A modern client requires so much more than routine service to return to a salon. This post will guide you through six salon client retention strategies guaranteed to draw clients back to your beauty empire.
As a salon owner, it may be tempting to focus on attracting new clients. You provide excellent service and understandably want everyone to see that.
However, you should consider directing your efforts into keeping the existing clients.
Returning clients are the ones who bring the most profit. In fact, increasing client retention by 5% can increase profits by 25% to 95%.
So, let’s see what you can do to keep your clients returning.
It may seem to go without saying, but salon culture really plays a significant role in client retention.
If you manage to make your salon a happy place for both employees and clients, you’ll motivate the clients to return time and again.
Your client retention strategy should start before the interaction with them; it should begin by treating your employees well.
That’s because clients can sense what interpersonal relationships are like at your salon. It doesn’t take a psychologist to notice if employees are satisfied at the workplace.
There are multiple factors that contribute to employee satisfaction, ranging from your staff management style to fair wages. Whichever methods you apply to boost it, your clients are bound to notice a good salon atmosphere.
When you elevate the atmosphere, you can share your salon culture on social media, as this salon did.
The salon even directly invited the clients to participate in their creative space.
All the efforts you put into building a salon culture will be visible in customer retention.
When you create a warm atmosphere, your clients get a little piece of paradise where they can come again and escape daily stresses for an hour.
Of course, the primary reason to return to a salon is excellent service. But did you know that the saying happy employees, happy clients is more than a figure of speech?
Research from Oxford has found that workers are 13% more productive when they are happy. And in the salon environment, employee performance directly impacts client satisfaction.
Establishing a great salon culture helps you create a perpetual loop of positivity because employee interactions also set the tone for customer experience.
And happy employees perform well, leaving your clients satisfied and wanting to return next time.
If you want your clients to return, you have to give them an experience to look forward to.
You can do that by treating each client as a V.I.P. and tailoring your services to them.
The fact that you’re reading this article tells us that you’re not running a mediocre salon; you’re trying to boost the experience for everyone involved.
In your efforts to stay on top of your game, you’ve probably noticed that modern clients require customizability from their salons.
Price is not a barrier there; those customers who want a personalized service are willing to pay 20% more for it.
Consultations are an excellent way to create a personalized experience for your clients. They allow you to address the client’s specific needs and wishes.
When the client arrives for the appointment, they know they’re in for a treatment tailored especially for them, not just a run-of-the-mill service.
A consultation session before the treatment is the foundation on which you can build a V.I.P. experience.
Still, your work is not done after a client walks out satisfied with their new brows or nails. This is the time to take notes so you can continue building your relationship.
If you keep a client base, you can use it to write down any details that stood out to you during the treatment.
Even short notes such as dislikes loud music, has sensitive cuticles,or has a puppy named Spot can help you customize the experience next time.
Here’s what an overview of client details looks like in our booking app, Zoyya.
Paying attention to all the small details lets your client know they are a star at your salon. If you apply the personalized approach to each client, you’ll soon build a base of loyal customers.
The best part is that providing a V.I.P. experience doesn’t have to cost you a cent.
You can make a client feel like a million dollars with a single note you write down and refer to the next time they come around.
If there’s one thing all clients love regardless of the industry, it’s loyalty rewards.
Appropriately implemented loyalty programs or rewards can be a powerful tool for increasing salon client retention.
An overwhelming majority of Americans—80% of them—are enrolled in a rewards program.
There are multiple ways salons implement loyalty rewards, and the most popular one is collecting points, either with each treatment or whenever the client refers the salon to friends.
The Gina Conway salons are a great example of a point-based reward system.
Their clients collect points with each purchased service or product and then redeem them for manicures, massages, or other services.
One of the higher-point rewards even includes a photoshoot in a professional studio!
Another popular option is making your clients salon ambassadors and offering a small discount each time they refer a new client to you.
A consumer loyalty survey has shown that a client is more likely to refer a business when they are a regular client there.
However, 42% of clients would only refer a business if they always have a positive experience.
As you can see, only 7% of clients would refer a business after a single positive experience, so in order to succeed with referrals, you have to provide excellent service consistently.
The Stress Exchange salon knows the value of referrals in client retention. They offer as much as 20% off a beauty treatment to both the client who recommended them and their friend.
Combined with a witty slogan like the one in the picture, your loyalty rewards will incentivize the clients to keep returning.
Since repeat customers spend 67% more than new customers, the discounts and freebies you offer should generate a positive return on investment.
If you want clients to return, you always have to offer them added value.
Bundle deals are an excellent way to promote treatments clients may not be aware of. You can also use bundles to promote group booking.
Let’s say you’re running a nail bar, and your most booked service is a classic manicure. Hand massage may be on your list of services, but clients are probably more interested in services with visible results.
This is where bundle deals come in handy.
If you charge $40 for a manicure and $10 for a hand massage, you could introduce a mani + massage bundle for $45.
That way, your clients will be able to try a service they otherwise wouldn’t think to try—at a discounted price.
Chances are they will start booking it in the future when they see how it elevates their experience.
You can also bundle standard manicures with smaller services in one package to motivate the clients to book one service extra, as the salon in the following picture did.
The spa industry has also mastered the art of bundling, but they’ve taken it in a slightly different direction.
In addition to bundling several services, spas often offer bundle deals for more customers, such as couples’ massages or bridal party spa packages.
Take a look at how this hotel spa presented their massage package to individuals and couples.
As the package description shows, the clients who book a couples’ treatment save almost 10%.
This isn’t a loss for the spa because the amenities are already in use, so it makes virtually no difference if one or two clients are there.
Offering bundle deals requires a smart approach to pricing.
To make sure you’re operating profitably, you can add services that don’t require an operator, such as a jacuzzi session.
Small services with no expensive product used, such as hand massages, are also a good option.
The most direct method of ensuring client retention is to get clients to book their next appointment before they leave your salon.
To enhance the positive impact of pre-booking on client retention, you should pair this strategy with reminders.
Pre-booking is a convenient scheduling method.
It gains the salon owner a returning customer, and it guarantees a client an appointment in your salon no matter how busy you are.
If you’re not sure your clients would be interested in pre-booking, remember that the most effective selling point of pre-booking is exclusivity.
You can introduce the possibility of pre-booking by saying something like:
“Just a heads up–we always get swamped before Christmas, so we may not be able to squeeze you in for a refill in December.”
No client wants to walk around with half their lashes shed, so they’ll probably be eager to secure their spot in advance.
With our booking app, you can schedule an appointment in just a few clicks. Your clients will feel relief knowing they won’t have to scramble for a visit to their favorite salon.
And remember the loyalty rewards we talked about earlier?
You can also make pre-booking a part of them.
For instance, the clients of G2O Spa Salon get 1000 loyalty points when they pre-book.
In all fairness, pre-booking does have a disadvantage: a chance of missed appointments.
When clients book their appointments a few weeks or months in advance, they can forget that they’ve booked a service.
However, a good booking solution will eliminate this risk. Our reminder system automatically texts clients a few days before their appointment.
We’ll let the numbers speak for us: the salons using Zoyya report 25% fewer missed appointments and 50% more pre-scheduled appointments.
All in all, pre-bookings can do wonders for your client retention, but only if you use them wisely.
A salon struggling with client retention has probably failed to recognize the clients’ needs. The best way you can gain insight into client opinions is by asking for feedback.
When you find what has been driving the clients away from your salon, you can create an action plan.
As we’ve mentioned in our post on handling salon complaints, unhappy customers likely won’t complain; they will simply leave the business and never come back.
However, a responsible salon manager won’t ignore the problem—they will address it and work on improving the salon.
Still, you can’t fix the problem of clients leaving unless you know its cause. This is why you should ask your clients for honest feedback.
You can do this with surveys and polls.
You can create surveys for free and easily reach your clients via channels you already use, such as Facebook, Instagram, or your website.
Remember, to be effective, your feedback instrument has to have a clearly defined goal. After you determine the goal, you’ll be able to ask more relevant questions.
For example, if your goal is to increase client retention, make sure to include the following questions:
An additional benefit of asking for feedback is that your clients feel heard.
And when you post about it on social media, all potential clients who visit your page can see that you’re always willing to raise the bar of your service.
With so many options out there, clients are quick to switch salons. To make sure they stick with yours, you have to give them reasons to stay.
Building a great atmosphere and treating each client like a star is the basis for client retention. You can further improve it with financial incentives such as loyalty rewards and bundle deals.
Don’t forget that booking is also a significant factor for salon client retention. Make the booking process simple and introduce the option to pre-book. If you need any help with that, our doors are always open.