a small part of the much bigger puzzle that’s called customer experience (CX). CX encompasses customer care, social media engagements, your brand tone and voice, quality of service, ease of appointment booking, the vibe in your salon, and the relationships you have with clients. It is a whole package!
Creating top-notch CX is quite a challenge. It takes lots of research, dedication, employee training, and self-sacrifice to give clients an exquisite personalized experience. But that is not even the hardest part. With customer experience becoming a core focus for salon businesses, you must now ensure that the exquisite experience you give clients is also consistent in all client touchpoints. In fact, clients expect you to outdo yourself every time they interact with your marketing content or visit your salon.
Now that seamless and consistent customer experience has grown into an essential element of salon business marketing, how can you ensure consistency in every interaction customers have with your salon? That is where salon software come in. Advanced salon management software will help you create a consistent client experience in these 5 among other ways:
1. It makes your brand accessible
There is one universal truth that every salon owner knows: It is impossible to make all clients happy all the time. Sometimes a client will be cranky, sometimes your stylists will make innocent mistakes, and sometimes your services will just not be good enough. These inevitable hiccups are bound to happen no matter how hard you try to cover your bases. Your software will help you alleviate the impact of these hiccups in two main ways:
i. Your software helps you keep open paths of communication between your salon and your disgruntled clients. It provides clients with a reliable platform for sharing opinions and feedback in real-time. There are many things an unhappy client won’t say to your face but won’t mind opening up to your feedback platform.
ii. Sometimes clients are cranky because they had to wait in line for a customer attendant to reply to their emails or answer their phone calls. Your software allows clients to book appointments, cancel, or reschedule on their own. In other words, it minimizes the need for clients to call or email your business, which then minimizes the chances of your staff “offending” cranky clients.
2. It helps you brand your tone and language
Another way of ensuring consistency in customer experience is to have clear and appropriate language specifications for your stylists to use as they interact with clients. You need to document language guidelines and define the terms or phrases that employees can and cannot use. Your software allows you to create a glossary of these guidelines and save them in each employee’s profile. Employees can always refer to the glossary when unsure of how to handle disgruntled clients.
Salon management software also helps you understand your clients better. Through its online booking feature, the software encourages clients to specify the names and nicknames they prefer, their hobbies, and everything else that they feel defines them as people. Clients basically profile themselves for you. That way, your staff members always know the right tone to use in order to make clients feel valued and respected.
Your software also helps you create a database for each one of your clients. The database tells you the hairstyles each client loves, hair and beauty challenges they struggle with, and their payment method of choice. Such information helps you anticipate not only your clients’ needs but also their desires and fears, verbalized or not. That allows you to personalize conversations in your salon in order to make each appointment memorable and pleasant.
3. It helps you meet clients at their hangout joints
To create a consistent CX in this digital era, you cannot wait for clients to contact you first. Every business must strive to get as close to the client as possible, be it online or offline. You have to expand your online presence and be proactive in meeting clients where they are. For example, if most of your social media followers are on Facebook, you cannot afford to ask them to come to your website for more information regarding your salon services. Instead, you will give them a better CX by integrating your booking platform with your Facebook accounts. That allows clients to access your calendar right from Facebook, manage their client profiles, and book appointments without leaving their social media “hangout” joint. Advanced software will help you with that.
4. It helps you create a comprehensive customer experience mission statement
When you have a team of professionals working for you, it is hard to guarantee consistency in how your salon treats customers. Different employees will always take different approaches when handling similar issues or the same customer. However, by writing a comprehensive customer experience mission statement, you can guarantee that your employees won’t do anything you wouldn’t do or say something you wouldn’t say. A customer experience mission statement provides a clear path for your staff to deliver top-quality and consistent experiences.
Your software will help you craft a comprehensive customer experience mission statement by allowing you to craft and send customer experience questionnaires/surveys to clients. You can ask the following among other key questions:
· Do we deliver outstanding value in your opinion? If not, how can we improve?
· By your expected standards, do we treat you right?
· How convenient is it for you to do business with us and which areas do we need to improve on?
· Which part of our CX do you find off-putting?
You can ask as many questions as you deem appropriate and even narrow the questions down to each point of interaction. The answers you get will help you create a concrete mission statement that, once implemented, will steer your business towards achieving sustainable consistency in your customer service and experience.
5. It boosts transparency
What should customers expect when they visit your salon? What are your customer service hours? What happens when a client cancels or reschedules an appointment? Which rewards do customers get when they refer their friends to your salon? Which offers and promotions should clients know of? You need to be transparent with customer expectations if you are to create a consistent customer experience.
Your software allows you to create client profiles and give each client some level of controlled access to their profile. Clients can see their referral points, purchase history, appointment history, and payment history, among other relevant data. Everything is laid out there in the open for them to see and interrogate. Also, your software allows you to send group emails and text messages informing everyone in your client list of upcoming offers and promotions. Optimal transparency breeds optimal and consistent customer experience.
Consistency in every client interaction builds brand awareness and trust. It makes your salon brand appear friendly from the target market’s perspective. That is why you need to invest in salon software that provides you with endless ways to create a consistent client experience.