In most salons, 7 out of 10 new clients don’t go back.

October 3, 2009

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  • On average, only three percent of owners know their retention rate.
  • Half of these confuse request rate with retention rate — they are not the same.
  • Most have no means to track retention.  Even those with point-of-sale computer systems often realize their software doesn’t track retention properly, if at all.

You cannot  argue with the numbers. From a technical standpoint, the beauty industry offers consumers extraordinary levels of skill and expertise.  From a customer service and True Quality standpoint, salons and spas score poorly.  No matter how badly you want to refute this assessment, it is impossible to argue with industry-wide numbers that show salons and spas are not retaining seven of ten first-time clients.  Interestingly, poor retention remains consistent from value-priced salons right up to upscale, service-intensive day spas.
It’s your True Quality score. The overriding objective of every business is to attract and retain customers.  The higher your retention rate for first-time clients, the higher your level of customer satisfaction, and the closer you are to delivering consistent True Quality experiences.  Granted, you want to satisfy clients on every visit,  but client retention tracking begins on the first visit. If  your salon or spa fails to perform to client expectations on the first visit, there usually is no second chance.  If your business has a 30% first-time client retention rate, don’t even think of using “True Quality” to describe your business.
It’s your salon’s future. Winning the salon business game means building a retained customer base that is loyal to the salon/spa.  Your retained customer base is by far your most important asset.  There is little resale value for used furniture and fixtures.   The rules for winning the salon/spa business game have changed.  True Quality is no longer an option for owners, but a necessity. The only way to know if your business is moving closer to True Quality is to track improvements in client retention rates.  That’s where most salons are in the dark.

**Chris Murphy is a Certified Strategies Business Coach for Strategies, Inc. based in Centerbrook, Connecticut. He is also the co-owner of Maximum FX, Inc., a multi-location Aveda Environmental Lifestyle Salon and Spa located in Austin, Texas. Chris has 15 years experience in business with a diverse background in Management/Information Systems/Finance/Marketing/Business Coaching and Consulting.

Begin working with Chris today, and discover how easy it is to start moving forward and achieving the business of your dreams.

For detailed information and an informal and confidential discussion of your business needs, e-mail Bruce Hourigan (  or call 800.417.4848 x203.

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Located in Austin, Texas.

Chris Murphy