We talk a lot about how to generate new clients through marketing, but today, I want to flip the script and discuss salon client retention and how it can affect the growth of your business.
We all know and understand that the client is the heartbeat of our business. Most we love and build great relationships with and spend years servicing them. Some visit and never return, but don’t take it personally that’s just how the game goes.
I want you to understand and take away from this article today is this. In today’s business world clients expect a lot more from their salon visit than the past.
The days of just being a great haircutter or hair colorist aren’t enough. We live in a world of exceptional hairdressers, and it’s easier now than ever to find them online.
Today’s modern customer requires nurturing and exceptional experiences. When a new client is searching for new salon millennials, tend to shop by reputation and status, while Gen X look for price and value.
How To Attract The Right Types Of Clients
I think the first step to retaining a new client is to attract the type of person you want to service. Now I’m not suggesting you should not cater to everyone or turn away clients at all. I’m saying we all have an ideal customer we enjoy working with.
In the marketing world, we talk about client avatars all the time. Which means understanding who your ideal customers are and where do they hang out online? Defining your perfect client helps us understand if they will be a good fit for your products and services you offer.
My point here is if we focus at the beginning of client acquisition, our chances of retaining a new client are higher. Let’s focus on some examples of client avatars.
Education: Just finished nursing school.
Status: Single ready to mingle.
Now Stephanie is young and outgoing with a great sense of style. She reads, is athletic, and enjoys going out with her girlfriends on the weekends. Her social media preferences are Instagram, Pinterest, and Snapchat.
Stephanie is just starting her career, and money may be tight, but her image is significant to her. She will research before she chooses a new salon. Her first stop will be Instagram, or she will ask her friends where they go.
Is Stephanie, your ideal client? Why? Where should you focus your marketing efforts to attract her?
Education: College but stays home with her 2 kids.
Status: Married with a house in the suburbs.
Kim is a stay home mom that enjoys scrapbooking and being a mom of her two kids Ella & Jacob. She tries to exercise when she can, but the kids keep her busy during the day. She hardly has time for much until her husband gets home to help her out.
Her husband is an executive at a software company and earns a good living.
Stephanie follows trends but is thrifty when it comes to spending money on such things as her hair. When she does visit the salon, it’s a treat and expects value at a reasonable price point.
She spends much time on social media at night, and Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest are her go-to.
When searching for a new salon, she will read reviews and search Google for a salon near her house. When she finds the right one, she will tell all her friends and leave a positive review.
Do you have clients already like Kim?
Education: College and worked her whole life as a teacher and ready to retire.
Status: Wife, Mother, and grandmother.
On the weekends, you can find mary and her husband spending time with their grandchildren or working in their yard. She loves classical music a glass of wine and a good book on the back porch.
When it comes to her appearance, the easier low maintenance, the better, she doesn’t mind spending the money on her hair as long as it’s a relaxing experience. She is about the relationship and value of the service. Win her over, and you have her for life as a client, and she will buy any product you recommend.
Mary enjoys Facebook and uses it to stay up to date with friends and family but isn’t on very long. She may go onto Pinterest for recipes now and again.
I love Mary’s; how about you?
What Is Salon Client Retention
Now that we have identified our ideal client let’s look at how salon client retention works and why it is essential to our business.
Client retention is based on how many first time clients that visit your salon return within the early 90 days. You might be shocked to learn that the industry average is around 30% for most salons.
For every ten new guests, only three are returning for one reason or another.
Here are a few reasons just in case you might be wondering why clients don’t take a second chance with you.
- Salon Environment
- You didn’t ask them to return
- No relationship connection
- The stylist didn’t listen or ask the right questions
- Fear of commitment
- Who knows for sure 😉
What Are Some Ways To Retain New Salon Clients And Keep Them Coming Back
1. Ask the client to return by rebooking them
Create a strategy for rebooking clients it’s essential to the growth of your business. Clients feel appreciated when you let them know how much it means to you they visited.
Every client wants to be invited back to the salon, but most stylists fall short when it comes to asking them to return.
Fear of rejection or not knowing for sure the client enjoyed their visit or service. Just ask! Better yet tell them this is the date you will need to return to maintain what we did today. Give them two options for the week they will need to return.
2. Create Loyalty
If you are starting and building a new client base having a loyalty program can scale your business pretty fast. Offer an incentive to coming back to see you by giving clients something in return for their business.
If you have an appointment booking app, it’s pretty easy to keep track of visits and loyalty. I suggest finding something to give away instead of discounting your services like every 5th haircut give a bottle of shampoo away for free. I prefer giving away product it’s much cheaper than a service and doesn’t devalue your work.
However, if you must offer a discount try $5 off for rebooking. You will get it back in a tip from the client so no worries.
3. Ask for referrals aND host EventS
Did you know that people love to tell their friends about the experience they had at the salon? A client is more likely to return if they know their friends and family visit the same hair salon.
Lock in the one friend, and before long you will have the whole crew. Offer on the next visit to bring in a friend and make it a party. You might even suggest they treat their girlfriends to a catered blowout party. Just say you have clients do it all the time and it’s such a hit.
4. Email The client Right After Their Visit
Here is one of my biggest tips, and it works! After you finish your day and clean up, sit down and go over your numbers or whatever and email each client for the day.
You will blow them away, and it’s a great way to reach them while they still have you on their minds. I have an example of an email if you want to grab it.
The trick is to keep it personal to their visit by letting them know how much you enjoyed their stay. Mention something you talked about when the client visited. It’s also an excellent opportunity to reschedule them if you didn’t earlier.
Also, boost your Google reviews by asking them if they enjoyed their visit to review you. It helps others find you, and you would appreciate it very much.
5. Do a Facebook retargeting campaign
I know this one may sound out of the ordinary, but we are in a new digital world. With social media being what it is, you can market to clients when they aren’t in the salon or even thinking about you. For as little as a $1 – $5 a day, you can retarget clients that have visited your website within the 90 days.
All you have to do is place a Facebook pixel on your website and run a campaign to them. You can be creative and make it fun here is an example of what it might say and look like.
“Hey fancy seeing you here! Isn’t it time for your next visit to the salon? I thought so click the button and book in right now, so you don’t forget.”
Alternatively, something like that lol. Think outside the box with your marketing.
More Obvious Ways To Focus On salon Client Retention
Listen – Ask – Listen – Research has shown the number one reason clients don’t return is the stylist didn’t listen to the client’s needs. Make sure you have time for a proper consultation built into your services.
You want to listen and believe me; the client will tell you everything you will need to know plus extra. Ask questions based on what you hear from them and then listen carefully once again.
Finish by repeating to the client what you have heard and get the buy-in to move forward.
Pricing & Value – One of the most significant factors, when a new client visits a salon, is price. It’s not the money; it’s the value that comes along with it. People don’t mind spending money with businesses as long as they feel it will give them a valuable return or make them feel good about themselves.
Everyone has a budget they need to stay within. The client has done their research before even contacting you. They know if your services are in their comfort zone. Still, when someone visits you and inside your consultation, you should breakdown the cost before ever putting the drape on.
No one wants to be shocked at the end of services, no matter how amazing they look or feel.
Set Goals & Track Salon Client Retention
It is important to track your numbers when it comes to your salon client retention. Write down or keep a printout posted somewhere in the salon and update it regularly.
The best way to scale your hair salon business is to stick with the 80/20 rule. Focus your attention on 80% of salon client retention and 20% on generating new guest through your marketing efforts.
It is essential to set up a system of automation for staying connected to current clients. Signup to a free MailChimp account and put together a sequence of emails that go out to guest every week. Give tips and tricks, new product announcements, or team member shout outs.
It’s not about the specifics of what you send to make it valuable to your clients. Most salon software systems have the marketing built-in, so take advantage of using it to retain clients.
If you ever have questions feel free to reach out, I’m always happy to help email us