If you learn to recognize the 5 behaviors of loyal clients, you’ll have the tools you need to build your dream client list. After years of hard work, having a long list of clients can be a satisfying feeling, but building a list full of ideal clients is all about refining.

What would happen if you had to delete half your list?

This sounds a little dramatic, but regularly refining and cleaning out your list is good for business. Just like trimming your dead ends, trimming your client list will help it continue to grow stronger. You’re bound to have a few clients on your list who rarely book or who have moved away by now. Clients who ignore marketing campaigns are a waste of time and money. Instead, turn your focus to loyal clients and increase your salon profits by building your relationships with them.

Here’s an in-depth guide that will help you recognize who your most loyal clients are.

Before You Say Goodbye

Give clients one last chance before you kick them to the curb. First, analyze your marketing over the last year. Have you made room for inactive clients to reconnect with your brand? Here are a few reasons why clients may not book with you because of poor marketing.

  • No connection on social media and clients don’t see content
  • Email campaigns are sent to a spam folder
  • Not tech-savvy and prefer booking appointments in person
  • Your marketing doesn’t connect to them

Your StyleSeat online booking account offers insights into your client’s scheduling history. Examine past interactions you’ve had with inactive clients and what went wrong. Remember, if you provide diverse beauty treatments you cannot market to different customer groups the same way.

You may rock your advertising and draw awareness for your salon or spa, but do you offer enough information for clients to weigh options and come back to you? A sales follow-up system with incentives to book another appointment should already be in place. The larger your loyal customer list, the better.

 5 Behaviors of Loyal Clients

1. They leave reviews and constructive criticism.

If your client leaves a positive review, they’re a loyal client. They loved your services so much, they took the time to share their feedback and they will likely recommend you to their friends. These are the clients you should be nurturing and marketing to.

Clients who leave genuine constructive feedback can also be valuable.

When customers reach out with problems, they’re opening up doors for resolution and to continue booking appointments. Running away because a comment hurt your feelings will shut that door, and they’ll move on to the next salon. 53% of customers expect businesses to reply to their online reviews within seven days and loyal customers love immediate responses to confirm you’re listening.

Encourage constructive criticisms as it helps potential clients make purchasing decisions faster. How many times have you searched through Yelp to find your favorite restaurant and ended up picking the one with mediocre reviews over one with none? Your future clients are reading and comparing you against the competition. Given two products with similar ratings, consumers are more likely to buy the product with more reviews and Testimonial Edge states, 72% of customers don’t take action until they have read reviews.

2. They’re satisfied with your customer service.

Reviews are a clear-cut way to know if clients are happy, but not every client will write one. That’s why it’s important to regularly check in with how clients are feeling even if you do it during a conversation while they are in the chair. If they leave happy, compliment your services, and are open to the occasional upsell, they’re a keeper.

But remember, just because a client never says they’re unhappy, doesnt’t mean they are completely satisfied. 91%  of unhappy customers leave without voicing their displeasure. Take time to get a read on how each of your clients feels about your salon experience. In some cases, there will be room for you to make improvements, in other cases, you’ll find that you have some clients who just aren’t a good match.

Listen closely to their feedback. If they want you to change things that are fundamental to your brand and business, they might not have the potential to be one of your loyal clients.

If you’re looking for ways to improve your salon experience based on their feedback, consider this: American Express says, 7 out of 10 U.S. customers will spend more money if you have great service. Salon owner Richard Branson offers one way to increase your customer experience—steal ideas from competitors. Travel around to local businesses in your city undercover or send over an employee to test out their service and product. Compile a list of what they’re getting wrong and do it better.

3. They refer your business to friends and family.

Word-of-mouth marketing is essential for new independent stylists. When a friend or family member makes a recommendation, they’re 50x more likely to trigger a purchase, and 84% of people trust recommendations from people they know, making friends and family the best advertisers for your business.

You need a cheerleader for your brand. A client that hashtags your salon in an Instagram post or shouts out your barbershop on Facebook when a family member needs a new stylist will be loyal. Devout clients have you on their minds and are dying to refer your business when the chance comes up.

Starting a customer referral program is one way to guarantee clients go out and share your brand online. You can test your luck with word-of-mouth marketing, but an official referral program will increase your chances of being promoted.

With referral programs, you can monitor top refers and reward them for sharing your business on social media and through email. Look through location tags, hashtags, social media shares, mentions, and your customer referral analytics to see who is generating leads and dedicated to your brand.

4. They come to you for all occasions.

Repeat buyers are an obvious loyal customer. Clients who come for all occasions see you as apart of their family and depend on you with their most intimate moments. They help the business stay afloat as you manage one-off clients and chaotic holiday specials where they typically spend 25% more.  

Devoted clients also:

  • Book appointments weeks or months in advance
  • Show interest in making a personal connection

According to Paul Farris’ book Marketing Metrics, a repeat customer has a  60% – 70% chance of converting. Money spent researching client interests, running advertisements, and attending events to generate new leads could be put towards winning more sales with faithful clients.

Keep track of customers’ upcoming weddings, graduations, and birthdays they need you for. Treat these clients like royalty and allow access to VIP treatments as a thank you for keeping your salon running. Send out personalized congratulations emails to help them feel like family.

5. They’re a part of your community.

Online communities are a gold mine for finding your tribe. We know the importance of branding when it comes to the beauty and wellness industry. With over-saturation, you have to stand out.

Committed customers participate in online communities and groups they easily vibe with. They want to talk to other customers, upload photos, share ideas, and discuss new services together. They encourage each other to spend more and help grow sales for you. Motista found consumers with an emotional connection to a brand have a 306% higher lifetime value, stay with a brand for an average of 5.1 years, and will recommend brands at a 71% rate.

Consider removing clients from your marketing lists who don’t fit your community and have zero connection with you on social media, email, or other online groups.

Invest in Loyalty

Removing clients is tough. Perhaps there was a time when they were beneficial to your business, but if they’re no longer booking appointments, you’re not #1 on their radar, and they’ll easily be swayed to shop elsewhere.

Loyal clients are the backbone of your salon and you should spend double the amount of time understanding their needs and how to please them. They’ll bring the most profit, promote your company, and encourage you to keep going during hard times.

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