Whether you’re a stylist working day-to-day at a salon or your own business, you know that providing salon services without a healthy client list can pose many challenges. Having walk-in appointments available can contribute to regular business operations, but having a booked schedule with repeat clients who return for your hard work and a welcoming experience will give you a strong reputation and lead to a continuous flow of business.
A 5% increase in customer retention can lead to an increase in profit from 25% to 95%, which could mean major increases in your salon’s revenue and tips for your stylists. This statistic can be exciting, but pushing rebooking on clients shouldn’t be the main focus of increasing your retention rates. Effective client retention comes from an inclusive salon experience, deeper connections, and honest feedback.
Create The Experience
When you welcome people into your shop, first impressions are everything. You may be kind and welcoming, but if the environment you’re working in is lackluster, it won’t go unnoticed. People love going to an establishment that can provide an experience, and the way you style your business and train your employees is the first step to becoming someone’s go-to salon.
Being a stylist, you know first-hand that the services you provide can often have your client in the chair for hours. For some, sitting in the same chair for long periods can be challenging, but there are ways to cater to those who can’t sit still. Creating a reception area where clients waiting for the next stage of their appointment can continue to sit comfortably will put antsy clients at ease and provide those waiting for their appointment a space to feel relaxed from the get-go. Offering complimentary snacks or coffee can also be a great addition to your business model. Although it’s a small gesture, your clients and staff will appreciate what you can provide and it won’t go unnoticed!
Furnishing your salon with couches and proper chairs that fit your client’s needs can put a strain on your finances if you’re a first-time salon owner; but using resources like a business line of credit can help alleviate some of your funding needs to make your salon exactly how you want it to be. The price of supplying your salon with furniture or complimentary snack options can be high, but investing in these comfort items can allow for greater profits in the future – especially in terms of retention. Your attention to detail in catering to your clients can be a determining factor in the client’s decision to rebook with your staff.
Clients booking with you or your staff will be looking for confidence in your technician’s skills. The beauty industry is constantly changing with new products and techniques, which means your staff should be ready to answer questions and have enough time to practice before executing what they’ve learned on a client. It’s important to support your staff in delivering the skills they’ve learned, as clients will notice a technician’s level of confidence. You should be able to trust your staff in the same ways your clients will be trusting them when they book their appointment. Encouraging your staff to continue their education in the industry can lead to a full-service salon and a business that people would feel confident coming back to.
Start The Conversation
A crucial part of being in the salon industry is starting conversations with your clients. Beauty Professionals aren’t required to be outgoing by nature, but being able to establish a friendly relationship with a customer can make or break a reschedule.
When a client first sits in your chair, it’s important to ask them why they’ve booked an appointment. Sometimes customers won’t know what they’re looking for until they have this conversation – so asking them about their concerns and expectations is a great way to start a trusting client-technician relationship. You’ll want to provide them with options that would best suit them and provide them with an honest professional opinion. If what your client is asking for isn’t a service you feel fully equipped for, there is no shame in being transparent with them. The client will appreciate your honesty!
People love to talk about themselves, especially when sitting in a salon chair. You should know that you aren’t their therapist, but being attentive to what they’re sharing can help improve someone’s day. Everyone needs to vent, but maintaining your professionalism with clients that like to overshare should be your highest priority. You don’t need to share your life with a client to the extent that they may have shared with you, but your eagerness to listen should be apparent.
You shouldn’t turn a blind eye to post-appointment feedback. Positive and negative constructive criticism will be where you can focus on making your salon the best experience possible. Asking first-time clients about their satisfaction with your staff can feel awkward, but if you don’t ask, you could be stifling the growth of your business.
Turn Feedback Into Action
It may seem natural to only respond to positive reviews, but putting thought into crafting responses to negative comments can flip those questioning whether or not to rebook with you. Creating a generic message to respond to negativity won’t benefit your business or further your customer’s experience. Apologize for any inconvenience and provide them with a solution your business can put into practice moving forward.
The actions your staff takes after receiving negative feedback will speak louder than the review. Turning feedback into action can be done in a few different ways.
– Training – Additional training for your staff on how to handle an unsatisfied customer can be an opportunity to keep your business’ mission at the forefront of your staff’s customer interactions.
– Advertising – Social media is a tool you should use to advocate for your business. This digital space is a way to showcase the changes you’re putting into place and highlight staff who have gone above and beyond to provide the experiences your customers are looking for.
– Rewards – Implementing a rewards system for recurring clients can give them a reason to leave a review. Incentives include discount codes for products, offering a free service, or a discounted service – all of which can increase customer satisfaction.
Staying attentive to client needs and adjusting your salon environment can go a long way. Becoming a booked-out salon doesn’t happen in a day, but if you and your staff are ready to master the customer experience, your retention rates can increase with ease!
Are you ready to turn your passion into a career? Check out the Cosmetology Program at Salon Success Academy. We don’t just teach you how to become a great cosmetologist. We also help you understand the ins-and-outs of the business. Fill out the form to schedule a campus tour today.