Industry • Best Practice
Feb.09,2022By Boulevard Staff
Whether your salon just cut the ribbon for its grand opening or has been a neighborhood staple for decades, one of the biggest challenges that any salon faces is acquiring new clients. If you’re one of those lucky and select salon owners who has more business than you can handle, congratulations. You can skip this article and go straight to other posts with our advice on how to craft an expansion plan for your business or how to recruit talented staff to join your team.
But for most of you, client acquisition remains front and center. That’s why, as part of our in-depth research report on the attitudes, preferences and behaviors of today’s salon clients, we studied the ways that people find new salons. The report provides invaluable insights to help salon owners like you understand how and where to focus your client acquisition efforts. Here’s what we found.
According to our survey, more than 8 out of 10 people (83%) use local listings via sites such as Google or Yelp to find a new salon, making the internet the top method by quite a bit. Therefore it’s extremely important to make sure your website is optimized for search results and can be found for keyword terms related to your location and the types of services you provide. It’s also worth keeping track of your Yelp rating and doing all you can to encourage positive reviews from happy clients.
On a related note, the next most common way that clients find a new salon — used by 6 out of 10 people — is by following salons or stylists on social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and others. So be sure to establish a presence on social media if you haven’t already done so, and use those platforms to regularly post updates featuring your best styles, your happy customers, and images of your salon.
The third most frequent method is by asking for recommendations from friends and family, showing that good old-fashioned worth-of-mouth referrals haven’t completely lost their power. When was the last time you asked your clients to refer you to their friends? You could try offering a referral discount or some kind of incentive to encourage word-of-mouth marketing.
Last but not least, consumers also find new salons simply by looking around their local neighborhoods. If your salon has nice curb appeal and looks like a reputable establishment, new clients might be willing to give it a try.
Now that you know how potential clients find a new salon, let’s look at what they’re looking for when they’re conducting research. Our data shows that cost is the most important consideration when clients pick a new salon, with 40 percent of consumers citing price point as their top consideration—more than twice as much as any other factor.
The next most important factor is the name brand of the salon or the reputation of the stylist, cited by 18 percent of respondents. They want to know that you’ve built a credible name for yourself and that you’re not going to butcher their hair. Reputation is followed by whether or not the salon offers a high-end experience (cited by 13% of respondents), how friendly the staff is (9%), and how close the business is to their home (6%).
When choosing a new stylist (as opposed to a new salon), consumers say that the stylist’s availability is their top consideration, cited by 1 out of 3 consumers. That indicates that if you receive a call from a new prospect asking whether or not a specific stylist can get them in, you should do your best to accommodate the request in a timely manner, or you might risk losing a long-term client.
Availability is followed by friends’ recommendations (cited by 27% of respondents, again proving the value of word-of-mouth marketing) and the stylist’s online portfolio (cited by 22%, again proving the value of a strong digital presence). Other factors include the stylist’s social media following (7%) and “stylists who match my vibe” (6%).
If you found this article helpful, download the full report The Perfect Salon: A Data-Driven Guide to Creating the Ideal Client Experience. It’s chock full of data and insights to help you improve your operations, drive incremental revenue, and give your clients a salon experience they won’t soon forget.
Download the full report here.
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