Q: This week our question comes from Shelley in Toronto, Ontario. She writes “Hey Courtney! I’ve been lashing for just over a year and I am quite booked but I am concerned that I don’t have enough fill appointments and just seem to do a lot of full sets. I’m fine with that now, but I worry my business won’t stay viable if I can’t retain and turn my customers into loyal clients who come regularly. Any tips for retaining clients?”
A: This is an awesome question and one that is dear to my heart as I grew my lash business from just being myself part time, to having 8 full time staff doing lashes and brows. Retention is key to growth, whether that just means getting yourself fully booked, or whether that means growing into a full time lash lounge, or even a multi-location lash empire! Here are my top tips for retaining clientele!
Book their next appointment before they walk out the door
People these days are busy. I know for myself, if I don’t book my appointments ahead, I’m going to forget about it until it’s too late. Take advantage of them being on their “lash high” with their fresh new lashes, and book them in for their touch up in 3-4 weeks.
Follow up with your clients
Many lash artists retain their clientele very well by touching base with their customers after a certain amount of time from when you last saw them. For lash artists this is usually the 2-3 week date. Set aside a day to go through your book from 2 weeks ago and give your clients a call/text to see how their lashes are doing and ask them back for a fill sometime in the next week.
Have a larger scale business? There are automated emails that can do this for you! Set a time frame to touch base with your clients, and invite them to book their next appointment.
If you lost a client, there is always a reason. It could be that they never intended to get lashes long term, but with that said - I truly believe that great lash extensions will turn even ‘one time” clients into lash addicts, and open up their eyes to a world of waking up looking fabulous. You’re going to get feedback, both positive and negative. Make sure you listen, and respond to these reviews and put yourself in the client’s shoes to make sure you’re being the best service provider you can be.
Make a Stand
Client’s will be attracted to you for a reason, and your business should have a clear focus and main “value” you offer to your clientele. For my own lash lounge, we pushed the “lash health” value. That was what we prided ourselves on, and that stance attracted a lot of women who had heard (or experienced) horror stories elsewhere. We had a complete commitment to never stressing the natural lashes, and a promise that our client’s natural lashes would actually be healthier 6 months down the road from wearing our eyelash extensions.
There has to be a reason that clients will choose you over another provider so set yourself apart from competitors with a clearly defined focus of your business. Some other focus points could be: that your company prides itself on having on-going top of the line training, that you only use the best lash product available in the industry, that you have the largest variety of lash types available for custom creating a unique lash look for each client.. the list goes on!
If you have a clear stance, and got the client in the first place by them being attacked to your values and vision as a company, they will be less likely to leave to go elsewhere.
What worked super well for me in my business was offering a free fill every so often. In my lounge our prices were quite high, so I offered every 6th fill free. Depending on pricing, you may offer every 10th fill free (or discounted), or perhaps a free product once they spend a certain amount with your company.
Don’t make it easy for clients to go to another lash lounge, and then expect to come back to you if they aren’t happy with the results. In my lash lounge, we used to fill other companies work, and came to the realization that we could no longer do this… here’s why:
-we guarantee our work. We knew what product we were using on the client, we knew our application was great, and we had a relationship with the client’s natural lashes.
As soon as they went elsewhere, we could no longer control the quality of work on the client’s eyes. If they ran into issues with their lashes being stressed, having inappropriate weight applied elsewhere, or worse… we couldn’t be liable for their issues.
With this in mind, we made it policy that we do not fill other lash lounge’s work. We wanted our clients to know that as long as they were committed to us, we were equally committed to them and would stand by their satisfaction and results. This helped us retain most of our clientele as they didn’t want to go elsewhere and risk needing a removal/full set when they came back to us.
Maybe your client chose to skip her fill, but is now regretting her decision. She may be wanting to book an appointment with you again, but just needs a little nudge to do so. Offer clients who haven’t been in for 5+ weeks a little something off their next appointment to get them through the door. Maybe 10% off their next service, or a $20 gift card. Giving them a little perk will only cost you a tiny bit of profit, but by retaining them as a client you’ll make a lot more.
Stay on Top of Your Game
Skill is important. No one wants to be a mediocre service provider. So take the time to attend trainings regularly. Whether this be a hands on course, or an online academy (Like LashPRO Academy by Sugarlash launching soon!) you need to push yourself to stay relevant and inspired as a lash artist.
Commit to Quality Product
There’s nothing worse than inconsistent results. Lots of lash artists can drive clients away by switching product all the time, and testing new product on clients. Commit to a line you love (hopefully SL can be that choice), and stay consistent. Your clients will always know what results to expect, and you as a lash artist can rest assured in your brand and also rely on support and troubleshooting if needed as a loyal customer of a lash brand.
I hope this post inspires some of you! If you have a tried and tested way of retaining clientele, we would love to hear about it in the comments below!
Are you a lash artist with questions? Write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your question, and you may be featured on one of our upcoming segments!
Love and Lashes,