Salon and spa online reputation management: Proven and working tips for beauty business owners and managers.
Mar 31, 2020 · 7 min read
Image by Freepik.com
When it comes down to choosing the right salon or spa, the best nail artist, the most relaxing spa, an affordable but good haircut, people want to listen to other people like them. The purchasing decisions are made based on other people’s experience and opinions.
According to a survey by Podium, 93% stated that online reviews had an impact on their choice. The same survey suggests that 68% are ready to pay 15% more for high-quality service, the one they have read good reviews about.
Positive and sometimes even negative (we’ll speak about it in this article) online reviews are the key to your business success, they build trust and credibility and attract new clients.
Nowadays, nearly everyone has a smartphone with internet in the pocket, and before choosing a salon or spa service or a nail artist, people check its online reputation, look for images, read and even ask for reviews.
That’s why it is so important to have a good number of genuine, positive and recent reviews. The good thing is that there are several proven tactics to help you become a #1 choice salon or spa.
Everything starts with a quality service. If your clients don’t meet their expectations in your salon, they will leave. Most of them will leave with a negative review on Facebook, Yelp, **Google **or another review platform on the internet.
Your salon will start losing its clients and will not attract new ones, as the new ones will read the reviews from previous clients.
Marketing, advertising, new furniture and low prices will not work if your hairdresser fails frequently.
Start with hiring professionals who know how to make clients happy and deliver amazing results.
Pay attention to customer service, let your clients feel they are valued and important for your business.
Happy clients will leave positive reviews, and this is where the journey to building an awesome online reputation begins.
Brightlocal Survey suggests that 70% of consumers will leave a review for a business when asked.
The perfect scenario of asking a review is the case when the clients approach you and express gratitude for the high-quality service or product. In this case, you just ask them to leave a review in let’s say Yelp, Google or Facebook.
But this is not the common case, very often you’ll have to initiate the conversation and ask the happy clients (who already gave positive feedback) for review.
While asking for a review it’s essential to be personal, so that the client feels appreciated.
Before asking for a review, it is crucial to ask for feedback. You should know the client satisfaction level beforehand, and then ask to leave a review.
If you ask for reviews only happy clients, this will ensure high ratings on different platforms.
It doesn’t mean that unhappy clients’ feedback should be ignored, just on the contrary, when you ask for feedback, you know what problems your salon has, where you can improve and become better.
So, when you have solved the issues and the client is happy, go and ask for feedback, and be sure it will be an inspiring one.
Asking for a review is sometimes hard, especially when you have many clients, and don’t manage to approach them in person and ask for reviews.
Even if you somehow manage to ask a lot of clients, it doesn’t mean you’ll have a boost of reviews.
Why? Just because the majority quickly forgets about your request, some part of them don’t know how to do it, and some of them don’t want to put an effort as they will have to search for the salon or spa name, find the exact place for reviews, and leave a review.
Send them the link to your profile on the platform you want them to review.
At RetentionForce, we have made the whole process a breeze. If the salon uses RetentionForce, the client receives a nice request of leaving a review on Facebook Messenger with a relevant link to a platform.
The system already knows the satisfaction level of the client, as it has checked the salon client’s feedback. So, the happy client gets a request to review in Messenger, clicks on the link and leaves a review in less than a minute. (2–3).
Salons working with RetentionForce get on average 5x more 5-star reviews, than the salons that do the job manually.
Let’s Compare. Your salon client has left a review of your salon service.
“Mary was absolutely wonderful in creating lasting curls and she is very tasteful with the curling iron to frame my face. My curls lasted for four days in Yerevan, and I received compliments from everyone around the city. I highly recommend Mary for her expertise!”
Sounds oh so nice, right? Now let’s see how it would look like with an image.
Ok, we all agree, reviews with photos have a powerful effect on purchasing decision.
Protip: do photos of all your clients and send to them so they have photos to add to their review.
Will you be surprised if we tell you that by answering bad reviews in the right way you can attract new clients to your salon? Ok, that’s the reality.
Let’s review the case when a client has left a 1-star review, which tells that your hair salon hairdresser has spoilt her haircut.
Remember the rule “The client is always right” and don’t argue. Just immediately answer the negative review, say that you are so sorry, that you value high-quality service most, and suggest her a free visit at one of your best specialists who has solid experience and only positive reviews.
Thus, you give all your future clients the confidence that you care about the clients, their well-being and try hard to deliver excellent customer service.
Remember: people love to read others’ comments in the review section!
Don’t limit your salon reviews presence to only a Facebook Page, Google or Yelp. Your potential clients browse the web in search of a good salon, professional hairdresser, a nail artist. Online review sites can easily guide them and bring them to your salon.
Harvard Business School conducted research, that shows that a one-star increase in Yelp rating leads to a 5–9 percent increase in revenue.
For beauty salons and spas, the perfect platforms for client reviews are Facebook, Yelp, Google My Business, Foursquare, Tripadvisor and Trustpilot.
Try to answer all the reviews on all platforms, encourage clients post photo reviews, as it will improve brand image and increase credibility.
Giving incentives for a review is a big no-no, as it completely alters the concept of being genuine and honest.
Giants like Google, Tripadvisor and Yelp even have guidelines and penalties against incentivized reviews.
If people learn that you pay your clients for your salon reviews, and be sure, it will easily become public, they won’t trust your salon reviews any more, so is it worth to pay for the reviews? Our answer is definitely NO. Anyhow, if you really want to appreciate their reviews, you can alternatively send them some gift card or a small gift AFTER they reviewed your salon as a surprize.
Are you tempted to ask family members, friends or salon employees for online reviews for your salon? Don’t do that, unless they have used your services and want to express their unbiased opinion.
Internet users know when the review is fake, not genuine or exaggerated. Fake reviews generally sound fake. They are generic, don’t go into details, are always positive and praise the services too hard.
Besides, review platforms are strict towards fake reviews and have penalties, and as a result, your salon reputation will be rather harmed, than have benefits.
Co-Founder/Customer Happiness Manager at RetentionForce