Salon owners often tell me their biggest concern is mastering ways to get more clients into their salons. I tell them that this shouldn’t be their biggest concern; it’s actually getting clients to stay with their salons once they have visited that should be their main focus.
You see, when I ask salon owners how many new clients they get in their salon per week, I am usually told around 5 to 10 new clients. Then I ask them, “so why at the end of the year, don’t you have 250 or 500 more active clients on your database?” The reason of course, is that they are either not retaining those new clients, or they are losing old clients as fast as they are gaining new ones.
So, as you can see, the real problem does not lie so much in poor client attraction, but instead in poor client retention.
Just imagine how fast your salon business and profitability would grow if you could keep every client who came to your salon? It would be pretty damn amazing actually. Well we know that’s not entirely possible. After all research tells us that :
1% of our clients die (can’t do much with his one)
3% move away (can’t do much with this one either)
5% of clients leave because of influence by friends (this means that they weren’t deliriously happy with you)
9% of clients were lured away by competitors (see above)
14% were dissatisfied with your products or services (you can definitely do something about this!)
and a massive
68% of clients were lost due to a perceived attitude of indifference by their service provider.
Wow! What does this tell you? Well, it says that the majority of your lost clients don’t feel listened to or valued. 68% of them are going somewhere else because they think you don’t care about their needs, and 14% felt you didn’t provide a quality service. This is very valuable knowledge because now you know what areas you need to focus on to retain up to 82% of the clients who are walking away and not coming back.
Even the 14% of clients who are being lured away by your competitors or influenced by friends are most likely leaving because they simply weren’t happy but didn’t know where else to go. This means an incredible 96% of lost clients could and should have been retained.
But the good news is that knowledge is power, and now that you know why your clients are leaving you can do something to fix the problems. Let’s look at what you can do to retain more clients.
Problem 1: The technical skills of your therapists are below standard for the price you are asking
Solution: Develop a skills training program for your team. If you have been lucky enough to get some client complaints then you will know where to start. If your clients aren’t telling you what is going wrong, then you might want to review your lost client’s history to see if there is a pattern.
Is it mainly waxing clients or facial clients or another segment of your services where you are losing the most clients? Work your way through your entire menu to ensure all your team are fully up to scratch on their technical skills. Take them back to your Treatment Protocols Manual (you do have one, don’t you?) to refresh them on what they should be doing at every service.
Problem 2: Your clients don’t feel valued or listened to.
Solution: Consultations, consultations, consultations. Did I mention that consultations are the key to making sure your clients are getting what they want from your salon? And not just on their first visit either. Every client should be consulted with fully at every visit, to ensure her changing needs are met. A quick “How did you go after your last visit?” isn’t good enough. There is nothing more frustrating for a client than not having the opportunity to express her need for something different. Teaching your team members how to consult with their clients effectively by asking relevant questions and then really listening to the answers is a MUST.
Today, more than ever, clients want to experience value for their money. This doesn’t mean simply cheap services, it means providing a great experience and meeting their needs.
It’s pointless having the most beautiful salon or spa in the city if your clients leave feeling disappointed by the customer service or treatment they’ve received.
There are many other strategies you can also use to help retain your clients. These are Loyalty programs, Welcome Packs, Birthday Letters and Membership Clubs. However, if you are not consulting with and listening to your clients, or providing quality services, then the rest won’t make much of a difference.
Competition is fierce with multiple salons in almost every suburb. Your standards must remain high if you wish to stay at the top, and keep your clients staying and paying in your salon.
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