How To Keep Your Grooming Customers Loyal And Returning Again & Again
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Ideas & Projects For Customer Retention
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>Projects-DIY Projects For Customer Retention
It has been proven that It takes 80% more time & money to attract new customers than it does to keep current ones. One of the KEY foundations to keeping a business IN business is customer retention. After all, without customers...there would be no business.
The ideas listed below will help you to only use paid advertising for the first few months when you first open up your business. After that, if you follow these recommendations below, you should never have to pay for advertising again.
Strategies & Ideas That Boost Customer Retention (customer loyalty) And Encourage Referrals:
- Re-book every customer's next appointment before they leave your salon. A majority of you are probably already doing this but it is so easy to get busy and forget to book your customers next grooming appointment when they pick up their pet. Remember to ask every single client this before they leave- "our appointments are filling up fast so would you like to book Fluffy's next appointment 6 weeks from today or would a Thursday be better for you"? Notice the way the question is stated. It doesn't make it easy for them to just say no. It's more of an open ended question and should provide a more positive response. Booking the next appointment keeps your customers returning to you.
- Hand out appointment cards to every customer. This drastically cuts down on missed appointments. It doesn't do much good to go to the effort of re-booking everyone if they continue to forget when that next appointment is.
- Set up a routine time every day to call and remind customers of their appointment. This can go a lot quicker if you also utilize an online appointment booking system that will email or text message these appointment reminders for you. Automation tools like this will boost customer retention and can give you more hours in a day and eliminate the need to hire a receptionist.
- Still old school? Then mail out grooming appointment reminder postcards instead. You can set aside a time everyday to address the cards and mail them out each night. Appointment reminders are vital to customer retention.
- Make it easy & convenient for people to do business with you. A majority of customers will work 8-5, which means that most grooming businesses are closed by the time they remember to call and book that grooming appointment. Set up a voicemail message that redirects customers to your website for assistance after hours. A simple online form placed on your website will allow customers to reach out to you via email to make their appointments. A very convenient option for customers who work 8-5. Ideally, you could take this one step further and offer automatic online appointment scheduling.
- Post your regular business hours in convenient spots so that customers can easily see when you are open. Out of habit, customers will look to your front door and to your website to find out when you are open. You can print up a quick open/closed business hours sign for your front door in minutes. Nothing chases a customer away faster than inconsistent, unreliable, business hours. It appears unprofessional and gives the impression that the business is a fly by night operation. If customers cannot rely on knowing exactly when a business is regularly open, they will go to one that is more reliable. Businesses that do not post regular hours but instead post a sign every other week that they "are open this day but not the next and oh, next week we will be closing early, and" .....will chase customers away. Which eliminates all possibility of retaining current customers. Instead, it makes them seek out a different establishment that is more professional and reliable.
- Establish one early open or late closing day per week that accommodates working customers. Some places offer Saturday appointments instead. Whatever works, as long as it allows customers to be able to make their grooming appointments fit within the hours that they need to be at work. A majority of people will have to punch a time clock from 8-5 and get only a 30 minute lunch. Leaving work to take their dog to the groomers or pick them up, is not going to be an option for a majority of these folks. Offering hours that allow customers to get to the grooming business before or after work will strongly boost customer retention.
- Offer customer loyalty cards- Customer loyalty cards can do just that- keep your customers loyal to you. Have you ever purchased from a place of business just because you had filled up your punch card and would get a discount? To not use that discount that you earned with your prior purchases would almost feel like you were getting cheated out of something. Sometimes, people will even stay with one store over another just because one provides a discount. Yes, we understand that not everyone is an "extreme couponer", but these really do work. They are easy to hand out to each customer the next time they pay for a groom. Plus, people are more likely to hang on to them rather than a business card. If you don't already have some, you can quickly customize and print some out in just a few minutes with the pre-made templates in The Groomers Profit Generating Kit.
- Offer and display customer referral coupons on your front counter- They give your customers an incentive to spread the word about you. You can hand them out to each and every customer when they pay for their grooming. It can include a coupon for your current client if they refer someone to you and a coupon for their friend. What an easy, and inexpensive way to get more clients! Get even better results by also saving the coupon as a PDF or JPG and post it to your website, Facebook and Twitter page for clients to print out. You can easily print out your own referral coupons in minutes with the coupon templates and instructions that come in The Groomer's Profit Kit.
- Keep in contact with your customers- This helps to build a relationship with your customers. Which in turn helps to keep them loyal. An easy and free way to do this is to begin a monthly email campaign with tips and advice. You can customize your own newsletter with Mailchimp for free (send up to 500 per month).
- Utilize your social media pages- It's Free and it's very effective. By encouraging your clients to interact with you on social media, you can retain and nourish your customer relationship. Add a "Like us on Facebook" message on all of your outgoing emails, your website, receipts and business cards. Offer Facebook only specials and encourage people to share them with their friends. Post before and after pictures of your clients critters and watch how viral your posts will become. Customers love this type of personalized attention.
- Pricing consistency. Set up a system to ensure that customers are being charged the exact same price for the exact same services for every visit. If one groomer in the shop charges a customer $75 for a bath & dry on the first visit and then the next groomer charges the same customer $80 the next time, it makes customers feel like they are in the middle of a bait & switch tactic. Which will make them go elsewhere since we have lost their trust. Something as simple as a client record card can make it easy to write down and keep track of what the customer was charged for each visit. Other automated systems like utilizing Quickbooks will also allow you to quickly see the customer's previous charges.
- Make every visit 100% about the customer and their pet. Customers love individualize, personal service. It really goes a long way when grooming salon employees take just a few minutes to really pay attention to the customer and the pet in front of them. Our shop used to get a lot of new customers from our competitors shop due to the lack of this in that establishment. Instead of focusing on the paying customer, we heard customers say that "that groomer did a nice job but she just has too much going on in her personal life to be burdened with grooming our dog" . Whoa....TMI, (too much information). A paying customer should never, ever be burdened with listening to an employees personal problems. Customers have personal problems of their own, they don't want to hear about ours too. (Even if they politely stand there listening and smiling. I can guarantee you they won't return if they have to listen to this every time they come in). Instead, they should feel that our grooming service is pampering their pet and they should feel catered to and paid attention to if even for just those few minutes that they are in our salon. Consider setting up an employee conduct/customer relations guideline for each employee to follow.
- Offer expert information and advice to pet owners that seek solutions for their pet's needs. From what type of brush they should be using to educating them on the need for flea protection, offering expert advice to grooming customers will significantly boost customer retention. Simple things like informational handouts or recommendations written on their pet's grooming report card will go along way in the customer's eye. Marketing pieces can quickly and easily be put into place to achieve this. Simply print out some grooming report cards and a flea information sheet and use these tools to easily build up your customer retention in your salon. Both come in our Groomer's Profit Kit.
- Build and retain a professional image that makes customers feel good about leaving their pet in your care. "You never get a second chance to make a first impression". New customers will first judge your salon by how it is marketed. From their first impression of your print advertisement to their first impression of how well kept the exterior of your place looks when they first drive up. That will make or break their decision to do business with you. Once they become a customer though, then it's vital to keep them. Something as simple as the salon being smelly or dirty just one too many times can cause them to go somewhere else. Customer retention can be boosted by establishing company wide standards & guidelines that all employees are expected to follow. From your logo to your exterior signage to every marketing piece. All of it, should look the same in order to present a consistent professional image. Just like the facility and the service should always be kept up and consistent. You can quickly get both of these things into place by first establishing a company branding/marketing image guideline to go by (get a free template for this here). Secondly, by writing up an employee checklist of daily cleaning tasks so that your salon always smells & looks clean. Both of these things will set your salon up to always be viewed as professional in your customer's eyes. Which is one of the overall key ingredients to customer retention.
- Put into place, a monthly customer retention system so that your customer retention is maintained and nurtured. It's so easy to get busy and forget to nurture your client relationships. The best way to make sure that this important function doesn't get forgotten is to write this down as a task on your calendar on the first day of each month. Each month, simply pick one customer retention campaign to focus on. This also keeps things new and exciting for your customers. There are 15 listed on this page. Simply pick a different one each month to focus on or put into place. Doing them all at once can be overwhelming. So choosing to simply do one each month makes it much easier to implement. At the end of one year, you will have done them all and then you can simply maintain them. By that time, and because of your efforts, you should rarely have a customer leave and go to a competitor. You can quickly get a head start on this by utilizing the pre-made marketing materials that we have already created. Skip the time consuming work and simply print out the materials instead. You can find them in both our Groomer's Profit Kit or in our mega collection of marketing materials that are available in our premium member dashboard platform.