How does a potential customer choose a hair salon?

by Lena
6 December 2018

Reading time: 3 minutes

young woman white a white shirt and tattoo with pink and orange hair

Have you ever asked yourself how a customer decides which salon they choose and what you can do to make them choose your salon? It’s important to understand the buyer's journey as a framework for successful salon marketing strategies and salon promotions that work.

Understanding what steps your potential customers take before making a buying decision (or not) will help you reach your salon marketing goals by effectively promoting your salon to customers at each step of their buying journey. You’ll know how to attract more customers to your business and increase customer conversion and customer acquisition if you learn some simple salon strategies.

The buyer's journey is a three-step process. It consists of the Awareness Stage, the Consideration Stage, and the Decision Stage. Over the next five minutes of reading, we’ll break it down for you as simply as possible.

Awareness Stage

Your potential customers’ journey starts with the awareness stage when a potential customer needs to find a local salon to get a new haircut, style and/or color. They might ask friends, but they’ll always search online for the best hair salon in the area that provides the expected high-quality service they’re looking for 92.8% of people use google to do their research.

If your salon is not in the top 5 results, there is a huge probability that your potential customers are not even seeing your salon as an option! For your salon to appear in the top local search results, you need to have a strong online presence. The amount of work that’s required to appear in the top 3 depends on the strength of the online presence of your local competition. Read more here about how a salon can appear in the top search results on google.

two young women in trending clothes and sunglasses hugging and posing in front of a yellow brick wall

Anyway, back to the awareness stage.

Publishing engaging and relevant content in the form of blogs, short posts, and videos on social media accounts (Instagram, Facebook, etc), on your website, and on other relevant sites such as Yelp and Google My Business, all add up to your salon being shortlisted by a potential customer when they discover your business amongst other local competitors on Google.

Your content should engage with your audience. Videos have proven to be highly effective in recent years given that many people prefer to watch a quick video instead of reading through a blog. Blogs are effective for specific blog categories such as different hairstyles, trends, colors, tutorials or product recommendations.

As your potential customer gets further in their research, they will realize which criteria/salons meet their needs and which don't. At this point, your potential customer creates a selection and starts to choose between the different salon options. Your potential client will also eliminate those salons which don’t offer high-quality service or attractiveness of the services they seek. Here it is important to build trust between your salon and your clients. Establish your salon as a credible source of information, inspiration, and with examples of the array of services you provide. Don’t forget that if a potential customer can’t find you in the top 5 local search results for “hair salon near me”, there is a good chance you won’t even be seen or considered.

Consideration Stage

smiling black haired woman with a yellow sweater and blue jeans sitting against a wall with a laptop

After this step, your potential customers will get into the Consideration stage. As they have already narrowed down their choices, they will go back to Google for more research. This time the research will be about the specific offers that each salon has in order to consider which one best fits their needs. As your potential buyers continue with their analysis, you can keep track of your potential clients' priorities to tailor the conversation to each individual buyer.

Before getting too close to the decision stage, most buyers will have to be assured they’re making a good decision and spending their money on the right salon with the best quality/offers. Your potential customer will compare the different styles of the salons near them and check prices and reviews.

Make sure that you provide all the information your customers need for this comparison. Your salon’s website should be as easy as possible to use which will lead your potential customers within a few clicks to an exact list of services with prices, and a gallery or link to social media with examples of your stylists’ work.

Decision Stage

Once a potential customer has shortlisted a few local salons, they are ready to make a decision and book an appointment with your salon, or with one of the competitors. If the customer decides to book with your salon, they will then think of how the experience will be. Make sure that the customer experience is 10/10 before, during, and after the service provided to ensure that the customer made the right decision.

To increase chances of a potential customer choosing your salon, make sure that your content is specific as possible to your salon and that it portrays that there is a high-quality service provided. This will give the customer confidence that your salon is the best option for what needs and wants they are searching for.

Try to remove any possible doubts that your potential customers may see on review pages, a poor quality website that doesn’t load, no activity on social media and other potential doubts. Fewer mistakes across your online presence increase new customer conversion rates.

woman in blue clothes and hat blowing a kiss to the camera

One very important feature that every single salon should have is an online booking option or product store. For this, there is a multitude of appointment booking apps you can choose from. After going through the three stages and having a potential customer decide to book an appointment, don’t miss out because (for instance) your salon closes at 8 pm, or because your receptionist is out sick or on lunch. Make sure that a potential customer can book anytime, anywhere, just like how they do their research in the buying decision. Your customers live on their phones and laptops, so make sure that your salon is a smart salon with an option to book an appointment online.

Always keep in mind, that the buyer’s journey doesn't end with a purchase. Remember that you want to build long-term relationships. The content you create should not only be useful for new, potential customers. It should also be relevant for your current customers and help them to discover new hairstyles and products. With engaging content, you establish trust and loyalty. One of the most important points in a successful salon’s business plan to get new customers is the word of mouth by happy customers who share their good experience with potential customers on and offline.

If you have a salon that doesn’t get enough good reviews compared to the number of happy customers you have, find out how to generate more reviews which will lead to potential customers becoming and staying customers, and not choosing to become a loyal customer to the salon down the street.

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