After coaching many estheticians and spa owners over the years, I noticed that most focus their marketing efforts on acquiring new clients instead of retaining.
That’s totally understandable – after all, we all associate new business with growth and profits, right?
However, did you know that it costs five times as much to acquire a new client than to keep an existing one?
Also, the probability of selling to an existing customer is 60-70% while that of selling to a potential client is just 5-20%. Meanwhile, 65% of a company’s business comes from existing customers, who are also more likely to purchase higher ticket packages and more often.
For your beauty business to thrive, let’s focus on putting a solid client retention system in place!
How To Design an Effective Client Retention System
The key to increasing client retention is to make sure that you’re delivering an outstanding client experience, staying top of mind, getting your team on board, and tracking your results so you can make improvements.
Track Your Current Client Retention Rate
As the saying goes, “What gets measured get done,” so knowing where you’re at right now is the first step to establishing where you need to go and how to get there.
Many booking systems are capable of running retention reports. Otherwise, you can track your retention metrics manually.
To do so, define a period and then find out how many clients you have at the beginning and at the end of that time. You also need to know how many new clients you have attracted during that period. Then you can subtract that number to determine how many clients you have retained.
Set a Client Retention Goal
To set a client retention goal, you must know how many clients you are currently retaining.
Set realistic retention goals but not too low either. Make sure it’s attainable while stretching you enough to help you grow. Aim to increase the retention rate by 10-20%.
Pre-Book Your Clients
Do you have clients who leave their appointments saying, “I’ll book online” and then never do? That’s not uncommon – life happens and eventually, you forget about them and they forget about you!
Increase your client retention rate by pre-booking clients before they leave their appointments so you don’t become overly reliant with online booking. You can even offer an incentive to entice them to pre-pay for their future appointments to minimize no-shows.
Follow Up To Stay Top Of Mind
Out of sight, out of mind. It’s important to design a follow-up system so you can keep your clients engaged between appointments. However, follow-up isn’t about blasting your clients with email promotions – that’s getting old and can even turn clients off.
Here are some of my favorite ways to follow-up and keep in touch with clients:
Send thank you cards: send a thank you note to every client that you serve – even if it’s only for a consultation. Send a thank you card after clients’ first appointments, on their “anniversaries” with you, or when they refer a new client to you.
Set up an automated email follow-up sequence: send an automated email series to new clients. The content should be designed to deliver value (not endless promotions!) so you can build trust and relationships.
Send out email reminders. Set your booking or email system to automatically send out reminders to schedule an appointment. Do this after a certain number of weeks has passed since a client’s last appointment. Include a clear call-to-action and a link to schedule online. This makes it easy for clients to take action.
Check in with lapsed clients. Develop a consistent process to follow up with clients who haven’t seen you for a while. I recommend the 3-month rule. If a client hasn’t come in for 3 months, you should write an email, send a text, or give a call to see how they are doing. Simply say that you’re thinking about them and you wanted to make sure they are ok.
Incorporate Client Retention Into Your Compensation Model
A performance-based compensation model can motivate your team to focus on what matters most in your business. And what matters most is delivering world class services to your clients.
For example, you can offer raises or bonuses to team members who are most effective in keeping or growing your client retention rates.
The Key To Effective Client Retention
Most solo estheticians have retention rates of 90% or higher. If your rates are lower than 75%, it’s time to make some serious changes to your business model.
The key to getting more clients to return to your beauty business is to deliver an outstanding client experience and improve client satisfaction.
When you create a client-centric business model that focuses on delivering value and building relationships with your clients, they’ll naturally want to come back!
The good news is, you don’t have to do it all on your own! To learn more ways to grow your solo practice, join our business and marketing membership program designed exclusively for estheticians. Learn more about it here.