It’s a sunny, bright day, and you see a new client walking through the door excited about your spa and its services. Maybe a family member or friend of theirs sang praises of your spa and that’s why they’re here, or maybe they are here to redeem a gift voucher they received for a special occasion. Whatever be the case, you should be glad you have a new client in your spa.
There’s something about first-time customers that makes them different from regular customers. By saying this, we do not mean that your existing customers are unimportant. We only mean that by focusing on this segment of first-time customers in your salon/spa, you can increase your bottom line altogether. They are the people who will actually reveal crucial facts about your spa business and tell you where you stand. Focus on them a little, give them the importance they deserve and you’ll be well on your way.
First-time client retention (FTCR) will make sure your ‘new clients’ return for a second visit within a specified period of time, usually 60 days. Most salons and spas struggle to convert first-time clients into repeating loyal clients.
Below we have highlighted few reasons why every salon/spa must focus on their first-time clients:
- First impression is the last impression:Pretty much how the adage ‘The first impression is the last impression’ applies to most service-oriented industries; it applies to salons and spas as well. If you really want to see a first-time client return to your salon/spa, you need to provide them with a service and experience that is beyond top-notch and exceptional. Remember, if your services are extraordinary, they will become unpaid advocates of your brand. They will not just return to your salon but also refer you to their friends and family. It’s like a test. Pass it with flying colours!
- FTCR determines pay raises:When a salon/spa is able to retain a first-time client, they can also structure the pay raises for their employees. For example: If stylist A is able to retain more clients than stylist B, he or she deserves a pay raise. The number of clients a stylist is able to retain determines the compensation/commission that they should receive. This will motivate stylists with a low FTCR to improve their services. With the aid of spa software, a spa can track their repeat customers and their loyalty to a particular stylist. This also helps them put their money where the performance is.
- Helps in improving teamwork and performance:Having busy stylists all day long does not determine the success of your salon. It is only when your entire team works together you can create the highest level of customer satisfaction. No matter how technically right the service you offer is;lack of professionalism and the wrong attitude can degrade the first-time retention of a client. Therefore, when you have a new client in your spa, do your best to tick off all the right boxes of a perfect service and customer experience.
- Tells you truth about your brand:Only a first-time customer can tell you where you stand in the salon/spa business. A regular customer may often refrain from pointing out mistakes because they don’t want to break the rapport they share with you. But, a first time customer has nothing to lose. They’re downright frank about how they feel about your services. Their advice is gold. Listen to it, keep it, and work on it. Once you are able to improve on the area they pointed out at, you will be able to WOW clients via marketing on spa software, word of mouth and social media. By working on the advice offered by first-time customers, you will be able to turn them to repeat customers and thereby retain them.
- Focus on company building not request rate:Request tracking is an old measurement system. When analyzing the retention rate of a first-time customer, don’t care who (stylist) a client returns to. First-time client retention is all about building a company not the appointments in your spa software. If a first-time customer returns to original service provider or a new service provider, it shouldn’t matter to you. All spa owners need to be care about is returning customers. When you turn your first-time customers to regular customers is when the sustainability of your business increases and offers growth opportunities for all your employees. When you focus on the unique needs of a first-time customer, you are indirectly boosting your salon or spas productivity rate.
- Streamline your spa systems:Visiting a salon or spa is similar to dining in a restaurant. No matter how good the meal is, poor service can hamper the entire experience. The customer may never want to return to that restaurant ever again. Spas too can face the similar fate. Making a client wait too long before their service can be extremely frustrating for them. A regular customer may still tolerate such behavior. However, if you do that to a first-time customer, forget about retaining them altogether. In such a situation, the best thing to do is to incorporate spa software to handle your daily spa operations. This way, you can use the SMS/email feature to notify them that their appointment has been moved ahead due a certain situation. When you keep them informed, they will understand.
- Be consistent:As they say ‘consistency is key’. Ask yourself if your salon or spa’s experience is truly consistent? Consistency is all about delivering the same level of service to all your clients. Whether it’s a new client or an existing client, follow the same approach. For example: When a new client drops into your spa, you are nice to them because you are seeing them for the first time and you have to create the best possible impression. That’s great. However, when the same client visits your spa the second time, offer the same customer experience you gave them the first time. Only when you are consistent is when you will be able to retain your first-time clients.
Before you lay out a first-time client retention program, always put your customers first. Analyse customer trends on MioSalon, spa software. You can also get your staff involved in the entire process. The inputs, ideas and recommendations from staff members can make first-time client retention (FTCR) easier. In the process of focusing on your new clients, do not overlook your existing clients. Keep them in the loop too by informing them about new launches or events.