Q&A

Reader to Reader: How do you turn a new client into a regular?

Q.

How do you turn a new client into a regular?

A.

One week after a client’s first visit, I give her a $10 gift certificate, which she uses at her second visit. At her second visit I give her another $10 gift certificate to be used at her fourth visit (which creates another two definite bookings). At the fifth visit I give a free mini manicure to be used at her seventh visit. Every fourth appointment after that, I give something else for free, like an eyebrow wax, hand massage, or bottle of cuticle oil. The element of surprise mixed with quality work ensures a customer for life! - TESS HELLIER, Body and Varnish, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Introduce yourself to them before you get started, then create a conversation about them. Clients are looking for someone to make them feel special. Explain what you’re doing and the reasons for the process. Also, explain your availability, guidelines of appointment setting, and any specials. Get her phone number and/or e-mail address, then contact her about three days after the service and ask how her nails are holding up. Most times she schedules her next appointment on the spot in the salon or when I call her on the phone. - ANNA Z-JAMES, DBA Creations by Anna Z-James, Las Vegas

I am a new booth renter in a small country town. Since I find it hard sometimes to make my rent, I can’t give away products or free services, but what I can do is walk up to clients and shake their hands with a big smile. I am a great talker and listener. If I have a customer who has a nail break in a few days, I fix it for free. I often do a French for no charge to see if a client likes it. I’m still looking for new ways to retain clients myself. - MAE KLEINSTEUBER, JP’s Corner, Cadiz, Kentucky

Being a long-time manufacturer’s educator has helped me in the salon. When I have a new client, I explain everything that I’m doing and I ask the client about any health issues she may have. For example, I ask new pedicure clients if they’re diabetic. The client usually asks, “Why would you ask that?” I tell them why and the client is impressed (and worried that other techs asked them that before). This has made them realize that I care about them and their health. - DEBBIE MILAM, Reflections Day Spa, San Angelo, Texas

I try to make the appointment a fun experience for the client and for me. I explain to the client how she will benefit from the service she’s having done. I keep my clients updated on the classes I take and new styles I read about in trade magazines. I always have my nails looking nice, which I feel is an important factor. I always give new clients a few of my business cards to give to their friends and a small bottle of CND Solar Oil as a thank you. - JEANETTE PERRY, Enticing Eyes and Nails, Chicago

I implement little details to make the customer feel like she’s No. 1 — everything from walking the customer to her car when it’s raining to surprising her with coffee. We also have referral contests twice a year, but if a client isn’t visiting the salon during one of those occasions she will still receive a gift certificate for $10 for every person she sends us. Also each client receives a questionnaire asking about her first experience with the salon. After she fills it out, she receives 10% off her next visit. - FELISHA MAKRIS, John Roberts Studio Collection, Aurora, Ohio

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