The best way to get more bookings is to make sure your current clients are happy. According to Salon Nerds, 82% of business owners say word-of-mouth is the best way to find new customers. That means you have the best marketing tools at your fingertips — and they’re free! If you have a small group of loyal clients, you’ve already done the hard part. Now, it’s time to turn those happy clients into brand evangelists.
WHY DO CLIENTS LOVE YOU?
First, you need to figure out exactly what keeps clients coming back. Do a little research.
- Read through your reviews. What are some things they mention consistently? Maybe you give great consultations, maybe you give great tips for healthy hair, maybe you are the best brow shaper in town.
- Ask them in person. If you feel awkward asking clients why they love you, ask them what made them decide to leave their previous salon. Try to understand what makes you stand out.
- Look through social media, look at client selfies, and see what people are saying about you.
- Once you’ve figured out your strengths, build them — make sure they are worth referring.
REWARD YOUR BIGGEST FANS
You should already know who your best clients are, the ones that leave reviews, post selfies of your work, book in advance, purchase products from you, or have referred a friend before. Make sure these clients feel appreciated. Simple unexpected rewards really get people talking.
- Keep track of your clients’ visits. When they hit certain milestones, let them know and make their day by adding an extra 15 min to their message or an extra treatment to their hair appointment.
- Treat them like VIPs. When you add a new service to your menu or have limited holiday hours, send an email to your loyal clients and let them know first. Say something like,
I just added ____ to my service menu. It’s a new technique that brightens color and leaves hair healthy and shiny — all the celebs are into it right now ; ) You said you’ve been wanting to try something new and I wanted to give all my top clients priority booking at 10% off.
- Remembering small details can go a long way. Take client notes – send cards on birthdays, have your VIP clients’ favorite treats ready when they sit down in the chair, remember products and services they’re interested in, remember vacation plans and exciting life events. These may seem like small gestures, but when clients feel like they are getting special treatment, they will talk about it with their friends.
HELP THEM SPREAD THE WORD
Make it easy for clients to recommend you. You can go the traditional route and start a loyalty program, but there are other ways you can make sharing easy that don’t cost a cent.
- Ask them. In most cases, your best clients are happy to recommend you, it’s just not the first thing on their mind — their thinking about their hair, not your business. When they’re checking out say this:
“If you have any friends who are looking for a new stylist feel free to recommend me — you are seriously one of my favorite clients and I would love to work with more people like you. I’ll text you my booking link if you want to share it with anyone.”
- Get your business online. Clients should be able to text their friends a link to your booking page so they can check out your profile on the spot and make an appointment. Clients should not have to dig through their bag for your business card, they should not have to give their friend your phone number, and they should not have to tell their friends to go down to the salon for a walk-in. If you aren’t online yet, sign up for StyleSeat to create an online booking page.
- Finally, make it easy for happy clients to talk about you on social media. Display your social media handles in the salon with a call-to-action like this:
“If you post a photo of your new nails, don’t forget to tag @nailsbylisa so I can share it : ) And, if you see a look on my page you think a friend will love, don’t forget to tag them!”
Looking for tools to help you run your business? Try StyleSeat here.
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