The Importance of Rebooking & Retaining Clients

For those new to the industry and even those that have been around for a while, rebooking a new client may seem daunting.  However, it’s a skill all of us need to have or else you’ll find many of those clients you’ve attracted with your great marketing, walking straight out of your door to the next salon with an attractive Facebook or Instagram page.  Attracting clients is a tough business so don’t miss your only opportunity to keep them coming – REBOOK them!

Part of retaining clients is ensuring they are happy throughout their treatment every time.  Check the length, style, shape, colour at each stage to ensure you are doing what they require, this may seem obvious, but sometimes, especially when you’re a novice, you can be concentrating so hard on your goal you may forget the details.  Your client care and advice during will show your professionalism and will give them encouragement to say yes when you ask if they’d like to rebook.

If you thought asking for money was hard with your first professional clients?  Rebooking can feel harder as you’re asking someone to instantly assess the following – Did they like you? Did they feel comfortable? Did they like the finish? Do they want to see you again?  That’s a lot tied up in the one simple question, “Would you like to rebook for 2 weeks’ time?” Don’t let the fear of rejection hold you back, without rebooking you can’t grow your business.  So, bite the bullet and ask. They might just say ‘Yes’!  Most clients are waiting to be asked.  Clients rarely rebook if not asked.  Maybe you could also look at follow-up appointment incentives.

If you provide other services talk about them.  A client booking one service is more likely to book further services.  Many clients often visit several therapists or salons for different services.  If you can provide them with a one stop shop you will have a loyal client for longer.  For most busy people, the thought of replacing someone that carries out one service is an easy one, whilst the thought of replacing someone that provides 3 or 4 of their services will be a less agreeable prospect.  

Across many online forums there’s a consistent question throughout the winter – ‘Is everyone quiet or is it just me?’  In December we have daily opportunities to convert new clients to regulars.  The challenge is that you and they are busy and on a time limit.  If you’ve been too quiet over winter, you could ask yourself a few questions.  Did you convert all those new Christmas clients?  Did you get too busy and forget to rebook? Did you check what your January looked like before you hit the Christmas rush? How did your business cope during the winter?  What are you going to change next year?  Could you benefit from better planning?  Whenever you’re quiet apply these questions and check you’re rebooking.  

Always offer rebooking to all clients and, of course, applies all year round.  A new regular client is a new line of revenue, which for a £30 fortnightly service could bring you £780 pa.  Just a couple of those and your profits will start looking much healthier.  If you have staff, invest in some specific training.  Rebooking could nett your business thousands of pounds you are potentially letting walk out of your door.

Rebooking and recurring appointments can help you and your clients plan their time more efficiently.  Perhaps consider an online booking system to help administer your client management.  There are many available, for example, Phorest, Shedul, iSalon and many more.  They all provide diary management whilst some provide apps for your phones/tablets, ability to embed in your website, click thru from your social media, salon reporting, financial accounting, stock management, marketing suites, ability to assess business and staffing management.  They provide a smooth interface between your client and your business.

When I switched to computerised diary management 3 years ago it boosted rebooking significantly as it’s so simple.  Clients have their time with your business guaranteed.  This one-click diary management frees up time and allows easier management of staffing rosters, stock and business projections.  Booking systems allow you to offer client incentives like 24-hour online booking, recurring appointments, appointment reminders, apps, loyalty schemes.

Once you start rebooking & recurring appointments you can plan your business and if you see patterns of gapping you can aim your marketing at the most suitable demographic to fill those spaces.  Booking systems allow you to visualise your future before it catches you out. 

Research the options available as some come with full hardware setups which can be high budget whilst others have free trials or free forever packages.  

And remember as your client pays – REBOOK! If they love you make them do it again and again and RETAIN!!