Most businesses spend a surprising amount of time, money and resources in attracting new clients. Yet spend less time thinking about the client’s they actually have and how they can ensure that they keep them.
While you’re busy getting these new clients, what are you doing to keep them coming back and turning into loyal clients?Research shows that you don’t gain client loyalty until clients appear for a 4th visit. So how do you get them to come back for those visits and turn them into a loyal client.
That bit is easy, you need to provide a fantastic client experience. That covers everything from how clients book you to how your salon/treatment room looks even how you look, you are after all a walking advertisement for your treatments.
The experience starts from the minute your client books with you. How do they book? Is it easy, straightforward, is it convenient for them? Do you remind them about that appointment once it made? Do you tell them where they can park, get a coffee maybe do some shopping after or before? Have you considered what your client may want from that visit overall?
So, your client has booked, and they arrive at the salon/treatment room, what is that like? Is your salon bright and clean? When was it last decorated? Can client’s see how you keep it clean? Do you have clear client protocol/policies displayed? What does your work station look like? Has it been cleaned? Is it fresh? Does it inspire confidence? Have you thought about client comfort?Have you tried sitting on your seats for a few hours or laying on your massage table? Is your client warm enough? Is the music you play suited to their taste? How does the salon/treatment room smell? Is it calm and relaxing and uncluttered? Even if you don’t have a lot of money to spend, small changes like a lick of paint or some nice cushions can make all the difference.
And you’re not off the hook if you’re a mobile beauty creative, what do you bring with you for the appointment? Is your equipment clean and unstained? if you use a massage table for instance is it clean and comfortable? Think about how you would present your salon and how that relates to your mobile service.
So, what about the treatment time, while you're working your magic what is your client doing? Do they want to chat to you? Don’t assume that they do. Are you offering coffee? Ok almost all salons etc do now, but is it good coffee? Is it fresh coffee? Do you offer wine or fruit juice or iced water? Do you serve a biscuit with that beverage? Do you consider what you offer? Fresh fruit to go with that iced water or a freshly baked pastry with that coffee.Let clients know that you’re a bit different and that your choices on how you serve clients have been considered.
If it’s a long treatment, can your client change position easily? Are they warm? Will you offer reading material? Think outside the box, could you set up small TVs with headphones and a selection of movies for instance for longer appointments? If you specialise in one particular client group can you tailor music, reading or movie choices to that group?
How do you finish off the client appointment? Do you make payment easy, card payment or payment terms for more expensive treatments?Is their coat readily available? Have you checked that the client is happy with their treatment outcome? Have you checked they have an umbrella if its raining and they just had their hair done? Did you offer a follow up appointment?
Then once your client has left, how are you making sure that they don’t forget about you? Consider a follow up call /text/ email to make sure the client remains happy with outcome, what about a thank you card and a reminder that a follow up treatment is due now. Consider a free or discounted second treatment , you can ask if they have tried some of your other treatments such as shoulder massage and offer to do one at the next appointment, when the next appointment rolls around you can enquire how the shoulder massage went and offer a discount on trying your reiki sessions for instance.This gives the client the chance to try out some treatments they may not have considered but also encourages them to come back.
Don’t forget, 50% of your new client’s will come from referrals from your existing client base so make sure that your client experience is so great that your clients are talking about you. The client experience is made up of a number of small actions on your part that together make a fabulous experience that make your client come back for more … and bring their pals!!!!