How to increase rebooking in your hair or beauty salon
Would you love to improve your salon rebooking rate?
But struggling to work out how?
In this post I’ll show you:
- Why rebooking is essential to growing your hair or beauty business profitably.
- What rebooking percentage to aim for.
- How to educate, mentor and motivate your team to rebook.
Rebookings make your salon grow – quickly and profitably
As I’m sure you know there are 4 ways to GROW your salon or spa.
Often – increase how often they visit you
Wow them – to increase their average spend
Of these, retention is the most important of all. I know salon entrepreneurs are keen to chase new business, but if your team are ace at rebooking appointments you will save marketing time, energy and money on finding and converting new clients.
Rebooking and retention. They’re the same thing aren’t they?
Not quite. I think of them as two sides of the same coin.
In this blog, I’m looking at the process of getting your clients to book their next appointment as they pay and before they leave your salon.
Retention (which includes rebooking) is more about the big picture – building client relationships, rewarding loyalty and life time value.
But my salon team doesn’t like rebooking – it’s too salesy
Can we put paid to this flawed belief.
Booking the next appointment before your client leaves your salon is not heavy selling.
For your client. For your business. And for your team.
And this is why…
The benefits of a high salon rebooking rate
For your salon or spa team rebooking:
- A pre-booked column gives peace of mind
- Meeting targets and earning bonuses becomes less stressful
- Greater job security and an end to looking over their shoulder worrying
- Being in constant demand is a wonderful motivator
- Running a cancellation list boosts confidence and security
- Rebooking helps increase frequency of visits
For you, the business owner rebooking:
- Increased profits
- Forward business planning and investment easier
- A happy, motivated & stable salon team (who doesn’t crave that?)
- Reduce the reliance & cost on finding new clients
- Price becomes less of a focus for clients
- Increases frequency of visits
- Clients less tempted to stray to another salon
For your hair and beauty clients rebooking:
- Regular visits means better relationships and trust
- Better hair and beauty results with regular maintenance
- Avoid last minute appointment panics for their favourite stylist or therapist
- No bad hair/beauty weeks whilst waiting to be fitted in
- Appointments at the time that suits them best
What’s a great (yet realistic) rebooking rate?
I’m often asked by salon owners what percentage they should be aiming for.
Kitomba go on to say their data reveals top rebookers will have a rebooking rate of upwards of 70%.
I believe an experienced stylist or therapist should aim for an 80% + rebooking rate.
Remember these percentages are high. It would be unrealistic and unfair to expect less experienced employees to hit these levels of appointment rebooking.
A no-nonsense guide to improving your salon or spa rebooking rates
Focus on these 3 areas to up your game:
- Create a rebooking culture.
- Review the client experience.
- Educate your client.
Let’s break them down into manageable baby marketing steps…
1. Create a rebooking culture in your salon or spa
There are three parts to this:
- Train and guide your team
- Motivate them
- Measure performance
1. Train and guide your team
- It starts with the consultation: Getting your hair or beauty clients to rebook is all about building better client relationships. Coach your team so they understand that the rebooking process starts with their consultation at the beginning of the appointment. (If your team’s consultation skills need polishing you’ll find some practical tips here.)
- Salon body language: Mirroring and the right body language play a vital, and often overlooked, role in making clients feel comfortable and at ease. Stress the importance of using the client’s name to your team too. A comfortable relaxed client is more likely to respond positively to a rebooking request.
- Build confidence: Having thus set the scene throughout the appointment your team will feel more confident to tackle the rebooking hurdle.
- Practice makes perfect: Use role play in team training sessions to show how best to ask the right questions. We know the closed question “Do you want to rebook your next appointment?” is likely to result in a resolute “No.” But when you’re running late on a manic Saturday it’s often the easiest one to ask.
- The right rebooking questions: Having set the scene from the start of the appointment it seems perfectly natural to your client to be told (nicely), “Let’s make your next appointment for 6 weeks as that’s when it’ll need a cut to keep it looking its best. Would you prefer Wednesday or Thursday?” Do you agree it’s much harder to answer “No” to this question?
- Holidays make rebooking easy: “I’m going to be on holiday in a few weeks so appointments are filling up. I’d hate you not to get your usual Thursday evening slot. Shall we book it now to make sure you get in?”
2. Motivate your team to book
Training alone won’t create a salon rebooking culture. You need to motivate your employees and I like a team competition for this.
Run it for a few months so rebooking becomes a habit. To keep everyone interested, and in with a chance of winning, the prize goes to the person achieving the highest rebooking percentage improvement – not just highest rebooking rate.
3. Measuring salon performance
As with any salon marketing activity you need to monitor and measure results.
When working with salon owners I don’t just look at the overall average rebooking rate as this can distort the picture and hide poor performance.
Instead I evaluate and review each stylist or therapist’s rebooking rates every month.
Because on the face of it a team member may seem busy and successful. But dig down, and you may discover they are hoovering up all the new clients and walk-ins rather than getting repeat clients. If their rebooking rates fail to improve then mentor that team member within a specified time frame.
Don’t stop at the rebooking stats themselves. Once clients are regularly returning for repeat appointments you will be able to work at increasing their average salon services’ spend, selling them more retail and introducing them to new hair and beauty services. So analyse these figures too.
A quick salon business tip: When number crunching always make sure your figures are net of vat so you compare like for like. Your salon till software should run most of the reports you need at the click of a button.
2. Review your client experience
You may mentor your team to be the “best rebookers” in town, but if you’re not providing a wow client experience then it’s going to be difficult to increase your rebooking and retention rates.
When it comes to new clients, one easy way to both improve their salon experience and improve rebooking rates, is to match new clients with those stylists/therapists best suited to them on a price, personality and skill level.
It’s tempting to ‘push’ new clients in the direction of your quietest staff, yet so often these staff are not the most suitable for the client’s needs. This immediately puts your therapist/stylist at a disadvantage when it comes to building a strong client relationship and getting that all-important rebooking.
3. Educate salon clients
Educate your team to educate their clients about benefits to them of rebooking.
A quick recap of the benefits:
- Appointments times that suit them
- A stronger relationship with their therapist/stylist
- No more last minute appointment panics
- Regular maintenance keeps them looking their best
- No grotty hair/beauty weeks while waiting to be squeezed in
Coach your team never to abandon their client at end of appointment with the receptionist. The rebooking process, which began with the consultation, should be completed by them personally. If they want a busy column they can’t afford to leave rebooking to chance.
And if clients don’t rebook as they leave the salon…
And what about the ‘ones that got away’?
The clients that didn’t make their next hair or beauty appointment as they paid.
Don’t forget about them and hope they’ll return in due course.
Instead, market hard to them. Here’s how:
- Follow up marketing: whether you use a phone call, text, snail-mail or email just make sure you have a marketing system in place to follow clients who haven’t booked their next appointment up.
- Online booking: most till software has an online booking module. Some clients genuinely want to check the date before committing to an appointment. Make it easy for them to book 24/7.
- Keep your salon front of mind: email marketing and social media will keep your salon name in front of your client and jog their memory to pick up the phone and book.
Still struggling to see how to improve your salon or spa rebooking rate?
Hopefully you now have a better idea of what rebooking percentage you should be aiming for and how to achieve it.
Put 20 minutes aside later today and make a start by running off your current rebooking stats and deciding what needs doing to improve them.