Whether you’re running a successful mobile hairdressing service, or a new eyelash extension business, client retention is the most important factor for a successful small business which will help to keep your clients coming back again and again.
Running a micro business can often mean that there just aren’t enough hours in the day; so the sooner you can step away from trying to establish a secure client base, the sooner you can focus your attention on those other projects, partnerships and general growth of your company.
It is important to remember these steps do not require completely changing your business model; they can be as simple as making sure your customers have somewhere safe to park, or even just adding your clients onto the Christmas card list.
So, to make everyone’s lives just that little bit easier, I’ve put together 8 easy steps to ensure that every first-time client comes back as a returning customer and won’t look at going anywhere else!
1) Know your clients
Taking the time to really understand your clients’ needs is something that can be extremely beneficial for your business. It’s important to fully understand what your client is looking to get out of the experience.
When your clients come to get their nails done, do they want a to use the appointment as a chance to have a nice cuppa and catch-up or more as an opportunity to sit back, relax and not have to talk to anyone for an hour?
Once the customer feels like their needs are being both understood and met, they are a lot more likely to return.
2) The best criticism, is constructive criticism
Although the customer isn’t always right, they are your best source of improvement.
Well established companies become successful because they view feedback as motivation.
We know that running your own business can sometimes feel like a bit of a guessing game, so knowing where you’re going slightly off track for some customers, is very constructive for professional growth. Remember, negative feedback isn’t always bad.
3) Be unique
A unique selling point (USP) is what makes you stand out from competitors.
Dare to be different!
We understand that the beauty industry can often be difficult to stand out in, as many people provide a similar service. So of course, your USP doesn’t need to be a product that can do the ironing and make your dinner (although that would be great!)
It can be something as simple as having excellent customer service, in which you are friendly, smiling, welcoming and create a memorable experience that your clients will always remember.
4) Make sure you’re creating a comfortable environment
Consider how you want your clients to feel when they walk in. A few tips would be making sure your lights aren’t too overpowering, your air con isn’t on too high and that you’ve got a cracking Spotify playlist. Even an electric under blanket to take off the chill in the winter can create a feeling of luxury!
5) Don’t forget to upsell
When trying to build relationships with clients, the last thing you should do is pressure them into buying a product that they don’t really want; however, there is absolutely nothing wrong with upselling when it is appropriate.
This will be made easier once you really know and understand your client. If you have a regular eyelash client that has mentioned how she has been thinking about getting her eyebrows down for the first time, then make sure to tell her you’ve just recently qualified in HD brows – people won’t mind if it’s something that interests them.
So look for an appropriate time to share other services that you think your clients could be interested in, especially if you have recently trained in it.
6) Deliver on your commitments
If you say you’re going to do something, always do it.
Simple but so important!
Make sure you follow up with your promises, because we all know how annoying it is when people don’t follow through. Being known for your reliability will always be a great asset for your business.
7) Plan the next appointment
Before the client leaves their appointment, be sure to book in their next one. Not only does this ensure that they will return, it allows the client to be selective of a time that suits them, as well as allowing you to stay organised with your appointments.
If you’re looking for a good app that puts all your appointments in one place, take a look at Pocket PA which can always be on your phone at the touch of a button!
8) Appreciate your clients
You don’t need to make a huge song and dance to show you care; something as simple as addressing a client by name, asking about their recent holiday, or remembering the name of their new little cockapoo can show you value your customers.
Other lovely touches are making sure to note down your clients’ birthdays, as well as following up with your clients.
It’s easy to see what small things, often at no cost, can really help you stand out from the crowd and ensure your clients always want to keep coming back to see you.