COVID-19 pandemic has unleashed unprecedented challenges on businesses of all sizes, but the beauty industry is one of the sectors hit hardest during the turbulent times. The beauty and hair salon business during pandemic has faced forced enclosures and ultimately a massive loss of earnings.
Hair Salons provides services that rely entirely on maintaining close contact with customers and keeping a six feet distance between employees and customers is impossible. As a result, hair salons going out of business during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The impact of covid on salons is so detrimental that their turnover fell down by 45% in 2020, according to a report issued by the National Hair & Beauty Federation (NHBF). If your hair salon business is on hiatus or temporarily shut down, and you are worried about how to keep it running during pandemic, you are in the right place.
In this article, we’ll share some useful tips for hair salon businesses during pandemic about how to maintain client engagement and keep your business running successfully. Let’s get started!
1. Offer Customer Discounts
Clients love being rewarded. Offer gift cards or discounts to your customer which they can use when you reopen to make them feel valued and give your sales a boost. Implementing a discount not only makes your existing customers happy but also helps to acquire new clients. Don’t make your discounts time-sensitive, in case of lockdown orders so clients can use them once your salon is reopened.
2. Try to Minimize Unnecessary contact
One of the key factors that have affected the hair salon business during pandemic is the inability to maintain a safe distance. While salon services may require being in close contact with your clients, you can still minimize the risk by avoiding unnecessary contact. Avoid having too many people at the same time, eliminate front desk and waiting rooms and use virtual check-ins to inform the clients about their turn, and let them have a contactless checkout to ensure the safety of both your clients and team.
3. Keep It Clean
Salon industry post covid is putting a lot of emphasis on hygiene and cleaning. To make your clients feel safe in your space, keep it as clean as possible. Regularly clean and disinfect the high-touch surfaces in your salon to lower the risk of infection. Look into Reopening Guidance for Cleaning and Disinfecting to understand the cleaning protocols and create a cleaning plan for your salon. Regularly sterilize your tools, offer sanitizer to clients, communicate your cleaning procedures to your clients, and share your cleaning schedule on social media to draw more customers by letting them know what you’re doing to increase hygiene and sanitization efforts.
4. Reduce the Services
Considering the impact of covid on salon, perhaps it’s not the right time to offer your full-service menu. Evaluate your workplace and identify the services making sense for your business at the moment. Reduce your services and streamline your operations to minimize the contact as much as possible. Limit the number of workers at your salon to ensure customer safety. However, make sure it doesn’t affect your services and make better use of the staff you have.
5. Offer Pre-visit Consultations
Consider doing a pre-visit consultation for your regular clients. Offer your sincere advice and suggestions that are best for them considering their hair texture, length, and condition. Early consultation will help them to discuss their problems with you in detail and build their trust with your salon.
6. Use Retail Strategy
Now it’s time to strategize how to keep running your hair salon business during pandemic. If your hair saloons sell retail products, like shampoos, hair oils, or styling products, keep your online store open during the pandemic. People are more inclined to purchase beauty products online rather than going to your hair salon. Even if your salon is closed, your loyal customers will still prefer to buy their favorite products from you and you can even give them a quick video consultation about how to use them. Selling your in-store products while salon is closed, is the best way to generate income and show your clients you care for their well-being.
7. Encourage Pre-booking
If your hair salon needs to shut down, for the time being, encourage your clientele to pre-book their next appointment when you open once again. It is a smart way to bring your clients back in a safe way and ensure you have enough time to tidy up between appointments. It also allows you to schedule clients to arrive at staggard times and use the opportunity for communication and marketing.
8. Create a Buzz
Another great way to give a bump to your hair salon business during pandemic is creating a buzz about your products and services that will eventually go viral. Start with outstanding customer service and treat your clients with the utmost respect to make them feel special. Use proper language while speaking on the phone so the people will learn through word-of-mouth that your salon is worth visiting.
9. Consider virtual hair salon business during pandemic
Think about what your clients need while they are locked up at home. If your hair salon is temporarily closed you can guide them about getting trimming and basic haircuts at home, or give them self-care lessons. With most of the salons going out of business during covid, virtual consultations are a great way to make some money and maximize your productivity.
10. Revisit Cancellation Fees
A cancellation fee for missed appointments is good practice under normal conditions but it might be a turn-off for most of the clients who can’t make it to the salon due to Covid-19. Considering the impact of covid on salon, it’s advisable to revisit your cancellation fee policy to facilitate the clients. Let them cancel their appointments anytime without any penalty and reschedule their appointment.
11. Create a Referral Program
Referral programs are one of the best strategies to boost your hair salon business during pandemic, earn new clients and keep the old ones. You ask your customers to refer your salon to their friend and both of them will get a reward such as a money-off, a free service or product, or a free consultation, and you will get a new client. Referral programs may even be used for transforming a struggling salon into a thriving one.
Tips to Keep the Clients Engaged with Your Hair Salon During Lockdown
There are many reasons why a client may not return to your salon such as they forget about you or found a better alternative near them. However, if you take some time to engage with your clients and maintain customer loyalty, many will be willing to drive a little further because of the emotional attachment with your place and services. Here are Some tips to increase client engagement when doors are closed:
- Promote Gift Cards
Just because your salon is closed doesn’t mean you can’t plan for future reopening. You can build anticipation for your salon reopening by offering gift cards and generate revenue simultaneously. According to the First data’s U.S Prepaid Consumer Insights, 68% of the consumers prefer gift cards as their favorite type of incentive. When you reward customers with something they really want, it builds customer loyalty and they kept coming back.
Blogging is another great way to stay connected with your clients. It requires a little initial investment as there are tons of hosting platforms such as WordPress, and Wix that offer reasonable plans for bloggers. There’s are countless topics to write about such as the latest hairstyles, hair treatment options, styling tips, hair products recommendations, etc. You can ask your existing customers to subscribe to get notified every time you publish a new blog.
- Post Tutorials
Just like blogging, tutorials are also another way to keep your clients engaged with your hair salon business during pandemic. You can post tutorials on any hair-related topic such as trim your bangs, do a Dutch braid, or demos of certain hair products. Always post interesting and engaging content and keep your website fresh and up-to-date.
- Email Newsletter
To stay in the business and draw more clients, hair salon owners must know how to do the Salon marketing during covid as most of the people are stuck in their homes. Sending regular emails newsletters to your clients is the perfect way to stay in touch as well as keep them updated with the new services you’re offering. Include the helpful tips your clients can do at home, video tutorials of your beauty expertise, and services you’ll be offering after reopening.
- Utilize social media
Social media is by far, one of the best tools to leverage both current and potential clients without spending a penny. Popular platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest allow you to market your brand and engage with users by posting, photos, videos, and mini-tutorials. Make sure to create relevant content based on the demographics to engage your target audience.