Building relationships is essential for the growth and success of your career as a skin care professional and, just as important, is the ability to maintain and nurture the existing client relationships you have. This will prevent a high turnover rate, which ultimately leads to less income. Following is a marketing strategy for securing clients, retaining them and keeping them coming back for years.
Identifying the right clients
By doing a little research on the area in which you work and examining the demographics of the surrounding neighborhoods, a better understanding can be gained of who you can expect your clients to be. Researching the median income, age, spending habits and gender breakdown of a region will help you obtain a better understanding of who to seek out, and create a realistic database of the best possible client type. Evaluating the competition in your area will also help you competitively price your services.
Customer service = client retention
Although securing new clients is as important as it is exciting, it is also crucial to maintain existing client relationships. The best way to do this is through top-notch customer service. A happy client will likely stick with you, and also refer you and your services to others. Good customer service goes beyond providing basic skin care services—it is far more proactive and requires giving clients more than what they expect at each appointment. The best way to understand clients is to ask for their feedback. Find out how you are doing, and ask questions to understand how you can be of better service.
Be visible! With the evolution of technology, it is easy to stay connected by e-mail and even social media platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter. Make sure to share knowledge and offer information that is of value to clients. The type of information relayed should be less promotional and more along the lines of skin care tips, beauty industry news, trends and advice. Keep clients informed about events, specials, and any changes to your contact information or work schedule. A quick thank-you card sent after a client visit is a nice personal touch, and it is an easy way to foster relationships and build client loyalty.
Offer referral incentives
Referrals are one of the easiest ways to increase your existing client base and are one of the best compliments you can receive from clients. To establish or increase your customer base, offer a referral incentive for existing clients, such as a discount on future product purchases. It is also a way of saying “thank you” to your loyal clients for serving as ambassadors and bringing in new business. Your clients will love the gifts and feel appreciated by your gesture.
These tips will provide a step up in standing out among the crowd, but it’s important to not lose sight of your core business as a skin care professional. In addition to client relationships and customer service, education is the third cornerstone of maintaining and growing your client base. Never stop learning. Your clients are always seeking out the latest trends, beauty services and products. Be the expert that shows them new products and treatments that work. Stay up to date on the latest trends in the skin care industry to position yourself as a valuable client resource. (Editor’s note: Support your expertise by taking the Physiology of the Skin online video education course at learn.SkinInc.com.)
LeAnne Velona, director of esthetics & massage therapy education for Marinello Schools of Beauty, has been a certified licensed esthetician for more than 18 years. She is also a licensed holistic health practitioner. Before her current position, Velona worked as a practicing esthetician and massage therapist at spas and resorts throughout California, in addition to serving as an international educator and consultant. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.