6 Easy Steps to Retaining Clients
Struggling trying to get a steady flow of regular clients? Frustrated with the slow pace of building your business? These six easy steps will show you how to multiply your income by turning your clients into loyal regulars that will allow you to build your business quickly.
1. Before anything else, establish rapport
People are much more receptive to those they know and trust. So before doing anything with a new client, you must get to know them. Find out about them. What kind of person are they? What do they do? How long have they lived here? Are they married? Do they have kids?
By spending just a few short minutes, and showing that you are TRULY concerned about them (don’t spend the time talking about yourself!) you’ll connect with that person in a real way. This is the single most important thing you can do with your new client.
2. Customize your service to their preferences
Once you have a feeling about each other you can now question them about their service. Do they get services often? What do they like best about getting services? What do they dislike?
If you take me for an example, I LOVE having my feet massaged and HATE lotions and oils on my face. If someone’s standard protocol consisted of lavender lotion on the face and skimping on the feet, I’d be very disappointed. But by simply asking what my preferences are you can customize the service a bit to my desires and give me the best service I’ve ever had!
3. Identify their needs and problems
Now for a lifelong client, you need to delve deeper into their needs. This may take a bit of work to get to, but its worthwhile once achieved because you’ll develop a long term treatment plan for them to follow.
Many of us won’t take time for ourselves. We even feel guilty about it. So to get a client to take care of themselves is a true accomplishment. But instead of us telling them the benefits and trying to “sell” them on services, we let them talk themselves into it. We do this by asking what things they would like to change/improve with today’s service. We then dig deeper and ask them to show us where exactly their concern is, get into detail about it and most importantly find out HOW IT MAKES THEM FEEL? The ability to get them to open up and acknowledge their issues will finally allow them to take action on correcting them. I refer to this as the emotional portion of the consultation.
If you don’t want to be pushy, you can even give them tips to try to correct the problem or reassure them it can’t be that bad and guide them in a direction different than yourself for a solution. So for back pain you could suggest stretching or for acne you could suggest using an oil free cleanser. By doing this and putting your client’s needs first and foremost you’ll win their trust even further. And often they’ll say they’ve tried it all and it’s not working (hence coming to see you). LET THEM give you the reasons why they should work with you to take care of them. They’ll talk themselves into it if you just sit back and listen. Then all you need to is let them know you can take care of their concerns and setup a treatment plan.
4. Stay in constant touch with them
Once you’ve identified their preferences and problems you should have a plan in place to take care of them. But don’t let it stop there. You don’t have decades to create a brand to achieve “top of the mind awareness.” You need to stay on top of them so they don’t forget about you. You can do this by sending a thank you card after their initial visit. I know of one spa owner who says if she doesn’t send a thank you card the “goodbye” she says that initial day will be the last one she’ll ever say to them! Also call them the following day to check in and see how they’re doing.
A monthly newsletter is also a great way to stay in touch with you clients to keep top of the mind awareness with them. They say that every month you go without connecting with your clients is a 10% loss of relationship. So send a home made (gives a more real feel) newsletter, share an article with them, spotlight your specials, new staff/services, and applaud those that referred you publicly in your newsletter. Birthday gifts (a $20 gift certificate for your spa) will do wonders as well, or even a call out of the blue every now and then.
5. Never take them for granted
It’s common to often overlook the best of clients. They’re always there, always fine, so you just tend to say hi as you pass by and ignore them. It’s like the well behaved kids at school. They never get any attention because the teacher is always paying attention to Johnny Rotten in the back row. When you see one of your regulars (and regulars are your lifeblood!) take time to stop and chat with them. Continue to build that personal connection. Ask how things are going, did they get that new job? how are their kids (always a great topic)? Are they doing well? Let them know that you still care and value them.
A GREAT mindset to have with ALL you clients are that of a first date. Remember how you act on a first date? You are extra careful to be accommodating, dressed in your best clothes, perfect manners, kind, funny and just great to be around? You need to be that at all times with your clients. They’re spending their money to come experience your spa and you should always appreciate that and treat them like it’s their first visit.
If you have any news let them know about it. Send a thank you card out of the blue (hand written). Open the door for them as they arrive to your spa. Call the day after they start a new series of treatments to see how it did for them. A lot of it may be repeat from before, but they’ll appreciate it.
6. Retail (believe it or not)
It’s been shown that if a client leaves without buying retail, there’s only a 10% chance of them returning. The chances of seeing them again goes up to 30% with the purchase of 1 retail item, and a whopping 60% if they buy 2 items! Why? I personally feel that with 1 item purchase they have it there as a reminder of the experience. A souvenir of their visit, keeping you on their mind. With 2 items you’ve most likely given them some extra advice and recommendations on what will help with their concerns and they’re committing to that plan of action by buying your recommendations, so naturally they’ll be coming back so the “pros” can do some more work on them.
By creating relationships with your clients, finding out their preferences, discovering hidden needs, creating a plan with them, staying in touch with them and always treating them like gold, you will be COMPETITION PROOF. No one else will be able to take away or compete with that special relationship you have. They’ll be your client for life.