How long is too long when it comes to trying to woo back a missing client? That’s a really tricky question, but let’s take a look and see what can be done.

 

To be honest, I’m all for an optimistic approach to re-activating a missing client. After all, what harm can you do? The worst-case scenario is that the client won’t come back and remains a missing client. But the best-case scenario is that she’s been waiting for just the right opportunity to come back to your salon because she was wishing she’d never left in the first place.

 

But before we get into how to woo our MIA clients back, let’s take a quick look at why you lost them in the first place. Clients can be a funny bunch, but the truth of the matter is that you and I are both someone’s client too, and I wouldn’t mind betting we’ve done much the same thing in the past as your clients are doing to you – disappearing in a puff of smoke for what seems to the salon owner as no good reason.

 

So, when we wonder why our clients leave us, all we really have to do is look at what made us do the exact same thing to someone else.

 

If we take a quick look at the research statistics, it seems that clients leave for a bunch of different reasons, but some are much more important than others. These reasons include:
They didn’t think you cared about them (I’ve been part of this group). This makes up for a whopping 68% of lost clients so this one is definitely not one to be ignored.
• They weren’t happy with a product or service they’ve received (I’ve been in this one too). This is a lot less at only 14%, but still definitely needs some attention.
• Because they are lured away by a competitor. Another 14% gone here. Could we have avoided this with better communication?
• They move away. This is just a tiny 3% and I don’t think we can force them to stay in the area to suit us.
• And sadly, 1 % pass away (I’m hoping to stay well clear of this reason for moving on!).

 

Ok, so it’s pretty clear why clients jump ship. A massive 82% of clients who leave do so because they didn’t feel that you cared about their needs or they weren’t happy with the service/goods they received.

 

But surely the good news is that now you know this, you can do something about it. Prevention, is after all, better than cure. Don’t you agree?

 

But let’s get back to those clients who’ve drifted away already. What’s it going to take to get them back into your business?

 

Well, if someone on your team really messed up, nothing short of a miracle is going to get them back but, as I said before, there’s no harm in trying. For these MIA clients, you need to do some research to find out what services they had in your salon or spa, and then set about tailoring a really mega offer to bring them back in.

 

Let me be clear. A crappy $10 salon voucher is not going to cut it! The goal here is to GET THEM BACK into your loving embrace. Not to make any profit from them this first time back.
Communication has to be clear and the offer generous if they are going to consider returning. A quick email or SMS will be promptly deleted, so I’m going to suggest you go with the good old snail mail.

 

A well-worded and personalised letter accompanied by a great offer is what you need. Keep the restrictions to an absolute minimum to help get them back.

 

And what about those others who are gone but not forgotten. Well, once a client is outside her normal return time, you need to take action. She may well have just been away or a little short on money, but she might also have gone for her first visit to another salon. If this is the case, you are on your way to having another MIA client so don’t take any chances.

 

Get in touch with her and tempt her back in with a nice offer. Something tailored to what she’d enjoy so she’ll find it hard to refuse.

 

Personalisation is key to communication with missing clients. Showing them that you know who they are and what they had when they were coming to you. The offer itself depends on the amount of time the clients has been missing (the longer the period the better the offer) and the value of the client to your salon. After all, a client who spends $100 a week with you is worthy of more than a client who spends $25 month.

 

To help ensure you are aware of when clients go missing, be sure to run your missing clients report regularly and then take action promptly. Sitting and worrying what went wrong won’t bring back your clients, but the right action taken swiftly might just bring them back before they’ve been gone too long.

 

Pam Stellema
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Pam Stellema

Pam is an industry experienced coach, salon owner, speaker, author and copywriter.She works beside salon and spa owners to show them how to effectively grow their profits and remain in business for the long-term.
Pam Stellema
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