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What’s more valuable than finding new clients for your salon? Perhaps surprisingly, it’s retaining those loyal customers that you already have.
Not only is retaining a current customer five times more cost-effective than finding a new one, but those retained customers are also more likely to generate sales – the probability of selling to an existing customer is 60-70%, while the probability of selling to a new customer is 5-20%, and on average the existing customers spend over twice the amount of the new.
So, how do you encourage loyalty within your salon’s existing customer base? There are a number of proven strategies, and with the help of a few clever tools, you’ll be enjoying more return business than ever before. Here’s a few tips to get you started.
Make appointments easy
Make it simple for your customers to visit you when it best suits them. New customers are fickle; if they aren’t sure whether you can squeeze them in at a convenient time, they’ll find another business that can.
The traditional way of booking a salon appointment is by phone and can result in a back-and-forth between salon and customer, where the customer tells the salon a time that would work best, the salon puts in a counteroffer, and eventually a workable, if perhaps not perfect, time is found from the limited slots offered up.
But, there’s an easier way to take bookings – one that will please new and old customers alike. Square Appointments gives your clientele a complete view of your salon’s availability, allowing them to choose the time that perfectly suits them, and gthey will receive a reminder email/SMS when that time comes. No more comments of “close enough” or “that’ll do” – your customers will be safe in the knowledge that when they need to visit your business, they’ll be able to instantly book the time that best suits them. In the process, you can encourage their loyalty.
Take a personalised approach to marketing
Customer loyalty is a spectrum. Some return customers are real brand loyalists who will enthusiastically return to your business time after time while also advocating your brand to friends and family. Other return customers need a bit of a nudge to choose you again and again, which makes marketing a critical piece of customer retention.
Our second client retention strategy for salons is to create a marketing strategy that appeals to specific customers. To do this you’ll need to create a database in which you collect data about the customer: contact details, demographic information and purchase histories, you can even load in notes with information that comes up in conversation. You can use this information to create customer profiles which you can then segment into categories, e.g. new customers, lapsed customers and regulars.
This is where an email marketing tool like Square Marketing comes in. You can use the information you collect to regularly send targeted (yet largely automated) emails to each customer. You might send out a welcome email to a new customer incentivising them to leave a review and pay you a second visit. You might pull purchase history data to offer a lapsed customer a discount on their favourite service. Perhaps you simply set up an automated email offering your customer a deal on their birthday. With Square Marketing the shape of your retention marketing strategy is largely up to you!
Offer a loyalty program
Dedicated customer loyalty programs are perhaps the most direct and effective way for salons to encourage return business. These programs are carefully sculpted to be as effective as possible in ensuring a new customer turns into a regular.
Square Loyalty is a program that you can run directly through your Square POS. Return customers accrue points every time they visit your salon, which can eventually be redeemed for your choice of reward – a discount, freebie or anything else.
The tool allows you to collect valuable data which you can use to build a detailed profile of each customer. You can understand the frequency of their visits and their favourite products and services to better target them with marketing materials and offers. And you can get to know them on a deeper and more meaningful level, to make them feel even more at home in your salon.
Businesses who use Square Loyalty see an incredible 40% increase in customer visit frequency, with enrolled customers twice as likely to return, and spending 37% more when they do.
Customer loyalty is more important to salons than it is to a lot of other businesses. Customers need to make regular visits to the salon, so you should be doing all that you can to ensure they choose yours.
The good news? With the help of Square’s suite of smart tools, the process of encouraging that loyalty is more efficient and effective than it has ever been before!