3 Simple Steps to Giving Clients Exactly What They Need

Top-notch salons and spas provide value by giving their clientele exactly what they need.  Follow these steps to create offers your clients can’t refuse.

1. Learn about your clients.

Giving your clients exactly what they need starts with understanding their needs. The easiest way to do that is with a survey. Surveys are the perfect way to find out what is most important to your clients and how you can best serve them.

These days everyone is busy. People are most inclined to participate in a survey if they get something in return. A free service is a great way to encourage participation. You can use an add-on service such as a blow-dry with a haircut. Or you can try a lower end service such a manicure or eyebrow shaping.

Another way to encourage participation is with a contest. Every person who responds will be entered into a drawing to win a spa day, a makeover, a basket of product or another high-end prize. Offer additional entries in exchange for sending the survey to friends and family.

In the survey, ask about their most recent visit. Find out if they plan to come back and book a new appointment. Don’t limit questions to feedback on their service. Ask about their daily activities and concerns in their life. The more you can find out about them (without being invasive) the better.

Give them the option of leaving comments. If you ask multiple choice questions, include “other” as an option with a box to leave details. Make your clients feel welcome to give you feedback in the survey.

2. Get Staff Input

After you collect the responses, set up a meeting with each member of you staff. Use this time to get insights into the clients who responded. If your staff has been listening during services, they should have a lot to say! Use your intake forms and records of client interactions to help your staff remember each customer who responded.

Go over any negative feedback and use this as a training opportunity with your staff. Be sure to get back to the client promptly and fix what was wrong.

3. Develop Your Special Offers

This is where you put it all together and wow your clients. Craft special offers based on your survey responses and your staff’s input. You can build offers for individual clients or for groups of clients. If your clientele is stressed-out, put together a pampering package. Offer express services to clients short on time. Offer discounts on two or more services booked together. If clients express concerns over pricing, offer a loyalty program or referral bonus. If a client has an anniversary coming up, offer a romance package, featuring his and hers massage or waxing before a romantic evening. Use your imagination; the possibilities are endless.

Every client wants to know that you understand her and appreciate her needs. The key is learning everything you can about her and use all the tools you have. Don’t underestimate the value of your staff’s input in learning about your clients. Staff input and client feedback will give you everything you need to know to build offers your clientele will love.

3 Steps to Paying Special Attention to Each Client

Clients are the lifeblood of your business – without them you wouldn’t have a business! To keep them coming back, you need to cater to their needs. To effectively cater to those needs, learn everything you can about the client. Follow this three step formula to craft business-boosting offers:

1. Develop an intake process. Learning about your client starts with her first visit. Develop an intake process that will collect information about her. You could use an intake form or put a personal touch on the process and have one of your reception staff do a short intake interview. Find out what kind of work she does, whether she is single, if she has children, etc. Does she have hobbies that will affect her beauty regimen? For example, if she spends a lot of time outdoors, her skin and hair will need extra attention to prevent drying and sun damage. Ask for important dates such as birthdays and anniversaries.

2. Gather information during service. Train your service providers to listen to their clients. The consultation prior to a service is vital. Your staff should let the client speak and voice her concerns. Train your staff to guide the client to the best service but also to take the concerns seriously. If she has never been waxed, for example, she may be fearful of the pain involved. It’s important that the service provider not brush off those concerns. Staff should make sure the client is comfortable and understands what the process is. Your staff’s job is to make sure the client has all the information she needs and feels good about proceeding with the service.

After the initial consultation, service providers should continue gathering information. Train your staff to engage in conversations and really listen. For example, you can give your staff a list of questions to help draw the client out. The goal is to learn as much as possible about her.

3. Craft your special offer. The last step is crafting a special offer based on w hat you learned. Bridal services are obvious, but the possibilities are endless for clients in other situations.

For example:

  • Clients who received services for the first time are ideal candidates for a discount off their next appointment.
  • For clients who have children, you could do a mommy pampering package. Or create a first date package including hair and makeup to offer to single women.
  • For upcoming birthdays or anniversaries, offer a free service like eyebrow shaping, makeup or an express manicure.
  • For business women offer consultations on looking good while traveling or a massage when she returns.
  • Create a “power hour” package including blow-dry, makeup and an express manicure for a client who has a speaking engagement.

Whatever her situation, with a little creativity you can come up with the perfect offer. Pay special attention to every client, starting as soon as she comes through your door. Learning everything you can about your client is the key to crafting an offer based on her needs. Keep your clients coming back with targeted offers just for them and their needs.

5 Problems You Solve For Your Clients When They Walk in the Door

As a spa or salon owner, it’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking your job is to provide services. It’s not! Your job is to SOLVE PROBLEMS. Your clients come to you looking for solutions, not services.

A lot of the problems your clients need you to solve are emotional. Your client comes to you because she wants to feel a certain way. Other problems are more practical; she doesn’t have enough time for herself or she puts her work and family ahead of her own needs.

Whatever the problems are, you’ll boost your sales when you position yourself as a problem solver. Your primary goal should be to show your client that you understand her needs and challenges and present your business as the solution.

Talk to your clients when they come in. Find out what they need. Are they preparing for a special event? Looking for a little pampering? Feeling stressed? Learning everything you can about the client will give you the clues you need to position yourself as a problem solver.

Don’t wait until you have all the answers. Start marketing yourself as the solution to your client’s challenges right away. Market yourself as the solution to these common problems:

  1. No Time We live in a fast-paced, high-energy world. Everyone struggles to get everything done in their go-go-go lifestyles. It’s hard for people to slow down and take the time for self-care. Let prospects and clients know how you’ll save them time. Show them ways to group services together, for example, they can get a manicure, facial waxing, express facial or 30 minute massage while their hair color processes.
  2. High Stress Lifestyle The experts all say it – we’re more stressed than ever before. Stress leads to health issues, heart problems, sleep loss and weight gain. Let potential and current clients know how your services will help. A massage is a great solution to a high stress lifestyle, but that isn’t the only service that can help. Research has shown that touch relieves stress. Any of your services can help your clients relax, unwind and be more productive in their day to day life.
  3. Need to Feel Special Give your clients a chance to add a little bit of glamour to their lives. Offer services at a variety of price points so anyone can have a “just for me” experience. Let clients know they don’t have to be celebrities to feel glamorous and special.
  4. Need to Feel Good About Her Appearance In your marketing materials make it clear that you can help your client make that all-important good first impression. Whether it’s for a job interview, special event or big night out, you can help her put her best foot forward. You help her feel good about the way she looks so she can wow her friends, family and colleagues.
  5. Need to Indulge Herself So many people (especially women!) put everyone else first. Your clients and prospects are likely to put themselves at the bottom of the list after work, kids, spouses, family and home. A spa day, a facial, a mani/pedi all make your client feel like number one. Position your services as a way for clients to take some time for themselves guilt-free.

When you plan your next marketing campaign, think about these common problems. Position your business as the solution. Show your prospects and clients how you meet their needs and solve their problems. You’ll boost your bottom line.

Your Instant Recipe for Following Up: When, Who and How

Ready to implement a follow up system that really works? Although you may want to try to streamline your follow up process by only following up with new clients, don’t do it! Your follow up plan isn’t the place to cut corners. You should follow up with all your clients, new and existing. Not sure where to get started? Here’s a simple recipe to follow to get your entire staff on track with the follow up process.

When Should You Follow Up?

Great customer service starts with being timely. It is essential to call for a follow up within 24-48 hours. Make your follow up calls while you’re still fresh in the client’s mind. You’ll get the most useful feedback during this time. During the follow-up call, ask for feedback about their services and service providers.

Who Should Be Following Up?

Training your staff is necessary to keep up with client follow ups. Don’t only train your receptionist – train your specialists as well. These service providers should be following up regularly with their existing clients. You can put a system in place in your booking software or with a paper-based booking system so that each and every client gets a follow up call. Put your front desk staff in charge of checking in that the follow ups are being done, and assign one member of your front desk staff to be in charge of follow up calls to brand new clients.

Make sure everyone on your team understands the goal of the follow up calls. Giving your team the big picture will show them that follow up calls aren’t just a chore but an important part of the growth of your business. This will get them on board and make them excited to make those all important calls. Happy clients mean more business for you!

How Should You Be Following Up?

A big part of effective follow up is knowing what to say on those calls. Team members, especially those not working the front desk, don’t always know what to say to clients on the phone. Giving them a script will build their confidence and teach them to reinforce your brand message while remaining professional.

Don’t just hand over the script and hope for the best! You can use role playing to practice the script. Practice makes perfect! Role play will help your staff adapt the scrip to actual client situations and build their confidence. It will give them a chance to use the script in a comfortable environment before they speak to clients directly.

Having a script will also help you deal professionally with clients who are unhappy. You should set a system in place for dealing with unhappy clients – such as adding a manager or team leader to the call in order to try to resolve the situation for the client.

When you put the effort in, training will make your follow up plan a success. Follow up is a major part of your overall customer service plan, so invest the time and energy to do it right. It will keep your clients coming back and bringing their friends!

How to Develop a Profitable Follow Up System

The biggest mistake spa and salon owners make is not staying in touch with existing clients! Once you’ve gotten a client through your doors once, it’s much easier to keep them coming back than to go out and find brand new clients.  Following up with your clients makes you stand out from the pack and strengthens your client relationships. Your business grows through the relationships you and your stylists build with your clientele.

Why Should You Follow Up With Clients?

Following up helps with customer satisfaction and ensures their return to your salon. Not only will you get valuable information by asking for feedback in a follow up call, your client gets a chance to talk about her service. She’ll know you really care about her and her experiences.

A good follow up plan is key to lowering expenses and increasing revenue. It costs 5-7 times more for you to get a new client than to keep an existing one. You can lower your marketing expenses and boost your bookings by following up with your clients. The goal of the follow-up is to thank the customer and get feedback, but you can also use this time to offer additional services or book the next appointment.

Follow Up Key #1 – Create a Plan for Following Up

Documentation is a major key to helping your staff stay on track with follow up calls. When you implement your follow up plan, document it so all your staff knows what needs to be done. Your plan can include handwritten thank you notes or phone calls.

Although technology makes following up quick and easy, they are less personal than a handwritten note or phone call. Who doesn’t like a thank you note in the mail or a personal call to check in?

Follow Up Key #2 – Train Your Staff

Once you’ve created the plan for following up, you need to train your staff to follow up. It can be tempting to write a memo or simply announce your expectations, but you really do need to take that extra step to train your staff. Training is time and labor intensive, but very worth it! It builds teamwork and reinforces the messages that you want your staff to get across with all of their interactions.

To help your staff remember what they learned in training, use checklists to help them implement your plan. Make sure they know when and how to follow up, as well as which clients need a follow up touch.

Follow Up Key #3 – Revise Your Plan

After getting your plan in place and training your staff to do the right type of follow up, you need to review your plan regularly and make any necessary changes. Make it a point to review your plan every quarter. Check to see if your follow up system has had an effect on sales. If not, revise your plan and review the changes with your staff. Your staff may need to be retrained if they aren’t sure how the plan should be used or are missing out on important details.

A profitable follow up system makes it easy to show clients how much you care. By using a reliable and regularly updated system, you can make your business really stand out from the crowd.

Get Your Team On Board: Empowering Others to Follow Up with Clients

As a salon owner you don’t have time to follow up with every client who walks through your door. Don’t let that stop you from making sure your clients get that extra touch that makes for a GREAT experience. Empower your team to follow up and you’ll see more repeat clients.

Your Team Can Be Your Biggest Follow up Assets      [Read more…]

7 Ways to Treat Your Clients Like VIPs

Everyone wants to feel like a VIP. Booking a service at a salon or spa is one way for many people to feel special for a few hours.  Use these tips to treat your clients like VIPs and they’ll keep coming back:

  1. Train all your staff to be friendly and welcoming to every one of your guests. Your reception staff understands this, but your custodial staff may not. To make your client feel like a VIP, she needs to feel welcomed by everyone she interacts with.
  2. The first interaction a client has with your salon is when she books a service. Make sure the booking process is smooth and as easy as possible for the client. Booking is your first opportunity to make your client feel like a VIP by asking good questions and showing that you understand her needs. When a guest books one of your signature services, let them know why that service is special or unique. Highlight the fact that you use an unusual technique or a high-end product. [Read more…]

5 Steps to a Client Care System for Your Spa

Did you know it costs five to seven times more money and effort to get a new client than to keep an existing one? If you want to reduce turnover in your spa and save money at the same time, you need a client care system. Building a good system and training your staff takes time upfront, but will save you money in the end.

Take these steps to build a Client Care System and you’ll improve your retention rate, increase your referrals and that every client is treated like a VIP by every member of your staff.      [Read more…]

Are Daily Deal Sites a Good Deal for Your Spa?

Daily deal sites are all the rage for consumers – but are they a good fit for your business?

Before you sign up to offer deep discounts on your services in order to woo new customers, you need to consider the facts. Sites like Groupon, Bloomspot and Living Social may not bring you the benefits that you’re looking for – unless you have the right strategy in place to woo couponers and turn them into long term clients.

Do Daily Deals Add Up?

Daily deal sites seem promising to many spa owners. After all, who doesn’t want a flurry of customers coming in all at once? However, after the initial rush of bringing in dozens, or hundreds of customers, there are the financial facts to deal with. Most sites will encourage you to give 50% off of your retail price for services, and will charge a fee of 25% of the total retail cost of your service. When these are combined, these discounts may eat up your profit margin.

For example, if you have a basic spa package for $80 retail, it may cost you $40 in labor, products and other miscellaneous business expenses. Your total profit off of this service is $40. So it may seem like you’re breaking even on all the daily deal coupons coming in with a $40 price tag. The only problem is that when you add in the daily deal site’s commission, it leaves you with $20 of loss for every sale.

That may not be a bad deal, IF you look at that as money spent on marketing and advertising to attract a great new client. Which means you need to be clear about who you’re targeting with your deal.

What Kind of Customers Can You Expect?

According to the research firm User Insight, there are two types of coupon seekers that you can expect to find with daily deal sites. With the right strategy, you can easily turn couponers into long term customers.

Casual Couponer

This type of couponer doesn’t actively seek out deals but will pick one up if she runs across it and was planning to buy that service or product anyway. This type of couponer may have considered visiting a spa, or treating herself to a massage, and seeing the deal on the website coincided with her need.

Groupon and other daily deal sites might be a good way to introduce your spa to this customer – but you need to really “Wow!” her with service in order to get her to come back and give her an incentive to do so. If her experience is truly exceptional, you can count on her returning.

Reward Seekers

Unlike casual couponers, who may have bought from you anyway, reward seekers are buyers who are always on the hunt for a low price. This type of buyer isn’t loyal to your brand – she’s just looking for a deal. She’s going to move onto the next deal unless you have an enticing loyalty program to keep her around. If you’re willing to create a frequent customer program or have another type of ongoing discount in mind, you can grab those daily deal seekers long term.

Participating in a daily deal isn’t necessarily a bad idea. It can be a great boost to your business! But you do need to understand clearly what you’re signing up for and how the numbers work.

For this opportunity to really work for you, you need to have a strategy in place to turn each of your daily deal sales into a recurring client, so you can re-coup the cost of services up front and build up a consistent revenue stream with that client. Also, you want to have systems in place that will “wow” your new clients and incentivize them to return soon after their first appointment.

Before you sign up for a daily deal website, you need to look at the situation from all angles. You have to determine whether or not it will be a good deal for YOU as well as the customers. Crunch the numbers and figure out how much you can spend to obtain a new customer.

If it looks like a good fit for your business financially, understand the difference between the most common daily deal customers – and get those systems in place to keep your new clients coming back. Only then will you be able to reap the benefits of inviting couponers to your business. Good luck!