One of the benefits of SMS messaging is the variety of ways marketers can use it to reach out to clients. Coupons, discounts, sweepstakes, appointment reminders, polls and other strategies can all be used to increase business and enhance customer service.
Texting is an affordable way to advertise and increase leads. It’s also incredibly effective. Around 90% of text messages are read within three minutes. That’s because mobile devices are everywhere and people tend to keep them with them at all times and regularly check them. In fact, 90% of Millennials sleep with their phones within arm’s reach.
Businesses of all kinds can reap the advantages of strategic SMS marketing programmes. That includes, for instance, beauty salons. Some of the biggest complaints of salon owners are missed appointments, slow days where business is sparse yet appointment slots are so busy that they have to turn business away. Texting can help address these issues and can also help improve a salon’s success by increasing its customer database and enhancing customer loyalty.Here are five top ways that salons can use SMS to improve their business:
1. Appointment Reminders
There’s nothing worse than waiting around for a no-show. Life can get busy and everyone is subject to forgetting, but by sending a simple appointment reminder, you can save both you and your client time and money.
Here are some tips on how to send effective reminders:
- Address the client by name so they know you’re not making a mistake or confusing them with another client.
- Send the message the day before the appointment in the afternoon or early evening. This gives them enough time to arrange their schedule if they have forgotten about the appointment. But it’s not too far away for them to forget again.
- Give details on what their appointment is for in case they need to make any previous preparations. For example: “Hi Sarah. Just wanted to remind you of your bikini wax appointment with us here at XYZ Salon tomorrow afternoon at 1 PM. See you then!”.
2. Targeted Messages
You should have enough data on your clients and their preferences to be able to send them promotions that are relevant to them. Analyze the appointment history of your clients and send them offers they will appreciate.
For instance, if you have a client that gets their eyebrows waxed every two weeks, send a message to them offering a discount on their next eyebrow wax: “Hi Christine. We at XYZ Salon thought you would appreciate a 15% discount on your next eyebrow wax”.
This type of targeted promotion increases customer loyalty. Customers are more likely to continue doing business with places that offer them useful discounts and reward them for their business. It also shows customers the value of being part of your SMS loyalty programme, also decreasing the risk of them opting-out.
3. Fill Empty Slots
What are the least busy times at your salon? Wouldn’t you love to fill those slots with clients? The power to do this is in your hands and text messaging could be the answer. By analyzing appointment history, you can send messages to clients offering them rewards for booking during your slow times.
Try using targeted messages (see #2) to place loyal customers in your dead spots. The same message above could be adapted to read: “Hi Christine. Win a 15% discount on your next eyebrow wax at XYZ Salon if you book an appointment on a Monday or Thursday”.
You could also offer them a discount for bringing a friend: “Hi Christine. Bring a friend with you to XYZ Salon on a Monday or Thursday and get a 30% discount off your visit”.
Another way to address slow times is to send out polls via text asking customers about their schedules and what their preferred times are to schedule appointments at your salon. Texting is an ideal medium for conducting polls. Use the information you get from the polls to coordinate scheduling and to minimize dead spots in your work week.
4. Tips and Advice Go Both Ways
Offering clients helpful beauty tips can help increase your salon’s reputation as having expert staff with cutting-edge information. You can also increase sales of the products you sell by sending messages on how they can solve chronic problems particular to that customer, such as dry or oily skin, split ends or an oily scalp, crow’s feet or other issues.
Likewise, you can use polls to find out what customers think of your services. Find out which of your beauty specialists are giving excellent results and which ones aren’t. Find out what customers think of the salon’s ambience, your pricing, scheduling availability and products you use.
Businesses that give attention to customer feedback and adapt to customer needs are more successful and have higher customer loyalty. 66% of customers switch to competitors because of bad service.
You don’t only risk losing customers after they have had a bad experience, studies show that 48% of consumers share their bad experience with at least ten other people, potentially losing your other potential business. On the contrary, 50% of consumers use a service more often after a positive experience. And 86% of consumers are willing to pay up to 25% more for better customer experience.
5. Offer Promotions to Grow Your Customer List
To take advantage of all of these SMS messaging ideas, you need to have a large customer database. To increase the number of opted-in clients, you could offer discounts and promotions. For example: “Text HAIRCUT to 98765 and get a free cut and dry”.
You can also ask newly opted-in customers to share the text with friends to get a discount: “Share this text with a friend to get 50% off a cut and colour at XYZ Salon”. You can advertise your SMS loyalty programme across your other media including via in-store signage, email, website, social media and other avenues.
Salon owners can use these text messaging ideas to grow their business and improve customer experience. Indeed, try these tips out now and watch the results!