Last week a beauty spa owner said to me, “Your recommend a friend scheme isn’t working. We’ve given out loads of cards and hardly had any back. It’s been a waste of time.”

My immediate reaction was, “Are you sure your team are handing the cards out?”

I’ve seen too many boxes of referral cards sitting under reception gathering dust. If you don’t hand them out then clearly you’re limiting your chances of a new client referral. Don’t laugh. You’d be surprised at how often simply not asking clients for referrals is the reason salons and spas aren’t getting any recommendations.

Referrals just don’t seem to be happening for us…

Okay. Your hair or beauty business is handing your referral cards out so we can eliminate that marketing hiccup.

Next.

If your team are giving them out and talking to their clients then there is only one reason why new clients are not flocking in waving your Recommend a Friend cards.

No-one is telling them about you. No-one is giving them your cards.

Why?

The real reason why customers aren’t referring their friends to your salon business

The answer lies in that little word “recommend”.

According to the dictionary recommend means to: vouch for, endorse, advocate, speak highly of, laud, put in a good word, plug, applaud…

If your spa or salon is not giving an exceptional, amazing, remarkable, stunning service then are you surprised the word isn’t spreading?

Your clients aren’t going to speak highly of you, endorse you or put in a good word if your salon experience is just so-so.

Put yourself in your clients’ shoes when it comes to recommendations

Would you tell your friends about a new restaurant which had so-so food, passable service and okay décor? I bet you wouldn’t bother. I wouldn’t.

If you’d had an awful meal you’d warn them off. That’s the decent, friendly thing to do.

If it was fantastic you recommend (that little word again) they gave it a go.

But a run-of-the-mill, unremarkable restaurant? Nope. You just wouldn’t bother mentioning it. And therein lies the problem.

Is your salon experience worth recommending?

If your salon referral system isn’t bringing in new clients take a long hard look at your business and your customer experience.

Ask yourself, “Is my salon offering a remark-able experience?”

Yes? That’s good because then your clients will remark on it. To their friends.

Word of mouth is one of the best ways to win new clients

People talk about a business because it is truly exceptional or truly awful. Make sure they’re talking about your hair and beauty business to their friends for all the right reasons.

#Marketing Tip: try this article for ideas on creating winning customer experiences in your salon and this blog for ideas on seriously improving your salon’s WOW factor.