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Would you love to improve your salon rebooking rate?

But struggling to work out how, especially with hair and beauty clients cutting back in this difficult economic climate?

 

What’s a good salon rebooking rate?

I call it a ‘rebooking’ when a client books their next appointment within 24 hours of their last one.

I’m often asked by salon owners what rebooking percentage they should be aiming for:

Salon software company Kitomba calculate, based on the data they collect:

  • the average hair and beauty industry rebooking rate sits at around 40-45%
  • top rebookers have a rate of upwards of 70%

I know many salon entrepreneurs are keen to chase new business, but if your team are ace at persuading clients to book their next appointment as they pay you’ll save tons of marketing time, energy and money on finding and converting new clients.

 

Rebooking: a powerful salon marketing tool

‘My team doesn’t like rebooking clients. They feel it’s too pushy and salesy.’

I hear this so often. But booking the next appointment before your client leaves your salon is not heavy selling.

It’s win-win. For your client. For your business. And for your team.

And this is why…

Benefits of a high salon rebooking rate

For your beauty or hair team:

  • A pre-booked column gives peace of mind.
  • Meeting targets and earning bonuses becomes less stressful.
  • Greater job security.
  • 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 salon owner:

  • Increased profits.
  • Forward business planning and investment are easier.
  • A happy, motivated and stable salon team (sound good?).
  • Reduce the reliance and cost on finding new clients.
  • Price becomes less of a focus for clients.
  • Increases frequency of visits which increases profitability.
  • Clients less tempted to stray to a competitor.

For your hair and beauty clients:

  • 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.

 

My no-nonsense guide to improving salon rebooking rates

Focus on these THREE areas to up your rebooking game:

  • Create a rebooking culture.
  • Review the client experience.
  • Educate your client.

Let’s break them down into manageable baby marketing steps and start with creating a rebooking culture in your salon.

 

#1. Create a rebooking culture with your salon team

There are three parts to this:

  1. Give them the right skills.
  2. Motivate them.
  3. Measure performance.

Give them the right skills to rebook

  • It starts with the consultation: Ensuring your hair or beauty clients rebook is all about building strong client relationships. Coach your team so they understand that the rebooking process kicks off 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 rebooking confidence: Having set the scene throughout the appointment your stylist or therapist will feel more confident to tackle the rebooking hurdle.
  • Ask the right questions: We all know ‘Do you want to rebook your next appointment?’ is likely to result in a firm ‘No’. Yet when you’re running late on a manic Saturday it’s often the easiest one to ask. But if you set the scene from the start of the appointment it seems perfectly natural to your client to suggest  ‘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?’  And it’s much much harder to say ‘No’ .
  • Holidays make rebooking easy: ‘I’m 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?’

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.

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 individual poor performance.

Instead I evaluate and review each stylist or therapist’s rebooking rates every month.

Why?

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.

I mentioned there are three areas to look at to improve rebooking. We’ve just looked at salon culture, so let’s move on to the client experience:

 

#2. Is your client experience rebookable?

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.

This post is all about increasing your rebooking hit rate, so if you’d like some practical salon marketing ideas on creating that WOW client experience head over to this blog post.

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 team member, yet so often they are not the most suitable and compatible 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.

And the third area to look at:

 

#3. Educate salon clients to rebook

Educate your team to educate their clients about benefits to them of rebooking.

A quick recap of the benefits for the client:

  • 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 problematic 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 just 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 or email make sure you have a marketing system in place to follow up clients who left without rebooking their next appointment.
  • Salon social media marketing: If you offer a rebooking incentive post about it on your social channels and get the word out there. If you struggle to find time to post consistently on social or find social marketing overwhelming you’ll love my very affordable Salon Social Club.
  • Online booking: Some clients genuinely want to check the date before committing to their next appointment. Make it easy for them to book 24/7 by offering online booking. Again post ‘online booking available’ reminders frequently on your salon social.
  • 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 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.

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