How to win back clients you lost when being temporarily closed

Getting clients back

Many hair and beauty salon owners experienced a post-lockdown rush of clients that gradually slowed down as time went on. However, when checking their statistics and current booking rates, they noticed that not all of their regular clients came back for their reopening – and it seems like they may not be coming back at all. Does this situation sound familiar?

Are there any ways to win back customers you lost when being temporarily closed due to the coronavirus outbreak? Of course! Naturally, you have to be realistic – you cannot get back all of them. The reason for which they disappeared will be crucial here – by analysing the possible courses of action, you will be able to not only estimate how many lost customers you may recover, but also develop strategies for doing so. Let’s dive straight into it!

Tools that will be helpful for winning back lost customers

Firstly, let’s establish tools you can use to make the whole process a lot easier.

Tip: Not using Versum yet? Start your two-week free trial now!

Lost customers – reasons and solutions

Why do clients disappear in normal circumstances? The range of possible reasons is extensive –  a competitor opening nearby, a price increase in your salon or even having your reputation damaged. Sometimes, it’s because you don’t develop your skills, your service range is very limited and you overall stagnate as a specialist. But sometimes, it has nothing to do with you at all – people just like to experiment and try new things. But do these causes apply to the post-lockdown reality as well?

In some cases, yes. However, this unprecedented situation birthed new reasons for which clients may be postponing their visit with you or not planning it at all. What may be the case?

Reason 1: Their financial situation has changed for the worse

It’s a fact that many people lost their jobs due to the epidemic, had been furloughed, had their work time reduced, had to change their jobs for less-profitable ones, and so on. However harsh it may sound, a visit to your local hair or beauty salon is considered a non-essential luxury – and therefore many people had to simply put it at the end of their priority list.

How to win these lost customers back?

If they are a noticeable group among your previously regular clients, you may want to consider differentiating your pricing. Try dividing your most basic services into two options – a full-on pampering and a simplified version. This way, customers with fewer resources in their hands will be able to visit you and refresh their look as well. Of course, you need to be careful – there are going to be people who will try to abuse your good intentions and get as much as possible when paying for a much simpler service. If you notice that your loyal clients have financial troubles, this tactic is worth a try.

If the situation concerns a smaller group of clients who used to be your very devoted visitors, you may even consider providing them with a loyalty discount. We usually don’t encourage direct discounting, as it may hurt your business, but in this case, you can make an exception.

Reason 2: They are simply unaware that you are back in business

Communication is everything when it comes to the current situation! The process of putting the hair and beauty industry into lockdown and then reopening was quite chaotic – both you and your clients received a lot of mixed signals. Your regulars may simply be unaware that you are working again.

How to win these lost customers back?

SMS marketing will be your best friend here. Of course, posting regular updates on your social media fan pages is very important, but will not be enough – not everyone follows you there and not everyone is very active online, so it’s easy to miss. For the best effectiveness, use Versum’s bulk SMS messaging feature to send a cheerful “we are already after our reopening” message to clients.

Tip: Psst – you’ll find the best samples in our article on wording salon reopening messages!

Reason 3: They think you are too busy at the moment

When the 4th of July came, newspapers and news portals were publishing articles about an absolute appointment frenzy that hair and beauty salons were experiencing. Many specialists were quoted saying that they have waiting lists for a few months prior. This is why some clients may still be convinced that you are too busy to take their booking – and keep postponing their visit for later.

How to win these lost customers back?

This one will be easy. Once again, all you have to do is use the bulk SMS messaging feature and write a short message saying “hey, free spots for this month are available – we can’t wait for your visit!”. Then, using the advanced filtering option, filter the customer base, choose clients who used to visit you regularly but haven’t since April. Send the message and rest assured that whoever doubted your availability will soon make their appointment happily!

Reason 4: They are concerned about their safety

Some people treat the virus very, very seriously and try to avoid getting infected as much as possible – especially if they are in the risk group themselves or live with someone who is. They may be postponing their visit to your salon as they are not convinced that you meet all the safety requirements.

How to win these lost customers back?

Did you post on social media about your new safety protocols? And did you send text messages asking clients to get familiar with them? If not, do so immediately! For many customers, strictly following government regulations is very important. Reassuring them that you treat the topic very seriously will make them far more willing to book a visit with you.

Remember that it’s not possible to win all lost customers back – some may have decided it’s time to try another specialist, others may temporarily lose interest in being pampered at a salon overall. Unfortunately, some of your clients may also be ill or quarantined – hopefully, they’ll visit you when they recover! Don’t get discouraged if not all your regulars booked their visit as soon as you reopened – this time more than ever, it may have nothing to do with the quality of your services. If you are wondering how to keep clients coming back it’s vital to focus mainly on delivering treatments of the highest value and fantastic customer service, but additionally, Versum gives you an opportunity to boost their loyalty even more – try your new best digital friend today and see how easier managing a salon can be!

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