Updated: Jul 26
When the Covid-19 pandemic hit, it forced every single industry to start relying more on digital communication as a way of limiting physical contact. This was a huge change of pace for salon industry professionals as we are used to working with guests face to face, hands on. Although there were some downsides to communicating digitally as opposed to in person during the pandemic, there were also some surprising benefits that we were able to take away and use following the height of Covid.
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When social distancing was in full swing, every industry was forced to get creative with how they communicated with their clients/guests/patients etc. For salon and spa professionals who literally work hands on with their guests, this meant limiting the amount of time spent in close quarters. Although it is no longer necessary to limit contact as much as possible, there were a few trends that emerged that we think will serve salon owners incredibly moving forward. One of these trends is the use of digital consultations and in this blog, we are going to let you know exactly how to execute these consults effectively.
WHY SHOULD YOUR SALON OFFER DIGITAL CONSULTATIONS
How many times have you left a meeting of sorts and asked yourself, “couldn’t that have been a phone call?!” Well, the answer is probably yes, it absolutely could have been a phone call, email, message exchange, or video chat. We live in a new, digital age where people expect to be able to find or do most things on their phone or computer from the comfort of their own home. With gas prices on the rise and the cost of essentially everything going through the roof, if you can save potential clients from the time and cost of a trip to the salon for a consultation, why wouldn’t you?! Of course this doesn’t work for all services but if you are armed with a well prepared consult form, you should be able to gather the information needed to provide many salon services. Not only will your clients love the digital option, but many potential guests will come to expect it as many other industries have taken this path as well. We are in a digital revolution and you want your salon to be a trailblazer with these digital trends!
Not only is it time and cost effective for your guests, it can also be a huge time saver for your team! Instead of having to book a physical appointment where salon resources are being used unnecessarily, your stylists can simply call, message, or video chat with the client to come up with a game plan moving forward with future appointments.
Moral of the story, offering digital consultations in your salon is a win-win for your guests and staff alike!
HOW TO OFFER DIGITAL CONSULTATIONS
There are so many different ways that you can offer consults digitally for your salon/spa services. We’re going to give you 2 super easy methods to get started:
1. CUSTOM ONLINE FORMS
There are plenty of different programs/companies you can use to build custom consultation forms for your services. These forms are easy to send via email or social media for anyone inquiring about services to have them fill out prior to their appointment for their stylist to use as reference. Because you create them yourself, you can customize every question to get as detailed as you would like. For example, if a guest is looking to book for a color correction, your consultation form may include questions like:
When did you last color your hair?
Did you use professional color or box dye?
What is your beauty budget allotted for this correction service?
What is your desired end goal for your hair?
Your consultation form may also include things to expect at the appointment. Using a color correction as an example again, you may include information such as:
Setting reasonable expectations for appointments
Recommending at home care to maintain integrity of hair following corrective service
How to best prepare your hair for the appointment
When it comes to using digital forms for client consultations, you can customize different forms to ask all of the questions needed to gather necessary information. The other benefit to using forms for digital consultations is that there is no appointment time needed, saving time for both your stylists and salon guests!
2. VIDEO CHAT CONSULTATIONS
There are tons of different options to use if you prefer to use video in your digital consultations. From Zoom, to Google Meet, and video messaging features on Instagram and Facebook, there’s a platform that’s easily accessible for everyone. The benefit to using video chat for consultations is that your service provider can actually see the hair they’ll be working with and be able to make a better game plan moving forward. Not only this, but it also creates rapport with the guest as they get to see the smiling face of their service provider prior to entering the salon!
Video chat consultations are a super easy way to incorporate a digital touch to your guest experience that your clients will appreciate.
SERVICE QUESTIONS TO INCLUDE IN YOUR SALON'S DIGITAL CONSULTATIONS
Great salon services start with an even better consultation, and we’re going to give you some questions you can include in your own consults! Every consultation will look different based on the service they’re inquiring about, but these are some generic ones that can be included:
What is your beauty budget for your salon appointment?
What do you hope to achieve in this appointment?
What is the length of your hair?
What is the texture of your hair?
Do you have fine, medium, or coarse hair?
What is your hair care routine?
What do you love about your hair?
What would you change about your hair if you could?
What are your short and long term hair goals?
Are you open to suggestions about changing your cut/color/style?
Do you use heat styling tools?
Have you had anything done to your hair in the past that you loved? Or disliked?
Do you like styling your hair or do you prefer wash and wear?
Do you like to chat during your appointment or do you prefer a silent appointment?
Including digital options for client consultations is a great way to modernize your guest experience in 2022. There are plenty of digital options for consultations to suit every salon's needs, it’s just a matter of adjusting it to work for you!
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‘Til next time,
Your Team at Salon S.O.S