How to keep your salon clients coming back

Kathy Jager | July 10, 2011 | 10:11 AM

Ever wonder why a client hesitates to rebook? Was it the cut? The atmosphere? The new techniques you incorporated? Did you offer anything new for her hair? Were you having a bad hair day? Or perhaps it was just that the coffee was too cold.

high expectations

There are so many reasons to do a self-check when a client does not return to us, let alone bring us a friend. Clients require us to be on top of our game in all aspects of our business. They come to us for much more than a cut and color. To keep them in our chair year after year, we must earn their business. This means going the extra effort to make sure that you have serviced that client in every possible way in order to gain their respect and the trust. First impressions can make or break your chance to have that client return, so what you do and how you conduct yourself has everything to do with how that client is going to respond to you by coming back to you again and again or just the opposite: never again.

got to have trust

Building a good relationship with your clients is the number one way you will get them to return to you. First, they must feel a connection, one that is built from listening to their needs and offering suggestions that they can think about. This is key to the foundation of your relationship. If they do not feel that you are concerned with their needs, you've lost the opportunity for a second visit.

Clients today have many choices to fulfill their beauty needs. You must have that certain special way of accommodation that sets you apart from your competition. They must believe that what you say will make a difference. Sometimes it is simply how you make them feel. Clients come back because of an emotion they get from their experience. It is our gift to them, and their joy is their gift to us. That one magical moment that can take the breath away of a client as she or he walks out our door is what will bring them back to us.

if you build it, they will come

If you continually build upon your relationship by adding to it, nurturing it and placing value in it, they will continue to come. Clients respond to the way we treat them. If they feel unconditional respect and appreciation for their presence in your salon, they're bound to want to share with all of their friends and family the wonderful experience of you and your services.

Success is in the power of your hands as well as in the beauty of your voice. What you have to say and how you treat your client is a reflection of who you are as a person. Your clientele base will grow as much as you grow as a person. Educate yourself so that you have more to share with clients. They need mental stimulation; part of building your business is building your image as an expert in the beauty industry. They want you to know what's hot and what's not. They count on your expertise in more ways than just beauty. They think we hairdressers have all the answers! It is our business to help them feel that we do!

little things = big business

Little things that you do daily that have a huge impact on another human spirit. Our business is about people first. That is the number one thing to remember. Yes we do hair, make-up and nails, yes we are all artists, yes we know fashion, but none of that matters if you don't have a person to share it with. This is a people business, and learning to love people will fill your pockets with success. Taking care of the souls of our clients by doing small acts of kindness will keep them returning year after year. So share their stories, invest time in your visits, offer your compassion for their life concerns, and it will mean a lot to them.

People need people to care, and we are caretakers. We take care of their beauty needs, but we also take care of their spirits. The best thing you can do to keep your clients returning is to offer your best self, the love for your industry and the passion that drives you.

why don't clients return?

Clients give these reasons for never showing up again:

  1. unsatisfied with service/cut was too short
  2. stylist didn't pay enough attention/didn't listen to me
  3. stylist had bad attitude
  4. personality difference/no connection with stylist
  5. had to wait too long/stylist was overbooked
  6. didn't like salon atmosphere
  7. I was bored
  8. the price was too high
  9. salon was too far away
  10. service took too much time

real success

Real success is when a client: leaves with A SMILE and RETURNS with a FRIEND!

To your Success!

Kathy Jager has been a cosmetologist since 1980. She's worked as a staff member, a salon owner and a manufacturer's educator. She's also the author of As the Chair Turns. Kathy periodically offers FirstChair readers the wisdom that comes from first-hand experience in the industry.

How to keep your salon clients coming back
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