The holidays, with lavish parties, group dinners, family gatherings and so on, are two months when we feel the most pressure to be at our best. In other words, it’s prime time for salons and spas, especially those in shopping malls.
As we head to the department store for some last minute shopping and run across a nail salon, we look down at our unpolished fingers and are inclined to make a quick stop. But, as easy as it is for salons to stay busy during November and December, they can also lose customers because of long waits and disorganized, crowded waiting areas
Don’t forget how busy and stressed your customers are likely to be during the holiday season. So, in preparation for this chaotic time of year, many salon owners have started using advanced paging technologies to improve the customer experience and avoid wasting peoples’ time, thus losing future business.
Here’s a look at how various types of salons are finding benefits in advanced paging systems:
Most people know to book their holiday hair appointments weeks in advance, but that’s not always possible. Salons are usually flexible in squeezing customers in whenever possible, but that usually means an hour or more waiting in the lobby.
A great alternative, especially for salons in malls, is to use cell phone paging. Instead of sitting around flipping through year-old magazines, a customer can enter his or her cell phone number in the salon’s paging system. Then, they have the freedom to go gift shopping or grab a bite to eat during their wait.
Customers are still going to wait the same amount of time, but their time, instead, is spent valuably, increasing their willingness to wait for an appointment. As a bonus, your lobby is a calmer, less-congested place.
Nail salons can also benefit from . If an individual has several appointments — let’s say a manicure, followed by a pedicure and eyebrow wax — they can spend a significant amount of time waiting for each station to open up.
Again, wait time is a great opportunity to grab some lunch or run an errand at a nearby store. So, giving your customers pagers allows them to leave the salon and come back when a technician is available.
Cell phone paging might work in this situation, but most women with wet nails don’t want to dig around in their purse for their phone and risk smudging a nail.
A better solution is a paddle pager. The device is large enough that you won’t have to worry about forgetting it, but not so big that it’s cumbersome to carry.
As a bonus, these pagers usually have a space for an advertisement, where salons can take an opportunity to brand the pager or advertise any holiday specials. Think of it as one more way to engage your customers and develop long-term relationships.
Grabbing customers while they’re walking by is a great way to build your business, but enticing them to get out of the house is even better. Mobile marketing is another easy way to inform your customers about special deals or holiday hours.
Unlike emails that can easily get redirected to the spam folder, mobile marketing has a 95-percent read rate, making it a highly effective option with an even higher return on investment
Spa owners can quickly contact their subscriber lists about extended holiday hours or remind them of their scheduled appointments. If you have a slow day, you also can send out a text with a daily deal, similar to a flash sale, in order to fill up your schedule for the day. Another idea is to offer discounts for spa packages bought as holiday gifts, such as a couples massage.
Lastly, you can extend customer engagement — and be sure you’ve delivered the very best experience possible — by using digital survey tools. Survey tablets have, by far, the highest response rate of any survey instrument. They allow you to actively listen to customer needs and react accordingly, especially in the event of a negative response and remedy the situation.
These technologies will cut through the holiday hustle and bustle, helping you show your customers that your top priority is delivering the very best experience.
Skip Cass is the chief executive officer at LRS and an expert in operational efficiency and creating a memorable guest experience.