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The magic of re-booking

At this time of year teams work harder at rebooking clients’ next appointments. Colin Shove, founder of Salon Advantage Systems Ltd. explains why this should happen year-round.

Rebooking your clients before they leave is incredibly important, so much so that I credit this one skill as being largely what separates very high performing salons from ordinary ones.

I asked a salon owner why she was so keen to do this at this time of year, and she said that her clients get upset if they are unable to get booked in near Christmas. I took this to mean that the customer would be more likely to have a negative experience of the salon if they were unable to book when they needed to, than if they were encouraged to rebook. What would it take for you and your team to feel more comfortable about routinely rebooking clients?

This comes down to supply and demand. As a salon professional, you are selling time; when it’s gone, that’s it. If you and your team consistently rebooked the majority of your clients all year round, what impact would that have on your salon? If you had 75% of your salon time pre-booked in January and February, what impact would that have?

When asked, many salon professionals estimate their rebooking rate is in the region of 80%. In other words, they think that most clients rebook before leaving. We have worked with many salons  and, on average, salons rebook less than 20% of clients. Take a look at your appointment book or screen now. Skip forward one week and see how much white space there is. Then, skip forward by four or six weeks, and again look at the white space.

There is a formula you can use to calculate rebooking rates:

Clients who rebook / total clients = rebook percentage

Try these four techniques for increasing your rebook rate:

  1. At the end of each consultation, say something like “To keep this looking great you’ll need to be coming back in about six weeks, is that okay with you?” If the client says yes, great, she knows what to do. If she says no, you say “Okay, how about I do this to make it last a bit longer, say about eight weeks, is that better?” Once this is agreed, both parties know that another booking will be required to keep the style looking at its best.
  2. During the appointment, steer the conversation to next time. Start to drop references to the future into your conversation, for example, “Next time you’re in, the children will have broken up from school”. All you’re doing here is keeping the next booking at the front of your client’s mind.
  3. Make reference to high demand by talking about future events that may affect your availability; for example, if you have a holiday booked let them know that you are getting booked up around that time, or close to Christmas, Easter or Bank Holidays etc. Anything that you can casually drop into the conversation so that your client starts thinking about her next appointment today.
  4. When the client has finished but not paid say, “Okay, let’s get that date booked in. Would you prefer a weekday or weekend?” Be assuming and confident. Your client will often react positively. If she doesn’t want to rebook then leave it and start the whole thing again with the next client you look after.

Not all of your clients will rebook, but if you start to incorporate these four simple steps into your routine with every client you will be amazed at how it will transform your bookings.

Also, what then starts to happen is that clients who would normally call and book in at the last minute can no longer do that. When it rains, or the sun comes out, clients won’t cancel because they’ll be worried they’ll have to wait for another convenient time.

Again, remember that you are selling time, a non-renewable commodity. Once that time has passed you never get the opportunity to use it again, so be sure that you, and your clients, value it accordingly.

To find out more about Salon Advantage Systems, visit salonadvantage.net, email info@salonadvantage.net, or call 01273 921691