Loyal customers are the single most important thing every successful salon has going for it. If you want to run a successful salon, you have to have regulars.

Like mentioned in our article on how you know you have a successful salon, they are both far cheaper to get through your door and usually spend much more with you over their lifetime as a customer, since they keep coming again and again.

In short, regulars are way more profitable.

Depending on your marketing spend, you might be losing on the first time a customer comes. As they come more often they become more profitable

Converting new customers into regulars is thus one of the most important capabilities your salon can develop.

In this article, I’ll go over how you can consistently convert new customers into loyals that keep your chair full at all times.

The best type of loyal customers for your salon

Now, not all loyal customers are created equal.

According to Judd Marcello, current CMO at Conexiom, there are three types of loyal customers your salon can have.

Now, why does that matter? Because the amount of value created from each type of loyal customer differs.

Let’s go over the three types:

Transactional regulars

These are logical thinkers. They’re people that come to you regularly because they feel like they get the most raw value from going to your salon.

These people are “deal hunters”. They might go to you because you have a good loyalty program or because you’re very cheap.

These are not the ideal type of regular since they are ready to go to the salon next door as soon as they offer better prices.

I won’t spend any time talking about how to connect with these types of customers, since they aren’t that valuable to your salon

Habitual regulars

These are the people that simply have created a habit of going to your salon.

They don’t necessarily prefer the service you provide, but it might be the most convenient for them to go to you because of your location or the easy booking experience.

These are good customers to have. I’ll detail below tactics you can use to increase the amount of habitual regulars you have

As it becomes more of a habit to book with you, a customer becomes more loyal to your salon

Emotional regulars

These are by far the most valuable customers to your salon.

They love everything you have to offer, and are unafraid of referring you to their friends if they ask for salon related advice.

These people are deeply connected to your salon. They don’t care about prices and they don’t care about where you’re located. They want to do business with only you, and don’t care about the terms you set.

They are your biggest fans, and your biggest assets.

I’ll spend the most time in this article focusing on this group.

As your relationship with a customer gets closer, the customer becomes more loyal to your salon

The best customers are a combination

Every customer exists somewhere on the Habitual/Emotional spectrum.

Some are kind of habitual but very emotionally connected to your salon. Others might be described in exactly the opposite way.

The best type of customers for your salon are customers which are both very habitual and emotionally connected. The customers that are 😍

While I would deem emotional loyalty to be more important, it’s important you think about both so you can effectively create the best types of customers:

People that are your biggest fans, that also find it the easiest to book with you!

Tactics that create more loyal customers for your salon

To create loyal customers, you have to do a lot of things right. But, fortunately, many of the tactics that I’ll detail here below are easy as pie.

1. Provide a great service

Now, this is obvious. Apart from your mother, nobody will be emotionally attached to your salon unless you provide a great service.

But while it’s obvious, it’s not as simple as it looks. Providing a great service is about more than just being good at what you do. It’s about being great at delivering what your customer wants.

The First Appointment is critical!

This is especially important when a customer shows up for the first time. It’s your chance to shine.

Now, I’ve gone to a lot of salons, and so often they put no real care or thought into what I really want. They ask something like “what would you like” and unless I show them a picture, they simply go to town after I give them a very brief description of what I want.

Make sure you and your customer are aligned on exactly what they want, and what you’re supposed to deliver, before you start. Here are some things you can do:

  • Ask more questions
  • Google photos of what you think they mean by their description and ask them “is this what your talking about”?
  • End the conversation with a mutual agreement about what is expected.

If you do this, and eventually deliver on exactly what your customer wanted, they know that you put care into making sure they get what they want - something they likely have had difficulty finding in the past.

Thus, you’re a reliable source for them to get what they want and move to being top-of-mind for them for all of their appointments!

A great first appointment makes it more likely you convert the first timer to a loyal customer

2. Build a relationship

Your most emotionally loyal customers are likely your friends. Thus, the best way create emotional loyalty amongst your customers is to become their friends.

Easier said than done. Or is it?

You don’t have to invite your customers to your home for dinner, even though that would be great. You have plenty of time during the appointment to build a relationship with your customer and to develop trust.

The best way to build trust is to focus the conversation you’ll have on personal matters. Don’t talk about politics, talk about life.

Remember, according to research one of the best ways to make people like you is by making them talk and listening intently. So don’t babble about yourself. Focus on being there for your customer.

You can find great examples of such questions in this article

In your salon, a better relationship means more loyalty
A closer relationship translates directly to more emotional loyalty

3. Offer to book the next appointment straight away

By far the most customers stop coming to you after they have their first appointment. That’s because they’ve neither created a habit of coming to your salon, and haven’t had enough time with you to have built emotional loyalty.

If you manage to get customers to come for a second time, it’s so much more likely that they’ll come for the third, fourth and hundredth appointment. Then, it starts to become a habit to come to your salon.

If you’re not into booking in advance, that’s ok. But if you want to create loyal customers, I highly recommend booking their next appointment straight away to start building the habit for them that your salon is the one they go to.

4. Ask for feedback

Customers want to do business with salon workers that know their preferences. They also want to do business with people that are focused on getting better.

Asking for honest feedback after your appointments is a great way for you to signal that both of those apply to you.

And don’t just throw the typical “don’t you like it?” type of question out there. Those are far too leading. Customers want more than that.

One way to ask for feedback that I’ve seen work again and again goes something like:

Look, I really want to get better at what I do. One of the best ways for me to do that is by getting honest feedback from people like you. And not just the good parts, I especially want the bad parts as well.

They’ll eventually tell you what you thought, and then two scenarios arise:

They loved everything about the experience

Than simply revert to point number three and say something like:

Wow, I’m so happy to hear that! Would you then think it would be a bad idea for us to book you another appointment?

They have something to point out

Whatever negative thing they’ll say, you can always spin it to something positive by saying something like:

Wow, that’s great feedback. Thank you so much. Would you think it would be a bad idea for us to go for another appointment so I can take that feedback into practice and learn?

5. Have a great booking experience

Nobody likes calling to book an appointment. The minimum for today is to have a booking site online.

The easier it is to book, the more habitual loyalty you can create

But even that isn’t enough in my opinion. Do you remember the web address of the salons you go to?

The booking experience can be far more intuitive and simple.

Now, I don’t want to toot our horn too loudly, but we at Noona have thought a lot about this issue, and it’s why we created the Noona app.

The Noona app has what we believe is the most seamless booking experience in the world. It really only takes 15 seconds for your customer to book with you on the Noona app.

Two features help out a lot with this.

The first one is the favourites. In the Noona App, your customers can put you into their favourites making you the first thing they see every time they open the app - giving your salon a permanent home in your customers pocket.

But then we also recommend the same as last time. If a customer has booked with you before, the Noona App can recommend what service your customer should book - making the booking process lightning quick.

Just see how quick it is:

6. Don’t do anything stupid.

It’s incredible how often this gets overlooked. People want to do business with professionals.

Professionals aren’t late. They aren’t sloppy in their work. They don’t smell weird and are always well dressed.

People pick up on all of these things. After all, who wants to do business with somebody that smells weird?

Solid rule of thumb for your salon: Don't do anything stupid

7. Connect with your customer

If you see an opening, you should definitely ask if it would be ok for you to connect with your customer online.

Following them on Instagram, Twitter or wherever else gives you a chance to interact with them outside of the salon setting, giving you an extra layer to build a relationship with your customer.

When you do get the chance, like their posts - or better yet, comment. Interact with them like they were your friends, and they’ll start interacting with you in the same way.

Just make sure you don’t overdo it, or seem fake.

Make your salon flow with regulars

If your goal isn’t to get more loyal customers, than you either have too many or you have the wrong goal.

Loyal customers are simply so much more profitable for your salon in the long term. They’re willing to pay higher fees, they’re more likely to buy products and you don’t have to pay anything to get them to come back.

The best ones even refer their friends in your direction. How valuable is that?

I encourage you to try out the tactics listed above and try to spot if it’s helping.

As always, my email is open (jonhilmar@noona.is) so if you have any feedback or feel like anything is lacking here that other salon owners might benefit from knowing about, reach out!