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Retaining customers is everybody’s job

June 8, 2011 | By Bruce Hourigan | No Comments

It makes sense that it’s easier and more cost-effective to keep a current client than to attract a new one. Some studies show that it costs about seven times more to get a new customer than to keep a current one.

In view of that, it’s frustrating when you see your staff become complacent about customer service, especially with new clients. With so much competition and people spending carefully, it’s not enough to just get by. Customers want to feel important, that they matter to a business.

When it comes to customer service, you’re throwing money away if every staff member isn’t on board to make every client experience as good as it can be.

Try these tips to ensure that every client becomes a long-term customer:

  1. Make certain that front-desk staff is professional and properly trained. A customer starts forming an opinion before even walking into a business! A member of a salon/spa’s front-desk team has as much influence with the customer experience as a stylist. Essential front-desk staff skills include developing and using scripts to ensure results, selling service hours, using technology and dealing with difficult situations. (Check out Strategies’ High-Performance Front-Desk Staff Training. Click here to learn more.)
  2. Get the whole staff to care about offering a great experience. It’s apparent to the customer if staff is engaged and excited about what they do – or if they’re just looking at the job as a way to pay the rent. Whether it’s helping out with a shampoo or bringing a client a cup of tea, every staff member (management, too!) must look at each customer as essential to the business. There’s no such thing as “it’s not my job.” Client satisfaction is everyone’s responsibility.
  3. Add something extra. What would you like to receive if you were going for a cut? Think like a customer. What does it take to make a client go “wow”? A head and shoulder massage? Aromatherapy? A free sample? A bonus treatment? Tea and cookies? Not sure what to offer? Ask your staff and customers for their ideas!
  4. Pre-book every customer. This seems like an obvious step, yet many salons and spas miss this opportunity. Once a customer leaves without an appointment, there’s a chance that person won’t return to your business. Each customer must be asked to make an appointment prior to leaving the business – and a new service should be recommended, as well. If the customer doesn’t want to re-book, find out why. If there’s an issue of any kind, make it right.
  5. Follow up. Personal service can be lacking in today’s rushed world. Call a new client a few days after the appointment to see if the customer was pleased with the experience. If there was some problem, find a way to make the customer happy. Ask for feedback about the appointment. Even if you just leave a friendly voicemail, people will be impressed that you took this extra step. Be sure to reference the client’s next appointment. If the client didn’t make one, the follow-up call is a great opportunity to re-book. (P.S.  Long-time clients will like the extra follow-up, too!)

Creating loyal customers is the responsibility of every team member. When the whole staff is committed to creating an exceptional experience, clients are sure to come back.

Categories: Business Builders

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