It can be tempting to focus all your effort on bringing in new clients for your business, however, improving your salon client retention rate is key to growth and sustainable income.
According to Forbes repeat clients spend 67% more than first-time clients and 80% of future profits come from just 20% of your existing clients.
For some salon owners, competition in their area can be fierce, so the best way to keep your salon in the game is to care for your current clientele as well as encourage new clients.
If you’re saying to yourself right now: ‘That sounds complicated and I don’t even know where to begin?!’ Don’t worry, we got you! Let’s break this down together.
What is Salon Client Retention?
Let’s start with the basics. What does salon client retention actually mean? Salon client retention is the continuation of a long-term relationship between the client and your business. This is the percentage of clients who remain loyal to your business and continue to purchase services or products from you over a set period. This rate is reduced by the number of clients who don’t return during the same time frame.
Why is Salon Client Retention So Important?
Your business relies on regular income from your clients, which is why salon client retention is so important to the health and success of your business. Returning customers are the heart and soul of your business and all your hard work!
A high client retention rate is a sign that you are taking care of your clients consistently, performing the service to exceptional standards, and meeting their ongoing needs.
Customers who trust you and your business will be more open to trying new products and services than new customers will. A loyal customer may, therefore, spend more money within your business during each visit.
How to Measure Salon Client Retention
Salon client retention is a number that you should know in your salon, so you can then implement your business strategy to improve this measure.
Most online booking systems will have a feature which allows you to easily generate data that informs your salon client retention rates and the specifics of this metric by location, time period, staff member, and service. The feature will also generate in-depth information for you to review. This is super-helpful and allows you to take a deeper look into your retention rates and reflect on where you can make improvements and implement new systems.
The Top 5 Strategies to Improve Salon Client Retention
The Customer Journey
How much do you know about your customers and the journey they take with your business from booking through to checkout? What steps do they take and how can you make improvements along this path to enhance their experience? Especially for new clients, it’s always important to make a good first impression!
Your salon, communications, quality of service, and the overall feeling a client has with you and your business should all be taken into consideration when trying to improve your salon client retention. Ultimately, why does a client return – they love the feeling of the experience they had with your salon. They enjoyed their visit and were made to feel special!
Make a list of the steps your clients take when they book a service with you. For example – booking, client consultation, arrival, service, and so forth. Break down each step and reflect on where you could improve your client’s journey. We have included some helpful tips in the list below:
- Automate your appointment and client management system. This allows customers to book in during their own time, pre-fill their consultation form, track their previous services and so much more. Some online booking solutions also offer automatic reminders, which helps to decrease no-shows and forgotten appointments.
- Take the time to talk to your client and use this time to learn more about them. This will help you understand how you can best approach the client and know which products or services could be marketed to them.
- Adding small comforts to your business can be a real draw for some clients. Some examples include comfortable furniture in the waiting area, snacks and drink choices (tea, coffee, flavoured water), ambient music, retail products to peruse, and an environment that takes the client away from their day-to-day and helps them to feel welcome and relaxed.
- Depending on the service the client is booked for, there may be time to work in a salon upgrade or add-on to enhance their visit. These are particularly helpful if you are trying to impress a new client with your level of service, or thank a client who may have needed to wait a little longer due to the stylist running behind. Something as simple as a service upgrade – offering the client Brow Code Stain instead of Tint or Henna, for the same price or adding on a Lash Tint to their booked Brow Service is a little touch that makes your client feel special and valued.
To Market, To Market
You may already have some loyal clients who will happily come back on their own. But what about the rest? Enter – your salon client retention strategy! What is your business’s specific strategy designed to get encourage previous customers to return to your salon?
Your strategy could include a rewards program for client loyalty or repeat visits, such as:
- Free services earnt after a designated number of visits
- Exclusive package deals or offers sent to clients after their first visit to the business
- Free brow aftercare gift at the end of a certain number of appointments
Pro Tip: Not all clients will be drawn to one strategy and it is important to try different options and see what fits best with your business and target clientele.
Another way you can use marketing to improve client retention is upselling retail products in your salon to pair with services. For example, as a professional brow stylist, I always ensure that I discuss aftercare with my client as we move from the treatment room to the checkout. Discussing the aftercare steps gives me a sales opportunity or chance to check in with my client and recommend the best aftercare or cosmetic products to pair with their service. For example, after completing a Brow Lamination treatment, I recommend Brow Code’s Brow Gold Oil for daily aftercare and the Alias Lamination Gel or Heist Brow Soap for styling.
Pre-book, Rebook and Repeat!
Having an easy and well-designed booking process will help you book more clients quickly and repeatedly. Some customers get easily frustrated at booking systems that are unclear or too difficult to follow, which could mean you lose clients at this crucial step!
Most businesses welcome walk-ins, however, if you are booked out 4 weeks in advance this may not be a possibility for you, and therefore encouraging your clients to pre-book and re-book is essential! As you complete the brow service and move your client to the checkout, this is a perfect opportunity for you to discuss their next appointment. Recommending a time frame and encouraging your customer to re-book is crucial to your repeat business and helps ensure a high client retention rate.
The VIP Treatment
The salon experience must be consistent and always performed to a high standard. Clients often book services to take time out, be pampered and unwind from their day. It is just as important to treat a returning customer as well as you did on their very first visit. Setting this expectation for your business will help your team consistently provide excellent customer service. After all, the main reason we return to the same salon – is for more of that amazing service!
The Dream Team
Creating a positive workplace culture is crucial to business success! Happy employees perform better in the workplace, which in turn directly impacts your clients and salon client retention.
Remember, work can be fun! Incentivizing your staff can help stimulate their interest in meeting your salon goals and proactively encouraging a strong workplace culture helps staff to want to perform at their best. This is so important as it aligns with educating your team on the strategies you are implementing, to ensure the business is consistent and client retention continues to grow.
Without a strong and reliable team, chances are your business will suffer. It is essential to get to know your staff, their strengths, and the areas they need more support or training to help build an aligned and supportive team. Fostering a culture of recognition, and encouraging staff to learn new skills and take on new responsibilities helps build trust and boost team spirit.
See, You’ve Got This!
A high client retention rate does not happen overnight, it takes time and patience. Remember, consistency is key! You need to actively work on implementing your strategies and reflect on how they are performing.
Client retention rates are a combination of the customer’s experience with your salon and staff, your marketing strategy, booking process, and customer service. Applying these 5 strategies and reflecting on them will help to ensure you have a stream of happy returning customers walking through your door.
Wishing you so much success!