Tips For Building Good Relationships With Clients
Developing loyalty among clients is one of the best ways to ensure the success of your salon. Follow these tips to help improve the way customers view your business:
- Be Honest
When you are open and honest about your capabilities and your business practises it builds the customers trust in you. Let customers know when you are not able to do something for them and point them in the right direction. Be aware of things that are within your capabilities, or that take extra time and effort. Delivering on what you promise is crucial. It may feel like you are providing good customer service but squeezing in an extra client who begs you may end up being counter-productive if the quality of grooms suffers due to being rushed.
Utilise social media as much as you can by keeping your customers informed and involved with regular updates on Facebook and Twitter. Competitions for free grooms or refer a friend campaigns will help keep customers engaged. Publish a monthly newsletter emailed to customers (this is very cost-effective) Send offers to help increase business at quiet times. Include anything that is of interest to your customers including new products, business changes, offers and events. If you don’t have a dedicated website, utilise a facebook business page until you are in a position to develop one. Remember to maintain a professional voice and refrain from posting personal pictures of you upside-down in a hedge after a night out! This will not instil the right image for your business.
- Be Useful
Customers will return to a business that gives them more for their money. This may be extensive knowledge of animals and grooming. Taking time to notice changes to pet’s health shows commitment to customers and compassion. Helpful suggestions in relation to grooming are welcomed by many although ultimately try to meet customer’s requests at all times (with the animal’s welfare always considered, of course). Keep books or charts for reference that will help when you decide on styles together.
- Meet Their Expectations
Consistent grooming, as agreed and to a high standard, will bring customers back every time. Manage the salon diary carefully and ensure sufficient time is allocated to complete a quality job as well as to talk to each client, even if briefly. They will value your advice and having time to upsell items will make additional profits while providing a useful service from an expert, which they may not get in their local pet store.
- Reward Loyalty
Don’t ignore your long-term clients. Reward loyalty with discounts, offers, VIP treatment in the groom room and at events. Customers will feel valued and appreciate the personal service.
- Treat them Individually
Get to know your clients and take an interest in them. This adds to a personal service and makes clients feel valued. Remembering their preferences will build a stronger bond between you so make notes and keep a client card.
By networking, you are creating a community that many people can get involved in, including your customers and trading partners. If you stock handmade dog bows or collars and recommend the supplier to make a custom-made bow, you will be building the trust and confidence of both parties.
- Deal with Complaints Well
Customer service is an important part of any business so when you receive a complaint, you need to address it straight away. Listen to or read through the complaint carefully, allowing yourself to understand it fully before responding. Respond in a fair manner. Use the internet to research dealing with complaints if necessary. For difficult customers, keep calm and outline your best resolution, stating that this is the best you can offer. Communicate regularly if the problem cannot be resolved through the initial conversation. Accept that very occasionally you will come across a customer who cannot be satisfied and that you must politely and firmly draw a line under any challenge. It may be necessary to seek professional advice on how to respond to any serious complaint.
- Public Relations
PR is about increasing recognition of your business without a huge spend on advertising. This is usually through media, but it can be something as simple as a good referral. Sharing newsworthy information on your social media pages is a good (and free) way to increase engagement, be it on a summer class on getting rid of ticks properly or on promoting a new festive retail shampoo collection.