Salons are a unique type of business. Their clients are some of the most discerning in the world, and operate in vastly different ways than they do elsewhere. The role that a stylist will play for a client is, more often than not, closer to that of ‘trusted advisor’ than of a service provider.
Because of this, business marketing for salons tends to be highly specialised and targeted, to capitalise upon the potential value of personal relationships for client retention. Not only that, but the possibility of relationship building can be leveraged as an incentive for new and potential customers to give both initial and repeat custom.
Initiating and Maintaining Relationships
Your customers are the backbone of your business, and as such need to be nurtured. For a salon, this means creating and maintaining long term customer relationships. And since personal connections are so important in the salon industry, making sure that your customers are able to see their regular stylist is essential.
Of course, offering your clients the same stylist is not always possible, especially if the stylist in question decides to leave your salon. This is why it’s so important to make sure that one-on-one relationships between stylists and clients are supported in other ways. Assigning junior stylists to clients will support the existing stylist-client relationship, and provide an already-established alternative for clients who find their regular stylist isn’t available. If client loyalty is diversified in this way, it will increase the likelihood of the client staying with your salon, even after their primary stylist has left.
Managing Customer Relationships
Managing such relationships can be difficult, but this can be made easier through the use of certain software packages, such as Phorest software – salon software & solutions for stylists and beauty technicians. This allows you to track and manage customer feedback, which can then be used to ensure your salon is offering a consistently excellent standard of service for all of your clients.
Turning New Customers into Loyal Clients
Repeat custom is incredibly important for any business, but nowhere is it more important than for a salon. Salon businesses interact with their customers in a much more personal way than in other businesses, and the stronger a relationship is between a technician and their customer, the more likely it is that the customer will visit regularly.
Gift cards, loyalty schemes and other incentives are all great ideas to maximise the likelihood of your new customers returning on a regular basis. In addition, as with other businesses, making good use of social media is a great way to engage with your customers – new and old – and keep them up-to-date with news and offers from your salon.
The Benefits of Customer Loyalty for Your Salon
Studies have shown that, when a stylist leaves a salon, up to 30% of their personal clients leave with them. This is a direct indicator of the power of customer loyalty with regards to the success of your salon business. So it’s vital that customer loyalty is managed properly, to ensure that loyalty is assigned both to individual stylists/therapists/technicians, and to the salon itself.
The benefits of customer loyalty for your salon are directly linked to revenue, but improving this loyalty can also have benefits for your salon and employees. Customers are more likely to be loyal to salons which offer a pleasant atmosphere, to staff who are well mannered and considerate, and if their needs are met. Ensuring that your salon offers all of these things will not only encourage your loyal customers to remain loyal, it will help to market your business in a positive way.