PR and customer care go hand in hand. Look after your clients – and we mean more than just their hair. SLBPR founder Sharon Brigden shares her essential PR advice to re-open and make clients feel special in our first instalment of The PR Brief.
You are probably already inundated with calls and messages for appointments – so use PR and marketing to help you cope. A little planning now will see you through the mania of April and May as you re-open; plus will help you be ready for when quieter times return without panicking when they do.
So be sure to consider the following as the madness of re-opening rages:
- Ensure information across your website and social media tells your clients when you will be booking appointments.
- If you’ve already started then let people know when the next appointments will be available – hopefully not until July 2021!
- Make sure you’ve updated information on any external promotional sites as well (Treatwell etc.)
- Closer to opening, post advice about what clients should do/not do before coming back.
- Let clients know that you will need to strand/patch test if they want a colour appointment –again, make sure this info is on your website and across all social channels!
- Lots of people will be nervous about coming back to the salon so make a point of saying what measures you have in place to ensure that client and staff safety is of the utmost importance.
- It’s time consuming but do try and answer every question that comes via the website or social media – it’s just like answering the phone.
- Once open, use your social media to alert clients if you have a late cancellation and want to fill it. You’d be surprised how quickly empty appointments can be snapped up.
- When you do have a moment to breath, pre-plan and create images and text so you can copy and upload really quickly at the time you want to post. Save them on your notes apps and cross them off as you post so there’s no duplications.
- Things are crazy now, but now is also a good time to create posts about potential quiet times in June or July, so that you can post them towards the end of May and avoid slumps. The idea is to fill the gaps before they actually happen.
- If you have time, consider investing in an online booking service – most do more that just booking, by helping to promote to new clients, helping you fill no show slots.
Ready to think a bit broader? If you want to get into the local media, find out the name of the best journalist to contact (look at the relevant publication and get their name. Usually, their contact details are in the paper/magazine/online.) Send them an email ahead of any particularly newsworthy events – someone donating their hair, charity events or even just to comment on how re-opening has gone.
Keep it to short bullet points and make sure that all of your contact details are on the email. They will get back if they are interested. If you don’t hear back after a few days, don’t be afraid to give them a (polite) nudge.
Do the same for local TV, and ask if they’d like to film in your salon. If you are a member of any organisations such as NHBF, let them know if you are happy to speak with the media as they organise coverage across the UK.