Congratulations—you’ve made it to the final part of my series on Maximizing Customer Relationships!
To begin, let’s recap Parts 1, 2, and 3. In Part 1, you learned the importance of standing out from the crowd to get clients in your door. In Part 2, I reminded you that the little things mean everything, including the details that a customer experiences before they buy from you. In Part 3, we focused on WOWing customers during their visit and checkout process. Finally, we’ve made it to Part 4 which is all about the follow-up. After Part 4, you will have all seven of my secrets to maximize customer relationships and run a fabulous business!
Secret #6: The Follow-Up
Oftentimes, the follow-up is the missing link to maximizing customer relationships which is why I consider this the most important secret! A lot of businesses provide you a top-notch experience when you’re visiting them, but then you never hear from them again. Have you heard the saying: out of sight, out of mind? Well, this is why the follow-up is so important!
So, how do you follow up with your guests? While the possibilities are truly endless, here are a few tried-and-true ways that we follow up with our clients.
Surveys can be scary for a lot of people because they put you in a vulnerable position. After all, there is always the possibility that you could receive negative feedback. But, you cannot reach your full potential from a position of fear or ignorance. Instead, you need to look at surveys as a great learning opportunity!
At Be Inspired Salon, we send a survey to every new guest after their first service. We ask questions like: Was the salon clean? Was your stylist professional? Did your stylist show you how to use your products? (If you want to know more about our survey, connect with me!)
Friends, marketing emails are not dead. Did you know it takes an adult 21 times to remember new information? That means you need to consistently remind your clients why they made a great choice to do business with you. For my salon, this means we are always reminding guests about Meet Your Stylist (remember, this is how we stand out from the crowd before a client buys from us), our VIP Program, and our points program.
To really shine in the follow-up, you might need to take some notes on your clients. Some people have a natural gift for this and they simply remember every detail about a person. But, for most of us, we need to take a few notes about our clients to remember their interests, names of their children, upcoming vacations, where they work, etc. Think about creating “customer profiles” to help you form a deeper connection with your clients!
At my salon, we encourage our stylists to send check-in emails to their clients. If a guest purchased a new product, or changed from blonde to brunette, the stylist can send a quick email asking how the change is going. This is so quick and easy, but it leaves a lasting impression with your clients!
When was the last time you received a handwritten thank-you card? Better yet, when was the last time that you received a handwritten thank-you card from your hair salon? For most of you, the answer is never! We send thank-you cards every week to clients who refer new guests and brides who were booked with us the weekend before. Additionally, we send cards for graduations, new babies, marriages, new businesses, and get-well wishes.
Show up for your clients like they show up for you. Do you have a client who has been planning a charity event for the last six months? How awesome would it be to show up at their event to demonstrate how much you care about their success! If you have a client in the hospital, maybe you stop in for a quick visit during your lunch? What kind of impact would that make for your relationship and their loyalty?
Remember, the little things mean everything, and you will truly maximize your relationship by following up with your clients!
Secret #7: Accountability
Hopefully, you’re fired up about all the fun and exciting ways that you can WOW your clients before, during, and after the buying process. But, now comes the tough part—how do you stay accountable for all the initiatives that you’ve implemented? Holding yourself and your team accountable will separate you from your competition.
My stylists all have excellence trackers to hold themselves and the team accountable. An excellence tracker is like a goals sheet. For example, my stylists reach out to all guests who canceled, but did not rebook. They also reach out to guests who have visited twice or more to ask for a Google review. Every week, they have goals regarding phone calls, emails, pre-booking, sending cards, etc. and their promotions are tied to their performance trackers. Basically, if you want to move up in this career, you need to meet the goals on your excellence tracker.
You need to check-in with your team on a consistent and routine basis. At my salon, we have weekly team meetings where everyone submits their performance tracker. At the meeting, everyone can share what they have been working on in the last week—including me! This is a fabulous way to hold everyone accountable.
Yes, we really do this, and you should, too! As a business owner or manager, you cannot be at your business 100% of the time and handle 100% of client visits. So, a secret shopper program is an effective quality control technique. For our secret shopper program, I break down our training manual to a six-page form for the guest to fill out. For instance, our training manual indicates that a phone call should follow XYZ steps—then, the secret shopper form asks on a scale of 1-5 if these steps were met.
Like surveys, secret shoppers can be scary, but they give you a glimpse into what things are like when you’re not around. At my salon, I learned that we had some consistent mistakes at the front desk, so we had to tighten that area up. Without the secret shopper program, I wouldn’t have known that!
Now that you’ve mastered all seven of my secrets, take a moment to write down your three biggest takeaways. In three months, revisit your list and see what progress you’ve made! Do you have other suggestions to maximize customer relationships? I would love to hear from you, so make sure to connect with me!