Remember the good old days? The mullet was king and everyone paid with cash or check. While the flow may be on its way back (don’t believe me, check out the annual Minnesota State High School All Hockey Hair Team), your customer’s checkbooks are still gathering dust somewhere at the bottom of their purses. Surveys show that 75% of customers prefer to pay by credit or debit card, while just 11% prefer to make their purchases with cash. If your internet is down and you can’t connect to your card processor, you can’t get paid. It’s as simple (and frightening) as that. But it’s also more than that. Without reliable internet it’s difficult for a modern business to provide the experience customers expect.
Hiccups and outages can reflect poorly on your business. Sure, we know that the salon isn’t to blame for bad internet service. No one blames the coffee shop for their maxed out unworkable Wi-Fi, they just don’t go back. Bad internet service can still negatively impact an otherwise positive experience. There is always a work around, streaming music isn’t working, turn on the radio; POS isn’t working and the customer doesn’t have cash so write their card number on a Post-it to process later and hope for the best. Sure, it will work, but you and your business won’t look good.
Your POS and management software is probably cloud based, so reliable fast internet is key to your business’s successful operation. Maybe you’ve known the credit card number on the Post-it customer for twenty years; maybe she is a first time client—it doesn’t really matter, your customer is still having a negative experience and you might be too. How secure is that Post-it note? How difficult will the conversation be if the card doesn’t go through tomorrow when the internet is back up? And how much of your valuable time will you waste dealing with this situation?
Only around 30% of new clients return, on average. What’s the best way to get them to come back? Pre-booking. Pre-booking is one of the least expensive and easiest ways to increase your revenue. Scheduling their next appointment, while that perfectly styled hair is still void of fly-aways, is the best way to ensure they will return. What’s more, clients who pre-book return more frequently for longer and spend more on average.
A client who comes in every ten weeks, spending on average $50 per visit will spend $250 a year at your salon. A client who comes in every six weeks, spending the same amount per visit will spend $400 a year. That’s not a huge difference, but extrapolate that difference out to your entire book of business. Pre-booking helps you clients too, let’s face it, most of us could do a little better keeping up with our regrowth.
Do you sell the products you use at your salon? Have you ever met a stylist that feels “weird” trying to upsell clients? Odds are that you answered yes to both of these questions. Salons are also more likely to retain a client who makes a product purchase during the visit, and as you know, product sales account for a fair percentage of a salon’s income. You can sell to your clients while they are still in the chair. Picture it, you’re styling your client’s hair. The client loves how their hair looks and asks about a product you’re using, which smells amazing, by the way. What if you could hand them a tablet, or bring up your store page on their smart phone to let them browse and buy while you finish up? All from the chair, your captive audience is feeling good, looking great, and their product purchase can be added in with their services.
Increase your sales, improve your customer’s experience, and save yourself time. Fast reliable internet access is a key to your success.
Guest Blogger Erin Way
Erin works on the Commercial Marketing team at TDS. She has worked in marketing and communications for over ten years, the majority of that time in the nonprofit sector. Erin holds an undergraduate degree in Political Science from the University of Wisconsin – Madison and a masters in Library Science and Information Studies from University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee. Outside of work, Erin loves the outdoors, whether it’s just yard work or something more fun like hiking or canoeing.