Here’s a statistic that I think will take the wind out of your sails.
In most salons, client retention after the first visit sits at around a disastrous 25%!
That means 3 out of 4 new clients don’t return to your salon (that’s pretty mind-bending!) after their first or possibly second visit.
When I learned this, I was shocked, and I bet you are too.
When times are tough and business is slow, I see so many salon owners literally throwing services at clients for a mere pittance in the hope of getting them into their salon – business at any cost!
Now, while the clients love these kinds of non-profitable promotions, they are exceptionally bad for your salon or spa.
After all, there’s only a minute time-frame in which you can work for zero profit before your business goes belly-up.
But, the good news is that there are other ways to get your clients to spend their money in your salon; they’re simple, easy, and best of all, cheap to implement (my favourite kind of marketing).
So, if you want to tap into this additional income, then consider the following 10 tips and how you can make them work for your business.
Give your clients a great reason to keep coming back to you instead of visiting the salon down the road.
Let’s face it. Everyone likes to be rewarded for their loyalty, so why not introduce a simple Loyalty/Rewards Program that rewards your clients for their patronage.
It’s a simple program to introduce in your salon or spa, and your clients will love it because not only does it acknowledge them as being a valued client, it provides a tangible reward for them a well.
Being a great listener doesn’t come naturally to most people.
As a matter of fact, most people are busy thinking about what they’re going to say next, rather than really taking in what the other person is saying.
When this happens in a salon, you don’t really ‘hear’ what your client is concerned about or asking for.
This is why so many sales never happen.
The client is trying to tell you one thing, but you’ve already had a conversation with yourself and have decided on what you believe the client really needs.
This stops the sales process dead in its tracks. If you’re not hearing your clients clearly, you will never sell to them effectively.
Your clients love to know exactly what to expect when they visit your salon or spa. Unexpected surprises don’t rank well with your clients, even if they’re sometimes in the client’s favour.
Introduce a consistent approach to all things that affect your clients, especially in the treatments that they receive.
If you are going to provide discretionary services (freebies) to your clients, do so carefully, as they can backfire on you and leave your clients feeling cheated and dissatisfied down the track.
You and I both know that when clients are left to make their own appointments, that they’re never quite on top of their beauty problems.
Whether it’s overgrown bikini lines or dehydrated and damaged skin, regular appointments not only deliver better results but also happier clients, because they’re achieving what they really want.
Added to that is the massive impact regular appointments have on your revenue.
When a 4-weekly client is left to her own devices, she will often extend her booking interval out to 6 weeks. What this means for you is over 4 visits less per year from that 1 client.
So if your average client sale is $55, that amounts to a loss of $240 per year – per client.
Now multiply that by the number of clients in your salon. For a small salon of only 200 clients, that amounts to a staggering loss in revenue of $48000.
Can you afford to lose this amount of money each and every year?
I think not.
The only way to really make sure this doesn’t happen to you is to take control of the booking process and ensure every client is offered a re-booking for their next appointment before they leave your salon.
Treat your clients like you would treat your friends when they come to visit and invite them to come back soon.
Constant quality communication helps to build and maintain the rapport you have with your clients.
Research has revealed that while social media is only reaching a paltry 2 – 6% of fans and followers, email has an open rate of around 22%. That’s a substantial jump in exposure to your messages and marketing.
In most cases, where salons are communicating to their clients via email, that percentage is much higher.
Stay in touch with your clients regularly with an informative newsletter that clients will be eager to read, and include special promotional offers that will make it worth their while to keep reading.
A new client can be worth upwards of $5000 to your business. That’s a substantial sum of money, and certainly worthy of a small marketing investment to gain one.
Getting clients to send friends or family to your salon should be a snap. After all, you know they love your work because they keep returning time and time again.
However, have you ever noticed how few of them actually send a new client your way?
Few. Very few.
Maybe it’s because they want to keep you their special little secret, or perhaps it’s because there’s nothing in it for them to do so.
But, with so much additional revenue just dangling out of your reach, it’s surely well worth your while to provide some enticing incentives that will have existing clients praising you to their circle of friends and recommending that they come visit.
Remember, that new client could add thousands of dollars to your bottom line and so getting referrals to your salon should be something you working on consistently.
Make your salon client friendly and get rid of useless and offensive rules and signage that make the client feel uncomfortable (you know the ones I mean….’Turn off your mobile phone or you will be shot and fed to the crocodiles!’)
Your goal should be to make each client feel like they are being welcomed into a warm, friendly environment where they’re valued for their patronage.
Resist the temptation to punish every client for the sins of one or two, and ditch the dictator-style signage that clients will find offensive and off-putting.
Every salon needs to have some rules and policies, but learn how to phrase them in such a way that the clients feel like your rules and policies are there to make their life more enjoyable.
Be unique. Stand out from the rest of the salons in your area by offering something that your clients simply can’t get somewhere else.
Many salon owners make the huge mistake of believing that being cheap is what their clients want. The truth is your clients want to receive value not ‘cheap’.
Every service you offer should stand out from what your competitors offer in some way. Given that you offer as good as your competitors do, then adding that something extra and unique will keep your clients returning to you instead of meandering off to other salons.
Birthdays are special!
How many service providers have ever acknowledged your birthday? If you are like most, the answer is very few, if any at all.
If you’re lucky enough to have had your birthday acknowledged, you’ll already know how it helps to develop a warmer relationship with the business who not only remembered your birthday, but also acknowledged it with a small gift.
You can easily acknowledge your client’s birthday with small salon gift certificate.
Your clients really do love to be remembered on their special day.
Be the best at everything you do. If you are not the best at something, either stop doing it or become the best.
Ongoing training and learning are a necessity in this ever-changing world of beauty.
Focus on what you’re positive your clients want from your salon, and become the best provider of these services in your marketplace.
Now, while this is by no means an exhaustive list of how to improve your profitability, many of these simple and inexpensive tips will increase your client retention, which in turn will help you to increase your revenue.
You can start implementing these 10 tried, tested and effective tips straight away without spending a small fortune on expensive marketing programs.
Treat your clients like VIPs, reward their loyalty, invite them back, and give them the very best you have to offer at every visit.
After all, the cost to retain a client is only a tiny fraction of what it costs to gain a new one.
You can improve your business by making small but important adjustments each and every day, so why not get started right now?
Often the only difference between success and failure is one small improvement to your business daily.