New Client Retention Booster…

Sotware for Salon ManagementI hear it all the time.  How can I get new clients to come back more often?  I’m talking about for the second visit!  It’s a problem that plagues almost ever salon owner and has for many years.

Heck, I know.  I see the numbers all the time from salons using our HairMax salon software.  About 3 out of 10 new clients ever return.   It’s frustrating.

You spend all this money trying to get new clients thru the door only to see them fall thru the cracks and never come back again.  Then you ring your hands and say to yourself “Never again…that promotion didn’t work…I virtually gave away that service and they never came back”…back to the old drawing board.

Today, we live in an environment where some level of discounting is the new normal.  I don’t care if you’re rich, poor or somewhere in between…everybody is looking for a good deal.  And it’s not going away any time soon.  Call it the scar tissue of the last four years.  So, you have two choices as I see it.

One, you can pound the table and shout “I’m never discounting anything because I don’t want those kinds of clients”.  But guess what?  All your current “best clients”…are also out there in the world looking for deals to try things out too.  They just don’t happen to be looking to switch salons because they’re pretty satisfied with the results.

But, I guarantee you that they’re more than happy to get a deal on something else that they may be looking for.  That’s just where we are today.

So, you can continue pounding the table…but you will get far less new clients trying your salon out.  And I have the numbers to prove that as well.

So, the other choice that you have is to embrace the environment that we live in and figure out a better way to get the new clients back for subsequent visits.  And I think I have just the idea that can work for you.  Let me explain.

Years ago (almost 20 now), I remember going into a salon and the owner swore up and down that they sold a ton of these “coupon books”.  Naturally, I was curious.  So, I asked her to explain.

She said that every year around Christmas, she would sell these small coupon books for $40 and the value of the coupons inside had a total value of $200.  All the coupons were for the salon but here was the really brilliant part.  There was one coupon for each month.

So, in January, there was one for $10 off a service.  In February, there was a Valentine’s one for 35% off up to $80 in retail.  In March, it was something else.  But, every month was different and the client could easily see how spending the $40 was beneficial to them.  Not like one of those coupon books that you buy and 90% are for places that you would never go to.

So, think about what she did here.  First, she got a cash flow surge at the beginning of the year (I think she sold like a thousand of them in December).  And also, she got the ancillary benefits of improving her client retention, increasing her retail sales in certain months, etc.  Pretty smart…I must say.

Well, now let me bring it back to those pesky new clients that are slipping thru the cracks.

What if you put together your own coupon book?  And here is the real idea…

Give it away to any new client that rebooks their next appointment before they leave the salon.

Now, why would this work?

First off, if a new client rebooks their next appointment before they leave the salon…they’re much more likely to return.  Not everyone…but I think its safe to say it would be more than are coming back today.

Secondly, you can structure the coupon book so that its front end loaded.  In other words, if the new client initially came in for the first visit because of a 25% discount…maybe you make the first coupon in the book a 20% discount off their next visit.  And the second coupon might be a 15% discount of their 3rd visit.   Once they come in for three visits…a habit has likely been formed and you have them as a regular paying client.

So, the next coupon after that might be for 35% off up to $80 in retail.

Whatever the case is, you’re using the coupon book to improve your new client retention.  You’re enticing new clients to rebook their second visit before they leave.  You’re actually using the new “deal searching” environment to your advantage.

Try it out…I think it can really work.

P.S. Make sure at the bottom of each coupon you put the words “Coupon cannot be combined with any other discount or promotion”.  That will cover you if someone attempts to use multiple coupons on you.

P.P.S  See how successful dry cleaners have been using this idea for years when they go into a new town.

Click here for the whole  story.


As always, aim high…and dream even higher…

Steve Sampson


2 Responses to “New Client Retention Booster…”

  1. Mark Palumbo on January 18th, 2013 5:01 pm

    when a stylist leaves we send out a letter to all clients they served. with 50% off first visit 30% 2nd visit and 20% 3rd visit, with explanation that we have formulas,service records ect. after 3 visits they are not following that stylist.

  2. Lori Sofia on February 20th, 2013 7:53 pm

    Great idea. I am going to try this. I am still giving out the little gift bags for new clients that you recommended and they love receiving something new.

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