How online reviews can help market your salon business
Having online reviews can help new clients learn about your services and make the decision to book an appointment. The more savvy salon owner works to leverage these reviews to turbocharge her word of mouth marketing effort. Sometimes a vote for you in an online review can be worth hundreds of visits and thousands of dollars over the course of a year.
With the Internet, your clients can broadcast whether they feel like you were a match or a flop, like the classic show, “Love Connection.” In this ’80s dating tv show, couples agreed to go on a blind date and then returned on the show to tell the host, Chuck Woolery, and America the details of the date. It was always interesting when the screen turned to reveal the point of view of the selected date.
Now, it is fair for a client to give you constructive criticism online about where you should improve. As in dating, it is difficult to accept that someone may see your flaws or not fully value your full fabulousness. However, your goal is to have the right clients, not all clients in your zip code, raving about your services.
And…you are not perfect (I had to rip the band-aid off quickly with that one).
The process to manage your online reputation (the good and the bad) needs to be a part of your marketing program.
Here are a few tips to use online feedback to your advantage:
1) Monitor your business name online. If someone is talking about you online, you need to know about it as soon as possible. You can set up Google Alerts with your business name or use tools like SocialMention.com to tracks your shout outs across social media.
2) Ask your happy clients to review you. Now, I would not use reviews on other websites to replace sending out your own client survey. But, there is nothing wrong with informing your clients that you have a listing on yelp or MySalonScoop.com and that you would appreciate a review. Most satisfied clients would be happy to do so but need a reminder. From my conversations with clients, many say that they forget or may need to hear you explain how posting a review will help (you and other women like them).
3) Actively promote your reviews online. When I look for ideas to promote my clients, I go directly to what their reviews say. Using the voice of your clients, instead of your internal view your business, may make a huge difference to your success. It doesn’t look desperate. It looks like you are marketing savvy enough to understand the value of having positive endorsements online.
4) Respond to bad reviews. If the site allows you to give an “owner’s reply,” do so. If the client left feedback that your stylist was too slow, didn’t listen, or only gave lousy chair side manner, there may be a tinge of truth (ouch) again. If it is only one comment, many readers chalk it up as a fluke. However, you should look for opportunities to improve. The top salons are always looking for ways to offer better service.
The final scoop:
It should also go without saying that you should formally thank your clients for reviews, whether online or offline. A positive online review is great word of mouth marketing. To get the most out of it, don’t be lazy about it. Ask your clients to review you. And actively use those reviews to bring in more raving clients that can’t wait to get the same experience documented online for the world to see.
P.S. Take our survey and give us feedback about new services by July 16 and My Salon Scoop can help you get more online reviews.