Know your clients, not just “Hi Val my name is Terry”, get to know everything you can e.g. Where they work, their home-life and social environment. Using the Client Profile card, capture all their personal details i.e. Correct spelling of their first name and last name, cell number and email address, gender and birthday, occupation, preferred staff member, and any other personal preferences the clients may have. Try to keep these updated each visit, particularly changes happening in their lives that might or might not affect the type of services you provide.
Stay in touch. Without bombarding your clients with spam-like advertising try to send messages to them on a regular basis so that you are never far from their minds. Especially on their birthday, or when you have new products or salon events. Finally, follow up on regular clients that have not returned to the salon for 2-3 months. Most salon software produces client reports that show the date of last visit. The message you are sending these clients is that you haven’t forgotten them and you are missing them.
Introduce a dynamic loyalty programme. This is definitely a BIG ‘magic bullet’. There is no better way to build loyalty than by recognising regular clients and rewarding them periodically. This business strategy is far more effective than discounting – because you are adding value for your clients. Set your salon system up to reward clients with one loyalty point for every R100 they spend. One can give ‘bonus’ loyalty points during promotions on specific services or when clients refer new business to you. The success of your loyalty programme is not based on how many points you give away but rather on how many points are redeemed i.e. How often clients are able to ‘pay’ for their services with their loyalty points. Always work on the basis of ‘highest perceived value for the client but lowest cost to the business’. One example of this is hair treatments. After having spent a significant amount on their colour, clients are often reluctant to pay extra for the treatment. However, if they receive a complimentary treatment paid with their loyalty points, the perceived value to the client is R350-R400 however, the actual cost to the salon is probably only +/- R50. PLUS the clients will notice the difference in the durability of their colour and understand exactly why you recommend the treatment and will probably have one again.
Convenience and Accessibility. There is a lot to be said about convenience, accessibility and customer loyalty. For example, salons that are difficult to access such as being on the 2nd or 3rd floor with only stairs as access. Or relocating the salon. If you move too far away you will find a drop in regular business based on how much further they have to travel. Or a salon that doesn’t answer their phones, either because they don’t have enough in-coming lines or because people are slow to answer the phone. This lack of accessibility will force loyal clients to find another salon. What is becoming more and more popular is clients being able to go onto your ‘app’ in order to request/book an appointment. Unfortunately most of these are just appointment bookings ‘apps’ with no direct integration into your salon CRM system. There are a few business systems that do have the on-line bookings function which integrates the appointment procedure into stock management, staff commissions, target setting as well as the financial reporting – all the things that make CRM business systems so successful. When considering business systems try to find one that provides cloud based, on-line bookings, point of sale and CRM (client relationship management), all in one.