A solid referral campaign is the most powerful – and least expensive – marketing tool you have at your disposal. An analysis of 500 salons showed that less than 3% have a defined referral program yet 80% of salon owners say they get most of their clients by referral.
Join the minority! Use the power of word-of-mouth to bring new clients into your salon. These three tips will help you encourage your clients to spread the word.
- Ask every new client how they heard about your business.Train your reception staff to ask every new client as they enter your establishment. If you use an intake form for new clients make sure it has a question asking how they heard about you.Learning how your clients found you is important to your bottom line. It is the best way to measure the success or failure of a marketing campaign. Also, it tells you where to focus your marketing resources to get the best results.
- Thank the source of the referral with a gift. When your client refers her friends, family or co-workers to you she us risking her reputation on your services. Try a gift bag of trial size product or a discount on her next service. Be generous! $5 or $10 isn’t going to cut it. This client has showed their faith in you and handed you revenue you would not have otherwise gained. Offer a gift that shows how much you value that.You could also offer an add-on service at her next appointment such as an express facial while she waits for her hair to process.Use higher value rewards to encourage multiple referrals. Your clients have busy lives. They may not make an effort to refer their friends for a 5% discount but they will for a more substantial reward. For example, you could offer them a free haircut or a one-hour massage for every three new clients they refer.Your referral program is worth investing in. Focus on the value of the referrals not the value of the reward. If you give away a free haircut for three referrals, you have close to $200 in new business for a $65 haircut.
- Advertise your referral program.Even if they LOVE your services, most of your clients won’t think to recommend you unless you ask them to.Let your repeat customers know that they’ll be rewarded if they refer their friends and family and how. Train your service providers to ask their clients to tell their friends. Be sure to train your reception staff to ask clients to tell their friends about their service as well.One way for salons to encourage referrals is to give clients a business card. The client gives the card to their friends to present when the friend makes an appointment. You’ll know which new clients were referred by existing customers. You could even offer a discount to the new client and to the the person who referred them.
Most salon and spa owners get the bulk of their new business from referrals. It is worth the time it takes to design a program that rewards your clients for referring their friends. More referrals lead to more rewards. It’s a win-win for everyone!