As beauty professionals, we are always looking for ways to keep our existing clientele happy, engaged and coming back for more. Many lash and brow artists do great work, but it’s not enough anymore to just provide a great service. We are a growing industry, which means lots of competition, but it also means there is plenty of opportunity to grow our businesses. But first, let’s work on keeping those who already love us, and our work.
7 Reasons Why Your Clients Don’t Return
There are lots of reasons why a client may not return to you and your salon. Sometimes, it has nothing to do with you, and is completely out of your control. Other times, there may be areas you need to improve upon to ensure your clients come back to see you. Here are seven main reasons why your clients don’t return:
- They have lost interest in the service
- They have moved away
- They have a neighbor/friend/family member who will do the service for free, or for less
- You are not providing the same quality of service you once did
- You constantly change their appointments, or are running late
- You talk about yourself constantly, and/or gossip about others
- Your client’s financial situation has changed
What I Cannot Control
When you don’t have any control over why your client chooses not to return, it’s best to remain positive and professional. You may be surprised how your attitude might help you in the future when circumstances change again.
Over time your client will just want to take a break. They may have time management issues, or are just plain done with lash or brow services. This is no reflection of you as a person, or your skill level. It just happens. Don’t stress over these clients. Thank them for being your client, for whatever the duration, and keep the door open for referrals, and for a return in the future. I have had clients leave, but then they have sent me many referrals for lash services, so be gracious when they exit.
Your Lash or Brow Client Has Relocated
We are in a very mobile society. Clients move away for a job change, family issues, marriage, divorce, or any number of personal things. You can wish them well, and help find them a new service provider in their new area. Your client will appreciate your help, and will be grateful. There are many Facebook lash and brow groups – you can search for them, and put the word out, to help your client make the transition. Your clients will always remember your sincerity and professionalism.
They Want Cheap or Free Services
There will be those clients who are looking for free, or cheap services from family, or friends. Sorry folks, it happens to the best of us! While there is a case for offering free services to get those first few important customers through the door when you start up, it is definitely not a viable, ongoing business strategy. Clients who just want free stuff do not value you and your time. They are just looking for something you should not be offering, cheap or free. Let them go, and make room for new, fresh clients who will value your time and education.
When your long-standing client has a financial crisis, or has lost their income, it is devastating for them. The last thing we want to do is add to their burden. Be very gracious, acknowledge their situation, and display some compassion. Most people do not want to share this information because it is very personal and disruptive to their way of life. This can be humiliating for them depending on their circumstances. Job loss is never easy. Keep that in mind when they are cancelling their standing appointment with you.
Trust me, they do not want to give up their services. How you handle this delicate situation will determine whether they return to you when their finances improve. Treat these cases with care. Don’t make it about you, and your schedule being disrupted. I have seen lash artists become angry and downright mean when a client throws a monkey wrench into their perfectly arranged schedule. Don’t be a diva here. They have just suffered a loss.
What I Can Control
Now, let’s cover the things you are in control of, and what you can do to keep your clientele. Avoid making fatal mistakes by remembering these tips:
Maintain Your Standards
Are you providing the same quality of service you did when your client was “new”? Most clients will leave if they feel you are treating them like a way to pay your bills. Ask yourself…
- Am I delivering the same level of passion and technical skill as I once did?
- Am I greeting them with a smile?
- Am I burned out by the time it’s their appointment time?
- Do I genuinely show an interest?
- Do I set myself to autopilot? Am I mentally checked-out?
- Do I schedule enough time so I’m not rushed?
Your clients know and feel all of these things. How do I know? Because when I get a new client, these are their complaints and comments about previous salon experiences. I have been in the beauty industry for 35 years. I’ve heard it all. If you are doing these things – Stop it now! Reboot, recharge, and re-focus on your client.
Don’t Be Flakey
Make a schedule, and stick to it! Nothing will frustrate a client more than changing their appointment time around. I know that unexpected things come up. I get it. But value your client’s time.
Your client has arranged her day, week, or month to see you for her beauty service. People are busy, rushed, and over-scheduled at most times. When they make the commitment to see you, then you need to be there, and be on time!
If you have to change your schedule, don’t make a big fuss about it. Change your days, hours, or times by simply telling your clients when you are available. They don’t need to know your personal issues. Frankly, they really don’t care. Keep it simple. Keep it professional. Keep your clients!
Don’t Be A Gossip
Please, if there is one major complaint then this is the big one – gossip! You want to create a place for your clients to relax, decompress, and unwind. If you are a source of gossip, you are not being professional. It is easy to get caught up in the drama of other people’s lives and turmoil. Stay above it. Your clients will respect you. Your clients will trust you.
Your clients will know that they can share with you, and you will keep their confidence should they need to unload. Your motto should be, “what happens in the salon stays in the salon”. If you practice this, you will never have to remember what you said, and to whom.
Don’t Talk About Yourself Constantly
The world does not revolve around you, period. Take a minute and ask yourself, does my client need to know about the fight I had with my spouse/neighbor/kids? No! They do not need to know, and they do not want to know. As a salon manager and spa owner, I have taken many complaints from clients. This is the biggest infraction you can make. Some of the comments can go something like this:
- I have to take an aspirin to get through my appointment with (enter name), all they do is complain about their life.
- My service provider doesn’t stop talking long enough for me to comment.
- My service provider makes me depressed with all the doom and gloom they spew.
- My service provider talks about their religious beliefs, political views, and even their sex lives.
Don’t do this. Ever. I mean ever! Nothing turns off a client faster than any of these topics. If someone does not agree with our beliefs it can cause unnecessary tension. It can also cause you, and your client, to harbor ill feelings because your views are different. If you are stuck in a negative frame of mind that may be affecting your clients, then read this article on how to stop negative thinking in its tracks.
If you look deep into your professional practices, and you are doing any of these things, make a huge effort to stop. It’s not easy and it takes a good deal of self awareness and honesty. But, your clients will thank you for it. You will keep your clients happy, and keep them with you, instead of losing them to another artist who values them and puts them first.
How do you value your clients and keep them coming back for more? Have you ever had to change what you were doing to get better results? Share, share, share!