Clive’s Top Tips on client retention

March 02, 2022

A loyal and regular client base forms the foundation of any successful salon business. Clive Collins, one of the founding directors of award-winning HOB Salons, offers his take on client retention.


When talking to other salon owners, it has become obvious to me that many of them don’t fully exploit the information they have at their fingertips. A decent salon software system should offer all the functions a salon owner needs to assess their client retention rate so that they can take action when needed. Don’t just use your computer system as a glorified till; it is a major asset to your business if used properly.


At HOB Salons we use our software system to keep track of how each stylist and colourist is performing, so we know who is keeping and who is losing their clients. When you know the statistics, you can address any issues that may be causing the problem.

Is a stylist failing to rebook clients before they leave the salon, for example? Or could there be an issue with the way a stylist is communicating with their clients? Often, rectifying such problems will simply come down to offering the team member some extra training. On average, a successful salon should be looking to retain between 65-70% of all clients, and a minimum of 50% of all new clients. If your statistics show you are falling below these rates of retention, it’s time to take action.


All salons will lose some clients along the way, but don’t sit back and accept it. There are steps you can take to win at least some of them back. Sometimes the old-fashioned way is best, and twice yearly, in December and June, we send out letters to non-returning clients offering 50% off all hairdressing services on Sundays to Thursdays.

This is a great way of filling columns in January and July, plus we are able to see which
stylists/colourists are not getting clients back into their chairs and address any issues that may relate directly to that team member. We telephone all new clients following their first appointment to discuss their experience at HOB Salons. This way, if they had any issues we are able to address them and welcome them back to the salon to rectify anything that they weren’t totally happy with.

It also demonstrates to the client that we care about them and value their custom. It shows that we want to form a genuine relationship with them, and that they are not just a name in our database. This is how loyal clients are won. We also send out a text message a few days before a client’s appointment as a reminder. This is an effective way of avoiding no-shows and, again, maintains communication.


An effective method of attracting new clients is to offer discounts to local businesses and certain organisations. At HOB Salons, we have formed relationships with those working in the NHS, the police force, armed forces and students, as well as local businesses, offering a 20% discount. It’s a great way to give back and build a regular and loyal clientele.


Always remember your existing, loyal clients are your priority. Don’t neglect them in favour of attracting new clients. Ensure they always receive a five-star service every visit. Loyalty deserves recognition and clients will pick up on the fact that you are paying more attention and offering more incentives to new clients than them.


Don’t be afraid to talk to your clients about making future appointments. With the uncertainty going on they won’t want to miss out.

Out of sight, out of mind, so don’t hesitate to drop them regular emails, texts and messages.

Introduce a loyalty card scheme – we have a series of VIP cards designed to offer clients great value for money with additional services and discounts.

Read more business articles from Clive here.