Industry • Best Practice
The Future is Personal: How to Create Bespoke Client Experiences at Scale
In the past, the rote work of factory hands formed the backbone of the economy. In post-war America, we’ve shifted our focus in favor of the individual. Our culture provides myriad opportunities for self-expression, from custom phone cases to tattoos. Hair is a timeless and universal expression of individuality. The most successful stylists acknowledge this by inviting clients to explore, accentuate, and experiment.
In 2020, self-care, self-expression, and simple connection have fallen by the wayside. On top of keeping their business afloat, salon owners want to help their clients combat this psychological toll of the pandemic. The salons that weather this storm will be those that continue to facilitate creative expression and personalize services. And the best way to create bespoke client experiences at scale is with the right technology platform.
At Boulevard, we’re a group of beauty professionals ourselves and we understand the challenges your business faces. This industry was already headed towards personalization, but COVID-19 accelerated that trajectory. And because we’re all about helping salons deliver premium, personalized experiences — even at the enterprise level — we’ve baked those features into our platform. Here’s how to leverage technology to make your clients feel seen in this uncertain moment.
Personalize your client profiles
There are over 81,000 hair and beauty salons and over 56,000 nail salons in the United States, mostly in major cities. So even with all the challenges of 2020, there’s a ton of competitors offering similar services. Standing out from the crowd has always required a personal connection. The best stylists know exactly what their clients need and keep up a regular rapport. But it can be a lot to remember: Beyond knowing how often they book and which styles they prefer, you should remember personal facts, like their children’s names.
Memorizing client details comes more naturally to some stylists than others. In the past decade, technology has helped fill in the gap. Modern salon management platforms offer client profiles that record personalized details, link to social profiles, and even keep a detailed list of past services and purchases. Stylists can add custom notes for each client, such as family details or whether they’re always late, to make sure they are prepared and ready to personalize each upcoming appointment.
Technology is no substitute for old fashioned human interaction, but these tools offer helpful reminders that let you keep track of client needs and behaviors. By combining these insights with a charming personality, clients will feel truly valued, making them more likely to stick around long-term.
Consider offering self-booking
Your clients don’t always call to book appointments anymore. Especially in the age of social distancing, self-booking has a major appeal. With a self-booking application, clients can customize and individualize their booking from a laptop or phone. But to make online booking truly scalable, it needs to function seamlessly — no double-booking, no schedule gaps, and no awkwardly blank calendars. The right system will have a crisp, custom-branded client-facing interface that works in tandem with your backend processes. Bonus points if the system welcomes them back by name and memorizes their personal preferences.
Rest assured, offering online booking is not the same as opening your calendar to the public. You are still in full control. Boulevard, for example, optimizes your salon schedule by recommending the best times to ensure staff productivity and minimal downtime. If those dates still don’t work, the client can add themselves to your waitlist in case their preferred booking opens up. All of these options maximize the quality of service clients receive while keeping stylists fully in control. That’s a win-win for everyone.
Appointment booking is just one feature that a self-booking application can provide. They can also send personalized appointment reminders by text with all relevant details, and will even let clients check-in from an in-house iPad — cutting down on unnecessary in-person interactions.
Offer custom (and contactless) payment options
At the end of the day, salons are businesses that need to make money. Salon management platforms can augment the check-out and payments processes. Instead of handling cash or cards for every appointment — risky behavior during a pandemic — why not use integrated contactless options? Boulevard allows salons to store payment methods on-file within a client’s individual profile. This feature personalizes the check-out process by making clients feel like valued regulars. Meanwhile, receptionists can spend less time counting change and more time complimenting a stunning new look.
Not only will this help stylists and receptionists breathe easier, but integrated payments automatically address other needs. They can include any sanitation fees automatically and deliver receipts to an email address. It’s even possible to add credit card details to client profiles and process transactions once the appointment ends.
We’re here to help
Personalization is about helping stylists uplift their clients by making them feel seen and celebrated. From the moment they book a service up until the appointment is finished, clients should feel like a visit to the salon is about them. Boulevard makes it easy to deploy all the strategies mentioned above, and we have a dedicated support team to ensure they unfold smoothly.
If you have any questions about how to make our platform work for your needs, we’re happy to set up a complimentary consultation with a product expert. Book yours today.