Nov 18, 2019
Photo Credit: Getty Images
Currently it’s the over-50 crowd that’s probably contributing the most to your salon or studio. After all, this generation has money to spend, a bit more time to spend it and the interest in and need for high-ticket services like regular grey coverage, conditioning treatments and frequent manis and pedis. Enjoy those clients while you can, but if you’re a smart businessperson, you’re also looking to the future. Next up? Millennials--anyone born between 1981 and 1996 and currently aged 23 to 38.
If you’re a Millennial yourself you probably understand what makes these customers tick; if you’re not, it’s worth schooling yourself in all things Millennial. After all, there are 83.1 million millennials in the United States, making them the largest generation in the country’s history. And if you haven’t done their hair yet, you probably will very soon.
Ready to welcome the next wave of clients? Here are tips for “Millennial-izing” your salon business.
Raise Your Online Reputation Game
Forty percent of Millennials refer to online reviews and testimonials before making a purchase. This means prospective Millennial clients are checking you out on Google and Yelp. So start encouraging existing clients to leave reviews, and if you don’t have time to monitor those reviews, consider working with a salon software system that has a reputation management feature. It will hold bad reviews for a short time, notify you and give you the chance to intervene with the reviewer before the post goes live. If a negative post does go live, it will notify you so you can respond immediately, which makes you look good even if the review is not so good.
Keep in Mind that Customer Service is More Important than Anything
Seventy four percent of Millennials say they would switch to a different retailer or brand if they had a negative customer service experience. Millennials like to feel good and they value positive treatment. They also value experience over things. So be sure every client’s experience with your business is easy and delightful—from the moment they make their first appointment to the moment they leave and beyond. Your brand will guide the elements of your salon experience, whether it’s great music, a cappuccino machine and a stimulating scalp massage if your vibe is upbeat and energetic; or soothing aromatherapy fragrances, lots of green plants and mellow spa sounds if your brand tends to trend to the Zen.
The More They Can Do on Their Phones the Better
You don’t need a study to tell you how attached Millennials are to their smartphones—all you have to do is look around. Sixty three percent of Millennials complete transactions on their smartphones, so the more they can interact with your business online the better. That means offering online booking for sure—Millennials are used to using online booking apps for many services and experiences, from dinner reservations to the DMV. They demand the convenience of being able to make an appointment any time of the day or night, and managing that appointment, without having to pick up a phone. Text confirmations and text messaging are also Millennial-friendly forms of communication because their smartphones are always in their hands. And if you are able to offer products and gift certificates for purchase online, you’ll score big points with your Millennial clients.
Celebrate Sustainability and Give Back
Authenticity, sustainability, ethical production and philanthropy are all high on the list of priorities for Millennials, so it helps if your business embraces these elements. Seventy five percent of Millennials consider it fairly or very important that brands/businesses give back to society instead of simply making a profit. Offering “green” brands, keeping it real on your social media feeds, recycling and repurposing in the salon, fundraising and earmarking a portion of earnings for charity are all line items you may want to include on your overall business plan in order to create a business where Millennials feel at home.