Now that you’ve put a great deal of time and effort into getting new customers into your salon, how can you keep them coming back? Repeat business is, after all, exponentially better than new business, and a client in the chair is worth two on the street. There’s no substitute for exceptional value and impeccable customer service of course, but what else can you do to encourage customer loyalty and keep your clients wanting more?
Here are 7 must-dos to keep those chairs filled and the cash register ringing.
1. Email Marketing: Of all the ways to engage with your customers, email is and will always be a mainstay. With 3 times the number of email accounts as Twitter and Facebook accounts combined, email presents an enormous opportunity. Encourage your customers to sign up for your email list to receive notice of special offers, discounts, and coupons. After that, it’s as simple as delivering on your promise! Above all else, don’t spam your email list with high pressure sales tactics; use it to follow up after a service with a simple thank you note, let them know of relevant specials (based on past services), and send them birthday greetings with a coupon. Consider using an email client like MailChimp to manage your email lists and measure the performance of your emails.
2. SMS Marketing: SMS marketing is sending text messages to customers who have given you (opted-in) their cell phone number. Clients may be reluctant to give out this information so freely, so the request should be handled delicately. Make it clear to your customers that they will not receive spammy texts but rather will be included in a select group of clients to receive exclusive offers, e-coupons, and timely discounts that they would otherwise not have access to – after all, no one likes the feeling of having missed out. The beauty of SMS marketing is that 90% of SMS texts are read within 5 seconds of receiving it so if you’re having a slow afternoon or some last minute cancellations, try and fill those slots with a well-targeted offer, and you might be surprised at the results.
3. Loyalty Rewards Programs: The value of a great loyalty program cannot be overstated when it comes to salon marketing. With a well-designed rewards program, your customers will not only be pleased with the benefits they are receiving, but they may come to feel invested to the point where they wouldn’t even consider looking elsewhere – which is great for you!
4. Social Media: Although email and SMS marketing are the uncontested champions of remarketing through notifications and coupons, social media is the perfect medium to interact online with your customers. Post photos, videos, news updates and testimonials, and encourage comments and questions. When comments do come in, respond to them! Foster a sense of family and make your customers feel like their input matters.
5. Package Deals: Most local business owners know that package deals are a great way of keeping customers coming back. If you haven’t completely sold the client after the first service, you have four more chances to wow them if they’ve purchased a package deal of five. There are many variations of salon packages you can put together; the key is to make sure that not all of the services will be performed on the same day.
6. Contests and Giveaways: Who doesn’t love the opportunity to win something? Holding a regular giveaway will keep customers engaged with your salon on a personal level, checking your website, blog or social media pages to see who won this week and what the next prize is. Whether you pick business cards out of a jar, randomly select a customer receipt number or ask contestants to come up with a name or solve a puzzle, it’s great fun for everyone and an effective way to gather telephone numbers and email addresses for marketing purposes.
7. Daily Deals and Lunch Specials: An effective daily deal benefits the salon AND the client. Use it to introduce new products and services, reduce a slow moving product inventory, or put clients into chairs during periods that are otherwise slow. And for the customer on the go, consider offering a lunch-hour quickie; a well-planned, highly choreographed in-and-out appointment that can take care of business during her precious lunch hour — something along the lines of “40 minutes or it’s free.” Busy executives will pay a premium for such service, and the customer loyalty it will engender is priceless.
When it comes to salon marketing, it’s best to remember that this is an industry where a personal connection with the client is key to customer loyalty. Fortunately, today’s modern technology offers so many different ways to engage with customers, foster that loyalty and keep your salon top-of-mind even in between visits!