Whether you are an independent, commissioned stylist or salon owner the reality is you will lose a small percentage of your customer base every year. Now I know that this is a very delicate topic (almost as touchy as raising your prices!) as most of you would prefer to believe that clients have either died, moved, or fallen into a black hole versus believing that perhaps they have not returned because something was just NOT right.
The reality is clients will leave you…even long-standing, loyal ones! The question is not IF they will, but WHY they did and what can you do about it?
The first thing I say is that sometimes turnover is good! Like any business, employees will come and go for a variety of reasons, and sometimes this is an opportunity to bring in a breath of fresh air, new ideas, and new energy. You don’t need to seek out a therapist to deal with emotions when a regular client suddenly stops coming – just look at it as a chance to build and promote yourself to the kind of customers you want in your chair!
You can only grow if you know
Ok so now what? You can only grow if you know! Yes, that means you need to ask yourself the tough questions…the dreaded WHY. Why did they stop coming? You can make assumptions or, you can simply ask them. I know that seems scary, but this information is crucial to your business and it is in your best interest to know the facts.
I don’t mean an awkward call confronting the client who has gone astray….I mean perhaps a quick text that can pull back the curtain and help you assess where and what you or the salon can do differently.
Just in case you do not get a response, here are the top reasons why clients look elsewhere (aside from moving, death or the dreaded black hole)!
• Did not focus on the hair and became more personal
• Took their loyalty for granted
• Difficult to get an appointment
• Not on top of trends
• No consultations
• Unrelaxing environment
• Did not respect their time
• Did not make product recommendations
• Did not post or update content online
• Cleanliness of environment (especially post-Covid)
Focusing on your guest’s experience from A to Z will enable you to look at your business with fresh eyes and build on what you have already built.