5 Ways To Build Stronger Client Relationships

5 Ways To Build Stronger Client Relationships

 

Many salons make the mistake of focusing all their attention on gaining new clients and very little on maintaining strong relations with their existing clients. The truth is, your existing customers are not costing you anything, but searching for new clients is draining your marketing budget as well as your energy and time. Looking after your regulars has more advantages than you may think.  

Statistics show that attracting new clients costs on average 5 to 10 times more than retaining existing ones. Writer Frederick F. Reichheld states in his book ‘The Secret of Loyalty’ that you can decrease your turnover by up to 50% if you don't have a regular stream of loyal customers.

Valued clients come back time and time again, not just for the quality of services you provide, but also the atmosphere you have in the salon and the friendship they have built with you or your staff. These types of clients will recommend your salon to their friends and families, and also be more accepting of inconveniences, such as accidental double bookings or a delivery delay of a certain product. A customer that just visits once would not be as understanding and would question your competence, when your regulars know you and your salon well and won’t question you at all as your history proves otherwise.

Here are 5 ways you can ensure you are taking the best actions possible to getting those dedicated clients, and show you appreciate the ones you have.  

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#1. Ask for feedback

With the rise of the internet and social media, people are relying more and more on reviews when choosing a business to go for or product to buy. 3 out of 4 buyers will go with a company that has the best reviews. So make sure that it is possible for clients to write a review on your website. Third party websites such as Google, Tripadvisor, and salon-specific review sites are also important to get involved with. Asking your clients to write a review, either after their purchase or through a social media post, shows that you take their opinion seriously. Actively requesting for feedback also shows that your business is open for improvements and welcomes constructive criticism. Allow customers easy access to your contact details so they can reach you personally if they prefer. 

 

#2. Use social media in the right way

It can be very easy to get carried away with sales and promotion posts on your social media, that you forget it can be used in so many other more beneficial ways. Social media is a free and accessible way to communicate with your followers in a fun and creative way. Interaction with your followers keeps them entertained and makes them feel a part of something. You can ask followers what they think of certain treatments you have available, whether they’ve tried them yet and what they thought of it. You can offer tutorial videos or useful info-graphics with tips and tricks, asking them if there’s anything they want to know in particular. You can also remind them straight up that they can write reviews on your website, and offer a small discount for anyone who writes one.

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#3. Personal communication

Communicating should go beyond short comments on social media. Strive to communicate with your customer at least once a month to every 6 weeks. This could be in the form of a postcard (Check our download page for postcards), mailed to them with a handwritten note, telling them you haven't seen them for a while and hoped they were well, and that you’d like to them to visit the salon. You could also send personalised emails to the same effect with photos attached of their treatment, such as before and after photos of their hair colour or a progress series of a skin treatment they’ve been having. This shows that you’re thinking about them, and not just trying to sell them something.  

Up to 80% of customers are more likely to return after personal contact, even when your prices are higher than your competition, and 50% are also inclined to leave a review earlier.

#4. Surprise clients with a gift

Giving a gift to a valued client is a small gesture that shows they are appreciated. This gift doesn’t have to be large or expensive, a gift card allowing the client discount off their next purchase is enough. Making it a little more personal, for example sending a handwritten card goes a long way in building stronger client relationships. Studies show that people tend to keep gifts more if they are functional, for example a coffee mug, key ring or tote bag. Personalise it even more by having their name printed on it, along with the logo of your salon, so they are always reminded of you when they see it. Being consisted in your gifts, for example every birthday, gives them something to look forward to. They are also guaranteed to tell their friends and family, word of mouth is the best form of free marketing after all!

#5. Be reliable

One of the first things a good friend should say about you is that you are reliable and trust-worthy, the same is for client relations. How reliable you are as a business and an individual will be a huge factor in your reputation. The more reliable you are as a professional in delivering a quality service, the more likely clients will return to you and also spread the word about their experience. Make sure you return clients calls by setting up a professional answering machine or voice message on your phone. Be on time! Or early is better, and if you are running late, give the client as much notice as possible by calling them, or acknowledge them if they’re sat in the salon. Have your scheduling times organised in a way that you have time in between clients in case one ends up taking longer, this will ensure your appointments don’t overlap.

Author

Niels Mekelenkamp

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