How to choose a CRM system which will best fit your salon or spa business?
Feb 22, 2020 · 6 min read
Back in the days when salons used to manage appointments with a big old paper diary, CRM (customer relationship management) meant little more than knowing how many sugars Mrs. Jones preferred in her cup of coffee at her monthly hair appointment. 🍵
Tracking data on trends such as how frequently clients visited, the amount they spent and the types of services that they enjoyed all were virtually impossible. Even if data was tracked, it was often inaccurate as a result of human error or missing information. Of course, salons and spas may have had a folder where some basic information was tracked on their visits, but actually doing something with that data was another headache to resolve. 😩
Back then, marketing emails or reminder texts were in their infancy, and salon booking systems too were not the internet-enabled things of beauty that they are today. So there was also a matter of what could actually be done with any data that was collected, other than remembering that Mrs. Jones would like two sugars, please. 📖
These days, salon management is a whole new world, with an array of data at our fingertips. Salon management software has changed how salons can manage and understand customer data in ways that were previously impossible. Customers can now book and amend appointments online, and those bookings are seamlessly integrated into the therapist’s columns. Therapists and salon owners alike can view their columns any time, anywhere.
The backbone of any CRM starts with a client database. This is where all the information on each client should be, all in one place. As well as being a place to store contact information, data on each client, such as the date of their last patch test, their preferences of the therapist, their visit frequency can all be logged. Most of this data is automatically captured and retained by salon management software.
Once you have a database, it’s easy to start understanding who your customers are and what they look like. Do you have a lot of repeat visitors? How often do they visit? Are they mostly younger? Older? What is their average spend? Being able to segment your data enables you to better target your marketing activity to find more of the same types of customers who fit the profile of your most loyal (and profitable) visitors.
You can also use salon loyalty software. While some salon management software has a loyalty program integrated within it, generally it is a standardized discounting system and not much more. Standalone systems like RetentionForce go beyond, to offer loyal customers rewards, gifts, and surprises and enables marketing to those clients to be fully automated — which is one less job for a salon owner to do. Clients can be tiered into VIP segments, enabling you to focus clearly on those regular, VIP rockstars your business truly benefits from.
One great thing about data is, well, the data that it gives you. Just a touch of a button can begin to show salon owners patterns in customer behavior, the average time they spend with you, their average spend per visit and the most popular services on offer.
This way, salon owners can see who their most popular stylists/aestheticians are, and see if their success can be replicated elsewhere in the business. Likewise, the same can be done for the most popular treatments. Retail sales can be tracked to identify the most popular product likes. Patterns in customer visits can be identified so that marketing can be focused on less busy times of the year and directed at the right kinds of people.
It costs businesses at least five times more to acquire new customers than it costs to retain existing ones. For budget-squeezed salons and spas, that’s a lot of revenue to give away in unfocused, untargeted spending.
A CRM system easily shows salons which customers have not been for a while, and marketing automation can send a reminder or offer out to those clients automatically, to help to keep them coming back at the appropriate time for their next treatment. Birthday coupons can be sent, and special offers shared — all which helps to keep customers returning.
Happy customers keep coming back. A CRM system that captures (and shares) customer feedback can help to improve the way a business operates. Team members love to hear great reviews about themselves, and they need to hear bad ones too. Great reviews should be shared with others — both existing and future clients through a company’s website and social media channels.
If you know how much it costs to acquire new clients (CAC) and you know which communication methods your most loyal clients prefer, you can focus your new client marketing activity on channels that have the best chances of success. Or you may discover that most of your clients found you via Facebook, so you can focus your advertising spend there and you could even implement a free salon chatbot, so you never miss an inquiry again.
Some marketing ideas may be genius, while others fall flat on their face. It’s a learning curve and there is no blueprint for what makes your particular salon, in your particular location successful. Your CRM system should be able to help not only show you where you’re going wrong (or right), but it can shine a light on what the problems were. Maybe a marketing campaign was actually genius but just mistimed. Or the message didn’t resonate in a way that other communications have. CRM can help you to get to the bottom of issues to make sure that they don’t happen again. Maybe you need more staff on a Tuesday evening and less on a Monday morning to maximize your profits. Or your retail sales always slow down in February, so you can cut costs by ordering fewer supplies that month. With a good CRM system, all that information is there for the taking.
A salon CRM system where all data can be collected, retrieved and understood really is the key to opening up new business opportunities. It’s like having a crystal ball for your business.
Salon software solutions, such as RetentionForce, can not only clearly show where and how positive changes can easily be made, but also save salon owners time and money, by helping to ensure that marketing money is spent correctly and where it is needed. Forecasting based on actual salon data can help identify any operational issues that can be managed before they start to cost your business money.
Nobody said that owning a salon was going to make life easy, but automating systems and focusing activity on doing the things that work, and learning from the ones that don’t, can definitely save on a few of those inevitable sleepless nights. 😴
Co-Founder/Customer Happiness Manager at RetentionForce