Anyone, who has been in this industry for any length of time knows the crucially important role your guests play in your business. They are not only the driving force behind your income, but they really make or break your salon.
It’s a statistic called “the ripple effect” that states: every consumer who has a bad experience at a business will often tell between nine and 15 people about it. Consider how many problems, complaints and issues were not resolved to your guest’s satisfaction in your salon last month. Now, multiply that number by 15. That is the number of people who could have possibly heard negative feedback about your business.
Ninety-one percent of unhappy salon guests will not be willing to do business with you again. But on the bright side, resolve a complaint in her favor and that guest will do business with you again 70 percent of the time.
The fact is that it’s six to seven times more expensive to acquire a new customer than it is to keep a current one. We are in the business of making people feel better about themselves, helping them prepare for special events, or maybe just giving them an escape from their day-to-day lives. Keeping your guests happy is an important part of this. My hope is that we can put more emphasis back on the important role of our guests and be reminded of how grateful and fortunate we are to have them as part of our business. Without happy customers and their positive word of mouth, where would your salon be today?
Rewarding loyalty is a very import tool that can be used to build your business. Many successful salons use a customer-based referral program that allows your guests to recruit new customers for you. I’ve seen this done successfully with referral cards. Existing guests write their names on the cards and give them to their friends and family. The card usually includes some type of enticing offer for new customers, such as “A Free Week of Tanning!” To get your existing guests to hand these out, there has to be something in it for them; so for each card that comes back to the salon, offer a $10 credit for use on tanning session upgrades. I suggest putting these cards everywhere: on your front counter, on each clean tanning unit, and in your restrooms. It’s a win on all fronts because you are getting customers in your door who your marketing and advertising may have never reached before, and you have a week to get them signed up for a tanning package. Your existing guests are also being rewarded and will be less likely to tan elsewhere when they have credit at your salon.
I’d like to end with a quote that I’ve used in my salon trainings this year, because I find it to be very inspiring. It was framed on the wall at a salon where I did training years ago and I think it is the perfect reminder of just how important a role each customer plays in every business.
“A Customer is the most important person on our premises. They are not dependent on us, we are dependent on them. They are not an interruption of our work; they are the purpose of it. They are not an outsider to our business; they are a part of it. We are not doing them a favor by serving them, they are doing us a favor by giving us the opportunity to do so.”
As Director of Brand Development for Devoted Creations’ family of brands, Lisa brings 17 years of industry experience, knowledge and enthusiasm to all aspects of the business, including social media, product development, training, customer relations, public speaking and marketing strategies. Lisa worked at the salon level managing a large chain of salons, which infuses her sales training and brand concepts with real world experience. Lisa has been chosen IST Magazine’s “Person of the Year” four times.
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