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Oct 25, 2016
by Vivant Skin Care
Life in the twenty-first century. It’s a spectacular time of modern technology and convenience, entertainment on-demand, cars that drive themselves, unprecedented connectivity, and soon, a robot that will cook your dinner. Life is good.
With so much technology at your disposal, your business must be growing like a goose at a paté farm. That is, unless you’re still doing business like it’s 1998. You’re not still doing business like it’s 1998, are you? Perhaps a quick review is in order.
You’ve got one right? If not, stop everything you’re doing and get on this pronto. If you’ve already got one, excellent. Are you providing the information customers are looking for? A study conducted by market research firm Coyle Hospitality Group revealed that 97% of respondents said seeing pricing and a detailed description of treatments was important or very important in influencing their decision to book a service, or not. Information about facilities and environment was the next most important factor that people looked for in a website. The same study showed nearly half of the spas polled were missing these critical elements. That leaves a lot of opportunity for those willing to supply this important information for customers on the hunt for their new favorite spa.
If you’re still requiring clients to call to set an appointment, you’re wasting your time and theirs, and probably losing business as well. Life is busy. Handling multiple tasks at once is the norm. Your clients want the convenience of booking online, whenever, wherever. They want to be able to look at available times and dates and choose, not listen to you run down a list of options while the clock ticks. If you think it’s impersonal, don’t worry. Your client doesn’t. If they want to speak to you, you’re still just a phone call away. In addition to the obvious benefits for streamlining your booking process, management systems can add efficiency in many other essential areas of your business including tracking customer preferences, employee scheduling, payroll, automated email solutions for customer communication, gift certificates and promotions. Here’s a list of top spa management software options to help you get started.
The medical field has been doing these for some time now. It’s not as crazy as it sounds. Clients can ask questions and get answers regarding their specific skin care needs. You can spend just a few minutes with them, either via Skype, or via email by having them email a photo and describe their concerns. Then you can make recommendations (and appointments) for the treatments that will benefit them most. You can also suggest a skin care regimen of products that you have available for purchase, and, if you’re really enterprising, put them on a delivery or pick-up schedule. You could push it a step further by suggesting they schedule a service to coincide with their product pick-up and sweeten the deal by offering a discount on the service. A little investment of time in the form of a virtual consultation could result in a cascade effect of future sales.
Platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram are invaluable in creating engagement with your clients and reaching new ones. In today’s social and tech savvy landscape, these things aren’t really optional anymore. At the very least, you need a Facebook page where you can post updates about your business and connect with customers. But don’t make it all about you. About a third of what you post should come from other sources, i.e. repost relevant articles that your clients will find interesting. Could be articles from beauty publications or other related sources. (Ahem. Need we mention that the Vivant blog is a veritable fount of entertaining, reliably sourced articles full of useful information that you can share with your followers? A simple click on the share button gets it done.) This broadens your reach and expands your influence. It also cuts down on the amount of content you need to come up with on your own. That’s part of the social media rule of thirds: a third of your posts are about your brand, a third are curation, and a third are more conversational and designed to engage your followers.
Take a minute to see what comes up when you Google your business. Does your website come up at the top of the results? If not, make sure you’ve done the basics like adding your URL to Google’s index and maps. Have you created a business page on Yelp so clients can give you the rave reviews you deserve? According to Yelp’s website, businesses who claim their free business page increase their annual revenue by an average of $8000. Have you added your business to the appropriate directory sites? In addition to spa specific directories like spafinder.com, there are multiple local directories that are more general, but should not be overlooked.
In the spa business, it’s all about human connection, but technology can enhance those connections by streamlining the time-consuming details, increasing efficiency, boosting customer awareness and building your clientele. If you feel you aren’t technically savvy enough, it’s time to get past your fear. Just dive in and explore. There are numerous tutorials and resources available online.
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