The client journey begins before they step foot into your salon. Understanding how to optimize the client journey will create an unforgettable salon experience. This includes everything from first impressions to the rebooking process.
An important concept to understand is your client’s lifetime value. This is known as the total revenue you can expect from a single client. The longer the client continues to book with you, the greater their lifetime value becomes. These are the clients who will continue to book with you over and over again.
The duration of the relationship with each client matters in service-based businesses. Returning clients add to your client retention rate and is a vital part of growing your business. It cost five times as much to acquire a new client than to keep an existing one. Increasing retention rates by 5% can increase profits by 25%. This is because you’re spending less on acquiring new clients.
How do you retain your clients and keep your client lifetime value high? You need to implement a memorable salon experience to keep them wanting to book with you. First, you will need to break up each stage to see how you will maximize client success.
The client journey starts as soon as they discover your beauty business. In most cases, it will be through social media. We recommend starting on Instagram because it’s a free visual platform that can effectively showcase your work. To capture your potential client’s attention, you will need to brand your Instagram page and create a content strategy.
Your branding should work in favor to give off a positive first impression. Think of how you want potential clients to see your brand. For example, if you want your beauty business to look clean and modern, you will have to brand it that way. Things to consider include:
When potential clients land on your social media profile they will want to learn more about your business. They will find various points of validation in why they should book with you. Understanding their online behavior will allow you to better shape your content.
You know your potential clients will examine:
With those behaviors in mind, you should:
If potential clients are interested in booking an appointment, make it easy for them to do so. Your profile should include a link to your booking page and call-to-action buttons to initiate messages, booking, and emails. It gives them various ways to contact you at their convenience, moving them to the next stage of the client journey.
It should be easy for clients to book an appointment with you. While you can ask clients to book by emailing or giving you a phone call, we recommend using a scheduling software. It makes the onboarding process scheduling and seamless for the clients. They will be able to see your availability ahead of time, submit a deposit, and receive waivers and intake forms. There are other benefits to having an optimized scheduling software, such as:
The first appointment is an important stage in creating a memorable salon experience. Research suggests a tenth of a second is all it takes to determine trustworthiness. This is your only chance to make an impression because if they aren’t satisfied, they may not come back.
Three things will matter during the initial appointment:
The beauty environment will vary from business to business. For Lash Artist and Teeth Whitening Technician, Shelby, it’s all about making them feel relaxed and feel at home. Shelby has been doing lashes for under two years and teeth whitening for six months. She started off doing lashes as a side hustle before becoming a full-time beauty professional. She hopes to open up her own studio soon, so having a memorable salon experience will be essential for her.
“A lot of my clients do tend to sleep while I’m doing their lashes as their eyes have to be closed for the whole duration of the appointment, so relaxation is key,” she says. To do this, she asks her clients for their music preference and lights up a scented candle or a humidifier with essential oils.
“I have a close relationship with many of my clients since I see them twice a month and many of them have been coming since I first started lashing,” she says. “I always try to remember important details on a personal level to make the appointment all about them!”
It should be your priority to help your clients feel better than they did when they walked in. The customer service you provide is a large chunk of creating a memorable salon experience. A report discovered 89% of consumers began doing business with a competitor following a poor customer experience.
We spoke with Permanent Makeup Artist, Jessica Vuong, who emphasizes the importance of customer service. “No matter whether you’re working in corporate, retail, service or food, people often underestimate how far the right client experience can do for any business,” she says. “Not only will you give a lasting impression and connection but also can be gaining a potential long term friend, supporter, customer or even a potential collaboration.”
“How you help others feel will always leave a lasting impression, and that your reputation is your personal brand.”
For Jessica, this is done through genuine interactions and trust. “Whether it’s how you interact with your colleagues, the new intern, a manager from another team, your neighbor or even the cashier at your local supermarket—how you treat others is a reflection of how you are and how you are representing your personal reputation,” she says. “This is my mantra and I believe this advice goes for everyone in life looking to advance in their career, not only for entrepreneurs, small business owners or a home-based brow artist.”
Jessica carves out time to chat with her clients before starting the service. This is to allow clients to feel comfortable and at ease before the invasive procedure.
Depending on the type of service you provide, a consultation is recommended before determining the client’s needs. This is usually the case with skincare and permanent makeup services. Consultations allow you to address any questions they may have and personalize the overall experience.
Jessica goes over the aftercare procedures together to make sure they understand and don’t have any further questions. From there, she will go into details about brow shape and color to see what will work best with their facial bone structure, natural brow hair flow, and muscle tendencies. She thoroughly communicates what to expect during and after healing, the reality of brow symmetry, and the reality that certain skin types, lifestyle, and history of work done may need additional maintenance or touch-up if applicable.
During the session, Jessica loops in her client on what’s happening behind the scenes. Explaining the process will also reduce any nervousness they may be experiencing. “If I’m shaping, we’re both working on the shape until they are 110% satisfied. If I’m tattooing, I ask if they want to see how the process looks or if they want to wait until the end,” she says. “I find there are three types of clients during this interaction—the ones who want to peek at every opportunity, the ones who want to wait until the very end or the ones who are asleep!”
Sharing background insight and knowledge helps Jessica explain to clients why their brows are shaped the way they are, why their brows look different when laying down versus sitting up, or why their results healed a certain way. These are all common questions she will answer for clients to know what to expect.
“It’s important to remember that you are the professional and expert in your role. So not only are you the technician behind your craft, but also the glue between you and your personal brand representing you and your clients.”
To top it off, Jessica focuses on communication and kindness with a bit of fun to make it an enjoyable experience for both clients and the artist. “If roles were reversed and I had to trust someone to tattoo something permanent on my face, I better like and trust that person! I would never ever want to feel like I’m being rushed, unheard or spoken over when consulting with any professional in any industry,” she says.
Jessica says working together to find the right balance between desired and realistic results is the key to both parties being satisfied. It’s how she delivers her “Jess Vuong Artistry touch”!
Before your client leaves the salon, book the follow-up appointment. Hair cuts, facials, massages or manicures are not one-time services. There’s a good opportunity while they are in front of you to make sure they come back.
If you’re unable to book their follow-up appointment, you can try after a few days by email. This is a good way to see how your client is doing post-appointment. It also creates an opportunity for you to book the follow-up appointment then.
This is also your chance to ask for a review on Google as positive reviews can go a long way for service-based businesses. These reviews act as testimonials to help other potential clients through their client journey. The more reviews, the better. A consumer review showed 85% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. This means potential clients will lean towards salons with higher reviews and ratings.
Finding what works for your beauty business will help to ensure clients are happy and will continue booking with you. What are you doing to deliver a salon experience that your clients will remember you for?
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