Grow your client base by maximising referral opportunities
1. Be referral-ready
Positive word of mouth and referrals will only happen if your client is impressed by their experience. Consider the journey from the customer’s perspective as soon as they walk through your door. Little details can make all the difference to how your service impacts your client overall.
- Is the receptionist present to warmly welcome the client when they walk in?
- Do you make an effort to greet return clients by name?
- Are clients offered a drink or refreshment on arrival?
- Do you take an interest in getting to know each and every client?
- Do you compliment them or use positive/encouraging language during consult, treatment and follow up?
- Do you take note of clients’ birthdays, and send them a birthday voucher or upgrade invitation?
- Do you aim to make each and every client walk out feeling wonderful?
2. Say thanks with a gift
If a client has visited you a few times, be sure to let them know that you’ve noticed, and that you appreciate their loyalty. This doesn’t have to cost a fortune to implement. A little gift bag (which you can buy cheaply in bulk) with product samples, discount or upgrade offers, vouchers from neighbouring businesses, and a “refer a friend” incentive can work wonders in making your client feel valued.
The key is to mention the “refer a friend” discount when handing over the gift bag. The referral card should come with an expiry date (14 days is a good timeframe), so the client is spurred into action. The incentive is if the referred friend makes a booking, both your client and their friend receive a discount or service upgrade (such as a complimentary LED included with any facial) on their next treatment.
3. Ask for a review
A single social media review can multiply your referrals and bookings with a simple click of a button. When researching a new business or service, it’s no secret that a positive or negative review can make or break a potential new customer relationship. Reach out to your loyal clients with an email or during their next visit and ask them to share their experience on your Facebook page by writing a review.
4. Instagram selfie referral
Another great social media referral strategy is to ask your clients to share a post-treatment selfie on Instagram. In the caption they must tag your Instagram page (so you can be alerted to their post), and share with their followers which treatment they received at your salon. The incentive is up to you — it could be a discount off their next treatment, complimentary upgrade or a gift from your skincare product range. You could even initiate a monthly competition, in which the client who receives the most likes and comments receives a free 20 minute LED facial.
5. Create a one month referral frenzy
Choose a typically quiet sales month and go full throttle with a 30 day “refer a friend” promotion:
“Share the love by referring a friend this October and each enjoy $25 off LED, microdermabrasion and IPL treatments!”
Advertise the promotion across all of your marketing avenues: email invites, newsletters, social media, in-store posters, and have your staff mention the promotion at the completion of every treatment at the sales counter.
The catch is that the client must refer their friend during this 30 day period, and the friend must also book their treatment within this timeframe. The referred friend can also be offered an incentive to book with an incentive on their second/return treatment.