Keep Salon Customers Coming Back
This is something that no one really wants to talk about. Most will talk about gaining new clients, but what about taking care of the ones we have? All the information I am about to share with you was knowledge I gained over the last 20 years in the beauty industry. I had this client that I did lashes on every 2 weeks like clockwork for a few years. I felt like she was a friend, not just a client. I received a message from my client that she had to cancel and nothing else. I was so concerned. She has never done that before. I of course called her back to make sure she was ok. All I could do was leave her a message. Two weeks went by and I heard nothing from her. I knew something bad had happened. I checked her Instagram and that was when I was shocked. She had blocked me. I was devastated to say the least.
It was a full year later that I ran into her at the grocery store. We were both so excited to see each other. The first thing I noticed was her beautiful lashes. I expressed to her how much I had missed her and what had happened. She hesitantly told me her friend went to a Lash Artist that customized the lashes to her eye shape and she wanted to try out colored lashes and she thought I did not offer that. She was interested in having eyelashes that helped her eye look more open and bigger. It was crazy because I did that. I just had never expressed that to her how I analyzed her eye and used various curls, length, and width. I had never really thought that she would want color, so I never even mentioned it. I also self-reflected and realized I never really asked her what look she was going for or educate her on what I was doing or could do. I lost my most loyal client all because of lack of communication. I started to listen to more clients and my fellow artists clients. I realized there were key things that lead me to lose clients. Diving deep into the situations we can and cannot control.
1. Clients do not feel valued.
Clients may not feel valued by you. A few things that could give the customer this impression. Maybe you are an artist that runs fashionably late most days. Your guest may not feel you value their time. Clients want to feel like they are the most important client. How can you make your clients feel like they are your favorite? Take note of their birthday, special events and what is going on in their life. Are you excited with high energy every time your client walks in the door? Invite (rebook) them back in because you want to see them again.
2. Clients do not feel listened to.
The consultation is a great way to create dialogue around what they are wanting. Not just on their first appointment, but every appointment. Repeat back to your client what you are hearing them express they want. Educate your guest on what is realistic for them specifically. It is so easy to misunderstand expectation and your guest gets the impression you did not listen. In fact, you did, but you or they misunderstood what was expected. Do not get stuck in a rut like I did by setting up and having my guest lay down and I just started applying the lashes to my client. I never asked her after her 1st visit a few years prior. Wow, what a wake-up call.
Maybe I moved locations, or they moved and where you are located is not reasonable for them anymore. There are some things that are out of our control. The only part with this is that you can control and that is you finding the best location for you and do your best to not move around too much if at all.
4. Life Changes.
Life changes is another one that you cannot control. Your guests may get married, divorced, change and or lose jobs. This is what I feel that has been the hardest part of 2020 and into 2021. The pandemic that created many life changes. All we can do is move forward and know that our clientele is impacted by this.
When your client comes into your space is it clean? Has it been disinfected from the previous client? I prefer my area to look as if that guest is the first guest of the day. Everything gets wiped down from the previous client. All the tools I get out are obviously clean. I say this because I have seen other artists pull tweezers out of a very cluttered drawer. They may have been sanitized when they went into the drawer, but are they now? I like to pull mine out of a clean closed container. The perception to that client is that they are clean and disinfected. I pay close attention to what the guest can see. I lay or sit wherever my guest will be and look at the details they can see. This may even be the ceiling, corners and floorboards. Some of this is in our control and some may not. When you are looking at places to do the service look at those details. If you are going into an established salon, look at how it is maintained and cleaned? Do the other service providers have the same cleanliness standards as you?
6. Guests do not feel inspired to try something new.
I assumed my client wanted the same thing time and time again. I never once asked her what she wanted or did I educate her on the newest trends. Our clients may not know what they want or what would look good. It is up to us as the professional to educate them. They may say no every time, however they may surprise you when they do say yes. You are planting the seed for next time. Sometimes we are nervous to offer something different today because we are so booked tight, we do not have an extra 5 min to add or change anything. You can discuss today what you want to do next time. This is an amazing strategy. It gets your guest excited for their next visit. Its our job to get our guest excited and inspired to try something new. Those changes may be extremely small but make all the difference to our client. They know they can make a change and stay with us vs. having to find a different service provider to get it.
Look closely at each of these areas and how you can improve. Listen to your clients verbally and nonverbally. Their body language is screaming at you, just open your eyes. Focus what you can control and do not stress or take personal the things you cannot.