On the Head: Increase Customer Visits & Income per Client

Ken West has been a part of 3·6·5 Salon Education for over 25 years and coaching salon owners for over a decade. As a leading business expert, Ken regularly contributes to titles including Hairdressers Journal and Salon Business and he has a monthly column in Creative Head. Ken is passionate about coaching salon businesses to achieve their goals. 

There appears to be two main issues regarding the lack of profitability in salons today: lack of clients and low average income per client. Regarding the first, as we know that the population is not declining, then the reality is they are visiting salons less frequently. Accurate, validated research shows us that whereas stylists like to think that their average client visits every six weeks, the reality is nearer to ten.

To address this, a salon needs to focus on having a clear rebooking process and set and monitor rebooking performance standards for the salon and for each individual team member. Often a stylist thinks they have asked a client if they want to rebook but what they in fact do is give their clients a list of reasons why not to rebook. How often do you hear this: ‘Shall I book your next appointment or do you need to check with your diary, phone, husband, wife, children, friends, cat, dog or goldfish and then give us a call?’ After being reminded of all of the things that they really need to need to check just in case, the client then says ‘OK I’ll give you a call’ and the stylist thinks that they have done their job!

A more proactive and productive approach could be. ‘As you know, to keep your hair looking as fabulous as it does today, it will need re-cutting in six weeks. I know that you like to come in on Saturday morning early, and as you know I get booked up way in advance, so to avoid disappointment, I have already booked you for Saturday the 10th at 9.00am. I have written this down for you and if you do need to rearrange then please call us. We will also send you a text reminder before the day’.

The second challenge is raising the average spend per client. Firstly, are your prices correct or too low, or are your team wary of upgrading their clients? This is often caused by a paradigm in the heads of our team. Many stylists have never paid for a haircut. When they were at school their parents used to pay for them and then they got a job in a salon and haircuts became free. They have never parted with their own cash and therefore a haircut has no value to them. If it does have a value then that value is €0.00, because that is what they have always ‘paid’. So when they come to charging a client, their perception is that a haircut is expensive. It, therefore, follows that any form of service or product upgrade is even more expensive. Heaven knows what they think of the price a bottle of quality shampoo and conditioner.

“Often a stylist thinks they have asked a client if they want to rebook but what they do is give their clients a list of reasons why not to rebook.”

They also perceive the word value to equal cheap, so when they hear the expression ‘value for money’ they automatically focus on low cost.

Warren Buffett said ‘Price is what you pay. Value is what you get’. Some people think that a Rolls Royce is great value because it is the ultimate in automotive engineering, quality and luxury. They have worked hard to own one and the fact that it gets them from A to B is absolutely not why they bought it. A Ford Fiesta would do that just as well!

Lastly, and if you ask me to I will write on this subject, are your team selling haircuts or are they
fulfilling dreams? If they find out what their clients truly want, then they will be happy to pay to upgrade to fulfil their ‘dreams’.

Stylists have all of the answers; if their clients dream of a different colour, they can do it; if they dream of better condition, they can do it; if they dream of a different look, then they can do it, and if they can’t then that is yet another issue for another day.

365 Salon Education