Keeping Your Salon Clients — 5 Simple Steps To Maintaining Client Relationships When A Stylist Changes Locations
Stylists can be a fickle bunch — and that’s not a complaint, it just goes with the territory.
While some stylists may stay with the same salon for most of their careers, the majority of them tend to move around a bit.
We live in a world where a stylist can make a living just about anywhere, and there’s always another salon a few miles down the road.
That’s great for the employees, but it can make things difficult for the small business owner trying to hold on to their hard-earned clients.
Who a client “belongs to” is a tricky question in itself — and the smart business owner will always accept that clients will each make their own choice.
That being said, there are some things you can do to help make your salon the obvious choice.
If clients come in and only ever speak to their stylist, that’s who they’re going to build a relationship with.
A better idea is to have a “whole salon” culture, where everyone is involved in conversations and gets to know all the clients.
That includes the owner, the front desk staff, apprentices — anyone and everyone who’s in the salon should be included.
2. Clear Rules
Having everything out in the open is always helpful.
Clear expectations that are the same for every employee will make things easier, especially if the rules are well thought out to begin with.
A good idea is to advertise where your stylists are moving to, but not to allow solicitation.
“I’m moving to Straight Cuts downtown next month, I just can’t do the commute all the way here every day,” is perfectly acceptable.
“I’m moving to Straight Cuts downtown next month, I hope to see you there,” is totally not acceptable.
Clients love a good deal — we all do — sometimes your best bet is just to offer one.
That could mean upselling, discounts, partnership deals with other businesses — the options are endless.
If you’re having trouble figuring out how to make this work to your benefit, there are some small businesses that specialize in helping to set these up.
4. Limited Access
It’s unfortunate that sometimes we have to deal with bad actors, but it’s a fact of life.
While 95% of staff transitions may be on good terms, or at least not actively causing problems, occasionally you get a bad apple.
Limiting access to your scheduling information and client details will help to prevent a staff member who’s leaving from going rogue, and trying to steal your entire client base.
Set rules about who has access to client information or the software used to keep track of it, and definitely don’t allow anyone to make copies.
5. Set Up Your Staff For Success
Having clients get to know other staff members is essential, but so is dropping the right lines at the right time.
When a regular client’s stylist is leaving, find the staff member they get along with best, and suggest that they might take over.
You can even combine tactics, and offer them an incentive, like a 50% off cut, or a one-time free trial to see how they fit.
Getting them into the chair for that first appointment with a new stylist is half the battle.
It would be great if dealing with the regular turnover of stylists was a little easier, but that’s simply not how it works in most cases.
Getting your hair styled and cut can be very personal, and people develop sometimes intense relationships with the stylists who manage it.
All you can do is try to make your entire salon an inviting and open place, where everyone has a relationship with the clients, instead of just their stylist.
Maybe consider offering them incentives, or working with a business that specializes in preventing revenue loss from stylist migration.
The client may have the final say in where they go and who their stylist is — but that doesn’t mean you can’t do your best to influence their decision.
That’s just good business.