As businesses come out of hibernation, imposed by regulations to stall the spread of coronavirus, it’s not so much returning to business as usual as returning to business as the new usual. You may be restricted by the number of clients you are able to see or have to adhere to new rules in order to operate. There’s a need to communicate these things quickly and efficiently and we’ll show you why SMS is the best for doing this.
At ClickSend, we’ve been missing our friends at our local salons; some of us more so as we sport the new “COVID fashions” of grown out shellac pedicures and/or DIY haircuts. Others are looking forward to massage services to help sort out aching muscles, which may or may not have been exacerbated by prolonged periods of sitting in makeshift new home offices. We have also learned that some things are best left to the professionals – like gel nail removal (true story). So we decided to stick to what we know best, to help our beauty industry friends get back on their feet with this guide to SMS for the beauty industry.
Reopening Your Beauty Salon
If social media is anything to go by, many people are itching to get into their salons to help with their personal grooming. We anticipate when restrictions ease, to see a huge influx of business for the beauty industry. Prepare yourself by ensuring that people can make bookings seamlessly and that your communications are on point.
Letting your customers know in the most effective way
If you want to broadcast information about your salon reopening, quickly, effectively, and efficiently then an SMS blast to your database is the way to go.
We’ve created a great Help Guide: Reopening Templates for Health and Beauty full of useful and actionable hints and tips on using SMS to drive bookings and to keep customers returning. The guide is also full of templates you can cut-and-paste into your campaigns or use for inspiration. Just like below, and using (fields) you can have key data automatically filled.
Our friends at AppInstitute have also written a comprehensive guide for marketing your spa or salon that we recommend checking out.
SMS is just the start – a picture tells a thousand words. So, you could leverage MMS and show off cool pics of your best work, or why people should leave it to the pros…..
Appointment Booking and Confirmation
When you send out your initial SMS blast, be prepared to receive an influx of inquiries and bookings. Take the headache out of managing bookings by making it easy for your clients to self serve and by providing confirmations and reminders.
There are plenty of booking apps for beauty salons to use, which allow their clients to make bookings easily and allow them to manage these bookings easily. We hear from our customers that Timely, Appointy and Acuity Scheduling are pretty popular. Acuity makes it easy to customise your booking form to highlight what you offer, how much it costs, and the duration. Providing your customers with all the info they need. They also have some great integrations, which can turbocharge your booking process.
Once a client has completed a booking form send them an automated text message confirming their appointment. Without spam filters and low read rates to contend with, SMS is a great tool for ensuring your message is read.
An SMS like this can be instantly and automatically sent once a customer completes your booking form.
With a lot of the distancing rules in place, beauticians and therapists may not be able to service as many clients as before, so it becomes imperative for clients to arrive at appointments, and on time. Send an SMS reminder 48 to 24 hours prior to help reduce, or at least manage, no-shows. And once again, this can be easily automated.
Additional Booking Information
Given these changing times we’re living in, people are naturally curious about how “new normal” will look for your salon. Be sure to include information on how things have changed when people book. Consider the following:
- Information about Covid-19 regulations that you need to adhere to. Eg. 2 square metre distance between people, masks policy, a new safety plan, etc.
- Information about how your business has implemented a new stringent cleaning regime, staff have completed infection control training, etc.
- A summary of your cancellation policy – given many salons have to reopen with reduced capacity (and thus reduced opportunity to earn), you may need to implement tighter cancellation policies or ask for payment at the time of booking.
Time Saving Tips – Easy Automations
The great thing about using a booking system is integrating SMS within the system, to easily send automated SMS confirmations and reminders.
Using Zapier, you can set up zaps to automatically send SMS messages when a new appointment is created, rescheduled, or cancelled. These are some of the most helpful zaps for your business:
- when a new appointment is created, send an SMS confirmation with ClickSend.
- choose an interval before the appointment is due and send an SMS to remind your clients of their upcoming appointments (implement this and watch your attendance rate rise!)
- follow up after the appointment – either for feedback or to prompt your client to book their next appointment.
If you run a beauty business and need help getting back on your feet post-lockdown, get in touch with us and see just how ClickSend can help you nail your client communications. Simply click the icon in the bottom right corner of this screen (day or night, someone is there 24/7!) to start a chat.