Anyone who works as a hair stylist, nail tech, esthetician, cosmetologist, massage therapist, tattoo artist, or other beauty, health, or wellness professional understands the need to build up a base of regular clients. A steady flow of repeat business is the key to avoiding an excessive, constant hustle to find new patronage. Plus, loyal fans are the ones who refer new clients.
Clients return to providers they’re happy with. They like being in the hands of a professional they trust and who’s gotten to know their preferences (and maybe their quirks), and who they’ve gotten to know as well. They like feeling special when they’re treated like a regular. And they like knowing where they’re going when it’s time for an appointment.
If you find you don’t have a high rate of repeat customers, something’s amiss. It’s worth getting to the bottom of it, and it should be fixable. There are a number of typical reasons why beauty and wellness clients don’t rebook subsequent appointments, and some are outlined below.
If you really can’t figure out why clients don’t rebook, it couldn’t hurt to ask. Start by asking the repeat clients you do have what keeps them coming back, and if there’s anything about your services they think could be improved. If this doesn’t get you anywhere, reach out to clients who didn’t come back and ask them why, and if there’s any way you can lure them back for another chance.
Why Clients Don’t Come Back for More Appointments
- It’s too much trouble to schedule an appointment. Yes, in today’s world, lots of people consider it a hassle just to pick up a phone and talk for a minute. Simple, user-friendly, automated booking that can be done quickly online and from a mobile device is a must. If you only take appointments by phone, or if you use outdated scheduling software or technology, it’s time for an update. And just to throw it out there: All Porte Noire studio owners get access to cutting-edge appointment-setting capabilities through the special Porte Noire App.
- You’re not making personal connections with clients. While there will always be those clients who want to sit there in silence through their appointments, the vast majority want to make a personal connection with their beauty and wellness service providers. This makes them feel valued, and it helps them trust you and feel more invested in your success. Idle small talk can be a great ice-breaker, but ultimately, try to have genuine conversations with your patrons.
- They forgot about you. Sounds harsh, but it’s not. Before you establish real relationships with clients, many simply get caught up in busy schedules and forget to make appointments, and others just end up with someone else out of convenience. Ask clients for their email address and phone number, and whether you can send them an occasional reminder. If you want to go all out, start a small monthly e-newsletter they can opt into. Basically, find a way to occasionally—not spammily—remind your clients that you’re standing by to make them look and feel great.
- You don’t offer a wide enough range of services or products. Many clients look for a beauty or wellness professional who does enough that they don’t need multiple appointments with multiple providers. Of course, there’s only so much anyone can do based on all sorts of logistical considerations. But in general, the broader a menu you offer your clients, the better the chances you can please more people in ways that retain their business on an ongoing basis. Plus, you can accommodate more spontaneity on your clients’ part, which some of them will greatly appreciate!
- Your prices are too high. This is another one that’s sometimes beyond your control, and even when it’s not, there’s only so much flexibility possible. It’s inevitable that some people simply can’t afford your services, that some will always want something cheaper, and that some choose where they book appointments based solely on the lowest price. The key is to cater well to your target market—and one of its defining characteristics is its willingness to spend what you charge. As long as they feel like they’re getting a fair value for what they pay, they’ll come back for future appointments.