July/August Magazine

Down to Business

How to Maximize Client Retention


Do you ever wonder what keeps your salon clients coming back for more? Have you ever questioned why some clients stay loyal to you and your salon while others leave? Whether it's their hair, makeup, facials, lashes, or nails, clients inherently expect your service to be stellar - that's an absolute given. However, what keeps them coming back for more has little to do with the salon services that you offer – it's much more than that. Your client's decision to stay a customer is about how they feel after they leave your salon. So, how do you keep clients coming back again and again? Here are some suggestions:

Client Comfort
First, think about the overall ambiance of your salon and the customer's comfort within your facility. Pay attention to the temperature throughout the day and adjust the air conditioning or heating accordingly. Be aware of the music playing; the volume, appropriateness to the clients at the time, and the mood it sets. Consider the lighting, the aroma, and anything that contributes to the environment inside the salon and the effect that it has on your clients.

Best Customer Service
Think of your salon as the ultimate concierge of beauty services. From the moment a client steps through your door until they leave the salon, the attention should be all about them. Greet the client in the reception area by name when possible, offer them a beverage and then inform them if there is any wait time. Offer a comfortable place in which to sit and even a magazine for their wait time. When ready for their service, show the client where to change into a smock and where they may hang or store their purse and their coat and umbrella in the winter. Once in your chair, take the necessary steps to pamper the customer throughout the service but also be sure to continue your efforts until they have checked out and left the salon.

These are simple things that we should do, but when the salon gets busy, are easy to fall through the cracks. To keep the best level of customer service for all clients, train your receptionists and all assistants to step up as much as possible, especially during busy times. Your staff's help will relieve some of the pressure from your service operators. It's also important that support staff coordinate their efforts so that clients are not overwhelmed by too much attention or are asked the same question multiple times.

Make Great Conversation
It's up to you to offer great conversation and a good balance of banter. Be mindful that not all customers want to talk during their services, but that doesn't mean they have to sit there in silence. Just make any topic of conversation about their immediate comfort and elaborate from there. If the customer's answers are short or to the point, take the hint and minimize chatter. However, for those clients who do love to gab, ask about their day, how work is going, and what is new with their family. Essentially, ask what's happened since their last appointment.
Consider making a few conversation reminder notes for their next appointment. Don't allow it to seem creepy, as remembering too much detail can make some people feel uncomfortable. Just take general notes that can lead to an interesting conversation the next time the client is sitting in your chair, "How was your vacation," "Did you get the promotion," etc.

The Right Vibe
Keep all conversation in the salon positive. Clients can pick up on negativity and tension, which can make a bad impression on the salon and the client's overall experience. Your entire staff should make a genuine effort to always project positive and welcoming energy.

Provide Expert Advice
Offer hair and color care and styling advice to your customers so that they can always look their best at home. Recommend the right products for their hair type or condition and invite them to make a purchase there at the salon, either in person or through the salon's online store. Either way, you want to make it easy for them to buy.

Offer Rewards
For loyal clients, consider offering a rewards program to incentivize them to continue and perhaps even refer their friends and family. After all, happy, well-respected clients not only keep coming back, they tell others about the excellent service!

Be Grateful

A simple 'thank you' can go a long way, even on the busiest day. Take a moment and thank your clients for their business and continued support.

Be Genuine
As difficult as it may be to balance everything at times, always take a genuine interest in your clients. Every time your customer steps through your door, another opportunity arises to make someone's day and to help them feel great about themselves - the REAL reason they go to a salon! Step up and make a difference one client at a time, and you'll give them a reason to keep coming back!

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