Posted February 10, 2020
The old adage goes it takes 3 times as much effort to get a new client in the door as it does to maintain an existing one, but that’s not where the savings and benefits stop for salon owners. A happy, returning client will undoubtedly recommend their friends to you, bringing in more business. They’re more likely to purchase retail products, they’re more likely to come in more often for appointments and they are more likely to give friends and family gift vouchers to your salon for Christmas. But how do you make sure that a brand-new customer becomes a long-term customer? We’ve got the timeline of activities to bring your new client on board and to make them your new BFF.
AT THE REGISTER
All salon staff should be asking their clients to rebook appointments (or even two if they’re confident enough), regardless of the service for which they were in. Brow clients need to be in every 4 weeks, colour clients every 6 weeks and regular facials might be every 3 months. Make sure that before the client has processed their transaction (and they are focussed instead on their diminishing bank account), book them in for a follow-up appointment.
You can easily hand this off to your receptionist rather than the stylist as needed, and your receptionist or you the salon owner could even take the opportunity to ask whether they are happy with their stylist – sometimes people don’t gel, but you don’t want that to be the reason they don’t come back to your salon when you can simply switch them to another team member. This is the easiest time to secure that follow up appointment so make sure it’s a priority process in your salon.
1 WEEK LATER
If you’re feeling savvy, this is the time to shoot across a post-appointment survey to find out how your client is feeling. If they’re happy as larry, make sure they’re re-booked and let it go at that. If they’re unhappy, you have an opportunity to really turn on that customer service charm and work out what can be done to fix it – after all, an unhappy client is likely to share their story with everyone they meet, and you don’t want that impression of your salon being passed around. Find out whether there was a problem with their service, whether they simply didn’t get on with their stylist or if the price was a concern. Whether you send out a digital survey via email or text, or call and ask some questions, record your answers against their profile in your system and do your best to remedy any immediate concerns.
If your stylist didn’t manage to book them in for a follow-up appointment, this is a great time to try and get them to lock in a new date. Whether this is an activity for slow mornings in salon or for your reception team, securing those follow-up appointments should be a priority – even if you didn’t manage to catch them at the register. Your salon software should be able to show you all your new clients this week and those that aren’t booked in for a follow-up appointment, so start there and start calling.
2 WEEKS LATER
If you’ve been given the brush off thus far with your client, the “oh I’m busy and I don’t have my diary”, now is a good time to show them the bait. A 15% off offer for rebooking TODAY or a bonus product or treatment (see if you can cut a deal with your suppliers) might just be the tipping point to get them to re-book – and it will earn you brownie points for later in the client’s eyes. Add a bit of urgency to get them to secure the appointment quickly, like a today-only offer, and watch those calls come in. If you’re getting absolutely no love at this stage, let them go – you don’t want to get annoying or start hunting them down at the coffee shop, and instead focus on hooking the next new client through the door.
8 WEEKS LATER
By now, your client is in for their follow up appointment and this is just as crucial a time as when they were in originally. Focus now on add-ons like treatments or retail products, offer them a loyalty card or a couple of refer-a-friend cards to entice them to continue visiting you and to share your salon with their network. And make sure to NAIL that repeat booking at the register.
Developing habits is pretty easy – it usually takes 3 visits to make a habit, develop a relationship with your stylist and become a fixture in your client’s life. If you can get your new clients through your doors on 3 separate occasions, they’re likely to be with you for a while. Treat them well, and they could be with you for life. It’s all about getting those follow up appointments and making sure your brand new client turns into one of your regulars.
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