In an era of price-conscious buying, it’s tempting to think that customers always want the lowest prices for the products and services that they buy. But in the case of a hair salon, the opposite can be true. Let’s take a look at the economics in practice.

Veer away from discount sites

1. Offer hair services at low prices, and yes – customers will come in initially. But those customers who are only shopping around for the cheapest price are unlikely to be loyal to you (and there will always be a Groupon, Treatwell or other promotion from a competitor up the road). The more of these customers that you get, the harder it will be for your loyal regulars to book in and you could find yourself losing their business.

2. Equally, when prices are low you need to get through more customers a day in order to maintain your margins. This means putting less emphasis on your time with the customer, shortening their appointment and generally having less scope overall for the ‘value add’ experience which typifies a great salon. Remember, many customers go to the hair salon to relax, take a break and enjoy some luxury. A cheap cut may be enticing from one perspective, but they will miss the little extras and the friendly touch that really create a memorable experience.

3. Low pricing models can work for some salons, but these tend to be businesses designed entirely around low-cost delivery. They will have a high turnover of customers, offer rapid cut options and keep prices low by offering a no-frills service. Think very carefully before considering this type of move as you may need to adjust your entire business model to accommodate it.

Regulate your prices

1. By keeping your prices at a more realistic level, you can enjoy a healthy margin per booking and forget trying to pack in as many punters as possible! Instead, you can allocate a realistic amount of time per customer and give them the superb experience that makes your salon memorable and keeps them coming back. With the pressure off and the revenue in, you can take the time to chat to them, offer a quality hot drink, give them magazines to read and offer a range of complimentary add-on services to really entice them into staying. You can also afford to keep your salon looking great and invest in luxurious extras such as great towels and top quality products that will set you apart as being an excellent salon of choice.

2. Crucially, by having the time to focus on the relationships with your customers, you will gain a loyal base of fans who are likely to refer you to their own friends and family. This powerful referral marketing means that you don’t need to spend as much on your own promotional activity, so the efforts that you put into service have a multiplying positive effect.

Improve customer experience

Remember, hairdressing and aligned services are all about experience and relationships. You are welcoming in customers who want to escape their daily tasks and jobs and who are paying to be pampered and revived with great quality services from friendly and professional staff, in the right surroundings. If you do want to offer any kind of price-based incentive, consider a ’10th cut for free’ loyalty card, or an add-on service offer to encourage them to buy more from you.

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