Getting clients to rebook is not only the fastest but also the most economical way to make you salon busy.
You have just finished your client. They look amazing and walk out of your salon. Did you rebook them? No?
This is not an unusual scenario. There are still many salons and stylists who don’t rebook their clients. If you don’t rebook because you think your clients will automatically come back to you, you’re kidding yourself. Within the salon industry, there isn’t a lot of control over how busy you are in the here and now, but when it comes to how busy you will be a few weeks into the future? You have a measure of control over that by simply implementing a rebooking policy for your salon.
You don’t even have to leave the notion of rebooking until the end of the appointment when the client is in a rush – it can and most likely should become part of your initial consultation process.
So what’s in it for the stylist or salon?
Clients that rebook before they leave are not only coming back to the salon, they are coming back to a specific stylist. As an individual stylist, this helps ensure you are busier, and have a greater chance of meeting your targets and making bonuses – and you can do all this without needing a single new client.
What is in it for the clients?
Well we all know that clients who return more regularly for their appointments are going to have better results in the long term. Colours will look better with less fading, and it allows for you to develop a deeper client/stylist relationship which is vital for the longevity of your career.
It’s vital to educate your clients about the benefits of rebooking. This is important for all clients but especially for new clients to your salon. Don’t assume a new client will know how long their cut or colour will last them. Inform them that the service will need to be performed again in 4 or 6 weeks, or whatever is appropriate for them. Don’t forget to create a sense of scarcity and value for your time. Let them know you get booked out several weeks in advance. People will assume that if you are harder to get an appointment with that you must be better and so worth more. Remind clients about any upcoming events that may make you busier than normal, such as you going on holidays, Christmas time, Easter and school breaks. There is always a reason why they should book in right now!
Another excuse that you may hear is that they are too busy to rebook, or they have no idea what they will be doing in 4 – 6 weeks time. So give them an idea. If you have them booked in for an appointment chances are that they will schedule their lives around it rather than change it. Remember you can’t motivate people to get busy but busy people are motivated!
Don’t forget that you can also pre-book their next 1 or 2 appointments as well. This is vital in the months coming up to major holidays etc. If your salon has a client reminder system in place, let your client know that they will receive a phone call, text message or email reminder in advance of their appointment so they don’t have to remember. This also removes another objection to rebooking. And NEVER abandon your client with the receptionist, make sure you do all your rebooking personally. This gives you the chance to schedule them into timeslots that might be quieter for you, allowing you to keep more free space around the times you know you won’t have problems filling. This gives you just a little more control over your future bookings and future earnings.
So, the best way to go about rebooking clients?
One of the key factors in successful rebooking is the language that you use when asking for the rebook. If you ask the simple question “do you want to rebook?”, you will likely receive a “NO” in reply, more often than not. You need to phrase it in a way so that it’s not a simple ‘yes or no’ question. (For example, “Now (client name) to maintain the best possible results we need to pencil you in for about 4 weeks time. Does coming in on a (day of the week and time of current appointment) suit you the best?”) Emphasize that if something unexpected crops up, the appointment can be changed accordingly. Try not to accept cancellations, and instead always endeavour to reschedule.
So in summary: why rebook?
You can potentially increase your business without needing to add new clients. It gives you control over your schedule allowing you to fill quiet days and times. It allows you to plan out your week and know your possible future earnings. It creates a scarcity mentality which then enables you to maximize what you charge. I involves your clients in a long term relationship with you and your salon. In short: it is just good business practice.