Great customer connections require so much more than flawless lash application. Today, the sales cycle is less of a funnel and more of a circle. Your business must continually attract, engage, and delight customers. With clients constantly evaluating and shopping services, you must deliver an amazing customer experience to retain loyal clients.
Customer experience encompasses every interaction a client has with your business. From navigating your website to booking an appointment, to the treatment someone receives on the massage table, to checking out and paying — all these micro-moments make up the customer experience.
The better a business is at customer experience, the higher profits tend to be. A recent survey found a strong correlation between businesses reporting themselves as “mature” in customer experience and higher revenue. The majority of clients are willing to pay more for an elevated customer experience.
So what can you do as a lash artist or business owner? Here are some ideas for improving the customer experience.
Go Beyond Customer Satisfaction; Focus on Cultivating Loyalty
Repeat customers are incredibly valuable for your business. Loyal customers generate most of the revenue. They're more likely to make another purchase. One way to improve customer loyalty is to implement a rewards program at your salon. Make the rewards personalized based on your clients' past purchases. Keep clients motivated to stay engaged with the rewards program by reminding them what reward is on the horizon when they complete a certain action.
Make It Easy for Clients to Interact with You
To maintain client relationships, you need to interact with them often and make it easy for them to get in touch.
To do this: Feature prominent contact information on your website — and be responsive when clients contact you. Use email marketing, and give recipients the ability to reply directly to messages. Create a strong presence on social media sites like Facebook and Instagram. Monitor them for messages. Mobile optimization for your business is key, too. People spend an average of four hours a day on their phones. You may want to consider creating a chatbot for your business enabling clients to ask questions and get instant answers. Beauty brands like CoverGirl and Sephora have mastered the art of the chatbot and experts say chatbots have huge potential to enhance customer experience.
Take Note of Client Preferences, Needs, and Past Purchases
An easy way to impress clients is to suggestively sell based on their preferences, needs, and past visits. For example, if your client mentioned they have a costume party to attend in the future, you could send them a personalized note a month before reminding them about your Luxury Colored Classic Lash Extensions. You've now shown you remember your conversation and you've given them a way to improve their costume. They'll appreciate you for both! When you understand clients' preferences and needs, the customer experience improves. You can tailor recommendations to their unique style and lashes. They don't have to re-explain what they want on every repeat visit. And your services will be what they're looking for every time.
Connect with Clients on an Emotional Level
Most consumer choices are driven by emotions. Your clients who connect with you on an emotional level are more likely to recommend your business and are more likely to become repeat clients.
To connect with customers on an emotional level: Develop a positive brand culture. Weave in those values into every customer interaction. Be caring and empathetic. Read body language, ask questions that show you're interested in the client and be an active listener in conversations. Spread positivity. From in-person interactions to the content you post on your blog, make your brand one that your target clients identify with and want to associate themselves with. Today's customers, particularly millennials, demand meaning from brands. They're more likely to be drawn to brands with clear, relatable mission statements, vision and culture. Each lash artist on your team, as well as your sales and marketing materials, should exemplify brand values that resonate with your clients.
Listen to your customers to gain new ideas on how to make the client experience better. You can get more feedback by:
- Promoting your presence on review sites, like Yelp and Google
- Sending out a quick custom survey through email
- Telling clients after their appointment to reach out any time they have feedback
For savvy businesses, negative feedback is just as, if not more, valuable than positive feedback. It provides lashpreneurs with insights they might not otherwise be privy to. It offers an outsider perspective without rose-colored glasses. It gives you the opportunity to improve and perfect your business.
If you're willing to acknowledge the feedback and state that you're taking steps to improve, the reviewer might give you another chance to wow them. How you handle a negative review is an important part of the customer experience — one that enables you to gain another loyal customer.
Listen, Then Go Above and Beyond
Your goal should be to turn every first-time customer into one who's loyal. Loyal clients bring your business more revenue, both through their own purchases and the word-of-mouth referrals they create for you. Create an unforgettable client experience by:
- Offering a customer loyalty program
- Providing easy, simple and reliable ways to connect with your business
- Getting to know your customers and exceeding expectations
- Listening to and appropriately responding to feedback
What customer experience tactics have worked for your business? Tell us on our Facebook page.