As a salon owner, you know how important it is for you to establish and retain customer loyalty. Often, salon owners go about exacting many changes in their salons, trying almost desperately to figure out what it is that will draw more customers and keep them returning. What follows are 6 suggestions based upon what has truly worked for other salon owners.
1. Move client profiles online. Client profiles should be easy to access by service providers, and paper files are a thing of the past. Find a useful app to create and store easily accessible client profiles to serve as an alternative to using a paper index card clients’ hair history and contact information. It also allows for easy retrieval on a smartphone by a stylist or salon manager. This is the new way we roll!
2. Spend more time working in your business instead of on your business. Consider availing yourself of a business tool developed specifically for beauty salon and spa owners. The investment return of using business software alone can be enough of an benefit to help your business succeed. Many online budget tools do more than tracking expenses and income, they can help business owners to evaluate their spending habits and see profit possibilities at a glance. Some can be used as motivation tools, encouraging staff to increase productivity and profitability.
3. Increase customer retention. It’s critical to determine which services you offer at your salon that are costing you the most and the least. What about your customer retention numbers? Knowing these key performance indicators will drastically help you to keep your finger on the pulse of your salon. Once you identify just how many of your customers are returning, you can set a goal for client retention and develop strategies to keep them coming back. Some salon studies indicate that customers who purchase services and products from a salon are more likely to return. Research your competition to find out things you can do to stand out among the rest in your area. Give your customers an incentive for referrals.
4. Make sure your salon is child-friendly. If many of your clients are parents, a child-friendly salon is a great strategy to increase customer retention. Providing a one-stop hair care salon for the entire family saves busy moms and dads valuable time. Additionally, a trip to the salon for a haircut can be scary for young children, so create a friendly atmosphere and be sure you have at least one stylist on hand who is comfortable and experienced working with children. A few distractions such as toys and children’s books are always good to have on hand, too.
5. Take advantage of social media and digital marketing. Social media is truly a powerful marketing tool for businesses in all industries, and of all sizes, and it comes at a fraction of the cost from traditional marketing. Utilize social media networks like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram, Vine and Google Plus. You’ll spend less time reaching more people. Other salons are doing it.
6. Update your budget and find areas in which you can lower costs. Study your income and expenses and update your budget accordingly. Things like recent changes in personnel and extra expenses that you didn’t expect or monies used to pay off a debt or two are unavoidable, but you can look for areas to trim spending and thereby improve on the debt to profit ratio. Credit card processing fees are the fifth largest expense for businesses. Verify that you’re being charged properly. It could help reduce some costs and put money back in your pocket.