Client Retention Checklist: 7 Ways To Keep Them Coming Back
How To Keep Salon Guests Loyal To Your Chair
What’s the difference between a walk-in guest and a loyal client for life? Short answer: Everything. Client retention is key to creating a steady income flow and building your salon business based on the specialty services that set you apart. The moment a client sits in your chair, it’s time to show them that you’re worth investing in (We know you are!). Are you ready?
If you don’t feel confident in your answer above, we tapped Ulta Beauty Pro Team and Design Team members to get their best tips to keep clients coming back below. Plus, we created a client retention checklist you can screenshot and save on your phone. Just keep scrollin’!
1. Establish trust with your clients
“To make a client loyal and to trust you is to keep them coming back,” says Danielle Keasling (@danielle.keasling). To do this, ask this key consultation question: If there’s one thing you could change about your hair, what would it be?
“You should be asking them this every so often—as people evolve, stay with you and grow with you, they are going to want to change,” Danielle says. “But sometimes they are afraid to make that change or ask for that change, because they feel like they might offend you. It’s really quite [the opposite], we want to make sure that they’re happy, but they will hold back if you don’t ask them.”
2. Always set up a plan for their next appointment
How do you turn a first-time guest into a forever client? Think beyond that initial service and show your long-term investment in their hair. “My best tip that always keeps my clients coming back is setting up a plan during their appointment,” suggests Gilad Goldstein (@myguiltycrown).
“We can give them that look that they want at that appointment, but then making sure they’re excited to come back is just about giving them an idea for their next look,” adds Gilad. “They’re always going to come back for that.”
3. Create a ‘wow’ experience in your chair
“I believe in client retention, so I give them ten times more than I expect to receive back,” says Justin Toves-Vincilione (@ahappyjustin). “If I give them a ‘wow’ experience and make their cup overflow, they will always come back. It’s not always about the hair, even though it is about the hair. It’s also about how generous you are and the type of person you are to your guests, because you’re also creating an environment for them to return to.”
Ask yourself: How do you create an environment clients want to come back to? Write down a list. If you’re struggling to cultivate that ‘wow’ experience, what extra steps can you take to add value to their overall experience in your chair?
4. For Your Loyal clients: Avoid this common mistake…
Remember what you want as a client yourself, says Anna Manukyan (@amanukyan). “Oftentimes with our longest, most loyal clients, we tend to [say], ‘Oh, hey how are you? Are we doing the same thing today?’ versus when we have a new client, we’re consulting, we’re putting on lipstick, we’re really treating them like it’s a first date,” says Anna.
“Remember to take care of the people and make them feel special every single time they come to you,” she adds. “And the clients who have been with you the longest—make sure they’re getting that extra first date experience every time they come in.”
Anna teaches how to gain financial freedom and protect your income. Become a BTC-U Subscriber to watch her full class—click here.
5. Set realistic expectations and educate clients
What’s the most important key to client retention? Honesty, says Bianca Donahue (@biancad.beauty). “My clients come back to me because I’m real with results, real with what my expectations are on what I can achieve—and education as well. So, also educating them on the ‘why’ of the answer that you’re giving them,” she says.
Picture this: A new guest comes in with an inspiration pic that’s unrealistic to achieve in only one session. We’ve all had that one box dye client requesting a Kim K platinum look in a 90-minute appointment. 😂 Use this as an opportunity to educate them and set up a step-by-step hair journey. Honesty goes a long way.
6. Show clients that you care
We all know that a home-cooked meal from a loved one tastes better than takeout—right? Well, take that same concept and apply it to the client experience. We love this advice from Michelle O’Connor (@michelleoconnorbeauty): “I believe it’s doing someone’s hair with care, intention and ultimately with love—they feel that.”
7. Find ways to make connections with clients
At the end of the day, if you vibe with a client and they love your work—it’s easier to keep them. “People that are really attracted to your vibe and your energy will keep coming back for you” says Beto Sanchez (@betoloveshair). “It’s just kind of like a synergy, it’s a feedback of energy. People like you, people like your work and you like their personality, so it’s this really cool connection.”
Client Retention Checklist
Your next client just walked in… Use this cheat sheet to get ready!
- Ask yourself: How can I give this client the ‘first date’ experience?
- Don’t skip the consultation—especially with returning guests!
- Ask clients: “If there’s one thing you could change about your hair, what would that be?”
- Be honest with what you can achieve and set expectations for the client.
- Educate! Can you give clients the “why” to the answer you’re giving them?
- Do one thing that shows generosity/care for a little extra TLC.
- Ask yourself: How do you create an environment clients want to come back to?
- Set up a plan for their next appointment.
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