Making Old Clients New Again

26/06/2018

Many small business owners focus all of their energy on attracting as many brand new clients as possible, but instead, why not dedicate just a little bit of time on your existing ones? Or more specifically, how about those clients that used to see you frequently but haven’t been to visit in a few months?

Since you’ve already established a relationship with these clients, they will generally be much easier to convert than brand new ones. Of course in many cases, there may be valid reasons as to why they have stopped coming to see you altogether, but at the very least you will gain some valuable feedback as to why this is, and maybe it’s because of something you can action to avoid it happening to others in future.

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This will also strongly depend on the types of services your spa or clinic offers, and how regularly these treatments require them coming in for visits. Perhaps some of these clients prefer to visit once every blue moon for a facial, and simply haven’t had time to re-book yet? Or maybe they haven’t been back because they weren’t happy with their experience but neglected to tell you or even show how they felt at the time? A lack of regular visits could come down to any number of circumstances, but no matter the reason, going down this route is sure to provide you some benefit, whether it’s to your bottom line or to the improvement of your offerings. So how do you go about approaching ‘old’ clients?

Create A List
First of all, you need to compile a target list, including names, appointment dates and contact information, which should be easy enough for you to do through your booking software. You’ll need to decide on the timeframe – for example, do you want to target those who haven’t come in for a month, 3 months, 6 or even 12? Again, this will depend entirely on the services you offer and the frequency required. Feel free to make several lists with different time frames so you can target these in different ways.

Identify No-Nos
This may be easier for some businesses than others depending on your size and chain of operations, but it’s important to sift out individuals that you want to steer clear of before doing any send-outs. These might be clients that have issued complaints in the past, specifically requested to be removed from contact lists, or just those very ‘difficult’ clients you know won’t appreciate a follow-up.

Decide What You’re Offering
Have a think about whether or not you want to offer a special offer or discount for returning. This can be a powerful incentive to get clients back through the door. Perhaps it could be a percentage or dollar amount off their next treatment, or a surprise gift of your choice upon return.

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Choose How To Send
Once again, this should be tailored to their treatments – recipients of large and/or costly procedures would be better to receive a personalised phone call to check in with them. Depending on your booking software and the size of your database, you could choose to run a bulk email campaign or even use texts. A small email reminder saying ‘We’ve missed you – enjoy 20% off your next treatment” can certainly go a long way for clients that just need a simple reminder that you’re there!

Record Feedback
When approaching this exercise, ensure you start a document to record all the feedback you receive. If you’re not following up send-outs with phone calls, consider encouraging feedback in your emails or texts. This way, you can action any problems that you didn’t even know existed, follow up on staff members’ performance, or simply grow from any bad experiences.

By Mala McAlpin

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