Let’s talk about the two important areas of your business: top line sales and client retention.
“Top line sales” is another term for gross revenue, meaning your untouched sales before you deduct expenses. We tend to focus our attention on this number — and how we can bring in more new clients to increase it — but I think that the most important, yet overlooked, element of most beauty businesses is actually client retention.
Of course, you have to attract new guests to keep your business successful, but that should not be your only focus. It takes more money, time, and energy to attract new guests than it does to keep current ones. Then, once you have them, NEW guest retention is historically an area where most salons and beauty industry businesses struggle.
The secret to success is in that middle zone — where you make sure you’re working to keep the new guests after they book that first appointment. Doing so will result in more gross revenue but also more repeat revenue that you can count on month-over-month.
Here’s a list of five simple systems that will help increase both top line sales and new client retention. Let’s dive in.
1. Online Booking
Online booking means sheer convenience for your clients. Just about 50% of people will want to book their appointment after hours. Have you ever remembered you need to book a haircut while watching the 10 o’clock news? Or decided you want to schedule a massage in the middle of a night of bad sleep?
I can tell you this: When I owned my salon, adding an online booking option increased our visits by almost 25%. Many of them booked at midnight.
If you feel nervous about clients booking online appointments due to time restraints or concerns that they won’t choose the correct service, don’t! You can set up policies and stipulations within your account that will help you offset that.
2. Cancelation Policy
You need a clear-cut cancelation policy that you communicate to each and every client. Whether it is a 24- or a 48-hour policy, make it clear and make sure every client is well aware of it before booking. Schedulicity has options for you to create a policy that all clients must read before scheduling their appointments online. This is a game-changer because it will cut back on no shows and last-minute cancelations. All of that adds up to more revenue.
3. Digital Intake Form
If done properly, this form can introduce clients to services they may not know you provide and increase your add-on service bookings. It’s also a great tool to help you get to know your client’s hair or beauty goals for the future and to build a more loyal relationship between the two of you right from the start. Plus, it confirms that they are aware of your cancelation policy (since it’s listed at the bottom of the intake form).
4. Follow-Up Email with Feedback Survey
Follow up with every new client within 72 hours. This helps retention big time. The email would, of course, thank them for coming in. But I recommend that you also include a survey asking how they enjoyed their experience with you and if you can do anything to make it even better.
Asking for feedback will show them you care about them and truly want them to be happy moving forward. And, if you do have an unhappy guest, you’ll be able to make them feel heard, offer solutions, and encourage them to give you another try.
There are so many more techniques, but these will give you a little kickstart. If you only want to choose two to try, I’d focus heavily on #2 and #4. This will help you from the standpoint of cutting down those now show appointments and create a better and stronger relationship with each guest, which will increase your client retention.