Salon Digital Summit: How to Generate Salon Reviews and Respond to Negative Ones

At the Salon Digital Summit, hosted by MODERN SALON, SALON TODAY and NAILS, Phorest’s Chris  Brennan showed salon owners and service providers how manage how people talk about you and your business.

“Managing your digital reputation is about taking control of the online conversations people are having about your business,” he said. “Today people expect great service and when they get it they don’t necessarily go out and tell everyone, but when they get bad service, they definitely will voice it.”

Brennan stressed the four keys to controlling your digital reputation are quality, consistency, patience and listening.

Why are online reviews so important to your digital reputation? According to Brennan, 84% of people completely trust the recommendation of family and friends, and 88% of people complete trust online reviews as much as personal referrals.

“Online reviews are absolutely vital to the success of your digital reputation. They are the current that keeps your river flowing,” Brennan says, who encouraged attendees to visit Phorest’s booth at the show to have a digital reputation audit. “The more reviews you get on Google impact how high your salon ranks in Google search results—it’s Google’s way of saying, ‘This salon is a place of note.’”

Brennan recommended that salons generate reviews by asking for them from their top clients. “Craft an email that politely asks them to write a review for the salon on Google, Facebook or Yelp and try to incentivize them with something like a sample when they come in for their next visit. This shows them it matters to you and you really appreciate. Don’t ask for five stars, ask for an honest review, but ask your best clients.”

Brennan shared a sample of how salons could phrase the request:

Dear (Insert Beloved Client’s Name)

We have something special for you!

If we could request just two minutes of your busy day to leave a review on Google, then we would be delighted to provide you with 50 bonus TreatCard points as a reward!

We love what we do! And we want to ensure that others who come across us get an honest opinion of what we are all about. So in order to receive your bonus TreatCard points, all you have to do is click this link and leave a review!

Thank you so much, and I can’t wait to see you at your next appointment!

Brennan also recommended asking clients right while they are in the salon. “After a service or treatment, they are at their highest point of loving you. Keep a tablet at the station that makes it easy for them to log on and leave you a quick review,” he says. “When they do, give them a goody bag, or enter them into a raffle for a larger prize.”

When clients do have a negative experience, Brennan says 45% will engage in social care by emailing or direct messaging the salon before writing a bad online review. The reason most people complain is because they have a problem and are looking for a solution, they simply want to vent, or they are disappointed and want you to know for the next time.

“Try to respond quickly,” Brennan suggests. “42% of customers complaining on social media expect a 60-minute response time.”

Brennan cautions not to delete people’s complaints unless they are vulgar or obscene, and don’t lash out either. “That will only take people who already like you and are reading it, and change their mind,” he says. “Have a response script ready that you can copy and personalize it so it doesn’t seem like spam. Try to take the conversation offline as you work to resolve the issue.”

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