No matter what section of the professional beauty industry your salon falls into, or where you’re based in the world, loyal clients are vital for the success of your business. Unlike many other industries, where repeat customers can be beneficial but not necessary, the professional salon industry is built on client retention. Those loyal clients that return back to the salon, over and over again, don’t just bring extra revenue into your business. They are the people that bring in referrals, help create an atmosphere in your salon, and build genuine connections with you and your team; in short, they contribute the most to bringing all the things that make the salon industry so special and unique.
These relationships can make or break your business. No matter how skilled your team is, if their customer service is non-existent, clients will not come back. And it’s obvious; less clients = less money. Loyal clients are an almost-guaranteed revenue generator that salons can rely on when times are tough or when seasonal dips in revenue occur.
We surveyed salon clients from across the world, asking the reasons why they stay loyal to their current hair salon or spa, and one thing was mentioned consistently; the relationship they’ve built with their service provider. Here are the results, in detail;
We Asked Participants; What Encourages You To Keep Going Back to Your Hair Salon of Choice?
While several reasons were mentioned across the board, clients’ relationship with their service provider proved an important retention factor;
- Australia: 64%
- Canada: 54%
- Finland: 44%
- Germany: 53%
- Ireland: 62%
- UAE: 55%
- UK: 58%
- USA: 51%
In most locations, this relationship was cited as being more influential for client retention than the quality of service received, the area in which the salon was located, and the overall affordability of the salon. Those tight-knit relationships trump money, convenience, and even the skill set of the salon in some cases.
We Then Asked Participants To Tell Us The Reasons They Stay Loyal to Their Spa of Choice
Unsurprisingly, the results were quite similar, with the following number of participants saying that the relationship they have with their service provider is what encourages them to return to their spa again and again:
- Australia: 59%
- Canada: 63%
- Finland: 31%
- Germany: 40%
- Ireland: 63%
- UAE: 75%
- UK: 56%
- USA: 55%
Other factors that influenced clients to stay loyal to their spa of choice included price & affordability, convenience of location, ease of availability, quality of service, decor and overall atmosphere, and hygiene.
No matter what salon vertical your business lies in, these results show that having a team of personable, friendly staff who make an effort to nurture genuine connections with their clients is one of the most effective ways to boost client retention. That being said, however, the apparent strength of these relationships can worry salon owners who think; “If a member of my staff left the salon for good, would my clients follow them?”
We Wanted to Find This Out, Too, And Asked Clients Whether They Would Move Salons to Follow a Specific Service Provider.
Here are the results from clients of hair salons who said they would be likely, or very likely, to move salons:
- Australia: 77%
- Canada: 69%
- Finland: 38%
- Germany: 54%
- Ireland: 94%
- UAE: 79%
- UK: 69%
- USA: 84%
And here are the results from clients of spas who said they would be likely or very likely to move:
- Australia: 80%
- Canada: 100%
- Finland: 100%
- Germany: 100%
- Ireland: 78%
- UAE: 79%
- UK: 82%
- USA: 88%
While these results may be worrying to salon owners who feel they could lose significant numbers of clients if a staff member moved to work elsewhere, it also shows an opportunity for businesses to do more when vying for client retention.
What Can Salon Owners Do To Keep Clients Coming Back to The Salon?
There are two ways of approaching this, and we recommend that they are done in tandem. To encourage loyal clients to return to the salon over and over again, salon owners should prioritize the professional development of staff while also offering unique, salon-specific benefits to clients. This helps with staff and client retention; a win-win for any salon business.
How Can I Retain My Salon Staff Long-Term?
No business owner likes it when a valued member of staff leaves. One way of reducing staff loss is by creating a motivational, tight-knit, and growth-focused work environment for your team to thrive in. If you’re a salon owner who is serious about keeping your team, encourage professional growth. Allow your team to take some time each week to focus on learning and upskilling. Show you trust your team by setting flexible access levels on your salon software or staff app. Set goals for individual members, and reward them fairly with plenty of praise and commission when they reach these goals.
By cultivating an environment where teamwork, professional growth, and autonomy are the norm, you show your team that you genuinely care about them as people, and have their best professional interests at heart. Doing this encourages your team to stay loyal to your salon and, in return, keeps their clients coming back. Your team of professionals are skilled individuals who have goals and dreams. Recognize this, appreciate them, and reward them for the work they do. Loyalty will come with this.
How Can I Retain Clients, Even if a Staff Member Leaves?
Despite doing your best to inspire staff retention, it’s inevitable that some losses will occur along the way. With this in mind, it’s important to offer salon-specific benefits to clients in an effort to encourage them to stay loyal to your business, rather than to a specific service provider.
Some ways of doing this include offering a salon loyalty program, where visitors can redeem special offers or “treats” as a reward for staying with your salon. Other ways to encourage client retention include offering online booking to make it quick, easy, and simple for them to book, or a salon-branded app that does the same. Sending high-quality SMS or email marketing campaigns to clients of the staff member who left, and giving them an incentive to stay with your salon, is another clever way to encourage retention.
As our above research suggests, clients consider a range of factors when choosing a salon to stick with; from price and convenience to location and decor. Nurturing all of these together gives you a better chance of clients sticking with your salon long-term.
Staff Retention & Client Retention are Vital To a Successful Salon
The salon industry is ever-changing, but one thing that remains constant is the fact that your staff and your clients are what keep you in business. Nurturing both simultaneously is a surefire way to reduce once-off clients, increase client loyalty, and encourage staff retention.