“Your job is to not embrace new technology with arms wide open, but instead understand it and learn which disruptive technologies separate you from existing and potential customers.
What’s unique about “connected” consumers is that they find and share information differently than their more traditional counterparts. They make decisions differently than the everyday consumers you’re used to engaging as well.
But keep in mind, the connected do not displace your traditional customer, they simply expand your opportunity to grow your business.
Many of us thought it would never happen. With all of the changes in our industry, the one thing that gave us comfort was that our services would never be able to be sold online.
Well I am here to tell you those days are over, and today, you can buy a haircut, a color, a style, and a reservation online.
Does this scare you or excite you? Your reaction means a lot about how you thrive in the era of social business and the connected customer.
Intent. Search. Discovery.
My biz hero, mentor & crush Brian Solis says it all begins with intent and search for the connected customer. And I will add discovery.
You see, in today’s world, people are looking for haircuts, colors, facials, session stylists, make-up artists, educators, how-to videos all online. Your job is to become a discoverable business. And you become discoverable by engaging online, via your website, your Facebook page, YELP page, Foursquare page, Instagram page, etc, etc.
Can I Make A Reservation?
Whether I am an existing client looking for convenience, or a new client looking for a salon, can I engage with your business on my terms or yours? My terms are I want to engage book when I want to book, and that may mean at 11PM when you are sound asleep.
(image via Mitzi Spallas.com)
Can I Buy A Haircut?
Most salons do not think they are in the e-commerce business. But I would disagree. You can be in e-commerce if you choose to be. You have so many awesome things to offer for sale and the technology available to offer them.
Here are just a few things you can offer online…
1. A reservation
2. A gift card
3. A package or series of services
How Do I Sell Online?
This is the awesome part. There are so many platforms that make it so easy for us to sell our products and services online. If you are a larger salon with a POS system like MindBody, Millennium, or STX, it’s quite likely they offer online booking, gift card sales and package sales.
If you are a smaller salon or independent stylist without a formal POS system, there are platforms like Schedulicity, Style Seat and more. Many of them also offer custom Mobile Apps and Facebook Tabs where a client can book their reservation inside of Facebook or from their phone or tablet, awesome, right?
Play The Discovery Game
This is a fun and easy way to assess how discoverable you are on the Web and how easy or difficult it is for the connected customer to do business with you. Try it.
1. Take a good, hard look at your website.
Does it make it easy for me to engage with your business? One or two clicks to a reservation? Images of your salon? Can I learn about the owner, the team, and read your story? See your work? How to engage with you both online and off?
2. Google yourself and your business.
Can I find you? Try different keywords like “best salon in Los Angeles”, “hair color experts”, etc. Of course, use the keywords that most fit your business, story, etc.
3. Search for your business on YELP. (and Google Places, CitySearch, etc.)
Do you like what people are saying about your business? Can I see pictures of your salon, your work, the team? Can I find your website from YELP? Your hours?
4. Search for your salon using Facebook Graph Search
Can I find you? Do you like what your Facebook page says about you, your brand?
You can continue doing what you are doing, and getting what you are getting. And if you are happy with that, awesome. But for the rest of you who are ready to grow, engage, and evolve, the sky’s the limit with the evolution of social business.
I would love to hear your comments and feedback on this post, please feel free to share on here or reach out to me directly.
(created and shared with love from Nina)