grow your business, grow your salon, Howto, salon tips, small business, Uncategorized

Salon Pricing: How to raise prices without losing customers (A guide for Covid-19 and beyond!)

As many salon owners revisited their prices during Covid-19 reopenings, there have been numerous discussions around one of the lesser talked about yet very crucial questions: How to increase salon prices without losing any clients in the process? 

And even though there is enough content out there on how to set the right prices for your salon, not a lot of people talk about what comes next: Announcing your new pricing to your clients. 

As business owners, you’d probably agree that clients respond well to changes if they are explained properly and well in advance – which makes effective communication the key to a successful price hike. 

Done right, effective pricing communication can help you increase your profits and save you from losing customers in the process – whether you are the owner of a beauty salon, hair salon, nail salon, or barbershop! 

That’s why we created this piece of content to provide you tips on pricing communication and highlight the right channels to communicate your pricing. Here’s what you’ll find inside: 

  1. How to communicate the increase in prices effectively?
  2. Where to update your salon prices: 5 crucial communication channels
  3. How to respond to a pricing complaint? 
  4. Conclusion

Use this guide for communicating Covid-related price hikes or a general surge in pricing for your salon business. You can click on any link above to jump to the relevant topic, or start from the beginning with the next section. 


How to communicate an increase in salon prices effectively?

Here are a few things to keep in mind when looking to notify your salon clients of a price increase.  

1. Be transparent and confident

The key to winning your customers’ trust is transparency! 

  • Keep your message short and clear. Don’t hide any charges from clients. 
  • Maintain an explanatory tone throughout the conversation/message/email. Explain the reason for a price raise. The explanation should be in terms of how higher prices would mean higher quality for clients. Focus on the ‘value’ that they’re going to receive.
  • Remember that you’re not doing anything wrong by increasing your charges. Understand the client’s perspective and convey your value. But you shouldn’t ask for forgiveness for the same.
  • When customers feel that your prices are too high, maintain composure. Stand your ground and be confident about the higher rates. Being sorry for your increased prices can convey the wrong message to your customers. 
  • Don’t be rude, but stay confident. Remind them how they love getting pampered at your salon, and the high-quality services you offer. Reinforce your value! 

2. Announce price changes in advance instead of letting clients find out when they visit

You don’t want to surprise (or shock) your clients with a sudden, unexpected update in your price menu on their visit, and potentially lose them! If you don’t announce a price increase to your customers in advance, you might have to deal with angry clients in your salon, demanding justification. In some cases, you might even lose them!

Therefore, it is best to let your clients know in advance of the price hike. They’ll be prepared to pay a higher price for their favorite haircut or hair color!

The more you prepare your clients, the less likely they are to resist the change in service charges. 

While price change might make you lose some of your clients, a prior announcement would make things better. Give them adequate time to adjust and manage their finances and make the implementation of new prices easy for them. 

You owe them the possibility to consider alternatives and manage their budget. A month’s notice is good, while two months ahead would be perfect!

Bonus: There’s another benefit of announcing the price increase in advance. When customers get to know that the prices of their favorite salon services are about to increase,  they might want to book an appointment to lock in the deal on existing prices. 

This might lead to a peak in business during the period between the announcement and effective dates of new prices! You can also boost your sales during this period by offering attractive deals and discount packages. 

Client getting her makeover ahead of price increase in salon

3. Understand what value means to your clients

Your price raise might be an attempt to deal with increased rent, new trend training, product and shipping fee hikes, or annual employee raises. Your costs have risen, so higher prices are necessary to keep pace with salon industry advancements. 

While these are legitimate reasons for increased prices, this is not what your customers might want to pay for. Or this is not exactly how they’d like to hear it. What they would like to hear is how higher charges mean better quality and services for THEM!

The key is to convey the value to your customers. Tell them that your staff is trained to deliver the latest trends at the best quality, that their favorite products are costlier. During COVID19, you can tell them how you’re ensuring top-notch cleanliness and hygiene standards. 

And don’t forget: Actions speak louder than words! Show them the value of increased salon prices through your excellent services. Pamper each guest like they’re your sole customer. Provide the highest service level each time they come to your salon so that all your guests will appreciate the higher prices. 


4. Have answers to FAQs ready

When your customers find out about price hikes, they might have numerous questions, like “ABC salon right across the street is charging less”, or “Why have you raised the prices, XYZ salon hasn’t”.

When you talk of increased prices, be prepared to deal with comparisons. This is when you need to differentiate yourself from your competitors. Here’s where you need to pitch in your salon’s USP, for example, a niche service that your salon offers! It could be anything that makes your salon stand out. 

Be ready to deal with your clients’ questions, remarks, and comparisons, with a smile on your face. Just talk it out and focus on your salon’s value proposition. 

Salon stylist talking to customer about prices while giving a haircut

5. Announce prices directly to your clients

Communicate the price hike in their favorite services to your regulars on a call. Or, if possible, convey it directly when they’re sitting in the chair. This will give them a chance to ask questions and have an honest conversation with you. 

For the other guests, write emails, text messages, or letters to customers to inform them about your price increase and updated service menu. Throughout your communication, make sure:

  • Your message is to the point and easy to understand
  • The text contains the exact date of the price hike
  • To maintain an explanatory tone 
  • You thank your customers for choosing you

To help you inform your salon clients of a price hike, we’ve crafted some email templates that you can use, in COVID19, or otherwise. Just leave your email address below and download the absolutely FREE templates!


Where to update your salon prices: 5 crucial communication channels

Knowing the ‘how to’ of pricing communication without knowing the ‘where to’ is not going to be as effective. Moreover, to avoid any communication errors, don’t forget to update the changes to your online profiles. 

So here we’ll tell you the places – online and offline – where you should definitely announce your updated prices! 

These are the most important and common channels of communication. You should ensure that you update your prices at any other place specific to your salon. 

1. Your salon

The first and foremost channel for communicating new prices is your salon! 

Ahead of the implementation of prices, convey all your salon guests. Put out the notice on your salon door, reception area, mirrors, and wherever it can catch their eye. Also, convey that charges will be more the next time while billing. 

Highlight the effective date in your notice. And don’t forget to mention if the raise is applicable to specific services or valid across the board and how much.  

If you have multiple physical locations, ensure that you display the information in each of your shops. Instruct all your staff members about the same, so that they can handle any questions that clients may have.


Here’s a template for your salon signage:

Dear customers, 

With effect from <Date>, <Salon Name> will be introducing a price increase by a small amount of x% (or $x). This will help your favorite salon continue to deliver the best quality services without any compromise. 

Thank you for choosing us. 

Looking forward to making you look and feel your best!

Love, 

<Salon Name>

Salon owner responding to client's pricing complaint

2. Your salon website

This is the most important online communication channel for your salon business. While your prices might not be the first thing clients see on your website, a price increase should be clearly visible. 

You can convey this information to your website visitors in multiple ways:

  • Notice: You can simply put a short and clear message on your website as a notice. It should convey the necessary information, i.e, the effective date and amount of increase. 
  • Banner: Put up a banner on your website that conveys your message in an eye-catching way. 
  • Pop-up: You can choose to inform only those guests who are willing to make an appointment with you. Configure a pop-up that announces your price increase when your client goes to the book button on your website. 

3. Your booking portal

The next most important online channel to communicate an increase in prices to your customers is your booking page. This is where your customers will land when they want to book an appointment with you. Therefore, mentioning your updated prices here becomes imperative to avoid any miscommunication.

With a good salon scheduling software, like Appointy, you can easily update your prices. You can put up a banner as a pop-up on your booking page announcing price changes, Or, you can add it in the service description.  


4. Your social media handles 

Post the price increase notice on your social media handles. That’s where your clients engage with you!  Prepare a catchy poster that conveys your message clearly and on point. You can use the banner you used on your website (if you did). 

Put it up as a post or story on your social media handles, especially the more popular ones like Facebook and Instagram. You can also write an interactive caption with your post. 


Here’s a readymade template for your social media post:

<Salon Name> has been your go-to place to make you look and feel fabulous! To ensure that we continue to deliver the absolute best quality and experience to you at our salon, we’re introducing a brand new price menu!

The new prices will be effective from <Date>. We’re offering transitionary discounts until then for the customers who wish to get pampered at the current prices. Book your appointment now to avail the exciting offers! 


5. Your salon’s marketplace listings

Your salon must be listed on some popular marketplaces like Google MyBusiness, Yelp, Best Salon Guide, Beauty Seeker, etc. Here’s where your salon is available to a larger chunk of clients. So don’t forget to change your prices here!

Put up a banner for your update in prices. Another option is to just write in brief about the new prices, and include a link that redirects people on your pricing/booking page. 


How to respond to a pricing complaint? 

Let’s face it, some guests will definitely be unhappy and protesting towards the new prices. 

But should you simply give in? 

NO!! 

As discussed in the previous section, stay confident about your updated service charges. 

In case your regulars object the increase, help them recall the notice you sent them and displayed in your salon/social media/website/booking page. Remind them how they love your salon and the services, and why they’ve been coming to you for years! You can offer older prices to your grandfather clients for a visit or two before charging the new rates. 

For comparatively newer guests, just try to talk it out. Communicate the value you deliver at higher prices. And a few things you should keep in mind during this conversation:

  • Have an honest conversation: Deal with customers on an individual basis. Ask them questions about what exactly they have a problem with. And be open to questions. 
  • Reiterate the value: Focus on the value you deliver to clients through your salon services, and how these prices will help you ensure the best quality. 
  • Maintain the right tone: Don’t be impolite or aggressive during the conversation. Maintain your composure. Just keep an explanatory tone throughout the conversation. 

Finally, it’s important to remember that losing a few clients is inevitable. You can expect about 10% of your clients to not rebook after the price increase. Be realistic about it and don’t lose heart. It’s not necessarily a bad thing. 

Don’t panic! 

Not everyone is your target customer. The ones lost owing to increased prices are not your ideal clients. Your higher prices will soon make up for the loss of customers.  And you’ll find new customers who appreciate your services at the rates you charge as well. 

So it’s a win-win for you!

Salon owner talking to client over a pricing complaint

Conclusion

Raising your salon prices is imperative for business growth. Telling your customers about the same effectively is important so that you don’t lose your valuable customers. 

But this is only the beginning. 

When you update your salon pricing, you need to monitor the results it brought out. Track your number easily with Appointy’s salon scheduling software. With its analytics and reporting feature, Appointy lets you create reports based on the date range. You can compare your business a month before and after the new prices came into effect. 

And there’s a lot more you get – a chance to get listed on Reserve with Google, a hassle-free appointment booking system, salon marketing, and client management system, and more. Whether you’re a one-person salon or a fully-fledged salon with locations all over the city/country, Appointy can help you run and grow your business! 

Over 16000 salon professionals around the world place their trust in Appointy. And they love it! 

Testimonial by Danielle Konjolka, a hair and makeup artist, appreciating Appointy’s salon scheduling software

About Appointy

We at Appointy, help business owners grow and run their businesses with our online scheduling software. This blog was a part of our ‘Manage your Business’ category, where we provide expert tips, resources, or simply talk about the challenges that small and medium business face every day. 

If you have any thoughts on this blog, or would like to chat about your business struggles and achievements, let us know in the comments below. 

We love a good talk!