The quick and effective way to grow your business is to improve client retention! Almost every company finds that it is cheaper to retain a client than to attract a new one. You already have their attention; take the opportunity to wow them! Encourage them to visit your salon or spa more frequently and to spend more whenever they come (with add-on services or retail products). Take a look at these strategies to increase client retention without being overly aggressive or pushy:
Know Your Customers
A simple way to impress clients and improve retention is to show them that they matter. Did they mention that they have allergies? How do they like their coffee (if you offer beverages)? Keep track of these notes in your salon software program so you don't have to ask these questions every time they come in.
Provide Exceptional Service
It should come as no surprise that clients will return if they are happy with the service they received and the overall experience. Make it a habit to always have a consultation with clients. Understand what they want as the end result and follow through. Use your expertise to give advice whether with styling tips for a new cut or how to make their color last longer. Deliver more than they expect or ask for.
Encourage clients to book their next appointment before they leave your salon or spa. This generally increases their visit frequency (they’re not waiting until they want an appointment before they call in and then have to wait a couple weeks for their desired opening). Explain the benefits of pre-booking to them, like ensuring they get the time they want or for the proper maintenance of their hair color.
Many people are reluctant to admit their dissatisfaction directly to you. They may even be honestly happy with it at the time but after seeing it in different lighting or after waking up the next morning, they don’t love it as much as they first though. Unfortunately, they may not give you a chance to fix it. Instead, these clients may decide to never return, or worse, to vent on social media. Get in the habit of sending a quick text message or email to clients a couple days after their appointment to see if they are still satisfied with the result.
Beyond offering exceptional services and experiences, you can give clients an incentive to return. This can easily be achieved with a loyalty or membership program. With either option, clients are rewarded for spending more and for visiting more often.
Keep Them Engaged
Stay in the mind of your clients with email newsletters and social media posts. Write blog articles and share photos to showcase your ability, knowledge and expertise. Also, include a call-to-action to remind them to book an appointment.
Focus on the Team
Your employees should always be working together and not as individuals. Whenever you walk past another stylist’s chair, compliment the client's new look or the progress so far. Similarly, feel free to call someone over and show off your work. It will boost your guest's self esteem, especially if they are feeling unsure about the new look.
If you ever need to ask another stylist for advice, be sure to introduce them as an expert in the related field. By developing some familiarity between clients and other stylists, it makes them comfortable to switch between stylists if they desire (rather than leaving for another salon to avoid that awkwardness) and also helps the salon retain clients if a particular stylist leaves.
Not all employees understand the importance of retaining clients. Perhaps they work with many walk-in clients who aren’t particularly loyal to individual stylists or maybe they have a full appointment book so it doesn’t seem to matter if clients don't return. While this attitude may not have much effect in the short run, it can be costly to your business in the long term.
Drill it in your employees’ minds that client retention is a high priority. Consider running a contest where the stylist with the highest client retention rate is rewarded or where everyone gets a bonus if they meet a client retention goal as a team.
Set a quarterly goal to raise the customer retention percentage as a team and for each stylist. Regularly run reports through your salon software to track improvement and consistency.