How to Attract, Excite and Retain Customers For Your Salon

The art of attracting salon customers is a skill we must master to survive in business today. 

Even without the global pandemic, most salons need a healthy amount of new salon customers coming in regularly to replace the turnover of leaving customers and to help build up new customers for new and progressing team members.

Without customers, you don’t have a business!

This has become increasingly harder for salon owners as they face new challenges and have had to adapt the way they run their salons. This is something I talk about in an article I wrote for Stuff New Zealand, New Zealand’s largest news website. Check it out HERE.

So let’s firstly take a look at why customers leave because it’s a thing you have to get comfortable with… but it’s not for the reason you think!

Here’s a hard truth… you cannot possibly attract salon customers and keep everyone that comes in your door. In fact, industry statistics say that, on average, only 30% of all new customers will come again… WHAT!!

I know it can be an uncomfortable truth, but the sooner you get comfortable with it the better because not accepting this fact can prevent you from having the confidence to set aside marketing funds to attract new salon customers.

Successful salons do not let these industry facts get in the way of them drilling down on the things they can do to increase new customer retention percentages. Plus they take a serious overview of the whole customer experience for their business.

They focus on bringing awareness to their brand, building excitement for the appointment and ensuring they do everything possible to continue the relationship after the first appointment to keep attracting new salon customers.

Just like how other brands are making a killing today within the competitive hospitality, hotel and retail industries. Think about where you have received a stunning customer experience yourself.

Successful salons realise that attracting the right type of customer and over-delivering on service by using the digital marketing tools we have at our fingertips is the key to connecting and nurturing new customers to become raving fans of their products and services.

So focusing on the valuable rebooking process is key. Obviously, there will be customers who don’t return because they are passing through town or are on holiday, and you will get people who only come once because that’s about as often as they come!!

Here lies the main point I want to talk about… you need to get really good at attracting the type of customers who are a good fit right from the get-go.

Having a high percentage of new customers not come back could be a problem for you because you are not putting enough effort into attracting the right customers in the first place.

I have seen salons where its direction completely shifts from the vision the owner wanted because of an unconscious choice to open the doors to all, not focus on the work they wanted to and attract a clientele that controlled the vibe. The salon owners find themselves stressed, out of alignment, their passion has dwindled and they feel trapped.

And it’s understandable when you have rent and wages to pay plus stylists books to fill. It’s easy to go for the deals and discounts plus use cheap marketing tricks to attract anyone to your salon with just the day’s revenue in mind.

But you pay for it in the long term because retention rates from these types of tactics are the worst in the industry.

Attract the right customers with your brand

So what can you do to work on your new customer retention rates and start to gain confidence in spending your marketing dollars? Unapologetically define who you want to serve and get to work!

Unsexy? Maybe… essential? ABSOLUTELY!!

Take some time to get this dialled in because it is a task that must be done so you can set this whole customer attraction, excite and retain experience into motion. Plus it gives you the framework for your brand… that’s who you are, what you care about and who you want to serve.

If you just want to serve everybody, you will not be doing anyone, most of all yourself, any favours. Getting clear on how you want to be viewed as a brand is very important in attracting your desired tribe.

Trying to serve everybody means not serving anybody very well

This is the first step in Phase 1 of the Customer Experience Framework. It’s the foundation of my salon’s success and the salons I work with have found sustainable growth from it. 

I have something to help you out, it’s my Ideal Customer Worksheet. Find out more about your customers and how you can speak to them in your marketing, ads, posts, blogs and emails. 

Join the SOCIAL HUB and grab your copy of the Ideal Customer Worksheet

Once you are clear on who you want to serve and have spent some time really getting to know them, then it’s time to unpack more in Phase 1 of the Customer Experience Framework. Find out how you can make these ideal customers aware of you, start building a relationship and attracting them to your salon.

Focusing on the customer’s experience only once they are in your salon is a common mistake I see salon owners make. The reality is that there should be a structure around who, how, when and what you do to attract as many great quality customers into your salon as possible… that requires looking at the customer experience before they step foot into your salon. 

Digital marketing plays a hugely important role in developing your Customer Experience Framework. That includes your social platforms, website and email, and they all give you so many opportunities to build relationships and show new potential customers who you are. 

Blow them away with your salon experience

If you don’t have enough structure in your business around your customers’ in-salon experiences, then you are making the most common mistake made by salons that fail… you lack consistency. 

I’ll say that again… Lack of consistency is the most common reason a customer leaves a salon and never comes back.

Look, I understand that it can be challenging. We are all artists and love our individuality, unique style and way of doing things.

But if creativity and being an individual was the only recipe for success, would brands like Starbucks and Subway survive?

It’s easy to get hung up on providing a space for your stylists to do what they want and being flexible, but your salon needs a consistent customer experience if you want to be a destination salon or if you want to ensure that you survive if a stylist leaves. 

What is being a destination salon all about…?

Well, it’s all very good to just rely on passing trade, but in reality, you need to work smarter and not harder to attract customers that come to your salon because they align with your brand.

 It means that you have a more stable business model that does not rely on an individual stylist to make revenue and profits.

Lack of consistency is the most common reason customers do not return to a business

To create consistency, you need to have structure for your in-salon experience so that each customer is treated the same, has the same high-level experience and feels valued.

This comes down to your salon having an aligned culture and values system that is developed through Empowered Leadership.

Are you getting your team on board with how you want the salon to run and do you all share a common set of standards that you want to operate under?

How is your salon training around procedures and the standards that you want to reliably perform at?

Follow up from the heart

Most salons don’t do this well enough and don’t pay enough attention to follow-up. How do you measure up?

  • How do you reach out to customers that have been before but not returned? 
  • How do you communicate with your regular customers on an ongoing basis?
  • What message do you send to people about your brand after their first, second or third visits, or the purchase of a product?
  • Are you getting positive 5-star reviews to add to your social and website pages?

Retaining, engaging and building relationships with customers is up to us to get right. We need to be the pursuer in the relationship… and not in a sleazy way… they want to know we care!

There are so many ways you can do this with all the amazing tools that digital marketing has to offer. 

Make the effort and implement some strategies because the benefit is a higher lifetime customer value and that is the key metric you need to measure.

Putting structure in your business to measure, track and nurture your numbers allows you to have the consistency that keeps customers coming back.

Lifetime value is a key metric in assessing your success. Do you know yours?

Spending your valuable time on the in-depth work like finding your ideal customer and making sure their salon experience is great is wasted if you don’t plug the holes in the bucket and focus on retention.

Looking at your individual stylist’s retention, upsell and retail statistics will help you identify what is going on in your salon. In my salon and with my coaching clients, we implement a ‘Nurture’ program that ensures every customer gets follow-up contact that is appropriate to their past behaviour.

We communicate with them in a way that encourages the relationship to develop beyond the salon. This puts us top of mind and means we are relevant to their needs.

It is easy to believe this is work that is time-consuming and ‘just another job’, but look at the choice customers have today. If we aren’t being ‘on purpose’ and relevant, or even worse, just ignoring them, we risk losing them forever.

If you want to keep thinking that setting up structure for follow-up is too hard or time-consuming, then you really have to ask yourself if those hours you spent trying to increase your social media likes and Instagram followers is really worth all the effort when nurturing customers can really make the biggest difference to your revenue, business stability and profits.

And I get it… those things are easier and a good distraction when it’s been a long day. But, I will challenge you to consider whether thinking like that will give you the success you want. 

Doing the ‘hard work’ may not be sexy, but it is what gives you a better chance at a successful business.

If You Want Other Great FREE Resources Like The Ideal Customer Worksheet, Join The Social Hub

You’ll find FREE resources like our 3 part video series, ‘How To Get Customers From Instagram’, ‘Done For You’ Social Media Posts, Branding and Blogging Checklists, and Facebook Page ‘How To’ 2 Minute Trainings.

Join HERE.

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