One of the biggest challenges you can face as a stylist is figuring out how to attract and retain customers. No matter how technically skilled or experienced you are, how to build a base of loyal clients often seems like a mystery. So what does it take to keep clients coming back? To demystify this process, we’ve compiled a few ways to build a loyal following. Create a Seamless Online Experience One of the first places your clients will visit is your website. Potential clients should look at your website and gather information about your services, prices, and contact information. Make this process easier by ensuring your website provides everything they need to know about your salon. Additionally, your online booking experience should be simple to navigate. Give customers the flexibility to change appointments as needed and optimize your website for mobile. Another critical aspect of your business’s online profile is your reviews. More than 91% of people read online reviews before making a purchasing decision. To stand out from your competition, ask your best clients to write 5-star reviews on well-known sites like Yelp and Google. Develop a Relationship with Your Customer Clients come to salons not only to look their best but to feel great, too. A key part of your job is to develop a rapport with your customers. Each time recurring customers come to your salon, treat them like it’s their first time sitting in your chair. Maintain a friendly attitude, ask about their personal lives, and frequently check in with your client throughout the duration of their appointment. Studies have shown that people love discussing themselves more than any other subject. Here are a few probing questions you can ask customers to keep them from snoozing in the chair: \tDo you have kids? How old are they? \tAre you from ? How long have you lived here? \tPlanning any upcoming trips this year? \tDid you hear the news about ? What are your thoughts on it? By letting your clients know that you genuinely care about their needs, they’ll be less likely to turn to someone else. Create a Marketing Strategy A solid marketing plan will help you establish your credibility and give customers a sense of what you offer. Check out these marketing channels you can use to build your brand: \tSMS marketing: Text message marketing is a cost-effective and popular channel. The average text message open rate is 99%, which dominates traditional print and email rates. With text messaging marketing, you can remind and follow-up with clients about any upcoming appointments. \tSocial media: Marketing your business costs virtually nothing thanks to social media. Many salon owners showcase their work via Facebook and Instagram and use hashtags to find local clients. By consistently posting aesthetically pleasing photos, you’ll be able to attract many new clients. \tEmail newsletters: Email is a fast and easy way to re-engage customers. Email your customers to let them know about upcoming promotions or special offers. You can also use email marketing to remind customers to write stellar reviews about your business. \tPaid ads: Paid Facebook ads can be tricky to navigate. But despite the frequent algorithm changes, paid ads are a solid investment. The best part about paid ads is that they’re relatively cheap, so it’s easy to scale your budget according to your needs. Keep Up with the Latest Trends The beauty industry is ever-evolving with new products and techniques. By continually sharpening your skills and knowledge, your clients will look to you as a beauty expert. Some of the best ways you can stay informed about the latest trends include attending trade shows, workshops, and classes. Below are a couple of resources you can refer to: \tBehind The Chair \tWWD \tCosmetic Business Rebook Appointments You’ve done your research, marketed your business, and wowed your client. What follows afterward is just as important: booking the next session. Gently remind your customers to schedule a follow-up appointment if they want to maintain their new looks. If all goes well, your client should feel excited about coming in for their next appointment. If you have a resale license, you can also use this opportunity to upsell customers on products to help them maintain their looks at home. Booking regular appointments with your best clients ultimately leads to more revenue for your salon. Attracting and retaining clients is an end-to-end process. You want to build a seamless customer experience from the moment your clients discover your business to booking their next appointments. By creating and marketing your online presence, developing strong relationships with your customers, and continuing to hone your skills, you’ll never have to worry about finding and keeping great clients.