We all strive to create loyal clients. The type of client who visits you without fail every six weeks for their facial or the client who books with Sarah every time because she has always done her nails.
That’s because loyal clients are much easier to service, they tend to buy more and most importantly, you have regular guaranteed income. That is of course, a dream client!
We also strive to find new clients. New clients also mean more income – and will hopefully convert to loyal ones. But how do you find them? An expensive marketing campaign in your local newspaper or perhaps a discount offer, what about paid social media advertising?
While valid options, they’re expensive ones. But do you know how much you spend on acquiring new clients? Well, it’s certainly a lot more than what it costs for a loyal client to rave to a friend about the exceptional client experience they’ve had at your salon. Not only is this free, but referrals are the strongest form of marketing – a real person with real experience providing others with a real opinion.
How can you ensure you have loyal clients who create clients? It’s got a lot to do with getting to know your clients, so here are some ways to do so:
Build a relationship
Forming long-lasting, meaningful relationships is vital to any salon’s success, particularly when it comes to loyalty. So if you’re relying solely on contact information and purchase history, you probably don’t know your clients well enough to be building a solid relationship.
Take your time
You need to get to know your clients on a more personal level, and you’re not going to get there during their first appointment. It takes time and you do have to start with the basics.
Where do they work? Are they married? Do they have kids? All useful to know, however it’s where you go from there that makes the difference.
Build on the information you have and use it to get to know your clients on a more personal level. Use their appointment time to subtly learn what type of personality they have, their likes and dislikes and what their lifestyle is like. And don’t forget to share a bit about yourself too – relationships are a two-way street and it’ll help to get the conversation flowing.
Remember the details
This is the hard part – remembering all your conversations! With so much detail, and lots of clients it’s near impossible. Lean on your salon and spa software like Kitomba, where you can add all these important details to the client card. You’ll never forget their drink preference or allergies!
Be sure to add any detail to the card, and glance over the notes prior to their appointment. This way you can remind yourself of anything that might have happened, and pick up conversations where they left off.
Remembering the finer details can ensure you always cater to their needs and you can find things in common. All of these factors can have a big impact on building a relationship.
Learn more about personalising your client experience with Kitomba’s Client Cards.
Ask questions and don’t forget to listen
This one is obvious but it’s good to be reminded! When you’re getting to know your clients – ask lots of questions. In particular, it’s important to ask “why”, and to listen to the answers. This ensures your client has time to talk and also helps you obtain the information you need. Remember to keep your questions open to encourage your clients to talk, you’ll learn a lot about them during this process.
Use visual tools to assist when asking questions – ask your client for photos of the hair they’re wanting so you can discuss their desired style, or take progress shots so you can review them together. Add these to their client card for easy access.
And remember to listen! That is where the value lies, you’ll know your clients better and understand where to make changes.
At the end of the day, no amount of personal connection can substitute for great work. You need to know your stuff. Afterall, you are a paid expert and someone is giving you their hard-earned money to do something they believe you have a high level of experience and knowledge in.
Keep yourself up-to-date with the latest in your profession and take the opportunity for training or upskilling. Ultimately, you should be a useful resource for your clients, someone they can obtain advice from.
Don’t hesitate to share information that you think your clients should know. It shows you’ll go the extra mile and it doesn’t cost a lot of time or money. In fact recommendations for products or a shorter time between appointments will help increase revenue!
The more value you offer, the more a client comes to depend on and trust you – and these are key elements to a long-term relationship.
Use your salon software to reward loyal clients
A great way to find out more about your clients’ habits is to implement a client loyalty programme, or referral rewards system. We’ve talked a lot about the value of having regular clients, so why not reward them for their loyalty.
See more about Kitomba Loyalty: Getting started with Kitomba’s Loyalty programme
You could also implement a referral programme to kick start that word-of-mouth marketing! Think about how you’ll capture information about the referrer, what the reward will be, and how best to promote it.
Learn more about using your salon and spa software to get more referrals for your salon, spa or clinic.
Are you ready to find out more about your clients?
So what are you waiting for? Now you know why getting to know your clients is important, and how best to do it, make sure your salon and spa software is set up to help.
Book a free demo with Kitomba to see how our all inclusive salon and spa software can build loyalty amongst your clients and help elevate your overall client experience.
Editor’s note: This article was originally published on 26 May 2016 and has been updated for relevancy and comprehensiveness.