How you can benefit from your beauty business reviews
There is no point in convincing you that reviews can make or break a business - working in the beauty industry you are well aware of that. Indeed, the service industry is very competitive, and clients are used to making decisions based on the recommendations they get from other people, including opinions they find online. This makes reviews a double-edged sword, where they can either elevate your business, bringing you tons of new customers, or lead you to ruin, making it so much more difficult to attract any clientele.
With that in mind, it’s essential to treat the reviews of your beauty business very seriously. Of course, what really affects them is the excellency of the services and customer service you provide, but with a little bit of smart management, you can turn good reviews into a powerful marketing tool. Sounds interesting? Let’s explore the possibilities together!
Giving customers a voice - the good, the bad, the ugly… and the profitable
Let’s start with the basics. Why does the topic of customer reviews, although undoubtedly important, stir so much controversy? As mentioned earlier, reviews hold a lot of power over beauty businesses, and as they say, with great power comes great responsibility. Allowing your clients to express their insights, praises and concerns regarding your salon will always come with a certain risk margin.
The good: getting great publicity and the opportunity to grow
Customer reviews heavily affect the way people perceive your business. It’s a fact that when we are predetermined, if only subconsciously, to react to something positively, we are indeed more likely to enjoy it. If a potential client reads only that your salon provides brilliant customer service they will not only be more willing to visit you, but will feel confident in their choice and eager to form a positive opinion. Our brains like to confirm what they earlier assumed based on information they received - if we expect good service, we see it, and if we expect poor performance, we will probably notice it instead.
Clients also like to be able to express their opinions. It gives them the feeling of importance which only gets better if the business in question responds to their message. And if their review brings some noticeable improvement? That’s some ultimate customer satisfaction right there! For example, let’s imagine that a client leaves a review saying that overall, their massage appointment was great, but the room in which it was taking place was way too cold. If the business answers by thanking them for their feedback and ensuring that they will change the temperatures (adding a little discount for the customer’s next appointment as a little bonus), and indeed, the next time there will be a noticeable improvement, the client will be both happy with the service and with themselves. This is how you build lasting client relationships even if not everything was perfect right off the bat… and how you make other people in the review section notice that you truly care about your clientele.
The bad: when the negatives outweigh the positives
It’s a well-known fact that people are more likely to get vocal when they are dissatisfied than when they are happy. This creates quite a dangerous situation where you can have a hundred pleased customers that will leave you no review, while this singular unhappy one will publish an impressive thousand-word essay about everything that they didn't like. Is there a way to avoid this?
You cannot silence unhappy customers. However, you can encourage happy ones to get more outspoken! There are a few methods to achieve this - from rewarding customers for their constructive opinions to sending perfectly-timed reminders. Becoming more proactive when it comes to getting reviews makes managing them much easier.
The ugly: comment section quarrels and fake review raids
Negative experiences evoke strong emotions, and strong emotions require a release. When clients feel that they have been treated badly (regardless of whether that really was the case or not), they are very likely to vent their frustrations online. If you think that their critique is unjust, then you are probably quick to respond in a similar fashion. This creates a messy exchange full of anger and bitterness, which serves no purpose whatsoever… unless, of course, you are in for creating an entertaining drama for other clients to read in your review section.
Yes, negative comments are hard to digest, especially if the customer bends the truth for their own benefit. However, your review section is not a court, and your task is not to prove your innocence. Even if you “win” the argument, you still lose - your credibility. Who wants to visit a salon the owner of which engages in petty online remark exchanges? Communication in business is a fine art, and its baseline is to keep it cool and professional.
Finally, you may fall victim to a wave of fake negative reviews that apparently come out of nowhere. Sometimes it's a bored Internet “troll” choosing their next victim randomly, sometimes a competitor playing dirty, an ex-employee letting their frustrations out or an unhappy customer asking their friends and family to raid your site with negativity. No matter the source, there is no point in trying to reason with these - the only way to deal with them is to flag them and/or report them as fakes.
The profitable: putting yourself in good light and powering up your marketing
What’s important to keep in mind is that people will always be voicing their opinions, whether you like it or not. Trying to silence them usually backfires, while giving them a reliable platform where they can speak freely gives you the opportunity to not only present yourself as genuine, but also to keep some level of control over the situation. And no, we are not talking about removing the comments you do not like, but being able to answer the criticism, moderate reviews that are clearly fake and overall turn the conversation to your advantage. What platform you are talking about, you may ask - and the answer is simple: Booksy.
While Google or Yelp allows anybody to add a review of your business, Booksy makes sure that only people who actually visited your salon can rate it and leave a comment on your profile. This keeps your profile 100% fake reviews-free, but the benefits don’t end there.
As we know that reviews are absolutely essential for your business to grow, we deliver tools that encourage your customers to leave them. After every appointment, Booksy sends a fully automatic reminder through either the Booksy client app or the website, which leads the customer directly to your Booksy profile review section. The whole process is very intuitive, so clients feel more inclined to do it! Furthermore, if they do not react to the first reminder, they receive another one 24 hours later.
Now, as mentioned earlier, your good reviews can also become a powerful marketing tool. Booksy allows you to share the reviews you particularly like on your social media fan pages. With just a few clicks you can create a custom, visually appealing digital flyer that you can publish on Instagram or Facebook and spread the word of your proficiency!
As you can see, with a proper tool and a little bit of strategic thinking you can simultaneously protect yourself from online slander and use your clients’ words to your advantage. It’s only fair for your customers to give them the opportunity to voice their honest opinions - and it’s only fair for you to be able to sift true comments from fake ones, protect yourself from harassment and benefit from the words of praise. Your salon is great - let other people learn it first hand!