Sales and revenue are important metrics for salons, just like they are for any business. After all, sales is the lifeblood of any business. More often than not, when it comes to getting more sales, most salon owners would naturally think that they need more new customers. But instead of racking your brains to come up with new strategies for getting more new customers, what if we told you that you should instead focus on retaining your existing pool of customers?
Why you should care about retaining existing customers
Did you know that it costs 5 times more to attract a new customer, than to keep an existing one? Yet many salons spend most of their marketing dollars on finding new customers instead of nurturing the ones they already have.
Increasing customer retention rates by 5% increases profits by 25% to 95%, according to research done by Frederick Reichheld of Bain & Company. With these statistics in mind, it is only sensible to focus your efforts and funds on retaining your existing customers instead of trying to attract new ones. This does not mean that you should not market to new customers, but that perhaps you should consider allocating more budget to engaging your current customers when you’re planning your marketing efforts.
If we know that it is more cost-efficient to nurture existing customers, how can we go about trying to get them to return? Let’s get to it.
1. Improve your customer’s experience
When it comes to customer retention, your customer’s experience is a major factor. People remember how you make them feel, and if you do a good job making customers feel good whenever they pop in for a visit, that’s a recipe for getting them to come back for more.
There are two aspects which make up your customers’ experience – the physical environment as well as how customers are treated.
When it comes to physical environment, take the time and effort to create a comfortable atmosphere in your salon. Things like the volume and type of music, room temperature, lighting and decor can make a huge difference. Insignificant as they may seem, these factors are the bare minimum that you should start with to make customers enjoy their visit.
As for how customers are treated, it is key to make them feel valued – customer service is paramount. Train your staff to build genuine relationships with customers. Little things like using your customers’ names, remembering their styles and preferences and listening to their stories can go a long way to create a great experience for your customers.
2. Offer to pre-book and re-book customers
You’re leaving a lot of money on the table if you’re not offering to re-book customers on their visits. If you’re doing a good job with providing customers with an enjoyable experience and customers are pleased with your service, don’t be shy to ask your client when would suit best for the next appointment. Re-booking customers is a simple strategy which is often overlooked, and it goes a long way in helping your salon to retain customers.
Pre-booking is a great way to increase customer retention as well. When booking customers, make it a habit to ask customers to make multiple bookings in advance, especially so during busy times of the year. By showing your client that you are looking out for them, it encourages them to make bookings in advance. Offering package deals for customers can also be a great way to build long term relationships with them.
On the topic of appointment booking, it is crucial to ensure that customers are able to book their appointments easily at their convenience. Our WESS software helps salons to simplify their appointment booking process with our 24/7 online booking system where it takes less than 3 minutes for customers to book an appointment. Click here to find out more about our appointment booking feature.
3. Reward programs
Does your salon offer any reward programs for existing customers? If you don’t, you’re missing out on an opportunity to retain more customers. Give customers a reason to stay with your salon instead of going to your competitors. Having a reward or loyalty program can help with that, whereby customers are given discounts and other incentives for staying with you. This is especially so for VIP customers who have stayed with you for a long time. Whether its customers who spend a lot, have the highest number of friend referrals or have those who have stayed with you for a period of time, these customers should be rewarded for remaining with your salon.
With the impact that covid-19 has had on salons, building customer loyalty has never been more important, and reward programs are a great way to show your appreciation and keep clients happy.
4. Engage with your clients regularly
Another simple yet often overlooked point when it comes to retaining customers is engaging with them on a regular basis. It really doesn’t cost you much to keep your salon on their mind, and it often goes a long way to making them feel valued as well. Be it sending thank you texts after each appointment or notifying customers of your latest promotions and offerings, the key is to make it feel personal.
Here is a simple list of ways in which you can keep in touch with customers:
- Sending birthday wishes with a special discount voucher
- Providing educational content on social media pages
- Sending regular newsletters or email campaigns with the latest offerings and happenings
- Notifying customers of special promotions and packages during the holiday seasons
- Thanking customers post visit via SMS
When it comes to customer retention and customer experience, small things go a long way. The key is to be consistent with your efforts, however small they may be. The goal is always to make customers feel valued so that they will be obliged to return for more. Never be afraid to ask for feedback on how you can do better or what customers want – you just might get a few tips from customers on how you can improve and make their experience better.
Increasing customer by just a mere 5% can have a huge impact on the growth of your salon, so don’t overlook customer retention and definitely don’t leave it to chance.