If you’re looking to boost your salon’s client retention (and who isn’t?) there are several ways to go about it. Understanding exactly how your clients operate is a great start. Have you ever wondered who the most loyal clients in your salon are? Are they men or women? It’s an interesting question to consider.
In my experience, most salon owners would say women tend to be more dependable and easy to retain. But recent studies have revealed that men and women are loyal to salons in different ways. Once you understand these subtle differences, it becomes a lot easier to quickly and inexpensively improve your salon’s client loyalty rates.
The research shows that, overall, women are more likely to be loyal to a particular therapist, while men are more likely to be loyal to a salon itself. It appears that women attach greater importance to individual relationships while men relate better to groups and organisations. In addition, women are more likely to look for that personal ‘trusted advisor’ relationship, while men are comfortable staying detached from any one individual and remaining in a more anonymous relationship with your salon itself.
Don’t get me wrong, men still expect great service and top-notch skills, but they are often a lot happier to move between therapists in your salon. Women on the other hand are likely to follow a particular therapist. Naturally, this tends to make men more loyal salon customers.
Once you understand this, it becomes easier to make informed decisions about boosting retention rates within your salon. Here are some ideas to instantly increase your salon’s client retention:
- Move men, not women
If you ever have to move clients due to a therapist’s sickness or holiday, make sure you move men rather than women, wherever possible. Men are less likely to feel uncomfortable with a new therapist (we already know men place less importance on personal relationships with particular therapists) and thus more likely to return without feeling put out.
- Tweak your referral requests
Handing out cards to recommend a friend are more effective when given to female clients by their personal therapist, while men will generally respond better to a request from your receptionist to refer the salon itself. Understanding this and tweaking your referral requests to suit will ensure your clients feel more comfortable and are more likely to recommend you to friends and family.
- Show you care with personalised cards
Personalised birthday cards are likely to score highly with women and encourage client retention. I recommend using a card with a personalised message, rather than using an email because it shows you’ve taken time and effort. Receiving a card in the post also looks far less commercial and suggests you really care about your clients. As we know, women are likely to react better to this. In contrast, an email message is probably more effective for men who are less likely to appreciate the effort involved in a physical card.
- Encourage back up therapists
Encouraging clients to form personal relationships with two of your therapists is a great insurance policy should one of their therapists be unable to make an appointment or even leave the salon. This will reduce the risk of losing a female client should her therapist move on.
- A last resort
If your client does move on, sending a personal friendly message will work well for your female clients. Ensure you mention you’re genuinely sorry the relationship is ending, you value her as a client and will miss seeing her in the salon. Sending an impersonal discount voucher is unlikely to work for a woman, however this might be a great way to reach out to a man who has left your salon.
Obviously if you’re at the stage of a client leaving, it’s unlikely you’ll be able to save them so don’t spend too much time fretting. Your current clients are the ones you really need to spend time on. Implement these tips while your clients are satisfied with your services and they are likely to remain loyal clients for many years.
Client retention is key to running a profitable salon so the more you can do to hang onto your clients the better. For more information on how Beauty Salons Coach can help improve your salon’s client retention, get in touch with Kailey today!