Reputation management is no small feat. In this article, we’ll show you five salon reputation management mistakes to avoid so that your salon gains the recognition it deserves.
Whether you’re running an already established salon or starting a new one, your reputation determines your future success.
A polished reputation will help you attract talented beauticians and loyal clients alike.
But how exactly do you manage your reputation?
This may be a complex task, but you can still do it without hiring a marketing company. All it takes is a bit of planning and the right technology.
To save you from common pitfalls, we’ll walk you through five salon reputation management mistakes. Once you know what they are, you’ll be able to avoid them easily.
One thing you definitely don’t want to do is leave your reputation to chance. The key component of reputation management is active participation, both offline and online.
Did you know that 64% of customers choose brands they support based on social values?
That’s right, more than half of customers find brand values more important than the quality of service.
Because of this, large corporations spend millions on reputation management.
Luckily, small businesses like your salon can usually do just fine using social media and engaging with the community.
Let’s see how a skincare clinic combined these two elements and boosted their reputation in the process.
The clinic combined a selfless act of giving the frontline workers free treatments with subtle marketing. They posted a series of three lovely images announcing the initiative on Instagram.
That way, they increased their visibility and increased the likelihood of frontline workers actually coming to get the massages and manicures.
A planned approach like this also showed the other clients that the clinic contributes to society.
As you can see, you don’t have to spend thousands on a reputation management strategy. Demonstrating your social values offline and putting a bit of thought into your social media posts can do wonders for your reputation.
Rona Bunch, a salon owner, agrees that there is a positive connection between giving back to the community and brand promotion.
“We are small business owners, and giving back gives us this amazing opportunity to be a charitable backbone to our local communities. By helping others in your area, you’re also given the opportunity to promote your brand.”
You can be involved in the community even if you can’t participate in charitable events.
For instance, this Scottish nail salon supports their local football team by doing manicures inspired by the team’s colors and motifs.
Posting about such gestures builds your reputation as a salon that is actively involved in the community.
Remember, a positive reputation won’t develop on its own. You have to actively direct your efforts into building an image.
An effective way to do this is by documenting your offline feats in an online sphere.
Nothing can boost your reputation more than cheerful, motivated employees.
If you want an authentic reputation management strategy, consider turning your team into salon ambassadors.
A good marketing strategy helps you present your business in a better light.
However, when clients visit your salon, they spend most of their time with beauticians, not management or marketing staff.
This means that your employees play a significant role in the way the clients perceive your salon.
For example, if your employees seem disinterested or somber, the clients won’t feel comfortable, no matter how much you emphasize coziness in your promo materials.
On the other hand, satisfied employees perform better, leaving a better impression on your clients, which encourages them to spend more and return.
This has been proven; research has found that businesses with happy employees make more sales.
You don’t even have to make the salon ambassador strategy official; it’s just a convenient term to help you remember how much employees shape the way customers perceive your salon.
The idea behind it is to provide your employees with a supportive work environment. That way, you empower them to achieve better results.
Excellent results–combined with a great general ambiance–lead to satisfied customers, who can then share the exceptional experiences they’ve had in your salon with others from their circle.
Of course, if you want to help your employees get into the spirit of their ambassador roles, you could consider getting branded merchandise, as the salon in the following photo did.
To sum up, before you hire a marketing company to help you with reputation management, take a good look at your salon.
You may already have everything you need for a successful strategy.
Reputation management requires work. Rather than guessing what to do, client and employee feedback can help you identify the areas to improve in your salon.
Ignoring feedback is a reputation management mistake you can only commit once: it’s so detrimental that it can shut your salon down for good.
If you want to establish and maintain a positive reputation for your salon, you’ll have to put in some effort.
Luckily, you can skip the process of trial and error and get clear directions on what to do by collecting and analyzing feedback.
A popular method of doing so is embedding a client feedback form on your website, as Perfection Spa did.
The form includes questions about various aspects of the treatments they provide.
Social media represents an even more effortless method of collecting feedback.
And remember, even if the feedback you receive is negative for the time being, it will still be invaluable, as long as you’re committed to making the necessary changes.
Tom O’Brien, Co-Director of Baroque Hair, claims that feedback is invaluable for creating lasting client relationships. His salon collects feedback via email and social media.
“Using social media as a review tool forces you to keep your standards high, as the review and rating can be seen by the public. We also encourage our clients to post a selfie to show how happy they are with their hair. This exposure is also a great tool for encouraging staff to constantly deliver.”
Have you ever had a client who asked you for a lotion that would magically fix their skin?
If yes, you probably explained that superficial treatments wouldn’t solve the problem. For skin to glow, you have to nourish it from the inside out.
A similar principle applies to salons. If you want to improve your reputation, start with getting things in order within the salon.
For that, you’ll find employee feedback just as helpful as that of your customers.
Unfortunately, only 3 in 10 employees feel like their opinions count, which tells us that employers aren’t that keen on asking their staff for their opinion.
By asking employees for comments, you’ll make them feel valued while also getting guidance on how to improve your salon.
All in all, your reputation can’t advance unless you’re in tune with client and employee attitudes.
With feedback forms so easily available, there’s no excuse for ignoring this aspect of reputation management.
If you want to know how your salon is perceived in public, monitoring online mentions is an excellent way to get an insight. Mentions are a treasure trove of unbiased opinions.
Whether you need a plumber or a massage therapist, chances are you’d look them up online, just like most people would.
In fact, as much as 93% of people use the internet to find a local business, and 87% read reviews for them.
With so many people relying on the internet and online reviews to find a business, neglecting your salon’s online presence isn’t an option.
From Facebook and Instagram, to Google reviews, or even anonymous forums, there’s an overwhelming amount of sites where clients can talk about your salon.
You might be under the impression it’s impossible to track online mentions across so many sites.
Don’t worry; there are tools to help you with that.
For instance, Mediatoolkit helps you see every article, post, comment, or hashtag mentioning your salon.
Monitoring online mentions has the advantage of spontaneity.
When you ask clients for feedback as they are leaving your salon, they may feel pressure to give you nice comments only.
However, when clients choose to state opinions on their own, you get to see their authentic opinions.
In addition to Mediatoolkit, a general-purpose tool, there are tools specially designed for reputation management in salons and spas, such as Millenium.
Their online presence analytics can help you see how clients engage with your business online or why they are more interested in your business than your competitors.
So, don’t let the multitude of feedback sources deter you from monitoring your online mentions.
Seeing what people write about your business on their blogs or Facebook profiles will let you assess your salon’s reputation more accurately than feedback forms ever could.
How you treat other salons is just as indicative of your reputation as the way you treat your clients and employees.
If you want to maintain a professional reputation, you have to know that slandering your competitors is a no-go.
Let’s say you get a client with nails damaged from a poor treatment they’ve received in another salon.
While you’re salvaging their nails, you may feel tempted to comment on the insufficient quality of the previous work.
However, it’s better to remain silent and focus on what you can do to help them.
Before you say anything negative, ask yourself if your comments are doing the client any service at all. Most often, the answer is no.
They already know it’s bad, and all they want is a solution.
The only thing that trash-talking the competition shows your clients is your own insecurity and unprofessionalism.
So, what is a healthy approach to the competition?
As a salon owner, you’re already aware of the importance of community.
Just remember what happened when COVID-19 first started, and the first lockdown was introduced.
Faced with unprecedented challenges, salon owners had to come together to find best practices to save their businesses.
This goes to show that no salon is an island.
If you approach other salons with respect, you’ll be able to keep a reputation as a sophisticated business.
Rather than seeing them as your rivals, try to think of other salons as peers you can learn from and turn to for advice.
After all, it’s hard to grow without a little friendly competition.
Stagnation can run any business into the ground, which is why you should have a proactive approach to reputation management.
You can do this by asking for feedback and analyzing how people talk about your salon online. Remember, the information you discover is only helpful if you act on it.
Don’t forget that your employees can be your most valuable asset. Treat them well and consider turning them into ambassadors for an authentic form of promotion.
Finally, be mindful of how you approach the competition. Conflict is rarely productive, so try to always keep it classy.