If you had a choice between buying coffee from a shop that sells great coffee or a one that sells great coffee AND gives its leftovers to the homeless or organizes dream experiences for kids with terminal illnesses, which would you choose? Me, too. Most people with a heart would. People gravitate to places where the team show they care. The same applies to beauty businesses. And research shows your staff will respond the same way, too.
For some clients, it’s not the salon experience alone that drives loyalty. It is those extras beyond the chair that prove those working there are not only talented, but also kind, considerate individuals. Seeing the team carry out acts of goodwill provides a tiny window into the personality behind the professional, and clients love that, especially when the blood, sweat and tears of reaching the goal is shared on social media and email. Being kind might just give you that competitive edge you’ve been searching for.
But using philanthropy to support business growth can take a salon onto risky ground if you’re not careful. If the motivation is solely to promote the brand, clients will see right through it and label it cynical. But when it’s done for the best reasons, good deeds help everyone and everything, including the brand, which is probably why businesses in all industries, from the biggest corporate giants to small, family-owned units are all doing it.
Pulling the team together to do good gives the salon a great buzz because everyone gets to do something that makes them feel good about themselves, while it provides an ideal opportunity to be together for something other than their typical work-day. Also, regardless of whether the fundraiser is ongoing or a one-off, it will take planning, organizing, marketing and, ultimately, delivering by the team, all of which will help build cohesion. The knock-on effect is a team that knows one another better and can revel in the positive vibes together.
Did I mention the planning, organizing and marketing it takes to run a fundraiser? All those additional responsibilities not only build team spirit but also help them develop other skills such as leadership, communication, organization and so much more. Your individual team players will grow as people, and your salon will benefit.
Draw clients tight
Doing something special gives the team a new topic of conversation with clients to keep the chat flowing while resonating with them on an emotional level. This is especially true if you’re working to address a local issue or your efforts are tied to a charity that affects clients or their friends and family. That opportunity to build relationships can have a phenomenal impact on loyalty and give you the edge over competitors.
While most of the focus will be on those you aim to help, on your team to ensure they deliver, and on your clients to add emotional and, hopefully, financial support, getting together for a philanthropic event or program has an additional benefit – it can spread awareness of your brand to other segments of society. It could be new clients, a potential new recruit to the team, or the trigger that encourages someone to embark on a career in beauty. It is an opportunity to show the rest of the world that beauty is a worthy industry which cares deeply about its people and its community.
-by Gabe Ormando, sales manager at Shortcuts Salon & Spa Software
[Images courtesy of Shortcuts Salon & Spa Software]