Before you begin laying out your retention program, you will quickly find that any program designed to improve your salon/spa’s client retention performance will cause you to rethink many aspects of your business.
This is because virtually everything that happens in a salon or spa directly affects client satisfaction to some degree. The reasons a client will move to another salon or spa are many and varied. A total retention program addresses as many of these reasons as possible. It can be overwhelming at first, that’s why we suggest you start with the basics and fine-tune your program as you gain confidence and control.
The following ground rules should be planned into your basic program:
Get your staff involved in the development of your entire retention program. The input, ideas and recommendations from staff members can play a key role in the success of the program. Staff members are more likely to support a program that they helped to put together than one developed solely by management. This is an excellent way to develop your teamwork concept.
Strategies recommends using project teams to expedite the process. Teams can be any size as long as they are manageable and will get their assigned tasks completed on time. The size of your staff doesn’t matter. A small salon or spa with three or four employees can still divide up elements of the program and work as individuals or teams. Larger operations may have the luxury of more team members, but maintaining control and focus requires closer supervision. The ground rules discussed earlier include a sufficient number of projects for your teams to sink their teeth into. Establish your teams, assign projects and agree to deadlines.
A formal start date isn’t necessary to launch your retention program. There are so many elements and issues involved in retention that launching the program in stages is certainly acceptable. The goal is to improve retention, not to induce stress on you and your staff.
Step One: Get comfortable with the retention terms and key variables in your point-of-sale (POS) software. More importantly, learn how to run and understand the retention reports your POS provides. Don’t understand them? Call their tech support. Next, make two spreadsheets, one showing where you are now, and another with your target retention goals. The spreadsheets will be helpful for your initial staff meeting on retention.
Step Two: Have a staff meeting devoted entirely to client retention. Discuss the reports from step one and how all staff members will benefit from the program. It should be a relaxed meeting.
Step Three: There are four projects that should be worked on simultaneously. One, if you don’t already have retention promotions, get them done. Two, make sure you understand how to run/read your retention reports. Three, complete your list of retention hot-spots and how to eliminate them. Four, learn and implement your system.
Step Four: Begin monthly retention performance evaluations with all staff members. This includes the receptionist and others that have contact with clients.
Step Five: Review your compensation program and base all raises (commission or salary/hourly), bonuses, prizes, etc., on retention performance (among other performance-related benchmarks). Salons and spas that pay high commissions will have difficulty with this step as there is no room for increases. Call Strategies if you have problems.
Step Six: Fine-tune your program as you go.
Shoot for a 20% increase in retention over the first six months. We’ve seen rates level off around the 75% rate. Keep us informed on your progress, we love to hear how you are going!
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