Little known ways to increase client retention.

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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. If you are really good at what you do, these clients will also become friends.

What if I told you there are a few secrets to increase client retention. It’s always a perfect time to learn, so read on….

Choose responsible and respectful behaviour.

This is the first time your potential repeat is going to meet you. Therefore it is essential that every interaction you have with her has to be both of the above – responsible and respectful. The first visit to your salon is just like a first date so remember, relationship build!

Start off with making sure you show up on time (to the second!) for her appointment.  If you don’t you have basically ruined all chances of success. She will feel that she doesn’t mean much to you ; that you have a half-hearted approach to your on-going relationship.

Next, 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 how long you are going to be. Perhaps offer a small discount as this point. It is her first visit.

The same general respectfulness will go a long way throughout this first appointment. Don’t call her by first name terms until invited and 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 at this stage to brag about your achievements and exaggerate the effectiveness of your treatments, the popularity of your salon or anything else that you think might endear.

The truth is it will come off exactly like that – (bragging) and it is more 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.

Many experts will have you asking “ Can I pencil in your next appointment? ” at the reception area. They will have a receptionist script to train you, a receptionist and your staff in – rehearsed questions to ask the client etc. Others will have you training just 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 any advice, time spent or relationship build with the her either. Also, once at the desk the client often feels pre-occupied – getting her purse and her cards out, checking her phone etc. This hurriedness will distract her from thinking about her schedule and she will immediately jump to the conclusion in her head it is better to call to make her next appointment. She may also have a small audience – the next clients waiting to be seen, and she may not want all eyes/ears on her.

It’s much better to have a private victory instead – a calm, thought through plan to her treatments, discussed by you her therapist, in the privacy of the treatment room.

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 treatment 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 be she is sussing you out as her new massage therapist. Listen for clues.

Quality treatments with quality terms attached.

Make sure the treatment you give is of the very best quality. It is a great idea to mark off 10 mins extra for this important first visit. She is a VIP on this day and you don’t want to be rushed. This is the time and place to get the re-booking in the bag. Be honest with her, but don’t be shy.

Tell her you’re looking to build up your clientele – she will see you’re 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 small gift, a 50% off voucher for a friend, or an increasing scale discount card. Explain it’s easier for your booking system, or it’s going to be the best way for you and her to meet together. She will appreciate your honesty and if she feels she can cancel at anytime there is no risk to her. You don’t have to hide the fact you are in business or that you are excited about that.

Close the visit with confidence and pride. 

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.

Lastly you have to remember is that the next client waiting is already getting a show. 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,happy client and re- booking that client. 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.








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  1. This was a really helpful article and something that isnt touched on nearly enough, since clients are what makes the business or world go round. What was that quote again “The purpose of business is to create a customer” Its amazing then how many people focus on the money side. This is refreshing and important.

  2. As a customer, I’m more willing to frequent a salon if I feel they are truly being helpful and not just trying to shuffle me through or sell me their products. If I express a concern, they give me their honest advice even if it involves a product not from their store. Of course, incentives are always great too. Offering a significant discount for a first time trying of a service might incentivize me to try it!

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