I have always said, you can be the best lash artist in the world but if you have no interest in building relationships with your clients success may be hard to find. We all know that networking and building relationships can be a major factor in the success of any business, lashes are no different. Our returning clients are the bread and butter of our business. Without these clients and their fill appointments, lashes really wouldn’t be a viable career. In addition to that, they are our walking advertisements! No matter the marketing tools we have access to, word-of-mouth will always hold up as my number one marketing tactic – and if you have a strong bond with that client they are much more likely to recommend you.
We all know the first impression is what matters and for lash artists, our first impressions are mostly made online. This is why we have to treat our social platforms as our “front desk”, ensuring everything is kept clean, tidy, and friendly to start things off on the right foot! As well as keeping communication positive. For example; if a potential client messaged you needing an emergency removal sending you pictures of their, let's say, sub-standard set – do not respond with “Oh yeah those look terrible let’s get them off of you!”. Instead say something like, “I’m sorry to hear you had a bad experience with your last set, would you like to book a removal and new set with me and see if we can do better?”. Giving a negative response may make it seem that you have a negative attitude towards the situation. This is one of those be the bigger person moments that your parents always told you about, and I hate to say it but they were right - it will get you further in life.
Now that you have your client in for their service this is where the true opportunity lies when it comes to getting them to return. Obviously your work will speak for itself - great application, great products, great retention are all… well… great! But using that appointment time to also talk to your clients and getting to know them will be what makes them return. Ensure you are giving clients the feeling that you truly care about them. I always make notes on my clients' forms about things we discussed such as trips they’re going on, pets they have, events coming up etc. This reminds the client they aren’t just a number or an income to you – you listen and you care. When talking to clients ensure to keep things neutral and don’t get too personal. Remember you never know what’s going on in someone’s life so let them take the lead with the conversation. Make sure your clients feel comfortable – and I don’t mean pillows and blankets. Remind them throughout the appointment to let you know if they need anything that they can feel comfortable asking. Especially for those, like myself, who are home-based – people can feel like they are intruding on your space - and it is your job to ensure they don’t! Clients need to enjoy the actual service, not just the outcome.
Some tips and tricks to keep your clients coming back:
- Always ask to book their fill!
- The most important tip. No matter how busy or flexible your schedule may be, remind the client the only way to guarantee fills is to book ahead. If they need to cancel they can do so; however, this way they secure a spot and you don’t have to worry about texting them to see if they want to come back.
- Stay in communication!
- I know how hard it can be to stay on top of the messages you have, but texting clients back promptly should be the priority. We live in a day and age where people are impulsive and impatient. There is a chance if you take too long to respond they’ll find someone else to book with.
- Stay active on social media!
- I know social media is another difficult thing to stay on top of. That being said it is one of the most important parts of your business. Keeping up with posting matters. Additionally, commenting on client’s pictures or responding to a story will keep you on their mind and make you more visible to potential clients.
- Be honest and transparent!
- This may seem like a no brainer to most, but honesty is the most important policy. Clients want to know they’re in the best hands possible and you don’t want to give them any reason to doubt you, what you say, or your services. Never give clients false information or information you’re unsure about. Being transparent can also apply to situations such as when a client’s natural lashes are becoming damaged. Finding a tactful way to approach this situation without laying blame will always be the best route. The client will appreciate your honesty more than they would appreciate their lashes falling out.
- Be yourself!
- If everything works out and your clients keep coming back, you want it to be for the right reasons. If you ‘fake it till you make it’ you won’t actually make it. People will see through it eventually and may see it as a turn off. There will always be artists and clients who just don’t mesh well and that is OKAY! There is a lash artist out there for every client and you need to remember that, and find clients that work for you and your business.
Now I’ve told you how to keep your clients coming back and maintaining those relationships, you’ve got the knowledge you need to succeed. But what do you do if you don’t have client’s returning to your studio? Other than implementing some of the things I mentioned above, you need to step back and look at the issue as a whole to determine the root cause. A measure of success for me is for a minimum of 50% of my clients returning for fills. If less than that are returning I need to determine what has gone wrong. Potential factors that may prevent clients from rebooking include poor retention, an unclean lash studio, improper pricing, and more. You must be willing to look into these issues, and find the right solution for them.
Running a lash business is so much more than just applying lash extensions. Building strong relationships with clients is a major component to helping your business grow and succeed. Client retention is a great way to measure the success of your business and times you may need to make changes. As backwards as it may seem, your clients will help you better understand your business!
Until next time!
*All images captured prior to COVID-19