Not much in life is as satisfying as turning your passion into a profit. If you spent your childhood experimenting with your babydoll’s hair—or your little sister’s locks—then you may feel like it’s your destiny to run your own salon. While you may be doing what you love to do, one of the cons of being a salon owner is that new clients are hard to come by.
The best thing you can do to ensure the success of your salon is to get first-timers to become repeat customers and eventually loyal clients. What’s the secret sauce to turn your client base into the most loyal one around? Keep reading to learn how you can build loyalty with your salon customers.
When You’re Just Getting Started
As a stylist, you know and understand that people are particular about their hair. Once people get used to a specific pair of hands working their scalp, they tend to like to keep it that way.
Opening a business where you provide a service rather than sell a product can be difficult. When you’re selling a product, people are familiar with it, and either they like the product or don’t. However, when you’re providing a service, people want to see what you can do before they give you their money.
A great way to get your business off to a good start is to offer to do your friends’ or their children’s hair for free. Doll up a couple of your girlfriends and send them out into the world as your walking billboards! Every time your friends get a compliment on their clip-in hair extensions or highlights, you’ll get a referral!
The chances are that if you’re opening your own salon, then you’ve done a few dos in the past. Bringing in new clients is awesome, but your marketing strategy should focus on bringing in loyal customers who came to you before you opened your own salon. Don’t get so caught up in bringing in new clients that you forget about the clientele that you already have.
Your first step to building a loyal customer base for your salon is to get as many referrals as possible. Believe it or not, that’s where most new leads come from for all businesses—not advertisements.
Convert New Customers to Repeat Customers
As a salon owner, when someone comes into your shop for the first time, your priority needs to be to get them to come back again. The process of turning a new customer into a loyal customer begins the moment she enters your salon.
Do your best work on every customer because each customer presents an advertisement opportunity. If your happy clients will allow it, take before and after pictures of their hair and post them to your salon’s social media page. Not only will the image be seen by everyone in your network, but it will be seen by everyone in your client’s network as well.
An effective way to get first-time customers to come back for a second visit is to offer them a discount for their second appointment. Also, you can use customer relationship management—CRM—software to do voice mail drops and remind your loyal customers about upcoming appointments.
Also, some CRM packages come with unlimited SMS—allowing you to let your clientele know about appointments and deals via text. You can take your smartphone game just a little to the next level and offer digital loyalty cards as well.
Create an Enjoyable Atmosphere
Surely you’re familiar with the phrase “first impressions are lasting impressions.” What that cliche is conveying is that people will never forget how they met you and what about you stuck out the most. With that said, you need to make your salon the type of place that people feel comfortable in as soon as they walk in.
People spend a lot of time sitting and waiting in salons, so the atmosphere needs to be one that is welcoming and relaxing. In other words, you need to make your salon the type of place that will create loyal customers who can’t wait to come back.