• Kirsten Harris

Connecting with your client

For a hair salon, client engagement is everything.  If you’re not connecting with your customer, you simply won’t have a profitable business.  The relationship between hair stylist and client is a special one – you need to make sure they feel welcome and appreciated.  In the hair industry, this is what will keep your clients coming back to you time and again.  When they feel a connection to your salon, your clients will become loyal customers who spend their money in your store on a regular basis.  So how do you make this happen?

Client engagement is tricky to pull off.  You want them to feel like they’re an important part of your salon, not just another customer handing over their hard-earned money.  When they feel taken for granted, it’s very easy for them to start looking around for another salon.  Keeping your regular clients happy (and turning your casual clients into regular clients) should be a big part of your business.

A good place to start is by remembering your clients’ styling needs and what they want from a visit to your salon.  Of course you can’t keep track of all your clients in your head, so make use of a client profile software system to record everyone’s preferences.  It feels good to be remembered and your clients will appreciate not having to explain what they’re after each time they come in.  Use your client profile system to keep extra notes about your clients’ hair needs.  If they’ve mentioned they might want to try a new colour, jot that down to follow up on next time they come in.  

Clients are more than just their hairstyle though, so if you can remember (or note in your software system!) a few personal details about your client, that could really help with establishing a connection.  If they mention that they have a wedding coming up, check how the preparations are going next time they visit the salon.  Did they say they were starting a new job?  Ask how that’s going.  Your clients will appreciate that you listened to what they were saying and cared enough to follow it up.

When you have a new client at your salon, it’s important to spend some time building rapport.  Have a chat while you’re working on their hair.  Conversation is a great way to find out what’s going on in their lives and what’s important to them.  Of course you’ll ask questions about their hair care needs, but it’s also important to engage with them as a person.  Sometimes client engagement just requires a good chat!  

Loyalty programs are a great way to build engagement with your regular clients.  Keep it simple with a card they get stamped with each visit or go high tech with a swipe card or an app.  Clients can earn reward points with each visit, get a special bonus with their tenth treatment or build up to a discount on their service.  They’ll want to keep coming back to get closer to their reward!

Connecting with your customers via email or text is the perfect way to keep your salon fresh in their mind.  Email is great for sending out special offers or letting them know about a new product or service and text is ideal for reminders, appointment confirmations and VIP deals.  This method of communicating can be a little impersonal though, so make sure you customise your messages – it’s harder for them to ignore your message if it has their name in it.  If you can include the name of their regular stylist that will help too.

Social media is a great way to engage with current and potential clients.  Encourage your followers to comment on your posts and build an online community.  Pose a question and comment on their response.  Invite them in to try a new product.  Keep your social media light and conversational and make it really interactive.  The more your salon engages with them, the more likely they are to make an appointment and keep coming back.

If face-to-face contact is more your thing, think about hosting an in-store event.  Invite your valued clients to an exclusive night at the salon - maybe the launch of a new product or even a showcase of new season trends.  Make sure they know that attendance is via invite only - everyone likes to feel like a VIP sometimes and they’ll enjoy knowing that they’re important to your salon.  

As well as looking after your current clients, you might want to chase up your previous customers.  Check your system for clients who haven’t had an appointment for a while and get back in touch.  Email or text is great for this, but a phone call will really add a personal touch.  Invite them back into your salon and maybe offer a special price to sweeten the deal!

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