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Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Retention Marketing

      What is great marketing without great retention? Do you know your retention rate? Out of 100 new customers do you know how many are still coming in one year later? Do you know the industry standard?
Unfortunately the most recent statistics posted online have the average retention rate at about 30 percent. So 30 out of that hundred stayed on as a client, worse yet that's 3 out of 10. Not such a great rate. So with social media, rewards companies and gurus praising electronic marketing and push notifications why are retention rates still this low? How on earth can you move the needle and get a larger percentage to stay loyal to you? Basically you need to quit pushing your agenda and start listening to your clients. Salon loyalty is not what it used to be. I have to blame GroupOn for that, well some of that. Their ridiculous service discounts offered your guest the opportunity to try out another salon, basically about the same caliber as yours, let's be honest. There is a certain sea of sameness among mid-level salons out there. Actually all levels have about the same feel and experience. So what is it you are truly doing to keep your guests coming back, remaining loyal. A Facebook contest? A discount for a last minute appointment? I read an interesting article over the weekend called Need a better enewsletter? Think like a drug dealer on While I don't advocate we drug our clients, although there are those few.. the point was to make them addicted to your content so they can't wait for their next fix. Is your salon and service addictive? You need it to be so they wouldn't even think of going elsewhere. How do you create addictive service? Well there are quite a few strategies that help prevent your clients slipping through the cracks and finding another dealer.
      Be current. You truly need to be up on the latest trends. Do you have to buy the master kit at every show? No. Don't send me hate mail, but you can find most of the new trends at the hobby stores. Once you see if it is a trend that works for you, then you can invest in the master professional kit. Keeping current is also reading the latest nail blogs, trade magazines and listening to Nail Talk Radio. And if the quality of your work is poor, they won't be back, end of story.
Check out what the competition is doing. Maybe not next door but across town. Shankman states in his article" No matter how good your business is, if you’re not monitoring your competition, you’re losing to them. Those who don’t learn from their competitors are doomed to be eaten by them." The only way to really find out if you are better is to be on the same side of the service as your clients. One of my best additions to my basic service was to add heat mitts, when I was offered these at a discount salon and yes, it is still within my 30 minute manicure service.
      Follow up with each and every client. If you are going to use a rewards program Keep it simple sweetie. If they have to rack up points in the hundreds of thousands, really? Mine is simple. I hand each client referral cards. The new client gets 15% off their first service, my current client gets $5 off their next service. Appreciation goes a long way. Follow up each new guest visit with a phone call or a thank you letter. Keeping in touch with clients "just because" is a great way to build a relationship of loyalty. Building loyalty is going above and beyond, with the economic climate what it is most everybody is nice, listens and offers a technically good service. You must go way past what is standard. Tune in next week for more ideas on going above and beyond standard to outstanding.


  1. You are so right! My clients comment on how I'm always up on the latest trends. If they hear about something in a magazine, on the news or from a friend from out of town, they ask me about it and I know what they are talking about everytime. I have even had clients who decided to stop getting their nails done years ago call me because they heard of a new product or service that they were interested in and knew that I would have it. One of my clients who moved out of state a year ago booked an appointment with me, she was visiting family 3 hours away and came to STL just to get her nails done because she has not found anyone in her new city who stays current and is passionate about nails. I think that the #1 secret to success in the beauty industry is to be current on trends.

  2. Thanks for your addition "PP" good stuff :)