The Hottest “NEW” Thing You Can Do to Grow Your Business

There is always some “hot new thing” in the marketplace that is supposedly designed to end your marketing woes. Sometimes the new thing works, sometimes it doesn’t. But I want to share with you the new smart, simple, “hot”, “new” thing that IS working right now. What is that Hot New (or actually old successful thing)? It comes in the form of three simple words: Plan, Execute, and Results!

How often do you take time to look at your business objectively? Every day you fight to not get bogged down in the minutia of things that are thrown at you. After putting out multiple fires each week, it is easy to forget the very reason you are started your spa or salon in the first place. It can be difficult to step away from the hustle to detect areas where you could simplify and improve operations. If you are constantly in a mental fog, you will miss opportunities to increase your revenue. If you aren’t careful, your business can put you in the same rat race that you sought to escape when you were working for someone else.

It is time for you to go “old school” and do what successful entrepreneurs have done for centuries. That is plan the work that you must do. Execute the plan that you have created. Benefit from and duplicatethe results you enjoy. Let me show you how.     [Read more…]

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.

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…]

How to Use Extras to Make Your Clients Feel Special

No matter what type of spa or salon you run, your clients come for one basic reason – to feel special and pampered. If you want to push their pampering to the max, you can extras to create that feeling before, during and after their services. Don’t limit extra touches to free samples at the end of service – begin the VIP treatment when the client walks through the door.

While She’s Waiting
While your client waits for her treatment provider offer her refreshments. Don’t just stick with coffee or tea! Create a signature beverage, such as water with cucumber slices or an herbal tea, like hibiscus. Offer fresh fruit or another healthy snack. This communicates the message that you’re there to take care of your clients and they are special people.      [Read more…]

5 Ways Your Staff Can Increase Your Revenue and Retention

Did you know it costs seven times more to get a new customer than to keep a current one?
If your staff isn’t actively working to give each client a great experience, you may be seeing money walk out of the door each day. It’s not enough to just do the bare minimum. With so many competing services out there, each and every person in your shop needs to be making clients feel like they matter to your business and working hard to retain them.

Whether your staff needs a customer service refresher, or you’d just like to set new standards in your salon or spa, here are five ways to make customers feel special.

  1. Focus on the front-desk staff.Your front-desk staff makes the first impression for your entire business – so make sure they are setting a good one! Don’t discount the importance of this position. You need to make sure that your receptionist or assistants are following established guidelines to make customers feel comfortable and welcomed. Your front-desk staff will need to know how to speak with clients, how to use technology to book appointments, how to sell upsell to complementary services and how to deal with difficult situations. Evaluate their skills and schedule some training as necessary.
  2. Create a culture based on serving the clients.Getting everyone on board with customer service is not an easy task – but it’s essential. Customers can tell the difference between an employee who is just there to get their paycheck and one that truly cares about their experience. Make your expectations for your staff clear. Every client that walks into your establishment needs to be treated with the same level of dedication and service. Keeping clients happy is everyone’s job –it leads to long term success and job security for your staff.
  3. Look for opportunities to give something extra.Client satisfaction can take many forms – but a surefire way to make sure your customers are happy is to give them something extra. Put yourself in your customer’s shoes and think about what would make them feel special. Consider a free sample, aromatherapy, a cup of tea or any other little extra. Get ideas from your staff (and your best clients!) and incorporate them into your way of doing business. Your customers appreciate the perks and your staff will be more invested in your success.
  4. Pre-book each and every appointment.When a customer leaves, be sure there’s a firm date for them coming back. Your staff should be actively scheduling the next appointment for each customer, and recommending a new service. This will increase your bookings, and give you an opportunity to address any customer service problems. If a client doesn’t want to re-book, you can find out why right then and solve the issue for them.
  5. Implement a follow up plan.Holding high standards for customer service doesn’t end when the appointment does. Follow up is a key component of keeping your customers happy. Call new clients a few days before their first appointment to lay the groundwork for excellent customer care. Follow-up after the service to make sure the client was satisfied, request their feedback and confirm their new appointment. This follow up step will let your clients know you are interested in them personally and this is guaranteed to increase your re-bookings.

From start to finish, focus on creating a VIP experience for each client. Getting your entire staff on board can help your staff become a customer service powerhouse.

Get Your Existing Clients To Spend More

You have a loyal base of clients who come to see you regularly. In fact, you don’t have much room left on your book for any new clients.

Does that mean you’ve reached your profit potential? And have to settle for the current amount of money your making? Absolutely not!

You see, each time a client walks through your door, you have an opportunity to create more value for them and more profit for you. How so?

By giving them the opportunity to address challenges they are facing and spend more money with you.      [Read more…]