For the beauty industry, retaining clients is a challenging endeavor. With numerous salons and stylists competing for the same customers, implementing effective strategies to maintain a loyal client base becomes imperative.
The good news is that, American women spend an average of $3,756 per year on beauty products and services, which means that self-care is a serious investment for most. The salon and hair styling industry will never run out of business, and the industry will continue to grow in the years to come.
Realize that your market is ANY woman
What percentage of clientele do you believe can offer this service to, and which clients are more likely to desire this service? We often make assumptions about our clients, what they want and what they can afford. But only other services, hair extensions CAN be for virtually any client in your chair BECAUSE the real opportunity isn’t always in full installs.
The opportunity for you lies in:
- The 30-something client with expendable income who changes their look and style with the changing fashion
- Mature women seeking to increase the thickness of their hair following hair loss or thinning
- The middle age crowd desiring the hair they had when they were younger
- The client with finer hair who is seeking a particular texture, volume or cut that they can’t achieve any other way
That being said, demographics wise the lion’s share of the extension user base is between 35 and 44, but 45% of the entire extensions market is made up over women over 45 looking to minimize hair loss or even retain their youthful look with long, beautifully healthy hair.
Sometimes extensions or wefts can fix shoddy cut or color work (someone else did), or even achieve the celebrity inspo look your client was craving but didn’t have the volume, length or density to achieve on their own. Think of extensions and wefts as just pieces in your toolbox of hair transformation and pitch them appropriately.
So, how can you get more clients as a hairstylist?
Regardless if you're a salon owner or a freelance hair stylist, you can implement a few methods for attracting and retaining hair extension clients in a fiercely competitive market, with a primary focus on the incorporation of loyalty programs as a central element of the retention strategy.
Here are some ways to attract and retain hair extension clients:
1. Quality Products and Services
Start by offering top-notch hair extensions and installation services that exceed client expectations. Quality should always be a top priority, ensuring that clients leave your salon satisfied and eager to return for future appointments. When clients receive quality services, it significantly increases the likelihood of repeat business.
2. Loyalty Programs
Implementing a well-structured loyalty program is a key element in retaining hair extension clients. These programs can offer various rewards such as discounts, exclusive access, or even free services to your most loyal customers. The simplicity and transparency of such programs make them easy to understand and participate in, creating a strong incentive for clients to keep returning to your salon.
3. Excellent Customer Service
Providing exceptional customer service is a cornerstone of client retention. Every client should be treated with respect, kindness, and courtesy. Address their concerns promptly, offering effective solutions. By making clients feel valued and appreciated, you create a strong emotional connection that fosters loyalty.
You should also make their first time experience effortless and memorable. The most common reason why clients try a new product or service and decide to give it up after one go is that it didn’t meet their expectations. It could also be because the process was overly complicated or their experience turned out to be a hassle. The key to gaining a longtime extensions client is two things:
- Setting expectations from the very beginning
- Reinforcing their choice and asking for a rebooking
With extensions, be it bonds, hand-tied wefts, beads, tape-ins or even clip-ins need to be cared for properly and take some maintenance and even a schedule of appointments to move them up or reinstall them. Let your client know during consultation what they will need to do to ensure their extensions look good and don’t damage their hair. This includes them committing to a brushing, detangling routine daily and if they’re not able to do that, clip-ins are a far better option.
Make sure they are comfortable during the service and when done, have them enjoy their big moment by showing them their before photo and reinforcing what the transformation has really done for them. Make sure you follow up a day or two after to check-in and answer any questions they may have. Gently remind them of the homecare regimen you mentioned during consultation and after the install was completed.
4. Convenient Booking and Scheduling
Offer flexible appointment slots that can accommodate even the busiest of schedules. Implement online booking systems to provide clients with easy access and the ability to schedule at their convenience. Send reminders and confirmations to reduce no-shows, further enhancing their experience.
5. Personalized Recommendations
When starting or operating a hair extensions business, understanding your client's preferences and style is essential. By taking the time to suggest hair extensions that are a perfect fit for their unique needs and lifestyle, you make clients feel special and valued. Personalization goes a long way in retaining clients who appreciate the extra attention and care.
6. Consistent Communication
Regularly communicate with clients to keep them informed about special offers, promotions, and new products. Maintaining an active presence on social media platforms also allows you to engage with your audience and create a sense of community and involvement.
7. Educational Workshops and Tutorials
Hosting workshops on hair extension care and maintenance can empower clients to take better care of their hair extensions. Additionally, creating video tutorials on styling and care that clients can access online is a valuable resource that further solidifies your position as a trusted expert in the field.
8. Collect and Act on Feedback
Encourage clients to provide feedback and suggestions. Act on constructive criticism to continuously improve your services. By showing clients that their opinions are genuinely valued and have an impact on your salon's operations, you can build a sense of trust and partnership.
9. Referral Programs
Encourage your clients to refer friends and family to your salon. Offering incentives like discounts or free products for successful referrals is an effective way to expand your client base while rewarding your existing clients for their loyalty. Word-of-mouth recommendations are powerful and cost-effective.
10. Value-Added Services
Consider offering complimentary services like hair consultations and aftercare packages or products that can extend the life of hair extensions. Providing these extras not only enhances the client experience but also sets you apart from the competition.
11. Consistency in Pricing
Maintaining reasonable and consistent pricing is crucial. Sudden price hikes can alienate clients and erode their trust. Transparency in pricing builds trust and reassures clients that they are receiving fair value for their money.
12. Social Proof
Showcasing client testimonials and before-and-after photos on your website and social media is a potent marketing strategy that instills trust and credibility, attracts new clients seeking impressive results, and fuels word-of-mouth referrals through the endorsement of satisfied clients. It also serves as a visual portfolio, demonstrating the skills and transformative potential of your salon's services while creating emotional connections that resonate with those seeking a boost in self-confidence.
Make sure you are leveraging ALL platforms. Don’t just share to TikTok or Instagram, share to both of those plus Facebook. There are social media programs you can use to do this for you such as Hootsuite or Later so you don’t have to take time manually posting to each one. When it comes to Facebook, make sure you’ve linked your Facebook to Instagram and you’ll be able to post automatically to it when you share to Instagram.
13. Stay Updated on Trends
Keeping up with the latest hair extension trends and techniques is important for salon success as it ensures that services remain fashionable and in high demand. Clients are drawn to the cutting edge of fashion, and by offering stylish and current options, you enhance client satisfaction, build loyalty, attract new customers, and gain a competitive advantage.
Staying current showcases your expertise, allows you to adapt to changing preferences, and boosts creativity. It not only meets client desires for trendy styles but also establishes your salon as a trusted and innovative destination in the ever-evolving beauty industry.
14. Embrace Technology
Investing in up-to-date tools and equipment for superior salon services is essential for staying competitive and satisfying customers, as it ensures efficiency and innovation. Also, staying informed about digital marketing trends is crucial for expanding your salon's reach and connecting with a broader audience.
Technology, when used wisely, streamlines operations by simplifying booking, communication, and marketing efforts, resulting in better customer engagement and overall satisfaction. These measures offer a competitive edge, enhance customer retention, and provide cost savings.
They also enable adaptability to industry changes and ensure that your salon remains relevant and successful in a rapidly evolving beauty market.
15. Community Engagement
Active involvement in your local community through participation in events, sponsorships, and charitable activities is a strategic move with multifaceted benefits for your salon. It builds trust, cultivates a positive reputation, fosters word-of-mouth marketing, strengthens client relationships, enhances local branding, increases visibility, sets you apart from competitors, offers networking opportunities, and provides a sense of purpose.
You can find the busiest outdoor festival this summer and setup an outdoor salon for the day. Keep it simple however as it’s impractical to do half or full heads. Offer up a few pieces, maybe some clip-ins or ponytails and charge a nominal fee to give potential client’s a taste. Put on a show, hand out business cards and make your business more visible!
To drum up new hair extension business and up your salon profits, start planning an invitational night NOW to get ready for “autumn winter extensions season”! Offer a special “ladies night out” promotional evening featuring extension demonstrations and a 2 to 3-piece mini service to introduce each client to hair extensions. You can also host an evening for groups of friends for a makeover party.
By showing your commitment to the community, you not only attract clients but also contribute to the betterment of the local area, creating a win-win situation that reinforces your salon's presence and positive image.
Retaining hair extension clients in a competitive market is undoubtedly a challenge, but it is vital for the success of your salon or styling business. By prioritizing quality, excellent customer service, personalization, and incorporating loyalty programs along with other strategies, you can create enduring relationships with your clients, influence potential ones, and strengthen loyalty among existing ones.