Customers Aren’t Elephants - How to Make Sure That They Never Forget. The Importance of Reminders in Business Communication
Jul 29, 2020 · 4 min read
Great customer communication is everything. If your clients don’t hear from you, or you are slow to reply, you can be pretty sure they will get fed up and may even end up going elsewhere. If you can’t be bothered to communicate with them, you’d better believe that your competitors down the street will.
Now, we are in an age where so much is about instant gratification. There isn’t much we have to wait for. Fast food, coffee to go, walk-in blow dry bars… it’s all there when you want it. How different from just a few decades ago where customers had to find ways to fit themselves into their salon’s schedule or wait for a callback.
Being contactable is only part of the salon success story. It’s all about the conversation you have. How you communicate is as important as the act of communicating itself.
We are fortunate that marketing automation is here to transform so much of how and when we communicate with our clients. When we are sleeping or otherwise engaged, we could be sending automated reminders or using a salon chatbot to answer customer questions effectively.
But with salon management and marketing automation, some solutions are better than others. The difference? How personable and bespoke communication is. We are not numbers. Your goal is to make sure that your customers don’t ever feel like they are one.
A personalized greeting, via an email, an SMS, s chatbot or a message on the socials is so much warmer and fuzzier than a ‘Dear valued customer…’ - Valued? Are they really, if you can’t even trouble yourself to call them by their name?
So, what conversations should we always be regularly having, and what is the best way to have them?
A reminder that they have an appointment coming up is a great idea - for the client and for you too. Reminding people helps to reduce the amount of missed appointments and, so long as the reminder is 24 or 48 hours before the appointment, it gives clients the opportunity to reschedule if they aren’t able to make it and for you to rebook that timeslot.
Most treatments and services are repeated at regular intervals. But not all clients are willing or able to book their next appointment when they are in the salon with you. Maybe they work away a lot, or have a busy schedule… whatever the reason, while we’d prefer they rebooked before they are out the door, it just doesn’t work that way. However, a timely automated reminder that their next wax/color/facial is due, can help to spur them into rebooking.
Not all clients stay loyal and visit regularly. But there are some who will show up a few times a year without fail, for an annual treat or ‘because they deserve it’. There are also clients who may have gone elsewhere but havn’t really found a place that they like better. A timely reminder to those people (and maybe a carefully considered offer), can bring those lapsed clients back.
As we’ve previously explained, there’s no such thing as a bad review. Either way, you need to know about it. A polite reminder to leave a review can help to spread the word (third party endorsement is soooo powerful)! Equally, an automated system where customers who aren’t happy are flagged with the salon manager or owner and can be handled quickly and correctly is invaluable.
If you’re having a party or an event or launch, a reminder just before the event is vital so you have a more up to date number than the RSVPs a few weeks ago may have suggested. You can make your VIP clients feel even more special by offering them a special launch night promotion or coupon via your salon loyalty system.
These are just some of the conversations that can and should be had with customers. Personalizing the message is important, and another consideration that must be made is which medium you choose to communicate with:
Email is good for some people (particularly the older generation who may find an SMS too intrusive and not be regular users of social media). Let’s face it, it’s a bit old and formal though.
SMS is great and can be a way to send bulk messages with a great chance of being read. The downside is that people can’t reply to bulk-sent SMS messages.
Messenger marketing via social media is another, more bespoke way to have a conversation. It’s now possible for some salon management tools to use messenger services, such as Facebook messenger, to send automated and personalized messages to clients. The beauty of this is the way it enables a two-way conversation to be had.
However you communicate, it’s essential to make sure that your clients have opted in to being communicated with in that way.
And if your communications aren’t what they should be, or are stuck in the last century, a review of those processes and the ways that automation can help bring customers in (and back) is definitely worth a second look.
Co-Founder/Customer Happiness Manager at RetentionForce
The art of turning lapsed clients into "regulars", then into your business advocates.
Oct 20, 2019 · 7 min read