A consistent clientele is an indicator that your business is on an exponential track of growth and success. I have tried many different marketing strategies to obtain new clients, but what has kept my existing clientele coming back is what has kept iLash Charlotte afloat. The secret for retaining clients is to create the perfect "client experience," a business tactic I learned while working for Nordstrom. First impressions are vital, but keeping your standards high is everything. For example, clients expect their lashes to last, however, as we all know, a lot of factors can contribute to lash loss. Taking the time to explain to clients how to maintain healthy lashes means a lot to them and shows them that you care, even after they leave your establishment.
1 | Go Above and Beyond for Each Client
Go above and beyond by exceeding client expectations with prompt responses to phone calls and texts, educate them on new products and services, and wow them with your professionalism and charming personality. I recently had a returning client who hadn't been in for a few months. As she was recapping what I had missed, she was amazed at the details I recalled about her life. It showed her that I valued her. I also like to end my phone calls with clients by saying, “it will be our pleasure to serve you.” Coming up with professional phrases like this, that are warm and have a nice finishing touch, really will set you apart from the rest.
2 | Create Client Incentives
You want to keep clients coming back, again and again, but are you offering something to help them put you first in their mind when they want their lashes filled? Offer clients incentives to return to you. I offer clients a free fill for every three referrals they bring me. You can track this offer by providing clients with a punch card or making notes in your scheduling applications. This incentive drives new business, but also keeps clients coming because they have a friend or a relative that is coming to you. This strengthens what's called the relational bond between you and your clients. You can read more about how to use relational bonds for your business here.
Referral marketing is what creates loyalty in a brand. A fun fact to consider according to Digital Marketing Magazine, 98% of all text messages are opened, but only 20% of emails are looked at. That’s why you should consider marketing to your database through text instead of emails. I’m using a text-message-marketing platform called Referrizer to encourage clients to leave a review of our business and refer a friend in return for an incentive. The cool part about this program is you can offer incentives that cost nothing; for example, let the client choose their favorite station to listen to during their next service or they can use points earned to watch you do 10 push ups. You’d be surprised at what clients will do to listen to their station of choice or watch you sweat!
3 | Look Out for These Pitfalls
We all live and learn, but I must share with you what has not worked in my favor over the years in the hopes that you can avoid it. NOT EATING is probably the main reason why my work has suffered at times. I have now scheduled in a one-hour break for myself every day and I must say my work is looking much better and my lash retention has improved. My irritably levels have drastically decreased and I am able to give clients a more personable experience while delivering beautiful work.
I have set hours, which limits my availability. Therefore, pre-booking clients is a must to ensure they get times that fit their schedule and keeps me booked at least a month or two in advance.
My new dilemma is that I am booked and cannot accept any new clients. My goal is to grow my team’s clientele list by encouraging the existing clients we have to refer and review. Yelp has been an awesome platform the trusted website that clients look to for reviews. I've found it works to boost business because Yelp has its own SEO (search engine optimization) system that populates itself on the first page of Google. If your business is not ranking on Google’s first page yet, with enough reviews on Yelp, clients in your area are sure to find you there.
Keep clients coming by adding value and incentives. Remember you are valuable and nothing in this world is free!
Allie Williams | Lash Affair Trainer | @ilashcharlotte