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    Why are customer reviews important for your salon? (And how to respond to them)

    Why are customer reviews important for your salon?

    You can’t avoid it — clients are going to Google you to read reviews before deciding to book a treatment in your hair salon or beauty salon. Customer reviews are unavoidable and crucial for your online presence, reputation, and conversions.

    However, they’re not something to be dreaded. 

    If you manage them the right way, salon reviews can empower your customers, build trust, and provide valuable feedback. They also impact how customers perceive your business, and that affects the other important p-word – profits.

    Most importantly, positive reviews put clients at ease and show them they can trust you. Meanwhile, how you handle the bad ones can show that you’re professional, customer-focused, and willing to take on feedback.

    But collecting great reviews and managing negative ones is easier said than done. That’s why we’re here! In this blog, you’ll learn practical tips on gathering star reviews and handling customer feedback like a pro.

    How do reviews impact your salon?

    Customer reviews have both a direct and indirect effect on your salon’s business.

    Directly, positive reviews serve as social proof of your service, showcasing the amazing experience clients have had with your salon.

    Seeing the wonderful experiences of past clients helps new clients build trust with your salon and be confident they’ll receive the best treatment. This increases bookings, sales, and revenue for your salon.

    Potential clients are more likely to trust a salon with good feedback. According to a study on business reviews, 91% of consumers say local branch reviews impact their perception of a brand, while 69% would feel positive about using a business if written reviews describe positive experiences.

    Indirectly, reviews also affect your salon’s SEO (search engine optimization) and make it more findable. Search engines like Google consider the frequency and quality of reviews when ranking businesses in search results.

    For example, clients’ reviews for a hair salon’s Google Business profile, with words such as “great haircut,” “best haircut,” or “friendly staff,” signal Google that your service is outstanding and deserves to rank high in search results.

    So when clients search for “best hair salon,” “best balayage salon near me,” or “hairstylist Cleveland,” your business pops up in the top results thanks to the reviews.

    Where do consumers read online reviews - research

    Source: BrightLocal

    Negative reviews, on the other hand, are a hard pill to swallow. But they’re not necessarily bad, period. They actually offer opportunities for improvement and customer engagement. Just like positive reviews tell you areas where you’re doing an amazing job, negative reviews show you things you can improve.

    Although reading constructive feedback isn’t easy, it may give you an early warning before clients decide to just stop coming back. It also provides insights into where you might need to guide your salon staff to improve client care.

    But just reading negative feedback isn’t enough. 

    Responding to negative reviews is also important, because it shows that you value your clients’ opinions and are committed to improving their experience.

    A professional response can make the difference between turning a dissatisfied customer into a loyal client and losing them forever.  We’ve all seen those examples that go viral where the business owner probably should have paused and asked themselves ‘Is this a professional way to respond?’ before pressing send. 

    Don’t be that business owner. We’ll cover more on handling negative reviews later. But first, let’s start with how to get good ones.

    How to get good reviews

    Don’t leave great reviews to chance. There are a number of strategies to encourage your clients to share positive reviews about your salon experience.

    1. Create incentives 

    Incentives work like a charm when it comes to encouraging clients, particularly to leave reviews.

    Give your clients an extra perk to nudge them to give you great salon reviews.

    • Discount on their next visit: For example, you could offer first-time clients a discount on their next visit. A 10% discount on their next blowout  can be a compelling reason for customers to leave a review. This not only encourages them to write a stellar review but also helps drive repeat business.
    • Give out freebies: Customers appreciate freebies, and this small gesture can lead to 5-star reviews and increased loyalty. For example, give away small free products such as a travel-sized shampoo and conditioners or skincare samples, along with a review request flyer with a QR code. 
    • Entry into a prize draw: Hold a monthly or quarterly prize draw where customers who leave a review are entered to win a larger prize, such as a premium product, a free service, or a gift card. This creates excitement and a sense of community, encouraging more customers to participate.

    2. Ask for reviews in every communication after any service

    A polite request can go a long way in encouraging satisfied customers to share their experiences of the fantastic job you’re doing in your salon alongside the hairstylists, colorists and estheticians who make sure they look their best.

    In reality, many customers may want to give you a good review but simply forget after leaving your salon and life gets in the way. So you need to hustle. 💪 

    Here are some ways to ask clients for reviews:

    1. Follow-up emails – Send a personalized follow-up email to clients after their visit. Thank them for choosing your salon and express your hope that they enjoyed their service. Politely ask if they could take a moment to leave a review and add direct links to your review pages on platforms like Google, Yelp, or Facebook to make it even easier for customers to leave their feedback.
    2. Text messages Send a brief and polite message shortly after their appointment. Thank them for their visit and include a link to your review platform. Text messages are convenient, have a soaring open rate of 98%, and often result in quick responses, increasing the likelihood of receiving reviews.
    3. Online feedback forms – Feedback forms are great for collecting valuable client testimonials that further highlight your clients’ amazing experiences. Include the feedback form in the follow-up email or text. These forms can be customized with questions that capture specific information about your salon’s great experience. Feedback forms allow you to turn the compliments you receive daily into concrete social proof you can add to your website for new clients to see.

    Tip: Salon and spa management software can help with all of the above. You can send automated feedback forms after every single appointment, so you can capture all those positive reviews while they’re still fresh.

    📬 This sounds like a lot of work? Not if you have great salon management software, like Pabau, that automatically sends follow-up emails and review requests via email and SMS. You don’t have to remember to trigger the request after the appointment because it’s all set up at the time of booking, so a request will go out without you having to send it manually. Easy! 

    3. Respond to every review

    Good review and reputation management involves responding to all reviews, not just the positive ones. Engaging with your clients’ feedback demonstrates that you value their opinions and are committed to providing excellent service.

    Plus, there’s also the fact that clients expect to get responses to their negative reviews. In fact, 53% of clients expect to hear a response within a week, while 45% of people would visit a business that responds to negative reviews.

    Your responses also directly impact your conversion rates and sales. Uberall found that increasing review responses from only 10% to 30% results in 80% more conversions. Good or bad, you need to respond. Imagine how many more conversations and happy clients you’d have by responding to 50% or more?

    The key to your salon’s success lies in your hands — and how and when you respond to your clients’ reviews is a huge part of that.

    How likely are consumers to use a business based on how they respond to reviews:

    How likely are consumers to use a business based on how they respond to reviews

    Source: BrightLocal

    How to handle negative reviews?

    How you respond to reviews can have a great impact on your business reputation, customer retention, and growth. Although responding to great reviews might come more naturally, it’s crucial to think about how to address negative feedback as well.

    Being proactive and controlling the narrative is crucial in managing your online presence and reputation. Otherwise, one negative review can lower your whole Google score. It’s important to approach replying to negative reviews strategically.

    Replying with anger or ignoring comments is out of the question. Whatever the situation, potential clients are going to see this and it will probably put them off. Responses should be crafted professionally and empathetically, with a focus on resolving any issues and winning back dissatisfied clients.

    Here are some more tips for handling negative reviews professionally and constructively:

    • Stay calm and objective. Avoid taking the criticism personally and see it as an opportunity to learn and improve your business.
    • Respond promptly. Aim to respond within 24-48 hours to show that you’re committed to addressing concerns quickly. It’s worth noting that a third of clients expect a response within 2-3 days.
    • Acknowledge and apologize. Regardless of whether it was a misunderstanding or a mishap, the important thing is that the client had a negative experience. Begin by acknowledging their concern and offer a sincere apology. This shows empathy and understanding, which can help de-escalate the situation.
    • Take the conversation offline. Discussing any medical complications online isn’t ideal from a data privacy perspective. Provide a contact number or email address where they can reach you, and express your willingness to resolve the matter.
    • Offer a solution or compensation for their inconvenience (if applicable to the situation). This could be a discount on their next visit, a complimentary service, or a full refund. If the issue is fixable, do what you can to fix it. 
    • Use negative reviews as a learning tool. Regularly review and analyze feedback and use it to identify blind spots, common issues and areas for improvement. Coach your salon staff on how to improve the level of service.
    • Use a salon management tool. 🚀 Salon software like Pabau helps you manage negative reviews smoothly and effectively. You have a built-in review management system where you can see reviews from multiple platforms all in one place, which makes spotting patterns or identifying trends even easier. 

    Master your reviews and reputation management with Pabau

    Customer reviews serve as a valuable source of feedback, social proof, and user-generated marketing content. They help you get the whole picture of how your salon’s doing, so be prepared to learn the good, the bad, and the ugly. 

    Positive reviews are a great way to build trust and attract new clients. On the other hand, accept negative feedback as a learning tool and an opportunity for improvement. Handling negative reviews professionally and constructively can turn a potentially damaging situation into an opportunity for growth.

    Effective reputation management is key to building a successful and trustworthy salon brand. Using software like Pabau can streamline this process, making it easier to manage feedback and showcase your dedication to excellent customer service.

    • You can automatically share your good reviews on your website… and hide any less-than-positive ones you receive 
    • Quickly access clients’ information and communication, via the client card, to easily understand the whole situation before writing a response. 
    • Finally, you can send review requests automatically after each appointment to ensure a continuous stream of reviews coming in. 

    ✨ Ready to nail your customer reviews? Book a demo today and discover how we can help you streamline your review management!

    What you should do now

    1. Schedule a Demo to see how Pabau can help your team.
    2. Read more clinic management articles in our blog.
    3. If you know someone who’d enjoy this article, share it with them via Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or email.

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