It happens all too often: after the initial launch of a beauty salon, and after the initial marketing blitz you do to attract its clientele, many become moribund, or at worst, close after being in business for a cup of coffee.
No matter if you’re running a perfumery or a nail salon, you will most likely be in direct competition with hundreds of local salons all slugging it out to get a piece of the pie – in a very competitive industry.
Hence, there is an existing focus – if not an excessive one – on obtaining new clients. This is where you may offer promotions and massive discounts on coupons as well as embark on social media campaigns that can cost a pretty penny.
Making efforts to expand your clientele is undoubtedly of paramount importance for a cosmetic salon (or any brick-and-mortar business, for that matter), ignoring loyal customers who patronize your salon can spell its doom.
Factor in the fact that it costs over 5 times more to engage new clients than it does to maintain old clients, and then you will see why 80% of salons fail within two years of opening.
It is for this reason why we’ve put together some of the best approaches for you to be able to retain your clientele you’ve worked so hard to build, and have them repeat their business well into the future.
As a salon owner, you need to keep a healthy balance between acquiring new clients and keeping the existing ones happy and returning. This is achieved through making a connection with your client and listening to his or her needs as well as their advice as to how to improve the quality of your service.
This is the keystone of your relationship with your customer. If they walk out of your salon thinking that you’re not too concerned about their feedback, you’ve almost certainly killed off the chances of that customer walking back in.
See, today’s customer knows that he or she has a multitude of choices – either by doing their pampering themselves, or by taking their business elsewhere.
What’s the solution? Make your patrons feel special – in a way that sets you apart from the rest of your competitors. It’s all a matter of making them feel valued and important. The most important thing to gain your client’s trust is to show them that you are pulling out all the stops to make their experience better.
That’s what will bring them back for sure.
Those beautiful models in magazines or those picture-perfect ladies on Instagram probably had to spend a good few hours just to achieve their look. In reality though, not all of us have that much time. And that means, unfortunately, that most of your clients won’t be able to visit your salon on a daily basis.
At first instinct you might think that giving clients the knowledge to know which beauty creams to use or which toners to apply will hurt you, but the opposite is often true. By giving advice, the trust they put in you will increase, and that in turn results in more loyalty and more frequent visits.
Even if you give advice to remove body hair at home, they will still need to come in and have their hair removed by an expert. As a beautician, you’ll have access to professional hair removal machines that are much better at removing those last stubborn follicles, so your home treatment advice will only save them money in the short run. In the longer run however, you will benefit as well.
The same goes if you’re a hairdresser. If your client doesn’t have time to curl her hair in the morning or fix it perfectly, then it is best to just keep things simple. If she has stubborn waves, frizz and curls, then advise her to use a straightening brush – unlike the flat iron, a straightening brush can tame down her mane within minutes. Simple tips like this can really build your relationship.
Making your client feel special all boils down to one thing: by making the little things count. Make your salon business about YOUR client. Your staff might be the most competent you can ever assemble, with impressive credentials and experience, you might have all the qualifications you need to run a successful salon…
But absolutely none of it matters without having people to demonstrate and share your expertise with. Learn to engage your client in a warm, friendly, and genuine manner. Share stories. Listen to your client’s concerns. His or her life experiences. Be concerned about them. These intangible acts of random kindness build up over time – and just turning a compassionate ear to his or her concerns will mean so much more to them than the excellent job your team did. Be passionate about your client, and he or she will be passionate about your business.
This is where you and your staff’s expertise come in. You can’t let the quality of your work slip even if they are already returning clients, since they come to your salon for more than just a haircut and styling. Leave no stone unturned in servicing your client – it’s your chance to earn their business, their trust, and their confidence. Oftentimes, you only have one shot at demonstrating your value – make it count.
Meeting or exceeding your client’s expectations will determine whether they come back to your salon for more business, or if they up and leave – for good.