According to industry stats, salons lose 30 percent of their clients each year, making the need to implement proven strategies that will build loyalty and make your business thrive all the more vital. Take a look at what these savvy experts recommend. 
 
 

“The hard reality is that only 15 percent of clients are completely happy with the overall service they receive at their regular salon,” reveals Rowena Berry, ASK Business national trainer for ASK Business, Schwarzkopf Professional Canada. “Which means that 85 percent of clients would be willing to change overnight.”

That statistic alone should be enough to cause anyone working in a salon to immediately implement better business practices.

 

HIGH-END EXPERIENCE

Fortunately, there are proven tactics to ensure you offer your clients the very best service each and every time they come to see you. Because, “beyond cut and colour, retaining customers has more to do with the experience you are offerring them. It’s about making them feel amazing when they’re in your chair,” says Berry.

“Always consider that clients are paying for the service you
are providing and they don’t care about your personal problems, so leave that stuff out of the conversation while focusing on
your craft,” reminds Louis Hechter, editorial director for L’Oréal Professionnel Canada, and owner of Orbite, a magnet salon for an af uent clientele in Montreal. “Simply put, they are there because they crave luxury, want to be pampered, and are willing to spend a lot of money to get that.”

Berry suggests looking at how luxury restaurants and hotels operate, and then taking a few of those ideas and approaches to create special touches in your own salon. “The level of service is really what will set your salon apart from the rest.”

 

FIRST-TIME CLIENT RETENTION

“Six out of 10 new customers won’t rebook with you,” cautions Berry. “But what’s exciting about having unfamiliar faces come in is that you can win them over.”To do that, go beyond what’s expected. For example, nd out how these people like to be contacted, and follow-up.

“Send handwritten thank-you cards. Call them up to see if the at-home routine your recommended delivered on their 

expectations. Did they get many compliments on their new haircut? Make it personal, so that people feel valued.” And keep it up! Because “a customer only becomes a regular client after three bookings,” says Berry, which can mean another six months down the road.

“Beyond cut and colour, retaining customers is about the experience you are creating for them. It’s about making them feel amazing when they’re in your chair.”

– ROWENA BERRY, ASK BUSINESS NATIONAL TRAINER FOR ASK BUSINESS AT SCHWARZKOPF PROFESSIONAL CANADA

 

PRE-BOOKING

Consider creating a seasonal plan for your client to ensure she feels that you are the hair expert she can trust to create the best new look for her throughout the year. “I usually transform the base colour at the change of each season, just like the fashion calendar, and then add depth, dimension or highlights as we move forward,” says Hechter. “You need to implement a strategic vision in term of your clients’ looks.This is where that trust relationship becomes so important.”

As well, pre-booking is essential to maintaining loyalty and increasing your regular client base. “We book our client’s appointments three months in advance, and they need to recon rm their bookings by email, just like in the airline industry.”The system works so well for Hechter that all timeslots at Orbite are usually booked months in advance. 

 

Savvy Social Media Marketing 

A well-rounded social strategy is also key in creating loyalty, says Louis Hechter, editorial director for L’Oréal Professionnel Canada and owner of Orbite salon in Montreal.

1 Develop a coherent content marketing strategy with your team.

2 Show that your salon knows how to create and is an expert at current beauty trends.

3 Forget the millions of followers. What’s more important is connecting with the people who follow you; the level of

engagement is where it’s at.

4 Posting non-stop editorial shots is boring and cold. Don’t forget that clients like seeing a bit of your personal life. But always make it fresh, positive and inviting. “People have to feel they can contact you.”