I have been getting two questions a lot lately from business owners: “How do I keep my clients?” and “What can I do to create more, loyal guests? “
This is why I love talking about client retention — because I believe it is just as important as focusing on attracting new clients.
If there is one tip I can give you about creating a solid relationship with all your clients it’s this: Always ask your clients for feedback. And salon or studio owners? If you are looking to create long-term, loyal relationships with your stylists or instructors, you can really create such a bond by doing exactly the same. Start asking them for feedback, too.
Of course, you know I always talk about carefully tracking your numbers and profit. But client retention is another way to not only build, but build a successful sustainable business filled with clients you want to spend time with.
I know all too well what it feels like to get a negative review on Yelp or even get a phone call from a client who is not a happy camper. You get that sick feeling in your stomach and can sometimes become defensive. I know it’s a hard pill to swallow. But there are such positives to embracing reviews and receiving feedback. And that only increases when you ask for feedback.
How to Get Feedback on Your Salon or Small Business
I am going to break down both sides: stylist to clients and salon owners to stylists. Both types of feedback are incredibly important to building a business.
How to Ask a Client for a Review or Feedback
I recommend sending out a feedback survey to EVERY new guest within 72 hours of their first visit. This can done either through your Schedulicity account or by using a survey tool like Survey Monkey (one of my favorite tools) or Typeform.
You want to ask about 4-5 questions — and one should be “Would you refer a friend?”
I also recommend sending out a survey to existing guests once or twice a year asking what you could do to better serve them. This is a great way to reach out to your guests and remind them that you care and truly want to hear their feedback even if they didn’t feel like their latest service was the best. them to feel like if they didn’t feel their service was the best. If you need help thinking through your follow-up emails for clients, I wrote a detailed article about client follow-ups.
How to Ask Your Team for Feedback (Small Business, Fitness Studio, and Salon Owners)
Getting feedback from your team is incredibly important. Aside from monthly team meetings, I recommend having your stylists or employees fill out an anonymous survey once or twice a year asking:
- How you can better serve them
- How you can improve within the business
- How you can be a better leader and owner.
Again, this can be done through a platform like SurveyMonkey, so it remains anonymous. Offering a feedback loop is a way to build trust and loyalty between you and each of your team members. People want to feel heard and like they matter. The simple act of reaching out and asking for feedback on how YOU can improve as a leader shows the type of humility and transparency that most team members will truly appreciate.
Why Feedback Matters — Even the Critical Feedback
Like you always hear me say: Feedback, whether it be positive or negative, is a true gift. It helps you become a better stylist. A better leader. A better business owner. It allows you to see things in your business you may not have before.
It may be hard at first. But I promise you, it will get easier. By switching up your mindset, you can turn feedback and reviews into such a great asset as an owner or entrepreneur. To start, just remind yourself to be open to it. Embrace it, and be thankful for it in every way.