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What is retention marketing and why is it vital to salon businesses?

Retention marketing is all about keeping hold of your existing clients, increasing the frequency of their visits and increasing the value of their spend each time. Getting new clients through the door is expensive and hard work so it’s vital, and good business, to concentrate on keeping your existing customers happy and returning.

How can we monitor retention rates?

There is some great salon software out there that can help you keep track, some are more sophisticated than others and offer more features. If this doesn’t appeal then a simple spreadsheet with client data, tracking their last visit and spend can help you see who has rebooked within a set period to work out your retention rate. You then want to put in place a plan to re-engage those you haven’t seen for more than 3-6 months.

Strategies to get clients coming back

Don’t wait for clients to not return before you take action. There are a few very effective ways to retain clients;

  • Rebooking is the simplest strategy to avoid needing retention marketing! Book their next appointment before they leave. “Is the same time next week/month good for you?” Make it as easy as possible for clients. This will help improve your clients’ frequency of visits.
  • Look at your service. Don’t get complacent, even a longstanding client can feel under-appreciated and look to find somewhere else when that happens. If the service you are offering is great and you are attentive to your clients’ needs, clients will want to come back. If a client does drop off the radar for a few months make sure this triggers an action from you. Give them a call, send out a series of emails to re-engage, or send a quick text to see how everything is going and let them know they’ve been missed. Give a small incentive to entice them back. Try to find out why they haven’t been back too. Often clients who have had a not so great experience will just not come back rather than complain so if there is an issue you need to address this could be your opportunity to find out and make changes.

How can we keep up engagement with clients?
Regular updates to clients by email, social media or text will keep you on their radar. If an appointment is canceled, make sure to follow up quickly to see if you can rebook or find out what the issue is. For clients that haven’t returned, a simple handwritten card to say ‘We miss you’ with a little incentive will show you care. A Christmas card or birthday card is also a nice touch to engage with clients more personally. Regular contact will also show you value your client and let them know you are thinking about them.
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