Take the conversation beyond the salon walls to retain clients

Beauty is an inherently social industry. Making conversation with clients of all ages and backgrounds is a major part of the job, and the ability to build a rapport can make or break salons that rely on repeat business.

Going one step further and taking the conversation beyond the spa or salon walls by talking to potential clients at local events also plays a vital role. As Beauty Time’s Maria Mason told me this month, “giving your time for free often has the knock-on effect of bringing money into your business”. Read more from Mason in our interview feature.

The fear of losing this personal touch is one of the reasons some salons and spas have been reluctant to make the move to online bookings or sales, and most still regard word of mouth as their most powerful marketing tool.

However, a new wave of software developments is now bridging that gap by tapping into social marketing techniques that create conversations on a far bigger scale. Read more about the possibilities in this issue.

While technology can widen your reach, it can never replace the hands-on experience salons and spas offer and it’s for that reason that beauty is out-performing other markets on Britain’s high streets. The news that the number of beauty businesses has shot up while retail operations are in decline is testament to the growing importance of the service industry to the UK economy.

As Hellen Ward argues in this issue, with more university graduates now entering the workforce, hands-on skills in areas such as beauty therapy will hold higher value because they are in shorter supply. So while talk may be cheap, when it’s combined with skills and experience it’s worth big money in today’s market.