How to Prepare Clients for your Re-Opening

Grooming Communications

So you’ve been given the green-light to re-open the doors to your salon and allow clients back, you’ve exhaustively cleaned your shop and reviewed new sanitation guidelines with your staff. Now it’s time to initiate communications with your clients to help prepare them for what to expect once they arrive for their post COVID-19 appointment. Staying open will not only require herculean cleaning efforts from your staff, but will also require your clients to adhere to new safety guidelines intended for suppressing the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Many of your clients have been confined to their homes for the past couple of months and will likely require some reassurance from you as a business that you are prepared to keep them safe.

In order to best prepare your clients for what the new normal will look like when they come in, they will need you to walk them through expectations. We here at 123Pet have compiled some best practices to consider when reaching out. Below you will find tips from our very own marketing team who want you to be best prepared in this stressful time.

What you need to be informing your clients on

               Cleaning Pet Salon  1. Reassure clients of your new cleaning protocols

                    123pet services   2. What are the services you will be available to offer

                    123pet booking   3. How your clients should expect to book their appointment

Better your Email and Text Communications

Camilla, 123Pet Campaigns Manager

The Covid-19 virus has many people reconsidering every interaction and as businesses begin to re-open across the US, keeping your clients informed is the key to maintaining your relationships and retaining client loyalty. Here are some tips to help you communicate effectively and win back your customers for a busy (and profitable!) reopening:

Email Communications

Catchy Subject Line – On average, email open rates are between 15-25%. As consumers inbox’s fill up – how do you get your email opened and engaged with over the competition? You need to stand out! The first step to a great email is a great subject line, in fact, 33% of email recipients will open emails because of a catchy subject line. Choose subject lines that create urgency, incorporate a question in your subject line to rise curiosity, use personalization by adding your client’s name, or end your subject line with an eye-catching emoji.

The Right Time – During a time of crisis, when you communicate with customers is as important as what you communicate. You can look at tons of statistics for the best day and time to send an email to your list, but my advice? Although these statistics can help you decide, its best to draw on your own data rather than just go by case studies. Start testing different send times or run reports for prior emails to see what days and times have performed well in the past. This is where a business management software with email marketing and open rate reporting capabilities can help!

The Right Tone – Now you have your catchy subject line in place and a good send time, you need to think about your brand’s tone. Recent weeks have been tough for everyone and as we try and navigate to a new normal, you need to communicate with empathy and transparency. As everyone is being flooded with emails regarding COVID-19, remain considerate in how often you’re sending your emails, make sure the goal of your email is to remain helpful and informative, and ensure you tailor your language to the situation as it evolves. 

Be Clear & Transparent – To maximize the impact of your email, make sure you have a clear goal in mind and keep that focus throughout your message. If your email campaign’s goal is to increase bookings for when you reopen, make sure your email has a clear call to action directing them to book an appointment through your online booking website, social media accounts, or by phone (however your business functions). Keep your emails short and to the point, with the most important information closest to the top. 

It’s impossible to predict what is going to happen, but whether your business is opening within the next few days or weeks – the above guidelines will help you start crafting your communication plan. Just remember to leave room to pivot as the situation changes and ensure you are always showing the humanity behind your business brand.

grooming email campaign

Text Communications

While emails are a great way to communicate – texting is becoming more and more popular among businesses as it provides a greater sense of urgency, with 90% of texts being read within 3 minutes of being received. Utilizing text campaigns alongside your email campaigns is a great way to get the word out efficiently and reach more of your clients. 

If you are considering texting your clients regarding your business reopening, you will want to make sure your texts are brief and focused. When it comes to texting, your message should be no longer than 160 characters – so there isn’t room for any extra fluff. Make sure your text communications clearly state your focus for reopening your business and keep your frequency and timing appropriate to your client’s expectations.

grooming text marketing

Some other things to keep in mind when texting your clients? Get permission! Always make sure your clients have opted in to receiving your texts and always make sure they have a way to opt-out. This is where a business management software with text marketing capabilities can assist you in setting up an automatic system to allow clients to reply with a particular word such as “STOP” to opt-out. You can also encourage opt-ins via email marketing campaigns letting your clients know the value they will gain from receiving your text campaigns. 

grooming website

Optimize your Website for New Business Opportunities

Brock, 123Pet SEO Strategist 

Many of your existing clients know where to find your business and hopefully follow your social channels or are subscribed to your email list and are all set with how to book their appointment.. But you may see a surge of new clients as not all grooming shops are prepared to open and sadly some may never reopen due to financial hardship from this pandemic. The first place these new clients will go to find you is with a search on google to find “dog groomer near me”, this keyword is entered into google 368,000 times a month. Be prepared for increased traffic to your website and be sure your google ‘my business’ account has been updated with accurate address, phone number and link to your website. Additionally, once new users arrive at your website there are a few things you can do to capture new business.

Once the new potential client arrives at your website’s homepage it takes about .05 seconds for them to establish an opinion about your website and evaluate whether or not you offer something they want to purchase. Normally a new client is just establishing whether you have potential to offer what they need, but new clients now are going to be primarily interested in finding businesses that are open. Additionally, 100% of your web visitors see the top hero space of your homepage, but as soon as they have to scroll down it drops to 66% which means your COVID “We’re OPEN” message needs to be above to fold in this hero space. Consider replacing your existing hero banner with covid specific language prompting them to see that you are open and ready to make appointments.

 

grooming social campaign

Amplify your Message on Social

Bria, 123Pet Social Media Manager 

Building social awareness is the fastest way to reach your clients. Your clients are typically on social media, and itching to find out the next update on when you are reopening. Find a way to build momentum, by sharing some of your favorite styles you’ve done 2 weeks prior to opening. Share your excitement about how you can’t wait to style hair and do what you love! A week before reopening, give a date letting your customers know you are preparing to reopen for business. Let them know bookings are open and that you are ready to serve. Most importantly, let your clients know in a creative way, how you are staying clean. Create a fun video of you explaining how you clean your grooming salon, and what you plan to do before and after each customer. Use your Instagram stories to share what you’re doing one by one. Because you are on social media, be open and honest. You want your client to be 100% sure that their stylist has their best interest in mind. Following these steps on social media, will have your salon up and running in no time! 

Now is the time to position your company for success if you have the opportunity to do so. Streamlined communication between you and your staff as well as to your clients will help set a strong foundation for you to propel your business forward. Clients will be nervous, your staff will be nervous and likely you as a business owner are nervous. Don’t ignore the nerves, acknowledge them and do your part to position your staff to follow health and safety guidelines and educate your clients on how they can adhere to those guidelines as well. We love seeing what business owners are doing to innovate during these uncertain times so connect with us via social and share the content you created to reopen and hopefully help you stay open.

Camilla A Mills
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