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Here's Why Your Client Went Elsewhere

Anne Moratto | November 3, 2014 | 12:21 PM

When a client leaves and takes their business elsewhere, we all look around and want to know what happened.  What caused them to stray?   We asked three top-tier beauty professionals for their take on why a salon guest decides they have stayed too long in a hairdresser’s chair or on a spa’s appointment books.

David John, expert colorist at Sally Hershberger Los Angeles:

REASON TO GO #1: Stay current. One reason clients stray is because the stylist is not bringing to the table a hair color or style that is in style. If a client is still getting "mall bangs" or "mullets" it might be in their best interest to move on. 

REASON TO GO #2: Be present. When doing a clients hair they want to feel like they are getting the stylist's full attention and being pampered. If the stylist is talking to other stylists or taking phone calls they might feel like the stylist doesn't care about them.

REASON TO GO #3: Switch it up. It's important to offer changes to people and encourage them to try new things with their haircut or color. Even if it's a subtle change. They shouldn't get bored and want to go to someone else to get something new. 

REASON TO GO #4: Too expensive. Sometimes a client's financial situation changes like they lose a job, have a baby or buy a house and can't afford to pay your price. If you want to keep that client sometimes it's necessary for the stylist to adjust their rate. 

REASON TO GO #5: Moving. If a stylist moves to a different salon in a different area. It might not be convent for the client to follow them. 

Marco Pelusi, owner of his award-winning hair salon Marco Pelusi Hair Studio in West Hollywood, CA, and the creator of Marco Pelusi Collagen Color Guard Haircare:

REASON TO GO #1: The number one reason clients leave their hairdresser is because they feel the hairdresser cannot offer them CHANGE.  This topic is something I've thought about many, many times over the years.  I've witnessed it so many times:  a hairdresser takes a vacation, and all of a sudden his client is in someone else's chair.  The substitute hairdresser suggests adding a few face-framing highlights, for example, and the client ends up elated at the results.  The new hairdresser gains a client.  This is basically because the client never felt the possibility of this change, or of a new or newer look, with the current hairdresser.  The lesson here is to ALWAYS check in with your clients about how their hair is, what they don't like about their hair, what they'd like to CHANGE about their hair, what problems they're having with their hair. Clear, honest, and direct (as direct as possible) communication with the client is what keeps them coming back, year after year. 

Maisie Dunbar, owner of Maisie Dunbar Spa Lounge, was recently selected to receive the distinguished 2014 Top 100 Minority Business Enterprise Award for business owners in Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Delaware and the District of Columbia

REASON TO GO #1: Double-booking.  You didn’t value their time. They are made to wait because you tried to pack too many appointments into your schedule.

REASON TO GO #2: A location that is not sanitary.

REASON TO GO #3: Lack of follow up.

REASON TO GO #4: Price –vs---investment.  You can make your guest feel like they are investing in your business not just handing you money if you know.

REASON TO GO #5: Treatments are not up-to-date or you don’t have enough understanding of what you’re offering.

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