The Customer Experience (online)

“We see our customers as invited guests to a party, and we are the hosts. It’s our job every day to make every important aspect of the customer experience a little bit better.”

Jeff Bezos, CEO


Are You Discoverable
Here is the audio version of this post. Thanks so much for listening. Enjoy.

Today is Cyber Monday, another made up shopping holiday to drive traffic to websites to consume goods and services. I’m sure you know this by the gazillion emails that are waiting for you to click on in your inbox. That fact is, we are all online. Whether we are socially networking on Facebook and Instagram or shopping for the holidays.

We are all in e-commerce today, one way or another. And we all need to think hard about the customer experience (online), if we want to be a relevant business in 2014 that is.

Here is a simple checklist for you to see if you are a discoverable business and for you to audit the customer experience (online).


Search Engines
1. Google terms that relate to your business. If you are a hair salon, Google “best hair salons”, “best colorist”.
2. Take a look at what results come up. Are you there?
3. Click on the links. Are they your business pages? What do they look and feel like?


1. Visit your website.
2. Is it easy to find your location? Contact info? Hours of operation?
3. Are there pictures of your business and your work?
4. Can I make a reservation or at least contact you?
5. Is the copy reader friendly and relevant to your business?
6. Can I easily see where to find you on Facebook, YELP, etc?
7. Is it mobile friendly?




YELP (being active on YELP is one of the best ways to rank higher in search engines. Fact.)
1. Have you claimed your page? If not, click here to learn how.
2. Have you added images of your business and work?
3. Have you filled in the “About this business” section?
4. Are there recent reviews?

Google Places

 Google Places
1. Have you claimed your business?
2. Have you added images, contact info, hours of operation and a business description?


1. Do you have a business page?
2. Have you claimed your unique URL? This is the best way to show up in Graph Search, the “Google” of Facebook. Click here to learn how to claim your name.
3. Is your about us section filled out?
4. Are the hours of operation there?
5. Is your website, phone number and an email address available?


1. Have you written a short about message?
2. Is there a link to your website?
3. Do you have your phone number or email listed?


1. Can I easily find where to sign up for your emails?
2. Do you have a subscribe area on your website?
3. Do you have a subscribe tab on your Facebook page?

While this is not even close to a complete list, it’s an awesome start if you are in a service business. When was the last time you took a look at your online presence? Today may be an awesome day to start.

(shared with LOVE from Nina)

Are You There Salon? It's Me, Client.

Haircuts For Sale On The Internet

“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.

Brian Solis

5.5 Vidal Sassoon Scissor 635

(image via ProShop)

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.

Mitzi Spallas Hairstylist

(image via Mitzi

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)

Are You There Salon?

Facebook Graph Search Explained

“To understand the mindset of the connected consumer, one must realize that everything begins with search and intent.”

Brian Solis


Are You There Salon?

Many of us have heard the news about Facebook Graph Search, a new search and discovery tool. While it is still in beta testing with a select group of people, I found a few things that might be helpful in understanding what it may mean for all of us.

I love this video from Facebook explaining why they created Graph Search. This is a good place to begin understanding this new tool.

Lets first understand that there are two ways to look at this new feature. Personal and Business. I am going to focus on the business side for this post. The best way I can wrap my mind around Graph Search is to think of it as a super social, highly targeted and personalized Google.

Are You A Discoverable Business?
One of the most important things to understand about the social and digital Web for business is becoming more discoverable. As my hero and mentor Brian Solis says so well in the opening quote, everything begins with search and intent. People are looking for your business. Your job is to be sure they can find it. This is done by being highly engaged on social platforms such as Facebook, referral platforms such as YELP, and of course, having a good website that clearly communicates your why, what and how to engage with your business.

To learn more about becoming a more discoverable business on the Web, check out our Webinar.

What You Can Do Right Now on Facebook

  • Consistency engage on your business page

  • Post relevant content at least one time per day

  • Be sure your About section and contact information is strong and clear

  • Claim Your Page Name (URL) (Here is a post I did on that in case you do not know how)

  • Be sure your business is categorized correctly (Click here to learn more about Business Page Categories)

Here is another video from Slacktory on Facebook Graph Search, with a hilarious spin. It’s awesome.

PS: To learn more about Facebook Graph Search, click here.

(shared with LOVE from Nina)