At beauty school, we try and prepare our students as much as possible. We help them obtain skills necessary for success, but some things simply take time to learn – like how to retain repeat guests at a salon. Most students don’t know how to do this because they haven’t been in the industry long enough to have many repeat guests. While retaining salon guests requires a relationship and communication skills built over time, there are things you can do to encourage repeat guests right after graduation. Building a clientele is one of the biggest challenges a new beauty school graduate faces, but if you’re patient and willing to put in the effort, you’ll gain your clients’ loyalty.
1. Tell Your Guests What You’re Doing for Them
The easiest way to show a new guest why they should come back is by explaining everything you’re doing for them. If they are getting their hair colored, let them know why your hair color is better than box color. Talk about the products you’re using. You want your guest to have a relaxing and happy experience, but it should also be educational. If your guest thinks they can do a service themselves or get it from a different salon, you need to point out why they need you. If your service is as exceptional as you point out, they’ll return.
2. Be Personal and Thoughtful
A hand-written note goes a long way in a society driven by emails, texts and social media notifications. When it comes to your guests, especially your older clients, send them hand-written notes on their birthday or around Christmas. This personal touch lets your guest know how important they are to you. You appreciate their visits and a simple card will leave a lasting impressions.
3. Practice Your Communication Skills
Poor communication can really hurt you in the cosmetology industry. This doesn’t mean you need to be a chatterbox – it means you need to listen, ask questions and offer feedback. Pay attention to what your guest wants and don’t assume you know what’s best. While you are the authority, you need to grasp the concept your guest has as best you can. If you don’t understand, ask questions. Active listening is a great way to better understand your guest, and you can apply the techniques throughout your appointment, as well. If you don’t believe what your guest wants is possible, explain why. Offer a thorough but easy-to-understand reason for your actions. When a guest feels like they weren’t heard or their idea was undermined, they won’t be coming back. It’s one of the biggest complaints guests give their hairdressers, and exceptional communication would solve this problem.
Most importantly, be amazing at your trade. One of the easiest ways to retain guests is to give them a haircut or makeup application that they love. Your education doesn’t end with graduation – you could say it’s only beginning! Continue to practice and expand your skill set with additional courses. Overtime, you’ll see your guests return and your guest book will grow. It takes time and hard work, but we’re confident you can do it (especially if you graduated from VICI Beauty Schools!)