Every salon and spa knows the importance of creating meaningful interactions with guests. It’s an art form – one that requires a carefully crafted approach to ensure your staff connect in a way that leaves guests feeling relaxed and satisfied.
But sometimes, front desk bottlenecks, communication errors, and operational hassles can distract staff and get in the way of a relaxing, meaningful experience – which could potentially drive guests elsewhere.
Sound familiar? Don’t worry, there’s a better way. Follow these 7 steps to cultivate more personalized connections before, during, and after each visit.
Before guests arrive
Remember that your talented staff are people, too. If your stylists, aestheticians, and other providers are overextended, tired, or generally having a bad day, the feeling can spread.
Conversely, when staff members have the tools they need to succeed, that energy also extends to anyone who comes through the door of your spa or salon. Here’s how you can help fuel your team’s positivity before guests check in.
1. Prepare your team for success
Appointment mixups. Short staffing. No-shows.
These are just a few challenges salon and spa employees often face. How they react depends on several factors, including the level of support they receive from owners and managers, and the reliability of their technology.
To help empower your team, make sure they’re comfortable with your business policies and procedures so everyone is on the same page. Wherever possible, centralize the technology they use so they can spend less time on multiple applications.
Above all, build an atmosphere of trust and transparency where employees feel valued, supported, and happy at work. Give your staff control of their day – easy access to their schedule, tips and commissions earned, and personal progress tracking.
As for the appointment glitches and other operational challenges? We’ll cover those next.
2. Take advantage of online and mobile booking
Did you know that online booking can help reduce no-show rates at salons and spas? Beauty and wellness businesses that enable and encourage online booking have a variety of tactics they can implement via the booking process. For instance, a business can easily share their cancellation policy during booking and require saving a credit card on file. This helps deter no-shows and encourages guests to reschedule rather than cancel.
Online booking also reduces the workload for your front desk – great news if you have a small team or come up short-staffed. An intelligent online booking system also optimizes your scheduling and reduces the risk of errors.
Today, online booking must also be part of a great mobile experience. The ubiquity of mobile devices and smartphones makes this an absolute must. Data shows that 67% of self-service online bookings are completed on mobile devices.
How does a great online and mobile experience help build personal connections?
First, guests appreciate the convenience and flexibility of being able to self-book from your app, your webstore, social media pages, and directly via your Google business profile. As guests use your branded app – available to all Zenoti businesses – and other channels that represent your brand, they’re more likely to feel that personal connection and establish a loyalty to your business.
Second, when you give customers more self-serve options, that means less for your staff to do. Your teams will have more time to focus on personalized interactions – leading to increased guest satisfaction, bookings, and tips.
During every visit
When guests step inside your doors, they immediately pick up on cues about the type of experience they will have. Is there a line at the front desk? Is the environment clean and relaxing? Does a staff member offer a greeting right away?
To ensure a great first impression, follow these additional steps during the appointment.
3. Create a friendly, relaxing atmosphere
Your customers come to your shop to relax and feel pampered. Friendly interactions are key to that outcome. If the front desk is too busy to greet incoming guests, that can dampen the overall experience.
Ideally, your staff will have a waitlist or other plans in place that minimize wait times. Automated check-in options can help simplify the process, keep service providers alerted to their guests’ arrival, and leave your staff free for more personal interactions. Self-serve kiosks can also help reduce traffic in waiting areas and keep incoming guests informed about potential waits.
Small details also matter. What is your lighting like? Is the seating area comfortable and attractive? Does the space include helpful signage and information about special promotions or new services?
A pleasant atmosphere can go a long way toward making guests feel appreciated, especially while they wait to be greeted by their stylist or aesthetician.
4. Track guest history and preferences in a mobile app
Do your service providers have ready, convenient access to information about each guest? Depending on the software your salon or spa uses, these details are usually available at the front desk. But providers should be able to quickly access guest profiles on a mobile device instead of checking with the front desk.
Here’s why mobile access matters—to your employees and your guests:
- Busy stylists and aestheticians can use their employee app to look up details like a guest’s favorite beverage – and have it waiting when the guest arrives.
- The front desk will have the same guest information as the service provider.
- Guests feel seen and heard because their service provider regularly reviews service history and treatment notes before each appointment.
- Providers can check on each guest’s product preferences – and then encourage a refill of a favorite brand.
- Extra: Through your store’s branded mobile app, guests can receive access to their online profile to conveniently see their service history, payment balances, loyalty points, and so on.
After the appointment
Creating a more personalized experience for guests doesn’t stop after their hair treatment or massage. Your guests expect a personal touch at every part of their customer journey, from online booking to check-out and follow-up.
Remember these finishing touches for happier guests that keep coming back.
5. Rebook right from the chair or treatment room
You’ve already seen how important mobile technology is to your guests and every member of your team.
But for a real VIP experience, guests should also be able to connect with your brand via mobile app – to book and upgrade their services, add products to their invoice, rebook appointments, and process payments.
Beyond rebooking from the chair or treatment room, guests can also use your mobile app to change or reschedule an upcoming appointment – working in your favor to avoid no-shows or cancellations. A customer-focused mobile app also facilitates faster check-out so your customers can be on their way.
6. Use two-way texting to connect with guests
Your salon or spa probably already uses automated SMS messaging. Two-way texting, however, can take personalization to a higher level – and positively affect your revenue flow.
Here’s a possible scenario: Several weeks after a visit, a guest decides to cancel their upcoming appointment. An easy-to-customize SMS template lets you quickly personalize your automated text message response.
For example, you might say “Hi [Name], we noticed you cancelled your next appointment. Would you like to reschedule at [Link] instead?” Or you can text the proposed date and time and see if they’re available to take that specific slot. You’ve just made it easier for the customer to reschedule and avoided a costly no-show.
Maybe your guest has a birthday soon, and you want to offer a discount on their next service. You text them the details and prompt their response by asking, “Would you like to book something between [date] and [date]?”
At a minimum, you can use two-way texting to thank guests for visiting and remind them of follow-up care. That can go a long way toward creating and strengthening personal connections. When you know you have satisfied guests, you can send a text asking for feedback – and include a link to a review platform.
7. Personalize – and simplify – your marketing campaigns
Micro-targeted marketing can also help you personalize your guest experience by sending focused messages and promotions to the right audience. An all-in-one platform like Zenoti will automate the process, freeing up your staff to spend time with the customers in your spa or salon right now.
Here’s how an advanced marketing system works to micro target your guests:
- The system gathers data from prior customer visits, helping you personalize and share reminders your guests will relate to.
- You automatically send messages to customers at the right time for them (including birthdays or other special occasions).
- Every message is based on guest preferences, purchase history, and other targeted data.
- You get data insights from every marketing message, making it easy to spot trends and fill more open slots in the schedule.
When your customers feel you know them and are catering to their preferences and needs, they are far more likely to book and rebook with you. By following the seven steps outlined above, you can foster that kind of relationship, filling your appointment book with more happy guests, increasing customer loyalty, and encouraging higher spends at every visit.
Ready to simplify operations and build guest loyalty? Book a free consultation with Zenoti today.