Client connection

Ross Hansen explains why every salon should have free customer Wi-Fi.

As hair salons in the UK begin to open up again after the lockdown, they have a range of considerations to take into account. Safety is paramount, of course, and it’s understandable that this would be foremost in salon owners’ thoughts.

But Wi-Fi is another consideration that should not be forgotten – if salons don’t have a free Wi-Fi connection for their customers to enjoy, then they’re missing out on a range of benefits. Here’s why.

Customer entertainment

There can be a lot of waiting around at salons, and so it’s always advisable to keep customers as entertained as possible. Although magazines are a good choice, nothing can compete with the limitless entertainment potential offered by your customers’ own phones. Whether it’s browsing the internet or using apps like Instagram, WhatsApp and Snapchat, a phone with an internet connection would be incredibly convenient for them while they wait.

Most people have some form of data package with their phones nowadays, of course, but signal can be a common and frustrating problem – especially indoors. By offering free Wi-Fi, your customers will know they won’t have to worry about their unreliable phone signal.

Increased visibility

Going to the salon is a highlight for many people, and rightly so – they’re finally able to get that long-awaited haircut, or that new colour they’ve been dreaming about! This excitement is only enhanced after the long wait during lockdown, and so your customers will likely be eager to share the results with their friends and family as quickly as possible. By offering a complimentary Wi-Fi connection, your customers will be able to share those mirror-selfies in real time – and possibly even tag your salon in a social media post. Visibility and word of mouth are everything, and social media is a key part of this. By smoothing your customers’ ability to connect with the outside world while in the salon, your business will reap the benefits.

Make sure that your social media handles are clearly signposted to increase the likelihood of customers visiting or tagging your salon’s page. Or you could go one step further and offer incentives (such as a small discount) to customers who sign up to your mailing list or ‘check-in’ to your salon on social media.

Returning customers

Creating an enjoyable environment for customers is one of the key considerations for salon owners. If customers don’t enjoy the time they spend in your salon, they are obviously unlikely to return. Whether it’s music, comfy seats, or complimentary drinks, there are a range of small details that combine to create a stellar experience. Free Wi-Fi is another detail that shouldn’t be forgotten. Although it may seem like a simple gesture, it adds to the overall customer experience, and so it should be seen as a crucial part of your overall strategy to create a base of loyal, happy customers.

Security considerations

Although the risks are small, it’s still worth considering some of the security measures you can take to make your Wi-Fi connection as secure as possible – especially when the password may be prominently advertised for all to see.

The right balance has to be struck here. You’ll want your free Wi-Fi to be obvious to any potential customers, but you also don’t want anyone passing by on the street to take advantage of your generosity. Only display the password itself inside the salon and choose one that’s not too obvious. Instead of including your salon name in the password, why not get creative? A funny password might be a good talking point with customers – and it would have the added advantage of being memorable, too.

It goes without saying, of course, that you should choose a completely unique password – using the same password across multiple accounts is asking for trouble, especially if sensitive data is involved.

It’s a busy time for salon owners right now, and when it comes to opening up again after lockdown safety must be the top priority. But small details such as a free Wi-Fi connection for your customers shouldn’t be forgotten either. It’ll help your customers to feel more at home and enable them to connect with the outside world from the comfort of the salon – increasing their happiness and your visibility at the same time.