When it comes to running your hair extensions business, managing your existing and future clients is one of the most rewarding parts of the process. Through the services you offer, you can quite quickly develop genuine relationships with your clients, as you are spending so much time with them caring for their precious locks. In time, you will begin to share information with each other, learning the names of your client’s children, what they do for work, and other details of their lives. This is the beauty of the hair extension industry, it truly has the potential to bring people together.
With this in mind however, there are always ups and downs to every part of a business, and with the highs of wonderful client relationships, there will of course be the lows. Fortunately, when managed correctly, the lows are rare occurrences, and here we will be focusing on client communication, in particular texting, dm's and WhatsApp, and how this can impact on your ability to manage clients.
We will discuss the pros and cons of using this as a method of communication, and solutions to potential problems that could arise in order to help you more effectively manage your business.
Texting, WhatsApp, Dm's and Email
Social media plays such a vital part in the way in which we communicate with the world, so it is easy to see why many people will opt for this quick form of communication when speaking to customers and businesses. You may find that new or existing customers find it easier to message you via Insta and slip into your DM's, or you may find that your customers prefer to add you to a WhatsApp group rather than sending you an email. Each form of communication has its pro's and con's, however the busier you get, the more complicated it will become to manage multiple different forms of contact.
Here we take a look at the pros and cons of each option, to help you decide which will work best for your business and make managing clients simple and professional.
Using WhatsApp To Manage Hair Extension Clients
These days, nearly everyone has WhatsApp, so it makes for a really easy form of communication between you and your customer. You can easily discuss fitting types, prices, and arrange bookings, answer any burning questions, and as it all comes straight through to your phone it is easy to respond quickly. The down side of WhatsApp however, is that it is not a professional form of communication, therefore customer may expect you to reply sooner than you are able to, especially if you show your online status.
Using Instagram DM's To Manage Hair Extension Clients
Instagram is also a really easy place to communicate with your clients, especially as you should be using Instagram to showcase your work, therefore it is only natural that customers may send you a message after seeing some of your work. The downside of Instagram however is very similar to WhatsApp in that your clients may see that you have read their message before you are actually able to sit down and reply, which can lead to frustration on both sides.
Using Email To Manage Hair Extensions Clients
The final most common option is to communicate with your customers via email. You can have a contact form on your website and links to your email on your Instagram profile, and as most of our smartphones are linked to our email you will be updated just as easily and frequently as your would if it were a WhatsApp message or a DM. Email is by far the most professional form of contact, and the easiest to manage, however it does not have the "instant" effect that WhatsApp and Instagram offer.
Online Or Read Messages
As touched on above, one of the biggest issues with WhatsApp and Insta is that customers may be able to see when you are online or if their message has been read, depending on your settings. This can lead to them having the expectation that you will respond to them instantly when it is in fact not convenient for you. Take for instance that you usually use WhatsApp, and a client sends you a message on a Sunday afternoon when you aren't technically working and are at a family BBQ. Your client sends you a message that they are having trouble with their hair, which you read and decide you will respond to first thing Monday morning, a perfectly reasonable response time for a business. As your client is used to messaging you, she may take your "online" status, or the fact that their message has been read to mean you are ignoring them because you aren't replying, when in fact you are simply taking some time off which as a business owner it is very important for your own mental health that you do so. This is where instant messaging, WhatsApp and Insta become very difficult to manage.
Should You WhatsApp or DM Your Hair Extension Customers?
Instant messaging in business is a modern day issue. Rewind 10 years and instant messaging was reserved for personal use only. Now instant messaging is a very common form of communication, especially amongst the younger generation, and many find it to be an easy way to manage clients when running a business.
Instant messaging via WhatsApp or Instagram certainly has its benefits, it’s a very quick and easy way to remind clients of their appointment dates, to schedule in new fittings, or to let your clients know if you are running late. When used for these purposes, it can make life that little bit easier, however this does unfortunately come at a cost.
The biggest issue when it comes to this type of communication and business is that is can all too quickly become personal, with boundaries blurring between when it is and isn’t appropriate to contact you or to expect a quick reply.
If you have made a habit of messaging your clients, they will quickly learn that this is a suitable method of communication between them and you, and will most likely use it as their main form of contact, purely due to the ease of use. This is fine for scheduling in an appointment, however if your client has an issue, expressing the details of this via a message can be very confusing. This is where things very quickly move from being convenient, to a nuisance, and once it has begun it can be very hard to stop.
Using Too Many Methods Of Communication For Your Hair Extension Clients
One of the other issues with having access to so many different forms of communication, is that each of your clients will have a preference over which they use, or they may jump from one to another. You may have people chasing you on WhatsApp and others making enquiries through Insta. You might have someone send you an email, but then reply to your email via WhatsApp, and then the trail of the conversation becomes very complicated. By sticking to one official form of communication you can help avoid these issues, and run a much more efficient business as a result.
Email Is The Best Form Of Communication For Hair Extension Customers
In our opinion, email is the best form of communication for you and your customers. You are able to set yourself up with a business email address so that you can keep all of your work related contacts in one place, and can step away from your email on your days off to ensure you keep a check on your own mental health and down time. In addition to this, by having all of your contacts in one place it will make it easier for you to look back at information you might need, for example digging out a client address, and it will also ensure that you always look professional. That isn't to say that you cant use WhatsApp or Instagram to answer enquires from new customers, as you don't want to miss out on any opportunities, however once they become clients you can quickly move them over to email.
How To Transition Customers To Email
You can do this by answering any questions the customer has, but at the point that they become a customer, be sure to say something along the lines of "Please be aware that to get hold of me quickly, the best way to reach me is via email", or something similar. From that point on you can always encourage them to use this form of contact, and explain that it is the most efficient way for you to stay on top of your client database.
What do you think? Have you struggled to manage clients when texting is involved? We would love to hear your comments.