When beauty websites don’t do what they say on the tin

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The primary focus of any beauty website is to attract, educate and hopefully generate new business leads (and keep existing customers happy). The problem is, most just aren’t beautiful – and I don’t mean from a design perspective. I read a beautiful article recently about how a Google employee often spends time correcting snags and rough edges in order to improve the performance and reputation of Google. Although you may think Google is worlds apart from your beauty business, in fact, you are probably more similar than you may think. You see, even Google sometimes doesn’t do the basics well.

On a basic level, that can be as simple as responding (or even opening emails sent to you via users of your website). If you have a contact page or email address on your website, then please respond or at least acknowledge when a potential customer contacts you via this method. What’s significant about email and especially customer enquiries, those that respond and respond the quickest, are those that often get the transaction.

The same can be said for telephone numbers and online bookings. If you are going to advertise your phone number online, please do answer it, or at least have a polite answer phone message, saying you are currently in treatments but leave a message. In this case, make sure you respond in a timely manner ASAP. Online bookings are a particular bugbear of mine. I cannot tell you how many beauty websites I have come across where they have a menu item ‘book now online’ and you arrive on the page to find a simple contact enquiry form. That’s not online booking! You raise the expectations of your online audience, only for them to be shattered by a simple contact us form. Please don’t have book now menu items it you are really not going to offer this slick service.

These may all sound very basic, but every single beauty salon website is guilty in some form of the above. The Google employee described these as dial tone moments. The problem, is most salon owners and employees are striving to achieve magical moments, and fall short of the very basics.

And there’s more online dial tone moments…

Prices. I recently visited a website where I found 3 different prices for a Swedish Massage. How can customers trust you to deliver a magical Swedish massage, when you can’t nail those simple dial tone moments? The lesson here is to ensure that someone regularly checks your website content and any anomalies are ironed out. Better still, keep prices listed to a single page. That will make for less confusion and makes it really easy to update.

Special Offers. There’s nothing special about offers that have expired. Please up-date your special offers page, even if it states you currently have no special offers. How about putting this… But hey, whilst you are here why not leave your email and we’ll notify you when they become available. This is a great example of a persuasive CTA and landing page example and a real opportunity to grow your business.

The best attempt by a website to create a magical moment has to go to the website that describes it’s massages as muscle melting. Really? Talk about over egg the pudding and trying to reach out for that magical moment. It was such as shame that the same website in question was guilty of ‘book online’ only for me to find a contact us page.

The moral to this story is to ensure that you spend time fixing out those little annoyances and snags that affect your website visitors on a daily basis. There are some real gains to be made and I would strongly urge you to encourage your employees to regularly look for those snags and rough edges where your performance could improve. Get them to view your website not just on desktops but on their mobile and tablet devices. And don’t just undertake this task online, pay attention to the basics in your salon as well.  We pay too much attention to trying to build a better product or service, only to forget about the very basics. Unfortunately, as Brits, we all know too well that when we do the basics badly, these are what most consumers remember and go on to tell at least 10 others about it.

What you should do now

If you are serious about having a great website, you should read my blog, it’s packed with ideas and suggestions to help improve your site.

If you’d like me to dramatically improve your website and bring you new customers, visit my website designs for small businesses in Birmingham and then contact me for more information.

And if you have any comments or questions about this article, contact me.

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