Salon Tips: Four Ways to Retain Client Loyalty

Did you see it on your client’s Facebook first? Or maybe you bumped into her with a new shade or obvious trim. Clients are fickle creatures sometimes. Few will say to your face, uninvited, what they truly feel about your service. The first you hear is when they are booking in with another stylist or, worse still, another salon. So, what strains the client/stylist relationship to the point of "breaking up?"

When Shortcuts Software recently went out into the streets to answer this question and filmed clients confessing why they strayed, cheated or simply broke up with their stylist, the message was clear – in many cases the culprit is a lack of effective communication.

It may sound counter-intuitive, but sometimes the close relationship you have with your clients could be the very thing that causes it to self-destruct. The intimacy of a salon consultation can make it very hard for clients to be honest when they do have an issue. It explains why research shows businesses typically only hear from 4% of their unhappy clients. And, on the flip side, when you feel like you know your clients inside out, it’s very easy to take their loyalty for granted and stop putting in the effort.

So what are the most effective ways to open the lines of communication with your clients?

  • Consultations: Make honest dialogue easy and don’t be afraid to ask the hard questions! Even if you’ve moved on from, “What are we doing today?” It’s not enough to ask how your client liked her hair or treatment last time and then just get on with it. You have to get face-to-face, make eye contact and really listen to what he or she says. And don’t forget body language. Be brave enough to ask if there is anything wrong if there is a bit of fidgeting. Make it easy for your client to say how she feels without guilt or discomfort.


  • Outbound communication: Email marketing will keep you connected to clients throughout the year, and remind them to come back and see you. Whether it’s a birthday discount or a "we miss you" offer, these types of messages will go a long way to making your clients feel special. She doesn’t know your salon software is automated and those messages are pre-planned. Remember, your clients are getting bombarded by daily deals and offers from your competitors, so rewarding them on a regular basis is essential.


  • Actively seek feedback: Many clients don’t feel comfortable being 100% honest to your face, but would offer insight and advice in an email or online survey. The key to being the ultimate experience for your guests is by tuning into their needs. There are always suggestions. Don’t be afraid to ask. Make sure you employ these suggestions as actively as you ask.


  • Social networking: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and all the other social media sites are great for getting your news out there, but they also improve communication, making it really easy for your clients to reach out to you. Just ensure that you have designated someone on your team to actively monitor these pages so that you can respond to client messages in a timely manner.

For more, watch Shortcuts' video, "I'm Cheating on my Hairdresser," here.

[Image: Getty Images]

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