Business tips

Why knowledge (of your clients) is power in the health & beauty industry


Why knowledge (of your clients) is power in the health & beauty industry

You’ve probably heard it multiple times already, but successful marketing and sales strategies are pretty much always based on your knowledge of your clients. It’s true for most industries, but especially for health & beauty, where customers expect an individual approach and count on more than just a simple exchange of goods. No, your clients want to feel special - and the more you know about them, the easier it is to meet their needs. Let’s discuss how to effectively (and safely!) collect data about your customers and use it to gain their loyalty and boost sales.

Healthy customer relationship =/= friendship

Remember when we had a talk on building and improving customer relationships? One of the most important things you need to learn about managing relationships with your clients is that they are not your friends. This may sound harsh but bear with us for a second. No matter how much you like your regulars, how friendly you are with one another and how much you know about their personal life, your relationship is by default transactional in nature, and there can be no real friendship where money is involved. You can absolutely have a great connection with them and enjoy their company and the conversations you have. Still, it’s important never to cross the line between a solid professional relationship and a personal friendship.

Why? “Friend” and “business owner” are two separate roles that can have conflicting objectives. Although you want to provide your clients with outstanding quality and fair pricing, at the end of the day, your goal is to secure as many sales as possible. Friends act altruistically, while as a business owner, you need to look out for your business first and foremost. And make no mistake - many customers who act friendly with you do so partially because they count on additional benefits resulting from this, even if subconsciously. Setting healthy boundaries is the key to maintaining a relationship that is fair, profitable and sustainable for both sides.

Why are we discussing it first? Because when talking about “getting to know your clients”, we need to draw a very distinct line between getting to know them as customers and getting to know them as people. What you really want is to learn their consumer behaviours and information that is relevant to your job. You want to know, for example, whether your client has acne-prone skin because this allows you to target them with special offers for microdermabrasion. It’s not the same as asking them for the details of their divorce, is it?

The challenges of managing client information

How can you learn more (relevant!) information about your customers? That part is relatively easy. Asking questions about the client’s skin type, hair history or cosmetics they use on a daily basis should be a part of the initial consultation (not to mention that they make a brilliant conversation starter).

The more difficult part is storing and managing the information. As you probably know, the way personal information is used is regulated by The Data Protection Act, the UK’s implementation of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). According to it, information must be:

  • used fairly, lawfully and transparently
  • used for specified, explicit purposes
  • used in a way that is adequate, relevant and limited to only what is necessary
  • accurate and, where necessary, kept up to date
  • kept for no longer than is necessary
  • handled in a way that ensures appropriate security, including protection against unlawful or unauthorised processing, access, loss, destruction or damage

As you can see, this means that there is not much room for mishaps when handling even the most basic data. If you are used to taking notes and storing appointments in a notebook or some unreliable “free to use” scheduling app, it would be wise to reconsider. A paper notebook can get lost or destroyed easily (coffee accidents, anyone?), which is bad on its own, but problems with “free to use” apps go way deeper.

Free things require other sources of funding, and unfortunately, sometimes they decide to go the shameful way of selling the data of their clients. And even if they do not do so intentionally, such apps usually lack proper maintenance and therefore are prone to data leaks. What does this mean for you? If you fall victim to either of these situations, you are guilty of breaking the Data Protection Act and will be fined, as it’s you who failed to handle customer information in a way that ensures safety.

Now, believe it or not, it can get worse.

There are certain pieces of information with even stronger legal protection, as they are considered “sensitive”. They include:

  • race
  • ethnic background
  • political opinions
  • religious beliefs
  • trade union membership
  • genetics
  • biometrics (where used for identification)
  • sex life or orientation
  • health

Mind the last point - health. One of the most essential pieces of information you gather on your client is their allergies to certain products or ingredients. According to the Data Protection Act, this is sensitive information, so if it gets leaked or stolen, you may seriously land in a hot water.

Is there a way to avoid such risks? Of course! All you have to do is store your data in trustworthy software. Booksy is 100% compliant with GDPR and uses a cloud-based server that is carefully safeguarded. Furthermore, you can choose the levels of access your staff have regarding clients, which gives an additional level of protection. There is no room for a data breach if you use Booksy!

Making your sales and marketing more effective than ever

If you know your clients’ consumer behaviours, you can target them with offers that are much better personalised. Booksy makes it even easier for you, storing your customers' appointment history, which gives you an even better insight into their habits and interests.

You can use this knowledge in many ways. The most obvious and simple (yet super effective) is sending birthday wishes with a special invitation for their favourite service, or encouraging your female clients to book a relaxing treatment as a Women’s Day treat. But you can get even more creative - for example, you can search your Booksy database for clients who have booked a given service, and target them with a campaign where you encourage them to try a complimentary treatment. People are way more willing to try something new if you advertise it by saying it has been hand-picked for you by the specialist accordingly to their previous choices!

Find more ideas for marketing campaigns using advanced targeting in our dedicated article on the topic.

Now, you can also master the art of cross-selling much easier if you know your clients better. As we’ve already discussed, our industry is all about the personal approach. If your customer sees that you remember their problems and preferences, there is a big chance that they will be happy to try the products or treatments you recommend.

How can this work in practice? Let’s say you have a client who shared their oily scalp struggles with you. During the next appointment, you show them a container of a purifying hair mask and tell them that you were thinking about their problem and found a product that can help. Simple yet effective!

Even the smallest titbit of information can be used to your advantage. For example, if you note what your client’s favourite coffee or tea is, you can surprise them next time with a ready cup done exactly the way they like it. Customer service like that makes people happy and more prone to buying more products and treatments.

Everything at the tip of your fingers

Booksy is not only the most secure way of storing your clients' data, but also comes with multiple useful features that make it easier for you to promote your business. It’s all in the detail! For example, there is a special section for notes in the customer records section, so that you can save any info you want and be reminded of it whenever the client comes for another visit. You can filter the customer database in multiple ways, send personalised marketing messages with just a few clicks and so much more. See how much Booksy can change the way you run your business for the better!

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