John, what are some practices I can implement at my salon to retain clients?
Retaining existing clients, can be more cost-effective for your business than trying to acquire new ones. On average, it is 7X more expensive to acquire a new customer than to retain an existing one. Between your customer service, your marketing, and creating a culture of pre-booking, you should have no problem increasing the retention of your current clients.
Customer service plays a huge role in repeat client retention. While a client comes to you for a service, they also expect an experience. Your software should allow you to input notes into each client file. Keep track of beverage preferences, life events, style preferences and more, so you can connect on a deeper level the each time the client comes in for an appointment.
Segmenting your marketing to fit different niches of your client base can also help increase your client retention. Creating content that's specific to each demographic at your business can help you personalize your message and appeal to the different wants and needs of your clients. Take the time to divide your clients into different groups based on what they need from your business. Once your clients are segmented, you can craft specific messages for each of your marketing campaigns. Your software should have a filter that allows you to segment clients based on specific criteria. In Millennium, it’s referred to as the “Client Selection” feature.
Creating a culture around pre-booking can drastically improve your client retention, as well as frequency of visit. Pre-booking is nothing new in the service industry. Just think—most of us have our next cleaning at the dentist set 6 months in advance, and we expect to book our next appointment before we leave the dentist’s office. Why? Because the dentist has created a culture of pre-booking in their business, and you can, too. Scheduling your client for their next appointment while they are still at your salon creates a “promise” that they will return. This gives you the chance to continue to provide them an exceptional experience so they look forward to every visit and keep coming back.
Retaining clients is an important part of your business. An increase as little as 5% can greatly impact your profitability. Focusing on providing the best customer experience, targeting your marketing, as well as pre-booking your clients will have a large impact on your client retention.