The biggest secret to keep your appointment book full is more about your client’s experience and less about what you offer. If retaining clients is a struggle for you, it’s time to examine how you do business. As owners, we need to put more focus on client retention instead of client acquisition.
For most businesses, especially those in the service industry, the cost of acquiring a new client is higher than that of retaining one. In addition, having repeat clients in our esthetician and spa business means we can better predict cash flow and maintain the financial health of the business.
To successfully retain clients and cultivate loyalty, you need to adopt a service-minded attitude by prioritizing your clients’ experience.
Key to client retention & loyalty is adopt a service-minded attitude toward's customer experience. Click To Tweet
1. Be Accommodating – Increase Client Retention
Putting your clients’ experience first isn’t about being right. It’s about being of service and being accommodating.
A very common example is when a client is late, or no-show. How do you deal with a situation in which the client is “wrong”?
A no-show is frustrating, there’s no question about it.
Instead of letting your frustration determine your action, try getting out of your head for a moment and think – what’s going on at the client’s end?
Instead of picking up the phone and say, “hey, where are you?” or “You’re late!” my team was trained to say, “Mrs. So-and-so, we had you down at 2:00 today. It’s now 2:15, so we just want to make sure you had the same time and date on your calendar.”
When you frame the conversation this way, you’re giving the client an out without blaming anybody.
You could be right and it may feel good to call them out at the moment, but doing so won’t be beneficial for your client relationship in the long run.
The client could get defensive and that makes the situation worse.
You have the ability to respond to any situation in a kind way will showcase your incredible leadership skills.
Being accommodating isn’t the same as being a doormat though.
If a client is a habitual offender – e.g., no-showing or being late multiple times – it’s time to have a conversation.
How you handle such conversation is also part of the client experience.
Our interactions with clients need to come from a place of love and kindness with their best interest in mind. Always step into their shoes and look at the situation from their perspective.Customer conversations are part of the client experience so handle them with care. Click To Tweet
2. Create a Welcoming Environment to Retain Clients
Clients come to us for how we make them feel. Welcomed. Appreciated. Loved. Your client may want to be pampered or want to relax. Some like to talk during treatment while others don’t. They want results.
In order to obtain that repeat business, you need to consider the entire experience, such as how the environment of your office or spa makes them feel.
The environment also refers to the energy your clients perceive when they interact with you or your team.
People feel your energy not only when they’re physically in your spa but also when you talk to them on the phone or interact with them via text messages.
Handle all your communications from a place of pure service. Letting me people know that they are never a bother and it’s always your pleasure to grant their wishes.
People want to do business with those they like and enjoy seeing. You are the differentiating factor in your business.
Your clients come to your spa for YOU first and your craft second.Handle all your communications from a place of pure service. Click To Tweet
3. Pre-Book Your Clients – Ultimate Client Retention
Online booking systems are great – clients can book an appointment with us anytime they want, even during off hours.
However, it doesn’t mean you can hide behind the computer or that you don’t have to talk to clients. A booking system isn’t a substitute for human interactions.
An online booking system is “passive” – it won’t go out and get clients to book an appointment with you. If you want to fill your book, you have to be proactive about it.
When your clients are wrapping up their retail and paying for their services, get them to reserve their next appointment before they complete the transaction – before they mentally “check out” and run out the door.
You don’t have to be pushy at all. People don’t like being sold to and being pushy would just undermine the client experience.
You can simply say, “You’re due for your fill in two weeks. It seems like Tuesdays at 3:00 has been working well for you. Should I put you down for [ date ] at 3pm? Does that work for you?”
Think a couple of steps ahead of your clients and act on their behalf. Go the extra mile and make them feel like you’re looking out for them.
You’d be surprised how all these little gestures add up to make a big difference.
4. Create a Wait List – Not Utilized Retention Secret
Last-minute cancellations do happen but you don’t have to be toiling your thumbs for that hour if you have a wait list and a system in place to fill the slots.
This way, not only will you be able to fill your book but you’ll also make a client very happy because she can get her treatment earlier than expected or at a time that she prefers most.
5. Retain Clients With a CRM System
A CRM (customer relationship management) system, such as the Frederick software, can help you fill last-minute appointments.
You can program the system to automatically send out emails to clients who haven’t had a treatment for a while when you have a slot open up.
You can also send out email or text reminders to those who didn’t pre-book at their last appointment so they can do so on your online booking system.
Not to mention, email marketing is one of the best ways to stay top of mind and build trust with your clients.
Although a CRM isn’t a substitute for human interactions, automation does help you catch clients that might have fallen through the crack and fill slots on your calendar that might have gone unscheduled.
Want more tips on acquiring and retaining spa clients? In the Esthetician Inner Circle Membership, I’ll show you how to create a seamless client experience that will make your clients want to stick around. Click here to learn more.