How many times have you walked past someone in the street or at the local shops and you suddenly realise that they used to be your client, but you haven’t seen them in your salon in a very long time?
Sometimes they move away or perhaps hit a brick wall financially, but often they leave because they did not feel valued anymore.
But now, salons also have a new challenge, and that is competing with other less financially savvy salons that have used discounting and coupons to attract new clients.
These salons are prepared to just about give away their services in the hope of retaining their clients or steal yours away.
Whatever the reason, a lost client costs your business a great deal of money.
Not only do you lose the potential income from the services that they would have had, but also from any retail purchases they may have made or clients they may have referred to you.
Over the average client lifetime with your salon, this can add up to many thousands of dollars; a figure not to be taken lightly.
So what can you do?
Well, naturally the very first thing to do is give your salon an in-depth audit, to make sure that you are not the cause of client loss.
This includes looking closely at the treatments you provide and the level of customer service your clients receive.
This isn’t the time to stick your head in the sand and pretend that all is well.
Every business can be better, and you need to look at your business through a microscope so that you can fix any problems that might be costing you valuable clients.
If you’re not sure where to start, consider inviting clients to participate in a survey where they can provide honest feedback about your salon’s performance across a range of areas.
If you can do this anonymously, even better.
You can also ask your staff for input on this.
They often hear rumblings that never seem to make it back to the boss’s ears.
After you have fixed any glaring problems that you’ve found, it’s time to make a list of the clients who have drifted away from you and get to work on trying to re-activate them.
It’s true that not all clients will return.
If a great deal of time has passed, then chances are they will have found another service provider that is meeting their needs.
However, this doesn’t mean you should give up on them without at least trying to woo them back.
Research indicates that a client should not be considered lost until you have made at least five attempts to bring them back into the fold.
This can be achieved through offering very special deals via mail or email.
If the client was a valuable contributor to the salon, then even a personal phone call might be in order.
The important thing is that you must make it EASY for your clients to return.
Whatever the reason that they left in the first place, once they return, you need to make sure they are treated like royalty.
If you do this, it will only take one return visit to your salon, and they will become regular clients once again.
Loyalty to any salon cannot ever be taken for granted.
It needs to be earned repeatedly by offering the very best treatments wrapped up in the very best customer service each and every time a client visits your salon.