Here’s a question for you: Do you have a steady stream of new clients coming to your salon? More importantly…do you have a steady stream of the right new clients?
Before you answer that, first, let’s define what the “right new client” is. The right new client is the new client who is most likely to become a regular client. And here is the secret about those clients: very often, they are the friends and family of your current loyal guests.
Now that we’ve identified who the right new client is, let’s talk about the more important subject of how to find these clients and convert them to loyal return clients. Often, salon owners fall into the trap of indiscriminately spending their marketing dollars with the hope that it will result in client growth. The truth is, there is a much more effective way to achieve these results – with Incentive Programs. When you encourage and reward your current clients for referring their friends, you get new business, your current client gets a reward, and the new client is introduced to your amazing salon. That is: everyone wins. That said, there are some key things to consider when implementing an effective incentive program.
Number One: What To Offer As an Incentive
Keep your program as simple as possible. Offer a reward to your guests for every client they refer to your salon. We give our guests a $20 reward for every new client they refer. They can use the $20 reward towards any retail product purchase. This helps to encourage the use of salon products. And offering the discount on retail is more cost effective for the salon since there is always a better profit margin on retail products than services.
Number Two: Make it Easy to Refer
Give referral cards to your clients to give to their friends. There are some beautiful designs offered here that you can customize with your special offer.
Number Three: Get the Word Out
Once you’ve decided on your program it’s time to tell your clients about it.
- Include details about your referral program on your website.
- Send out an email to your clients explaining the program and how it works.
- Include signage about the program throughout your salon like the image below that we have framed at each stylist station and at our front desk.
Number Four: Track it Properly
When we’re scheduling an appointment for a new client our computer system is set up to always prompt us to ask the new client how they heard about our salon. If they say that they were referred by a friend we ask them who the friend was and enter their name as the referring client.
Number Five: Celebrate Each Referral
Every week I send out a “Thank You” email to clients who referred new clients that came in the previous week. The email thanks them for the referral and states that the email serves as the $20 gift voucher for them to use on any retail product purchase. I always include an expiration date two months from the date the email is sent.
Something else I’d like to do this year is thank the client who referred the most guests at the end of the year with a special reward. For instance, the client who referred the most friends would receive a year’s worth of complimentary haircuts or a $500 salon gift card.
Every salon needs new clients to keep growing and stay strong. Get the best possible new clients by having your current clientele refer their friends. That will put you in the best possible position to not only increase the number of new clients visiting your salon but growing your base of raving fans.