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Client retention will almost always be more profitable than client acquisition. In fact, if you improve your client retention by 5%, you can increase your profitability by 25% to 95%. The challenge is in how to turn those walk-ins into repeat bookings. We’ll discuss how to keep customers coming back to your beauty business and how to increase your number of repeat customers.
Difference between returning and repeat customers
Let’s review the difference between returning and repeat customers. A returning customer is someone who has shopped with you once before and has decided to buy a product or service from you again. They may have even made two or three purchases from you.
A repeat customer is someone who continues to support your business and becomes a loyal, regular visitor. They return over and over again and most likely recommend your business to their friends and family. A benefit of increasing the number of repeat customers? It’s been found that retail customers spend 67% more money than first-time customers.
Benefits of customer retention
Understanding how to keep your customers coming back is a big part of any beauty business’ success. Investing in ways to improve your retention rate has been shown to increase profitability, referrals, and even more walk-in traffic. Let’s look at some statistics and benefits of improving customer retention.
- Eighty percent of future revenue comes from 20% of your current customers. (Constant Contact/Gartner Group/Retention Science)
- Ten-time repeat customers refer an average of seven people to your business. (Bain)
- The possibility of converting an existing customer into a repeat customer is 60%–70%. (Constant Contact/Retention Science)
- The possibility of converting a potential customer into a walk-in customer is 5%–20%. (Constant Contact/Retention Science)
Keeping your current customers engaged, satisfied, and coming back serve to improve your profitability, reputation, and long-term success. How can you create a memorable first-time experience for your walk-in traffic and turn them into happy repeat customers?
Offer great customer service
From the first impression to long after the sale, the entire sales journey should be seamless and holistic to keep your customers coming back.
If customers’ first interaction with you is booking an appointment, make it easy for them to book their appointment online. By building out your free booking website, Square Appointments lets your clients book multiple services with different stylists or providers — all in one place. The client can have a smooth experience from booking to checkout.
With the expansion of brand interactions on social media and the accompanying sense of immediacy, customer service has taken on a 24/7 approach. Many consumers now expect an even faster response to their questions from businesses they interact with.
Square Messages eliminates jumping between different platforms to track down specific conversations. It brings them all into one place. You can communicate with customers without providing a personal number; sync with Square Appointments to send schedule reminders; let customers reschedule via text with smart, automated messaging that saves you time, send coupons; and even send invoices directly within Square Messages.
Another way to deliver an elevated experience for your new clients is to build trust with them through beauty care and styling advice. Give personalized suggestions that they can apply at home to extend the results of the services you provided at your beauty business. Square Appointments lets you add notes to your client profile, allowing you to reference later. You’ll be able to record their preferences, their birthdays and anniversaries, and even their favorite conversation topics — all available to reference before, during, and after the booking.
Most importantly, it’s essential that you listen to your customers. Send out surveys to gather feedback. Ask your regulars what they like most about your services and what they would improve. Gathering insight directly from the individuals you serve helps you create an experience that will keep customers coming back.
Stellar customer service also means offering tailored advice to your customers. For instance, if you’re a stylist or a barber, remember to provide recommendations on hair care, styling, and timing for the next cut before they leave.
Use technology to help you keep customers coming back
Technology is crucial to how to keep your customers coming back. You’ve built out a great staff, present a warm atmosphere, and ensure strong communication. Now that you’ve created a space they’ll want to return to, use the technology at hand to remind them.
At the end of a client’s appointment, use Square Appointments to rebook them for their next visit if they’re ready. For multiple-session services or regular customers, set up recurring appointments so they don’t have to remember to book their next visit each time. With Square you can even use reminders and confirmation texts as an easy way for them to track their next appointment.
Reward your customers
Loyal customers are the backbone of any business, so give your customers an incentive or a reward for choosing your business. Square Loyalty can be a highly effective way to retain those customers, when done right. However, each business differs in the type of loyalty program that may be best for them. Take the time to understand which loyalty program could be best for your beauty business, whether it’s for facials, massages, or laser hair removals.
Another way to reward your loyal and repeat customers is to offer rewards for their referrals. Referrals that come from great reviews and prior experiences can turn into repeat clients themselves. In fact, clients who are referred by repeat customers spend 50% more than those who aren’t. Reward clients who bring in their friends and families with gift cards, discounts, or even free services or products.
Everyone appreciates being shown a little extra love on their birthday. Use Square Marketing to send an automated email with a gift card or a promotion to celebrate their special day. You can gather your customers’ birthdates at checkout and send them a promotion for use throughout their entire birth month. Not only does this make them feel appreciated as a repeat client, but it also entices them to make a visit they may not have previously planned to make.
For those customers who have signed up to receive your marketing emails or who follow you on social media, encourage them to revisit your beauty business with special incentives. Offer two-for-one deals on treatments and services, such as mud baths, sauna treatments, or herbal body masks, with messaging that persuades them to bring a friend with them. Offer discounts for days of the week that you tend to see fewer bookings to get customers through the door, and increase upsells on products or add-on services.
Want to offer an even more personalized client experience? Send them a thank-you email or a text to remind them of the difference their business makes for your beauty business. Stand out from your competitors by creating a warm and appreciative relationship with your clients.
Communicate with your customers
Your job isn’t done once your client walks out the door. After-sale touches such as regular newsletters, social media updates, and those holiday or birthday messages can keep your customers coming back. Use targeting, automation, emails, and text messages in your communications with customers, all through your Square Dashboard. However, it’s important that you keep your customers’ data safe to ensure their privacy.
Know your core audience
Using the data and insights from your most reliable and frequent customers can be a great opportunity to understand your ideal target market. Take a look at the insights within your Square Dashboard to see which types of services they most frequently book, which products they purchase, and even how they interact with your business, such as email opens or discount and promotion redemptions.
Understanding your repeat customers can allow you to target and serve your walk-ins better. You’ll be able to invest more into the services and products.
Build a great team and staff
A great customer experience relies on having a great team in place. Train your staff so that they feel confident in the day-to-day interactions with your customers and set a welcoming tone for walk-ins and newer customers.
One way to ensure a seamless and smooth interaction between your staff and clients is to train them on the software and tools. Using multiple software programs can cause lags, hold up bookings and checkouts, and create frustration and impatience with your staff. With Square your team can spend less time managing separate software and tools and more time focusing on customers.
If you have multiple locations, work with leaders at each location. Ensure that they further train your team and that every staff member knows your services and products inside and out. A strong leader and team can boost sales while upselling an additional service or product that’s in your salon or available on your Square Online store.
You want to hire the best professionals for your beauty services. But creating a space that clients will want to return to isn’t solely about having the best professionals. Knowing how to build a culture of community at your beauty business can transform your location into a business that clients and staff will want to support. Foster community by:
- Offering moral support to your employees
- Crafting a inviting, family atmosphere
- Providing training programs for your staff
- Protecting staff time by offering flexible working hours or PTO
- Focusing on customer service policies
Build a great reputation
When you communicate with your clients and show your appreciation for their support, kindly ask them to share their experiences through reviews of your beauty business. Asking for reviews doesn’t have to be awkward. A great way to request reviews is through follow-up emails or texts after a service. Send out an email or a text asking for feedback to keep the communication loop open. Remind them to share their experience on Google or Facebook reviews.
For example, a simple text or email could include:
“Thank you so much for your visit! We want to thank you again for your business, and we hope you are happy with the services offered. If there was anything we could have done to make your visit more enjoyable, please let us know. If you enjoyed your visit, we would be so grateful if you could further support us by writing a short review on Google to share your thoughts. Thank you again!”
Don’t forget to support the local community as well. Do you or your staff have a mission you believe in and want to support? Partner with a local charity or a nonprofit in your area to hold a fundraising event. For example, if your beauty business practices low-waste and sustainable initiatives, you can work with a local nonprofit that focuses on recycling and sustainability education to give back to the community.
Turn your beauty business into a destination
In addition to fundraising events, you can turn your business into a destination for those in your community.
Here are some examples:
- Work with other small businesses in your craft to have a happy hour event.
- Host workshops and have your staff teach something based on their expertise.
- You can build a community that supports your business through get-togethers and parties that bring like-minded individuals together.
While turning walk-ins into repeat bookings doesn’t happen with one single tactic, a memorable experience and great interactions with your customers help you stand out from your competition. Keeping the client top of mind is sure to help increase your profitability and become a proven strategy for how to keep customers coming back to your beauty business.