Reviews – positive or negative (but mostly positive, of course!) – are one of the most valuable tools for your salon’s marketing.
They are the best way to find out what people actually think about your salon experience, because people are more likely to be honest when they’re hiding behind a screen than face to face!
If you look at the salons on the top of the Google Map for your town (go on, Google it now: hair salons in Town or Beauty Salons in Town), I’ll bet the salons at the top all have lots of reviews.*
Reviews can be included in all your marketing, to encourage people to choose you. Most importantly, you can use your reviews to help you write website and social media content that is really going to attract your dream clients.
Why should you get lots of reviews for your salon?
Reviews and ‘social proof’ are two of the key factors in Google’s algorithm, so if you want to see your salon near the top of the map, you should absolutely work on getting lots of reviews.
Plus, when someone is trying to decide which salon in your town they should go for, which one do you think is going to stand out, they one with 100 4-5 star reviews or the one with 10?
They are also your best tool for seeing your salon through other people’s ideas. I’ve been to salons that are very different when the owner isn’t in, so reviews help you to see the whole picture.
How do you get reviews for your salon?
Remember how your mum used to say ‘don’t ask, don’t get’? Well the easiest way to get reviews is to ask.
- Make sure you have signs up in your salon, asking people to review you with a link or QR code to exactly where they need to review you.
- Hand-pick clients and ask them.
- Send out a link in your ‘thank you’ email, or in your ‘onboarding sequence’.
- Run a contest to enter people in a prize draw if they review your salon (more of that below)
- Bring it up in conversation during the appointment.
- Add it to your team’s KPIs to generate 1 to 3 a week (keep it realistic)
Where to get reviews
There are so many places people can review your salon these days, focus on Google, then Facebook, then everything else…
Should I put them on my salon website?
This is a bit of subjective. My personal opinion is that no one is going to take much note of a review on your website, because you’re not going to put the negative ones up!
But….. if you have a web developer speak to them about building a page to pulls through your Google reviews and it can help you to get stars on your salon’s Google result.
What should I do about negative reviews?
Respond! Negative reviews are invaluable because they are an opportunity to turn a negative experience into a positive. When you fix someone’s bad experience they often turn into your biggest fans.
In the current climate, there are (many, grr!) people who just want to moan and use online platforms to get their money back. You should respond to those too, to show people that you are professional and that always try your best. Be diplomatic!
Can I incentivise people to review my salon?
Yes, you absolutely can, but if you are incentivising reviews you have to incentivise all reviews no matter what they say.
And it’s not going to feel great to handover those products to that person who just ripped your heart out by slating your salon online. Fortunately, not too many people are going to have the balls to come in to claim their gift after a bad review.
When should I ask for reviews?
If you look at most salons’ reviews on Google, they tend to be after the first visit. That’s great, and often when people are most excited, but it’s a wasted opportunity. Your regular clients are your real gems.
Great times to ask them, include:
- Their one-year anniversary as a client (your booking software can help with this)
- When they have just had a makeover or high value pampering experience.
- If they happen to have been particularly gushing at their appointment.
- When you’ve been away or on holiday (although you may want these reviews to be a survey rather than public)
Where else should I use reviews?
- Create a nice template in Canva (or your favourite design tool) and use them in your social media. Make sure they look easy on the eye though.
- Include a couple in your leaflets when you do a maildrop.
- Put short snippets on your salon window or frame them around the salon.
- Include a ‘what people say about us’ in the notes section at the end of your press release template.
- You could even add them to your email footer.
How else can I use my reviews?
I’ve saved the best for last here! Reviews are a brilliant tool for writing your website copy and social media posts. These are the words that your ideal clients actually use to describe your salon and theie experiences. So write like an ideal client to attract more ideal clients.
Something I’ve really learned from building salon websites and writing copy for salons with KOR Digital is that salon owners want to tell people about how amazing the services they offer are, whereas the reviews often focus on how salon’s atmosphere, or how welcome they were made to feel.
*This isn’t failsafe, other factors apply too, including how close you are to the ‘centre’ of the location, how your website performs in search and whether you have all of the other little details up to date.