Baby Come Back! Tips for Client Retention

By AHP Staff

We’ve all heard the saying, “Work smart, and not hard.” This is especially true when it comes to knowing how to retain customers—it’s much harder to gain new clients than it is to retain the ones you have. And learning how to retain your clients can be as easy as following two simple rules: First, treat your loyal, long-time clients as if every time you see them, it’s the first time. Don’t ever take these clients for granted. Second, if some of your clients haven’t been in to see you in a while, reach out to them and let them know you miss seeing them, especially if they are newer clients. Everyone likes to feel valued, and a simple phone call to let them know you’re thinking of them can make a huge difference in their decision to stick with you and not look for another stylist.

Let’s look at some ways you can entice those clients to come back to you and stay!

Make it Personal.

Your clients want to feel like they are special to you . . . which they should be. When you call or text them, make sure you talk about something personal they’ve shared with you. For example, if you knew a client was taking a vacation to Maui, the conversation might go like this: “Hi Mariah! I just wanted to check in with you to see how your trip went and how your hair held up with all the ocean swimming and sunny beaches. I’m offering a special on an amazing conditioning treatment that will make your hair feel and look fantastic. I have some openings next week, and I’d love to see you, so let me know what works with your schedule.”

In this day when everything is digital, a hand-written personal notecard mailed to your client’s home will surprise and delight them. Maybe you’re remembering their birthday or wedding anniversary, but whatever the sentiment, it will make them feel valued and special and hopefully help with client retention. 

Offer special add-on hairdresser services or free hair care product samples.

Here are some examples:

For every color service you provide, offer an ultimate conditioning treatment for a low cost to ensure the client’s hair is conditioned before applying color.

Ask your vendors for sample products and combine it with a package deal for your clients. Your client will receive the free sample, then you can pair it with 20 percent off a purchase of the full-size product if they book a service.

Offer an express updo at no charge if they have booked a full service.

For your client’s birthday, bachelorette party, or bridal or baby shower, offer to add a few strands of hair tinsel at no charge.

Make your hairdresser software work for you.

As hairdressers and barbers, you lead busy lives and have limited time to focus on tracking client appointments. There are many choices of software available to make your life easier. Here are a few options for you to explore if you’re looking for salon software:

Salon Iris is software created for independent hairstylists but can also work in a business of any size. Salon Iris can track how many new clients you’ve gained, clients who didn’t show for an appointment, and clients who aren’t returning for services. It helps you to maximize client retention and the growth of your business. This software also helps client retention by targeting each type of client with a marketing message that pertains to them. You can communicate with new clients with one message, and your non-returning clients with another message tailored to them. For more information, visit

Timely is a booking and business management software that can help you track client retention. It allows you to easily run client retention reports to show you an overview, but also gives you details, such as how many of your clients have already rebooked for a service, and how many of your clients are new versus clients who are returning. It makes measuring these metrics easy . . . just a click of your mouse. You can learn more about Timely at

Phorest is designed to support the needs of a full-service salon. This software includes salon management tools, and support tailored for specific needs, including marketing and promotion campaigns. What is impressive is a feature called Client Connect. This is designed to track your regular clients to notify you if they have missed an appointment, and the program will automatically follow up with that client, which is a great time-saving feature. Visit for more information.

These client retention strategies will help you keep your clients coming back, which is your goal. So, concentrate your time and efforts on clients you’ve already seen. It is much easier and more effective than trying to reach brand new clients. Remember the goal is to work smart, not hard!    

FAQ about How to Retain Customers

What are some rules of thumb to help me with client retention?

  • First impressions are everything when it comes to new clients, but don’t neglect loyal customers. Make sure you treat every client like it’s the first time you’ve provided a service for them.
  • Close the loop on customer feedback. One of the biggest keys to retaining customers is to know how they feel.
  • Keep your products and services top of mind.
  • Reward loyal customers and those who promote you.

What are the best client retention strategies?

  • Surprise gifts and discounts. Clients are people and people love to feel appreciated.
  • Provide excellent customer service.
  • Client surveys to make them feel their input is valued.
  • Be active in your community.
  • Keep customers informed of promotions, new products, etc.
  • Be personal. Remember specific things about their lives.

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