If you’re like most small business owners, your salon or spa has a tight budget and little extra time to spend growing your business. You need to prioritize the cheapest, fastest source of growth: client retention (i.e. getting regular customers to return and winning back lost customers).
Acquisition vs. Retention
A common mistake salons and spas make is focusing on acquiring new clients before they understand if and how they can retain their current and prospective clients. New client acquisition is expensive because you usually have to pay to reach potential customers with your message, which means paying for traditional or social network advertising to access and target those people. But if most of those new customers you successfully reach don’t stick around, you have to keep pouring more money into finding new customers.
However, customers who are familiar with your business and have a positive impression of your salon or spa are easier to convert than new customers that don’t know who you are. They’re also cheaper to reach, since you already have a current customer database (list of email addresses or phone numbers) you own and continue to build up, without having to pay fees to third party advertisers or platforms.
How to Increase Retention
In order to increase client retention, you need to have a plan in place. Here are some tips to consider:
1. Communicate With Your Clients. Especially with first time clients, communicating throughout their experience ensures that they are receiving what they want and will make them excited to come back. Train your front desk to ask for feedback at checkout and to listen for key words such as “okay” or “fine” so they can inquire about any possible concerns or complaints your new client may have. A client should never leave your salon or spa feeling as though they didn’t receive the experience that they had been looking forward to all week!
2. Make a Good First Impression. From your front desk greeting with a warm smile to the stylist offering something to drink, your client should feel welcome. Creating some business-wide standards will ensure your employees know their responsibilities for catering to each and every client that walks through the door.
3. Set Retention Goals. Creating goals for your service providers and posting reports in the break room can foster healthy competition between your employees. Also, try using a performance bonus or some gift cards to help incentivize your team to meet their goals.
4. Pre-book, Pre-book, Pre-book! Before your client leaves the salon, make sure they pre-book their next appointment. Behind the Chair suggests refraining from the phrase “Would you like to book your next appointment?” Instead, try recommending a date and time, so the client feels compelled to schedule an appointment.
5. Personal Touch. Sometimes client retention isn’t just about providing excellent service. Taking the time to handwrite “thank you” notes to your clients and connecting with them on Facebook can help build loyalty and trust that will keep them coming back for more!
Your salon software or spa software must be able to track client retention based upon any number of factors that are relevant to your specific business, demographic, and market. ProSolutions gives you the ability to define how many visits in a set time period constitutes “retention,” track retention based on service or retail, compare your retention with other prior time periods, and even track retention for individual employees. These reports give you the power to capture the quickest, most efficient growth metric available to you…. client retention!