Client management is the process of overseeing and coordinating a salon’s interactions with its customers and potential clients. As a hair care professional, the ultimate goal is to develop a loyal client following that sustains the business and the salon professional.
“Clients” and “customers” are sometimes viewed differently, in part based on how and what they buy from a company.
- A customer typically purchases a product or service through a brief interaction with an organization. The customer often does not develop a long-term relationship with the seller and, thus, garners less personal attention.
- A client may buy a product but more typically purchases a service from an organization. By procuring that service, the buyer often develops a deeper, ongoing relationship with the seller, who then provides more personalized attention.
A successful client relationship starts with a good consultation process. Here we break down customer retention and how you can turn a customer into a lifelong client.
Benefits of customer retention:
- Customer retention is the most effective way to grow revenue. It is much less expensive to keep a current customer than it is to try to acquire a new customer. It’s estimated to cost five times more to land a new customer than it does to keep a current customer!
- Customer retention provides a huge return on investment. Not only are your current customers much less expensive to keep, but they also offer much greater lifetime value (how much they could spend with your organization over their lifetime). Customers who’ve been with you for a while are much more likely to continue to be customers—and bring you built-in and ongoing revenue—for years down the road.
- Customer retention leads to more referrals. When you work to retain your current customers, you not only continue to make them happy, but you also increase the chance they will become brand ambassadors by telling others about you. Word-of-mouth referrals are free and effective.
Business research has provided interesting insights into the costs and benefits of retaining a current customer compared to trying to acquire a new one, including the following:
- Increasing customer retention by 5 percent can lead to an increase in profits of 25–95 percent, depending on the industry, according to Bain & Company research.
- The probability of converting an existing customer into a repeat customer is 60–70 percent, while the probability of selling to a prospective customer is 5–20 percent, according to Marketing Metrics.
- A 2 percent increase in customer retention is equivalent to decreasing your salon’s costs by 10 percent, according to Leading on the Edge of Chaos by Emmett Murphy and Mark Murphy.
How to turn a customer into a client:
- Become a trusted advisor. You’re the hair expert. Show and provide that expertise to your customers, so you can gain their trust and build loyalty. This begins with the initial consultation, through the initial service and continues at EVERY SINGLE APPOINTMENT (don’t get lazy).
- Provide good customer service. Customers—both new and current clients—quickly bolt when customer service is poor. You must provide a good service or experience for them. It’s just as important to provide good customer service as it is to provide a strong product or service.
- Create a rewards or referral programs. This incentivizes loyalty.
- Send a company newsletter. A regular newsletter from you, including information about your work, information about a current hair trend, a class certification you just received, a trade show you just attended, can remind customers of your good work and expertise.
Don’t always be selling. Be collaborative and be a good resource for your clients. This means you’ll want to have many interactions with customers and clients just to be helpful, even when it doesn’t relate to a direct sale for you. Example: “We are going to start out with only one home hair care product today because we are growing your hair out and the product will most likely change as your hair gets longer. I would like to see you back here in six weeks for a trim and to see how the product is working for you. At that time, we may recommend a different styling aid. In the meantime, continue using *blank* since you already have it and there is plenty left.”
Associated Hair Professionals (AHP) is an association for independent stylists and barbers who want next level success. AHP offers real protection, real benefits, and real talent for the real professional. Membership with AHP includes Professional Liability Insurance, Marketing Toolkits, and Career Support.
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