While speaking with a client, I mentioned to her that it was worthwhile trying to get existing customers not only coming back into the business but doing so at more regular intervals as research has shown that it is around seven times more difficult to attract a new customer than to get an existing customer to purchase again. The client had a beauty salon and the conversation went a little like this…
Me – “So tell me, what is the most common service that the salon provides?”
Client – “That would be the cut and colour”
Me – “So how long does a cut and colour last?”
Client – “Generally about eight weeks”
Me – “OK, so when a client comes in and has her hair cut and coloured what do you do afterwards?”
Client – “Afterwards?”
Me – “Yes, what do you do afterwards?”
Client – “Well, the client pays and leaves the salon happier than when they came in”
Me – “OK, here is my suggestion… When any client comes to the salon in future be sure to take their name, address and phone number. Make a note of the details – preferrably on a CRM system but failing that, even listing them as a contact in Microsoft Outlook or something similar would do. Then to make a note to have the specific stylist who did the client’s hair call them back in six weeks time. The stylist should say something like “Hi first-name, it’s stylist-name here from salon-name. I styled your hair some weeks ago. The reason for my call is to see if you’d like to make another booking so that I can keep your hair looking great”. Once the client agrees, they can be booked in for the following week”.
The benefit… Well by doing this you can potentially to increase the frequency with which customers give you repeat business from every eight weeks to every seven weeks. To put this into some perspective, if all of your clients opt to rebook in this way it will result in an almost 20% increase in business over a 12 month period! Also – don’t forget… your clients are some of your best adverts. If you keep their hair looking great then every time they step outside you have a free, mobile billboard”.
Client – “I never thought of that, I’m onto it right now!”
You may not run a beauty salon but it doesn’t mean that this strategy can’t work for you. It can be adapted to suit many different scenarios where the client purchases a service or a buys a product that is consumed. Other examples could include a motor mechanic or perhaps an IT service business.
Feel free to comment or ask any questions.