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As a salon owner, your clients are the lifeline of your business. However, building and retaining a steady clientele and list can be a difficult task for salons of all sizes. Not only do clients have a surplus of choices when it comes to choosing a salon or stylist, but the number of times a client may return throughout the year or month may vary. To keep your salon business healthy and growing during all times of the year, it’s important to have a sensible retention strategy built into the way you run your salon.
However, the good news is, there are many different retention strategies that can be tailored to work for your business that will keep your clients coming back. Furthermore, it doesn’t just have to do with using high-quality hair salon supplies or having the best talent in town.
Why Don’t Salon Clients Come Back?
There are some actions either you or your staff might be doing that are turning clients away or making them not want to return to your salon. Here are some common reasons why you might not have a loyal client base or are experiencing high turnover rates.
- Clients are dissatisfied with the service. If stylists aren’t able to achieve a client’s goal or target style, this may cause clients to go elsewhere. One way you can help mitigate this is by asking for feedback and using that to improve your services.
- They found a better price. Salon services and treatments can be pricey, for good reason. The cost of equipment or high rent in your area may require you to charge a premium. However, it’s important to make sure your salon is staying competitive with its rates. This will make sure you retain customers and provide them value.
- They felt that their time was wasted. Sometimes, hairstylists will take multiple clients at once, but this can cause significant delays if not done right. Clients who spend hours at the salon because their stylist isn’t solely focused on them may not come back.
How to Retain Your Salon Clients
Before you start to create your client retention strategy, it’s important to understand how your salon currently differentiates itself from your competitors. Does your salon offer top-of-the-line professional hair color? Does it have a unique design and aesthetic? Are your stylists popular on Instagram or award-winning? Identifying why your salon is special or different can help you better understand how these retention strategies can be leveraged to boost business and keep clients coming back.
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1. Keep in Touch with Clients Through Your Software
How do you book clients, process them, and remind them for their next appointment? Chances are you have a booking, scheduling, and management software that houses your clients’ information and salon bookings. Not only can you use a salon booking system to keep your salon optimized.
With software programs, you can remind clients of their upcoming appointments, available appointments, upcoming promotions, and ask for feedback. Aside from before and after your clients’ appointments, you should be touching base with them every once in a while via text or email to ask for feedback or just to check in. It’s a great way to make clients feel like you are thankful for their business and show them you care!
2. Encourage Your Clients to Follow You on Social Media
If your salon isn’t currently killing it on Instagram, you may be losing clientele as we speak. Today, consumers care about a brand’s social media presence, even salons. Current and potential clients want to see what your salon is up to. Also, they are constantly looking to your social media pages for inspiration for their next hairstyle.
To keep clients engaged on social media, you will need to create organic video and photo content of behind-the-scenes moments, your stylists’ work, news about special promotions and more. It’s also important to make sure you are interacting with your clients. When they comment on your content, comment back!
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3. Leverage Email Marketing and Lists
How do you keep in touch with and communicate with your clients? Aside from your salon booking and schedule management software, it’s critical to have a list of your clients’ emails so that you can send them promotional materials and keep them updated. So, if you want clients to return to your salon, one surefire way to get them is by sending out a discount or special promotion to their email.
4. Create a Referral and Loyalty Program
If you want to reward your clients for their loyalty and their ability to refer new clients to you, create a loyalty and referral program. Furthermore, for a referral system, you can tell your clients to spread the word about your salon. You can have their referrals use your client’s name at checkout. You can keep track of how often your clients refer people and either reward them with free products or money toward their next service. This strategy not only keeps new clients flowing into your business, but it keeps your most loyal clients coming back.
It’s important to show your loyal clients that you appreciate their continued service with a rewards program. You could offer something like a punch card that gives your client money off a service, treatment, or product. You can also offer clients special discounts before anyone else through your salon’s email list.
5. Offer Discounts Regularly
If you’re going through a slow period and want to get clients through your doors fast, offer a discount or a cool promotion that is sure to draw people in. Offering promotions regularly, and not just when business is slow, will ensure that your clients feel like they are always getting the best deal and value when they come to your salon as opposed to others.
By implementing these client retention techniques, you’re going to build a positive relationship with your loyal clients and keep business booming.
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