3 reasons why you should encourage more recurring bookings in your salon
Having a booking made by a first-time client can make any hair or beauty specialist giddy with joy – after all, that means the word is getting out about your business. However, if you’re solely focused on attracting as many new clients to your business as possible, you’re not going to go anywhere. The disheartening truth about new clients is that they’re far more likely to no-show, may be loyal to other businesses and are not easy to market to. But don’t lose heart, these customers can become your favourite patrons – all it takes is for them to book a series of recurring appointments.
What is a recurring appointment?
So, why should you focus on promoting these types of appointments in particular? Why not simply offer a salon membership? They too can be long term, however, most memberships tend to be uncoordinated and clients are free to book a visit whenever they see fit. When it comes to recurring appointments, visits are pre-booked for specific days and times, allowing you to maintain a well-organised calendar. Before we segue into the benefits of booking these types of visits, it is essential that you have a firm understanding of why customers reserve recurring appointments:
- To maintain the effects of a treatment – hair regrowth isn’t a great look with that level 9 ash blond balayage, especially if your natural hair is below a level 5. Clients tend to book touchup treatments (e.g. root touch-ups) in order to maintain a uniform look.
- To achieve a specific look – certain beauty treatments (e.g. facelifts) require a number of sessions in order to achieve a desired, final look.
- Out of loyalty to your business – some clients simply book their appointments ahead of time because they enjoy regular visits to their favourite hair or beauty salon.
Having clients book a series of long-term appointments makes them significantly less likely to no-show, can turn them into adored patrons (and even brand promoters), and creates far more selling opportunities. However, it’s important to bear in mind that you’re not going to see the effects after just one recurring appointment – this is a process that requires patience, but is greatly rewarding for your hair and beauty business in the long run.
Tip: Versum’s recurring appointments feature is now active – see how easy it is to book long-term appointments!
Setting up recurring appointments for clients doesn’t completely eradicate the possibility of a no-show – they can still happen, but are less likely to. By booking a repeating appointment, clients might feel a sense of responsibility that since you’ve made time for them in your calendar, they should uphold their promise of arriving for their visits. Additionally, you might want to:
- Mention their VIP status – you wouldn’t book a random, first-time client for 30 root touch-ups every other week, would you? If you’re considering adding a fresh face to your list of recurring clients, make sure to add them if they’re a two-time repeating customer and mention that you’re booking them in ahead of time because you trust that they’ll arrive for their visits.
- Take prepayments – clients who are forced to pay even a small percentage of the entire cost of a booked treatment are far more likely not to bail on your business. Don’t have this option in your salon? Try Versum’s prepayment feature for hair and beauty businesses.
- Offer discounts – book 10 sessions of root touch-ups and pay 25% less for each visit – doesn’t that sound like a tempting offer? Include this when scheduling repeat appointments, as customers will be tempted to take advantage of this great discount.
Improved customer loyalty
What’s the difference between a regular, recurring customer, and one that pops in once every first Monday of the month that has an odd-numbered date and is aligned with a full moon? The recurring client is far more likely to become a loyal, regular customer. Why? With each visit, you have the opportunity to bond with them. By getting to know these clients, you get a better understanding of their interests and everyday lives, which are great conversation starters. Is your customer a whole-hearted fan of a Netflix series? Do they have favourite hobbies? Are they open about their work? Each time such clients visit your salon, you have the opportunity to learn this information and use it to your advantage.
But asking about their interests is just scratching the surface. Chatting about a Netflix series isn’t something customers are going to write home about – to truly kickstart their loyalty, you ought to take on the role of their “personal beautician/stylist”. When in your chair, customers want to feel like superstars. They pay you not only for the treatment, but also for the experience. Make sure to share your service recommendations, compliment them on their looks, compare their before and after pictures and simply treat them as individuals. By dedicating your time to getting to know each client, you strengthen the bonds with them, which creates lasting loyalty to your business.
In order to store client details (along with before and after pictures), hair and beauty specialists turn to Versum’s customer list, which can also be filtered for marketing purposes. Give this tool a go by signing up for your free Versum account! Additionally, you can take customer loyalty a step further by activating the Loyalty Program – click here to learn more about this feature.
A customer has booked 10 root touch-up sessions for every three weeks. By the third session, you’ve learned that maintaining a uniform hair colour is very important for the client – after all, they’re very adamant about it each visit. Here’s the thing, sooner or later, their ash blond balayage is going to wash out, making the root touch-ups pointless. You should recommend that they book another balayage and that they purchase a colour-retaining shampoo, which conveniently can be found on the shelf right next to your station. These customers are going to be willing to take your advice, as they’ve grown to trust you. Booking recurring appointments is completely trust-based – after all, you wouldn’t reserve 10 root touch-up sessions without being confident in your service provider, would you?
But what if you’re too shy to sell to a client while they’re all foiled up? Not everyone is eager to push their pitch, especially if the client isn’t in a talkative mood. Instead, you can sell to them once they’ve left your business. Remember how we mentioned that Versum’s customer list can be used for marketing purposes? Well, now it’s time to do so! Filter your list by treatments offered – look for clients who have recurring root touch-up appointments (or whichever treatment you’d like) and send them a message, recommending that they buy a product, complementary to what they usually get. Now comes the exciting part – include a link to your online store, where customers can make their purchase. If you don’t have an online store, you can activate your very own one for free, with Versum’s Online store feature! With this option, you don’t have to confront your clients about making a purchase – simply take their order and ship their products! During their next session, make sure to ask for their opinions on the buy. If it was just what they were looking for, these customers are going to be more likely to make additional purchases based on your recommendations in the future.
Recurring bookings are an ideal way of ensuring long-term customer retention, a steady source of income and improved sales performance. Have you tried this feature in Versum? Over 46,000 hair and beauty specialists are taking advantage of this latest feature – join their ranks and take advantage of the benefits of using a reliable hair and beauty system. Your free trial is parked right down below – start taking recurring bookings right away!