For salons, revenue hinges on calls and appointments. But many salons have an expensive phone answering problem.
On average, salons fail to answer 10-25 calls per day. That amounts to hundreds (even thousands) of dollars in lost revenue each week.
Virtual salon receptionists can answer missed calls so you don’t lose customers and free salon staff to focus on servicing their clients and perfecting their craft.
Beyond answering calls and recording messages, some creative virtual salon receptionist solutions also exist to elevate the customer experience and differentiate your salon.
Where Salons Struggle With Client Communication
Salons are unique operations. Often, stylists or technicians are actually independent contractors who rent space from the owner and wear multiple hats.
Because of these dynamics, salon communication tends to break down in a few ways:
- Salon receptionists are too busy to answer the phone: When salons do have full-time receptionists, they typically manage and confirm appointments, sell retail products, assist customers, order supplies and handle client communication. Depending on the size of the salon, they could also help with hiring and training new staff. Managing so many responsibilities means it’s impossible to answer every phone call, especially during peak times.
- Few salons can afford full-time receptionists: For most beauty salons, hiring a dedicated receptionist is too expensive. The stylist, manager or owner often fills this role, answering the phone and greeting and transacting clients. During times of high traffic, stylists must choose between missing calls and potential revenue or ignoring paying clients.
- Technicians use their personal cell phones: Because stylists act as their own business units, they typically communicate with clients on their personal cell phones. Owners lose sight into these conversations and can’t forward clients to their stylists when they call the salon, creating a fragmented customer experience.
5 Virtual Salon Receptionist Solutions
Hair appointments are highly personal. Most patrons call the salon or text their stylists directly to schedule an appointment. But when the weekend rush hits, callers get sidelined.
Simple upgrades in your business communication system can maximize your answered calls while maintaining a high level of customer service.
One immediate solution is virtual salon receptionists. These services often vary in features and options that may appeal to select salon owners.
When weighing your options, consider these five virtual salon receptionist features that will make your business more efficient.
1. Automated Text Messaging
SMS is a natural fit for salons, especially with a booming generation of texters.
Customers are accustomed to texting and chatting with businesses; 78% of people wish they could have a text conversation with a company. And texts get read, too. The open rate for text messages is 98%, with 90% read within three seconds.
Automated SMS gives customers immediate assistance so you can focus on delighting in-store clients. Instead of waiting for you to call them back, customers get instant answers to questions or receive links to schedule appointments digitally.
Answering services like Numa text back callers and automatically respond to common questions, allowing stylists to serve more customers. Numa also transcribes voicemails, so receptionists can filter quickly through spam calls and focus their time on serving customers.
2. 24/7 Service (Live or Automated)
Typical salon hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. But that doesn’t mean customers only call within that time frame. Without a 24/7 answering service, you’re missing most of these calls and revenue opportunities.
Not all answering services offer 24/7 support. So if you want to be available to customers any time of day, be sure to select a service with this feature.
By implementing a 24/7 virtual receptionist service, you will never leave your customers in the dust (or force your stylists to field calls and texts at all hours).
3. Call and Text Message Routing
Most salon technicians don’t have direct lines, so routing calls isn’t possible.
Answering services can forward calls directly to a technician’s cell phone from the main business number.
For text-centric salons, tools like Numa can also route text messages to the correct stylist without any employee intervention.
4. Appointment Scheduling
A staggering 35% of customers book appointments after business hours. Even if you have a 24/7 answering service, many services only record messages and can’t schedule client appointments for you, which means those leads quickly fizzle out.
Answering services like Numa text customers who call after hours and can send them to your appointment booking page, saving you from playing phone tag the next day (or worse, missing appointments altogether).
5. Multilingual Operators
Are language barriers turning customers away from your salon?
About 15-20% of Americans are bilingual, and some people prefer to communicate in their first language. But bilingual receptionists are more expensive than less specialized resources. Instead of hiring a bilingual receptionist, stick to virtual salon answering services.
Numa’s answering service can transcribe and respond in any language. If someone texts you in Arabic, you see the transcribed conversation and Numa responds in that language.
Multilingual options are powerful tools for capturing more appointments and can help your salon stand out.
Is a Virtual Receptionist Right for Your Salon?
Unsure whether you need a virtual salon receptionist?
Here are five signs it might be time to make the switch:
- Your customers struggle to get a hold of you
- You miss phone calls while servicing clients
- Your voicemails rarely get checked
- You’re constantly playing phone tag with customers to schedule and reschedule appointments
- Your stylists are continually fielding phone calls throughout the workday instead of focusing on customers
Help More Clients With Numa
Instead of stepping away from clients to answer the phone, rely on virtual salon receptionists like Numa to rescue your missed calls.
Numa is an AI answering service that directs callers to text messaging and assists with appointment booking.
Here’s how it works:
- When customers call your business, Numa gives them the option to receive a text message when you don’t answer the phone.
- Once the caller engages, Numa texts the customer and can answer questions about your business or send links to your online calendar so clients can book or cancel appointments.
With Numa, you can text-enable your business landline in minutes, gain visibility into text conversations and book more appointments with fewer resources.
Want to see Numa in action? Schedule your free demo today.