How to get more returning clients
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Your main focus when starting a nail business should be to generate clientele. The important thing to remember is that you don’t want people to just be a once-off client. Your main goal should be to build a stable client base where the majority of your clientele will return every month. When you have to return clients, your client base will also possibly start growing on its own, in time.
In this article, I will talk more about what to do once you have clients, steps to follow to ensure client satisfaction, which in turn will result in returning clients for your business. I talk about my personal experience with what clients want, and what they wish they had when getting their nails done.
Treat your clients with respect:
This might seem obvious to most, but I have come across many scenarios where clients were merely treated like piggy banks, rather than human beings. It is very important to remember that these people could potentially be with you for many years to come. You want them to feel welcome and wanted, and not like they’re doing you a favour by being there. Don’t rush a client’s nails, I don’t mean take your sweet time, but don’t make your client feel like you are rushing to get them done. They are paying to be there after all.
And finally, for the love of all that is good, don’t double book! When clients have to sit and wait, you will feel the pressure, and start rushing your current client. Anything can happen, so book appropriately. It’s also paramount that you clean and disinfects your workstation and tools before each client. So double booking is really not realistic for a nail technician. Clients might also start to feel that you don’t value their time, and don’t respect them.
I can speak from experience that clients are drawn to a good special now and then. Look out for things like holidays or events and changing seasons, to put motivation behind your special. Be realistic, and don’t do something that you can’t afford. Sometimes people will choose to come to you because of a special, even when they might not have initially planned to have their nails done. Think of things like a two for one deal, or when doing a full set of nails, get a pedicure at half price. Festive specials are especially popular. Build your marketing strategy around festivities like Christmas, Valentine’s Day, etc. Having seasonal specials, like on the first day of spring, is also a sure win.
Generate reward cards:
Reward cards are a very good way to motivate your clients. You can use referral cards to get clients to bring friends, and also use loyalty cards for rewards. When a client has done their nails a set amount of times, you can reward them by providing a free service or giving a discount. This way, your clients will feel compelled to come to you, rather than to another nail technician. Having the promise of a reward is all some people need to be convinced of. You can also have Birthday coupons, which allow clients to get a discount on their birthdays.
Remember when your clients tell you about important events in their lives:
When clients share details about their lives with you, it means they trust you. If they tell you something like they have to go into the hospital for a procedure, or if they are having a baby, etc. go the extra mile and send them a message on the day. I can assure you that they will appreciate it, knowing that you listen to what they say.
Refrain from hurting your clients:
We all know that accidents happen, and all nail technicians have cut at least one client in their career. The problem comes when it becomes a regular occurrence. Rushing a set can cause you to not only cut your clients but also potentially separate their nail plate from the nail bed if you file too roughly. Remember that getting your nails done should be a relaxing experience, not one you dread.
If you keep on hurting your clients, they might choose to take their business elsewhere. Not only that but you can cause serious damage to your client’s nail. When you cut your client, it also causes the opportunity for a bacterial infection to form. So be careful and pamper your clients. Treat them the way you would want to be treated when getting your nails done. No one wants to leave the salon with fingers full of band-aids.
Check in on clients:
If you haven’t heard from a client in a while, it might be a good idea to check upon them. They might be going through something, or maybe they have just been too busy to make an appointment. Checking in on clients can motivate them to schedule an appointment with you, knowing that you keep track of when your clients have to come for their next appointments.
Keep your personal and professional lives separate:
When you have been doing someone’s nails for years, the lines between professionalism and personal might become blurred. It is important to remember that when you are busy working; your clients are just that, clients. They aren’t your friends. This might seem harsh, but when you treat your clients like friends things can drastically go wrong. Quarrels can form outside of the salon, which in turn will affect your business. Not only that, but many “friends” believe that when having your own business, you can give everything for free. I don’t mean that you shouldn’t do friends or family member’s nails; just separate your personal life from your business. And make your clients understand that they have to respect the boundaries that you put in place.
Be open to new things:
With the world of social media being available to everyone, clients have an endless supply of nail ideas that they might want to try. New trends are formed every single day, and with that should your knowledge. Keep learning and growing your knowledge of nail art and new techniques. Never shy away from a challenge. When you allow your clients to wear any nails they can come up with, they will definitely choose you over someone who only does plain, simple nails. Sign up for nail courses, or simply practice by using nail tutorials.
You can learn almost anything on the internet. Try not to stick to one medium. Grow your experience in different categories. You don’t have to be able to do everything, but change is as good as a holiday. Don’t be so caught up in your own comfort zone, that you lose out on new experiences. Always challenge yourself. We are in one of the best professions in the world. We were never meant to be stuck in a boring lifestyle.
Quality over quantity:
Don’t be too ambitious when it comes to the number of clients that you’re able to do in a day. Rather make sure that your clients are happy with your work, focus on your technique, and make sure that you put in all of your effort into every set that you do. Having 10 clients a day might sound amazing, but it doesn’t help you much if only 3 of those clients come back the next month.
Remember that your goal should be to have recurring clients. So, rather take fewer clients a day, but ensure that those clients are satisfied and will definitely come back for more. The quality of your work will ALWAYS be more important than the number of clients you do. Don’t be discouraged when you hear other nail technicians having more clients per day than you. You’ll find that sometimes some of those clients might even start coming to you because your work should speak for itself. Trust me when I say that your hard work will pay off, and it will attract new clients as well as ensure returning ones.
Focus on your salon environment:
It’s very important to create a comfortable and relaxing environment for your clients. You want them to enjoy the time they spent at your salon, and be sad to have to leave. Make sure your salon is clean at all times. Hygiene is very important when working with clients in this setting. Your clients should feel comfortable and safe. Your salon should not only represent the pride you take in the nail trade, but also the hard work and effort that you put into your career. This will be the first thing your clients see, so create a good first impression.
Treat your employees, co-workers, etc. with respect:
This should already be something that you practice in your salon, but nevertheless. Make sure everyone you work with, or who are present in your salon, is treated with respect, especially, in front of your clients. You don’t have to sort out a quarrel or scold someone while your client is present. If the matter needs attention immediately, simply take the involved person to another room, out of earshot, and sort it out privately. It is extremely awkward when people quarrel or fight in front of you. This can potentially cost you clients, and gain you bad reviews. Be professional at all times.
Build professional relationships with your clients:
Get to know your clients on a professional level. Just because it’s a professional relationship, does not mean you don’t have to care for your clients. Show interest in what they talk about, and follow up on them if they tell you about personal problems they might face. Building client loyalty is so important. When your clients are loyal to you, there is almost no way that they will trade your services for another.
Don’t be discouraged when some clients don’t come back. It happens. I have found that sometimes people just can’t afford it at the time, or are going through personal things in their lives. Even if clients “cheat” on you with other nail technicians, if you give quality service, they’ll most likely end up running back to you after a month or two. Trust me.
But in the meantime, do your part and make sure that your clients have no reason to get a new nail technician. Gaining new clients is important, but keeping the ones you already have, even more so.