How To Maximize Client Return Rate + Visit Frequency

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To every beauty business owner's detriment many clients extend time between scheduled appointments due to busy schedules and desire to stretch the dollar. By implementing a pre-booking strategy you can maximize the return rate and visit frequency of your clients. The key is to reward clients for returning to the salon before they even leave it.  January is the perfect time to focus on pre-booking strategies that contribute to busier days, fuller books and bigger profits. 

Consider this calculation:
400 clients booked every 8 weeks = $50 spend per visit or $120,000 a year.
400 pre-booked clients every 5 weeks = $200,000 a year, an $80,000 difference!

Prepare to pre-book
How does your staff go about pre-booking clients? Do you even know?
If you are a salon owner trying to get your pre-book rate up here are some suggestions that can be implemented by your entire salon team.

Schedule a team meeting to share the hard facts about why pre-booking is so important and how it can positively affect each stylists’ income and success of the salon as a whole.

Preparing for pre-booking can change your business. Practicing pre-booking scripts can make your team feel more comfortable. It’s not about what is said, but what is offered. Most clients need a little extra incentive to get them to commit. 

Idea 1: Pre-booking Contests
Communicate the Offer:
Create a drawing to win a prize. Explain to clients every time they pre-book their next appointment their name will be entered into a drawing to win basket of products valued at $XX. The prize, combined with the chance of winning, will get a clients to give it a shot.

How To: Assemble a stunning looking basket or bag filled with top-selling products and accessories. Create a noticeable display front and center with a combination of signage and color; use tissue paper and colored pretty fabric ribbon to display. Shrink-wrapped baskets are great too. Hold the contest for two months, then draw a name.

When: January is a great time to start a pre-booking contest. Start contest January 1 or February 1 and run for two months.

Idea 2: Pre-booking Cards
Pre-book Cards are simply appointment cards engineered to maximize the return rate and frequency of your client's visits. 

How To: When client returns Pre-Book Card on their next pre-booked appointment they receive a free gift. Determine free gift that will build your business; such as a retail product, a complimentary add-on service or dollars off their next service.
*Changing it up every few months keeps clients interested. 

Calculate the number of Pre-Book Cards you will need; 100 minimum per team member is a good start. Have team members fill out their own Pre-Book Cards with their names and the free gift decided. Place your Pre-Book Cards at each station and the front desk.

Idea 3: Pre-Book To Win a Prize
Give away something big, a big dollar service. Some clients will pre-book for a free paraffin dip, but the bigger the prize the bigger the incentive to pre-book. A gift card for a nice dollar amount that may be used towards service or retail is a wonderful prize.  By running the contest for two months you are only giving away a free service every two months.

Idea 4: Front Desk
Offer a larger product gift basket or gift certificate drawing to every client who pre-books and place the gift basket prominently at the front desk. Coach your front desk staff to engage each guest to enter the drawing for a chance to win this basket/gift certificate by pre-booking your next appointment. You’ll be surprised how your salon’s pre-book percentage will increase. 

Idea 5: Seasonal Holiday Drawing Entry
Create a drawing around a seasonal holiday such as Valentine's Day (Easter, Mother's Day, etc). Have every client fill out an entry form with name, phone number, and e-mail address;  this helps you keep your salon contact list fresh.

How To: Begin the drawing 4 - 6 weeks beforehand, hold the actual drawing for winner on Valentine's Day (or the seasonal holiday of your choice).

Idea 6: Email Promo
Use drawing entry information as a marketing tool. Send each entry an email campaign for $10 off or a complimentary upgrade with a service. These target guests are engaged and will likely take you up on the promotion.

Grow Your Beauty Business - Numbers to Know

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As a marketing agency I am often asked “How do I grow my business?” That’s the million dollar question! There is no do it quick scheme – it’s about hard work, loving what you do, and knowing “your numbers”.

What are “your numbers” you ask?
The numbers to know are:
1. # Current Guests per month
2. # Average service ticket
3. # Average retail ticket
4. # Percentage buying retail
5. # Pre-booking Rate
6. # Retention Rate

Number of guests per month
You need to know (mark, measure) where you are to determine where you want to go (benchmark, goal). To achieve your goals you need to be “in the know” of how many guests your beauty business (or you) needs to achieve your goal. Marketing works best when it has a specific target in mind (I want to go from 100 to 150 guests per month).

Average service ticket
This number tells you how much $ (on average) each guest is spending on services. Your salon may not need as many new guests as you think, instead focus on existing guests to spend more through trying additional services. Ideally you want both.

Average retail ticket
A lot like average service, but for retail. Retail product recommendations and sales attribute to business growth through both raised revenue and perception level of your salon and staff’s professionalism and beauty expert.

Percent buying retail
This is one of my favorites. This number tracks how good your staff is at converting service guests into retail guests. This number tracks your staff’s sales behavior. This number can really add to the bottom line, and it is your secret weapon to growing your business.

Pre-booking
Wether you are just starting out as a hairdresser you often overlook this very important stat. If I only see one person today, I better be pre-booking them. This is how you take control of your business.

Retention
Is you overall how “good am I score”. This tells of all the people that have come in an a specific period how many of those actually came back. Very important number. Please understand this is a lagging indicator and will take months before you can look at it.