How to Grow Your Salon Business: Acquisition, Conversion, Retention
There are many factors that influence the success of your salon business. We’re sharing the three things you need to know to grow your business in this post.
Did you know there’s more to running a salon business than cutting and washing hair?
Yep, in order to have a successful salon business, you need to be a pro at acquisition, conversion, and retention.
In this article, you’ll learn:
- The client’s journey
- What acquisition, conversion, and retention are
- What steps you need to take for each step
- How to make life easier and more fruitful for you
By learning each of these business steps, you’ll increase your ROI. And you’ll grow your business. Read on to find out!
A Day in the Life of the Client
Clients don’t just walk through your doors randomly. There’s a reason they chose your services, and not your competitor’s. To find out, you need to walk in “your clients’ shoes.” Aka understand the client journey.
Acquisition in a Nutshell
In general, this starts in the acquisition phase. Let’s say a potential client wants a bob cut and balayage. But they don’t want to go to just anyone. They want someone who specializes in balayage, and who has experienced in medium-length women’s hair cuts.
They google “salons balayage,” and one of your articles come up. The prospect reads the article. And then skims through your portfolio, liking the medium-length results on your past clients. The prospect reads the article. And then skims through your portfolio, liking the medium-length results on your past clients.
She then sees on your website that you offer a 15% discount for new clients, and is hooked. She then decides to call you. In which case you’ve successfully acquired a new paying customer.
How did this happen? Your informative and engaging article which highlighted your expertise on balayage gained her interest. Your beautiful portfolio highlighting your past work caught the prospect’s attention. And your 15% discount was the final tipping point to convert her from prospect to paying customer.
She then goes to your salon for her bob cut and balayage. Throughout the appointment, you’re friendly and positive. You offer her tea and give her styling tips and ways to keep her hair healthy. Not to mention, after the appointment her hair comes out just as she expected. On her way out, you hand her an additional coupon — 10% off on a woman’s cut.
It’s safe to say, chances are she’s coming back. But why? Because of your demeanor and the complimentary tea and hair tips, you delivered an exceptional customer experience. Then, offering a second discount — something she probably didn’t expect — was the final mark that converted a first-time customer into a returning customer. In other words, retention successful.
Now let’s have a closer look into what you need to do to increase your ROI!
Acquisition, Conversion, and Retention in Detail
Acquisition: A Closer Look
Acquisition is making your clients aware of your hair services. If you specialize in balayage, advertise that on your website. If you’re a pro at curly hair, make that known.
In this phase, it’s all about getting your products and services in front of your prospects’ faces. The more people who know about your services, the higher chance you have in converting prospects to paying clients. Here are a few ways to do this:
1. Use the Powers of Social Media
According to Statista, 81% of Americans have a social media profile. If you can reach 1% of this figure, that’s impressive. What we’re saying is a consistent online social media presence can reach hundreds. If not thousands.
Attend hair salon conventions. Go to trade shows. Start talking with other salon owners. This may sound counter productive but it’s not. And here’s why. Let’s say one of your clients wants a niche cut you don’t specialize in. Or maybe a client wants a balayage but has curly hair.
Let’s say one of your clients wants a niche cut you don’t specialize in. Or maybe a client wants a balayage but has curly hair. A type of hair you’re not familiar working with. Even maybe, (hopefully) you’re overbooked, and can’t manage to fit another client in. This is when you make a few calls, and contact another salon or hair stylist to fit your client in. Or you team up: You do the balayage while the other hair stylist cuts her curly hair.
Either way, you’re ensuring your customer has a positive experience. Which increases the chances of her coming back. And you also can expect more clients from those hair stylists and salons who’ll pay back the favor. (Of course, remember this is only beneficial if you each have two DIFFERENT niches.)
Keep in mind, networking can happen anywhere. Let’s say you’re in line at the grocery store making small talk with the cashier. You casually mention you have a salon business and specialize in balayage. Turns out the cashier has been wanting a balayage. You give her your business card. And there you go, you’ve reached another potential client.
Conversion In Depth
The conversion phase involves turning that prospect into a paying customer. You’re trying to make your products or services irresistible to your prospects. To do this, you need to understand buyer persona (This pertains to the acquisition phase too.)
Create an in-depth buyer persona so you know your customers’ pain points. Pain points are the common problems your ideal customer faces. Once you can identify those, provide reasonable solutions. For example, your ideal customer is a middle-aged woman who’s not ready to go gray but wants a color and cut that matches her age.
You’d not only advertise ways to address this pain point but provide samples and discounts that mention it too. With this example, you could have a discount for hair coloring products for middle-aged women. And another discount for a color and consultation at your salon.
Retention: One Critical Tip
Retention involves how to keep customers coming back. One way to do this is offering discounts on referrals. Referral discounts serve two purposes: it encourages the customer to come back. And secondly, you get more new customers.
Final Thoughts on Growing Your Salon Business
Understanding these three phases — acquisition, conversion, and retention — will take your salon business to the next level. By mastering these steps, you’ll increase your retention rates. Which means more money for you. And less time wasted converting new customers.
Did this article help? How have these three steps improved your understanding salon business? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below.