Don’t let valuable seconds go to waste. Connect with clients using on-hold messaging.
So a client calls, but your front desk is extremely busy, so they ask the caller to “please hold.” The client, or should we say, the potential client, is then routed to which of the following:
A. cheesy ’80s music
B. nothing at all (just dead air)
C. a 30-second rotating spiel about your business offerings, including any new products or promotions
If you answered A or B, you are missing out on a way to connect with your client base. You may not realize this but your hold message says a lot about you. When you have an on-hold message it shows your customers that you are trendy, different, cutting edge and that you respect their time.
An on-hold message is a unique way to connect with and advertise to your customers. While the customer is on hold, recommend current specials and promotions and remind existing clients about different services that you offer. By letting your clients know about upcoming events while they are on hold, you will fill the dead space while they are sitting there impatiently waiting for someone to pick up the phone.
Let’s face it, we have all been in that position before and even 30 seconds of waiting feels like an eternity! While you can have on-hold music, it may cause your customers to drift off. You, as the business owner, need to take advantage of this time and communicate important information about your salon.
“You should not leave anyone on hold for more than one minute and avoid placing customers on hold when possible,” says Julie Shepperly, director of professional services for Milady. “If they are calling, they want something, and if they can’t get you on the phone in a reasonable amount of time they will hang up and you risk losing that client.”
If you do need to put a customer on hold, be innovative with your messaging. Record your own personalized messages as the business owner, and be sure to swap the message out every three months to keep it fresh.
Here are some tips on crafting your hold message:
1. Include music in the background that isn’t a distraction.
2. Promote current services and/or products.
3. Announce any upcoming events.
4. Include audio recordings of clients talking about their experiences.
5. Give options to leave a phone number for someone to return their call if the wait times are too long.
6. Provide a menu of options that the customer can select to get immediate answers (i.e. directions, store hours, etc.).
Dawn Blom, a 28-year industry veteran and owner of Dawn’s Pizzazz Artistic Group and Day Spa in Danbury, Conn., is a strong believer in the on-hold message. “We create the verbiage for the messages ourselves and the on-hold company records it. We typically change our message every eight to 10 weeks,” she says. “It raises the consumer’s awareness of what we offer and what is going on that may not be communicated otherwise. I would recommend it for any business.”
Script from Dawn’s Pizzazz
Each section runs for 10-15 seconds. Non-distracting music acts as a background to Dawn Blom’s voice as she announces the specials, promotions, new services and events for the current quarter at Dawn’s Pizzazz Artistic Group and Day Spa.
“Dawn’s Pizzazz is pleased to offer the Simply Straight Straightening Process, a high performing treatment process. This innovative process will leave your hair beautiful and shiny. Come in today for a consultation with one of our stylists.”
“Protect your skin from the harmful effects of the sun and tanning beds with California Sunless Tan. Achieve a natural-looking tan. Come in for an individual tan or purchase a package. Speak to a salon coordinator for more information.”
“Feeling a little stressed these days? Let Dawn’s Pizzazz Artistic Group and Day Spa become your personal retreat. We offer massage, facials, and pedicures whether you have a little or a lot of time. Dawn’s Pizzazz has the perfect solutions to help erase the stress of every day.”
“Dawn’s Pizzazz would like to say thank you for helping us to become one of the top 200 fastest-growing salons in the country.”
“Nothing nourishes your skin better than a spa facial. And there’s no better place to put your best face forward than at Dawn’s Pizzazz. We offer hydrating and facial peels all addressed to meet your unique skin care needs.”
“Dawn’s Pizzazz has a referral plan in place. It’s as simple as that. Refer three new clients to your stylist or three new clients to your esthetician and they’ll receive 15% off and you’ll receive a free service!”
Obviously, no customer wants to be put on hold. But if your lines are busy and there is no other option, make the experience as painless as possible.
Steve Gomez is a Milady coach and trainer. With a background in marketing and promotions, Gomez has assisted thousands of salon and spa professionals with accelerating growth through business trainings, specifically targeting increased sales and profits.