Why salons are losing their customers and what you can do to keep it from happening to your salon.
You work really hard to get new customers through the door. You may even have to work harder to keep those new customers coming back. I decided to do some research on the average rate on the returning customers, and it might shock you. According to Behind The Chair, only 30% of customers will come back to the salon after their first time visiting. Out of 10 customers, you’ve worked so hard to get only 3 will return. Then out of those 3, only 2 will consistently keep coming back.
If you are having a hard time retaining your salon’s clients, you are not alone. The good news is, there is a way to keep your customers, and It will require a shift in how you look at your business. First, let’s go over why the customer doesn’t return in the first place.
Understanding The Customer Process to Retention
To understand this, you need to be in the customer shoes and what goes through their decision-making process. I’ll walk you through a simple one.
- Their last hairstylist messed up on their hair, and they need a new salon to go to. They won’t go back to the same salon just because their mind associates that salon as a bad experience.
- They go online and start looking for a new salon that has good reviews or asks around to see who does a good job. Regardless of the recommendation, they will research the salon.
- They’re still unsure who to book with and don’t want to spend a premium price to have someone mess their hair up. They tend to look for somebody who is offering a promotion or deal. They can justify spending a minimum amount if their hair is going to be ruined anyway.
- Finding a salon, the customer wants to give a try and use their promotion code or any specials the salon may have.
- At the end of the cut, they are polite and tip but have made it up in their mind; they aren’t going back because they weren’t delighted.
Customers will repeat this process over and over again until they find the right salon/stylist. That is just one scenario where customers are having a hard time finding which hairstylist at your salon will be the best for them. On top of that, you have customers who aren’t happy with the way they were treated, or maybe they didn’t feel important that salon.
Just the other day I went to get a haircut I always look forward to the wash. If the stylist messes up my cut, there will always be a gentle wash at the end that almost always puts me to sleep. She did great on the haircut but forgot to give me a hair wash ( came with the price of the cut). She had another client waiting and rushed me off. I understood why she did what she did. She didn’t want to get push back on all appointments. I tipped 30% and left with the intention not to go back. I was rushed off and felt like I was just another head to be cut.
What Makes Customers Not Want To Return To Your Salon.
Let’s sum it up real quick on why customers don’t return to the salon. These will be points that you can control. Something you can’t control is if the client moves or has a financial issue that comes up.
- The customer didn’t find the right hairstylist.
- They weren’t treated as a high valued customer
- The customer was never asked to reschedule another appointment.
- Salon didn’t live up to their satisfaction.
All those are a negative experience for the customers and would make it, so your retention rate falls.
How You Can Retain Your Salon Clientele
It all begins with what type of process you have in place. The best way to see if you have a hole in your process is to have past customers give you feedback on how they felt when coming to the salon. Another way is just changing step by step until it’s your process is perfect, and everyone knows what they should be doing.
Most salons offer other services. You want the client to come for all those services like Nails, and false eyelashes.
Make sure the client gets booked with the correct hairstylist
People are unsure of who to chose for a certain cut/dye/shave/trim/ or any other hair-related services. The customer becomes overwhelmed and will just pick what they believe will fit the best. Make the choosing process as easy as possible.
Welcome the guest into the salon
Make sure the area is clean and smells good. All customers are greeted at the door by the receptionist. Don’t let the receptionist be on their phones as it will be distracting from their task. The front desk is the contact point for all customers. How well does your front desk represent you when you’re not around?
Having hairstylists that are easy to talk to and not rushed.
The welcoming doesn’t stop with the front desk. Make sure all your hairstylists and friendly, relaxed, and confident. Nothing is more awkward than getting your hair cut and not having a conversation at all. If the hairstylist is continuously falling behind, they need more time during the appointments. A rushed job is never a good job. This energy will also transfer over to the customer. If the stylist is relaxed, then so will the customer.
Provide full-service treatment for all customers.
That means whatever it takes to get the job done right. Think about it if you had an idol or anyone of importance come to your salon. Are you rolling the red carpet out for them? The same should be for all customers. Meaning if the hair needs to be washed before and after the cut, that should be included in the price. I’m not saying do $15 hair cuts and do everything on top of that. Charge $30 and give them the full service. Treat every customer as a high paying client.
Offering products and reappointment bookings.
One big mistake that all salons make is trying to push products onto customers. Yes, selling products is super important. There is a better way to do it. If you dig deep into the problems that the client has by asking questions, they will tell you what they want. Find out what they need, not what you want to sell to them. Serve them, and the customers will buy more products.
Always reschedule the appointment before they pay. This is when you have the client’s attention. A simple question as to how long do you wait before your next hairstyl? Put that down and make another appointment. Get their phone number and email to send them reminders, so you limit your no shows.
Reward your clientele, not the first time customers.
One thing everyone does is give promotions to new customers but never for the people that keep coming back to you. It’s a trend all over. Look at the tv industry, 2 years at a sweet price after that its double. It causes customers to switches every 2 years. The same happens in the hair industry. Reward your customers for being a customer. The gratitude will go further than a first time customer. Not to mention 70% of the first time customers won’t come back. Give them a reason to.
Send a thank you and a happy birthday card.
You can email these, but it doesn’t have the same effect as mailing them to the customer. If they are indeed a lifetime customer, you become a big part of their life. You see these clients every month to every 3 months. A simple thank you goes a long way if there is effort put into the thankyou.
Treat Your Salon clients as clients, not money.
It’s easy to see the clients as money. I promise you that if you switch over to a services mindset vs. the profit mindset that the profit and clients will keep coming back for more and more service. The goal is to have a high retention rate for your customers. Returning customers always spend more, and you get them coming back with providing a service that is next to none.
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Caleb Grant is the founder of Blanc Ideas, a digital marketing firm founded in 2014. For the past 5 years, he has been deeply involved with businesses and is shifting the way his clients think about their online presence as not only a cost-effective platform to reach their audience but also a system engineered to drive measurable business-oriented results.