Your pioneering journey to have a fully booked, bustling salon will not last forever if you don’t have returning clients. Every day you have golden opportunities to turn clients into repeats, and if you are really good at what you do these clients will also become friends.
What if I told you there are some secrets to increase client retention. It’s always a perfect time to learn, so read on….
Choose responsible and respectful behaviour.
When your potential repeat first visits your spa it’s essential that every interaction you have with her is responsible and respectful. This appointment is similar to a first date so remember, relationship build!
Start off by making sure you show up on time (to the second!) If you don’t you’ll have basically ruined all chances of success. She will feel she doesn’t mean much to you; that you have a half-hearted approach to your on-going relationship. If you are running late for any totally unavoidable reason, then make sure you tell her in person (come out of your treatment room, don’t get the receptionist to do this). Explain why and tell her exactly how long you are going to be. Perhaps offer a small discount at this point for her inconvenience. It is her first visit.
The same respectfulness will go a long way throughout this appointment. Don’t call her by first name terms until invited to do so, and remember to smile a lot and listen. Show as much manners as you have ever been taught.
Build a relationship built on honesty.
How easy it would be to brag about your achievements, the effectiveness of your treatments, the popularity of your salon or anything else you think may endear. The truth is it will sound exactly like that – (bragging), and is likely to turn her off. Far better to wait until she asks about something, and then confidently and truthfully give the answer.
By all means always praise yourself up, just don’t go overboard. Right now it’s all about her.
Look for a private victory today.
It’s a great idea to mark off 10 mins extra for this important first visit, to make sure the treatment is off the very best quality. She is a VIP, and you don’t want to be rushed. During conversation you need to make sure you give the best advice, listening to her concerns. Don’t assume that what you know to be the best plan for her is what she has in mind. You may think her eyebrows or nails are needing definitive attention, but her reason to want to come back could you as her new massage therapist. Listen for clues.
Quality treatments with quality terms attached.
This is the time and place to get the re-booking in the bag. Tell her you’re looking to build up your clientele – she will see you are business savvy. Explain you would like the opportunity to see her again and be her regular therapist – she will love the fact you want her to be part of your community.
Reveal a special booking system you have in place; a new regime you have for clients whereby they get rewarded for booking their next appointment. This could be a small gift, a 50% off voucher for a friend, or an increasing scale discount card. Explain it’s easier for your booking system. She will appreciate your honesty and if she feels she can cancel at anytime there’s no risk to her.
You don’t have to hide the fact you are in business or that you are excited about that. You will 99% get a re-booking if you follow the above. There were no wasted words and she will have seen you for the business woman you are.
Close the visit with confidence and pride.
Many experts will have you asking “ Can I pencil in your next appointment? ” at the reception area. They will have a rehearsed script to train you, your receptionist and your staff in. Others will have you training your receptionist as the key person to make repeat bookings. I believe both these approaches to be wrong.
Firstly the re-booking effort should never be left to the receptionist. The client has had little or no connection to her. She hasn’t had advice from her, time spent, or any relationship- build with either. It’s much better to have your private victory instead – a calm, thought through plan to her treatments, discussed by you, her therapist, in the privacy of the treatment room.
Another reason for this is once at the desk the client often feels pre-occupied – getting her purse out, checking her phone etc. This hurriedness will distract her from thinking about her schedule and she will immediately jump to the conclusion it’s better she calls another day to make her next appointment. She may also have a small audience – the next clients waiting to be seen, and she will not want all eyes/ears on her.
And to bring this to a full circle of increasing client retention remember the next client waiting is already getting a show, she really is the audience.
This is what closing the visit with confidence and pride is all about – the next client waiting for you. She will see and hear (in full view), you, confidently coming out off your treatment room, smiling at your previous client.
And what are you saying to that previous client?…
“ Thank-you so much for re-booking. See you at your next appointment ”.
What a show and great advertising!
How do you manage re-bookings in your spa?
Have you tried any of the above or do you have any tips to share?
Please comment below.