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Fostering loyalty and retention strategies for Aestheticians amidst challenges

April 9, 2024

The aesthetics industry is no stranger to economic ups and downs, and it’s essential to adapt and thrive during challenging financial times. Building and maintaining client loyalty becomes especially crucial in such periods.

Here we explore some of the most successful strategies and recommendations to help businesses foster client loyalty when times are tough. 

Studies confirm that consistently delivering proven loyalty-building strategies is the most effective way to protect your business and support your ongoing business growth.

Exceptional customer service

Exceptional client service is the cornerstone of loyalty. Even when clients are cutting back on spending, they are more likely to return to establishments where they feel valued and appreciated.

Here are some strategies and examples:

Beyond Expectations

  • Going above and beyond customer expectations to provide exceptional service doesn’t necessarily mean giving away free products, discounts, and perks.
  • It’s quite the opposite. Your clients primarily want solutions to their problems, not a free sample. Without solutions, giveaways and discounts simply mask the problem.
  • Instead, challenge your team to listen to what the client is saying and process the feedback. They will be happier with the solution than they would be with a free-bee or a perk, although those can certainly help sweeten the deal!

Personalised greetings

  • Train your staff to greet clients by name and inquire about their well-being. For example, “Hello, Ms. Jones! Lovely to see you again and how you are today?”
  • Also, ensure that your staff notify this with their face by smiling and making eye contact and by using a positive tone of voice.
  • This personal touch goes a long way towards making clients feel special. It’s amazing how something as simple as this can make a positive and lasting impression on your clients.

Timely Follow-ups

  • Send a thank-you note or message after an appointment to express appreciation. Follow up with your clients after a few days to ensure their satisfaction and offer any necessary support. This can be done several ways, such as through email, text messages, or by phone.

Loyalty Programs

  • In an increasingly competitive and crowded market, loyalty programs can differentiate you from your competitors, keep your clients around and reward them for repeat visits and referrals. While they are more likely to make repeat visits and purchases, that’s not the only reason to start a program, as on the business end, the analytics they provide are an invaluable tool for gaining insight to helping you tailor to your client’s needs and to help see what emerging habits and trends are developing.
  • To learn more above this, our workshop delivered by Phorest at Thrive Aesthetic Summit will provide you with some of the best ways to gain the most from some of the most effective and powerful strategies.

Health and Safety Measures

  • Clients’ safety and well-being should always be a top priority, but it’s especially crucial following the pandemic, or other challenging times when the impact of infection transmission became such a global phenomenon.
  • Communicate your stringent health and safety protocols clearly and ensure that your clients feel comfortable and safe when visiting your establishment.  Review these protocols regularly with your staff. Negligence with hygiene issues is one of the main reasons why clients often quietly move to another service provider.   

Continue to add value with your services

Once your clients are happy with the solutions provided for them, it is here where you can really make strides in giving your them a great experience in providing the best value for their money.

Here’s how

Education

  • Offer workshops or online tutorials on skincare or beauty tips. Educated clients are more likely to remain loyal.

Product Samples

  • Provide complimentary samples of skincare products or cosmetics, allowing clients to try before they buy.

Package Deals

  • Creating a bundled package that offers your client a much better saving than individual purchases is a more attractive option for them. The inclusion of  multiple services or products together is not only a great way to provide your clients with cost-saving solutions, it will also allow you to continue  to provide them with on-going treatments, while also helping you achieving your skincare targets with greater ease.

Flexible payment options

To accommodate clients facing financial constraints, consider offering flexible payment options. 

This can be achieved through:

Payment Plans

  • Allow clients to pay in instalments for high-ticket treatments or packages.

Subscription Services

  • Introducing subscription-based models where clients pay a fixed monthly fee for regular services, spreading costs over time and the more reputable and established the business, the more feasible this option can be.

Discounts for Prepayment

  • Encourage clients to prepay for services by offering a discount on advance bookings.

Online presence and marketing

In today’s digital age, maintaining an active online presence is vital. Use online marketing strategies to engage clients and attract new ones:

Social Media

  • Post regularly on social media platforms with engaging content, such as before-and-after photos, client testimonials, beauty tips and behind-the-scenes content to keep your clients engaged and informed about your expertisePlease also note that when planning these campaigns that you are adhering to Consumer Laws, TGA and AHPRA laws for permitted terminology and the use of images. 
  • If you are a Member check with APAN if you are not sure.

Email Marketing (EDM)

  • Send newsletters with special promotions, tips, and updates. Use segmented lists to target specific client groups.

Virtual Consultations

  • Offer virtual consultations for skincare or beauty assessments, helping clients maintain their routines from the comfort of their homes.

Share positive client experiences

  • If you’re doing a good job generating positive experiences for your clients, why not let people know?
  • Gather customer feedback and share reviews to inform others about the benefits your business brings
  • Broadcast these stories as written or video testimonials across your different platforms such as your website, social media, newsletters etc.
  • Again, these must comply with ACCC and regulatory guidelines.

We often receive calls from our members who would like to pass by us an upcoming marketing campaign to ensure if the various elements are within regulatory requirements. You have an obligation to move wisely in this area.

Clients tend to trust other client feedback more than just your advertising, so it’s important to leverage positive interactions to maximise client value.

Employee training and development

Invest in continuous training and development for your staff

New Techniques

  • Ensure your team stays up to date with the latest protocols and treatment strategies. 
  • This will enhance their results and continue to give your clients a reason to choose your establishment over competitors.

Supporting practical skills with evidence-based education

  • Our APAN conferences/ summits offer exceptional value.
  • Thriving Aesthetic Summit will allow your staff to gain the latest evidence based education and then move to a choice of over 15 workshops to update and gain new skills on how to continue to achieve consistently improved results.
  • The investment is well worth it.

Soft Skills

  • Train your employees in effective communication, empathy, and conflict resolution to provide a positive client experience.

Ethical principles:

  • APAN’s Code of Ethics is known as the hallmark of professional conduct.
  • Reviewing and reinforcing ethical behaviour will not only elevate self-esteem with your staff it will ensure that your clients are treated with the highest level of courtesy and in an ethical, responsible and professional manner.

Community engagement

  • Engage with your local community to build a strong support network.
  • Participate in charity events, collaborate with other local businesses, and show that you are committed to your community’s well-being.
  • For example, partner with a nearby exercise or Pilates studio or a wellness studio.
  • Consider offering joint packages or wellness events, reinforcing your commitment to holistic well-being and encourage your clients to participate and create a community of shared experiences!

Don’t be afraid to use your imagination and creativity in coming up with an idea that can create long lasting and memorable experiences!

Thriving in challenging times requires a blend of exceptional client service, value-added offerings, flexibility, online presence, and employee development. By better understanding, implementing these strategies, and learning from the examples provided. You can foster client loyalty and ensure your business thrives even in challenging economic conditions.

Remember, loyal clients not only return but become your advocates, helping you weather the storm and emerge stronger in the long run.

Contact us if you need help

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