After her walkout, Snetman began focusing on goals and benchmarks, and started having video chats with all three locations every morning where she emphasized what needed to be done to keep numbers up. “Sometimes a regroup and refocus is good,” she says. “We realized we had compromised a lot. I would classify the group who left as ego stylists, and we pride ourselves on not being an ego salon.” By the end of 2011, Snetman was only down $14,000 of the $1 million that had been lost to the walkout.
Client Control When it comes to a walkout, the math is simple. Lost stylists plus lost clients equal lost revenue. Controlling the client list so stylists cannot easily access it when they leave the salon has never been easy. Anytime a stylist goes elsewhere, clients find her one way or another. But now, in the age of social media, it’s impossible to control. Stylists communicate directly with their clients via Facebook on a regular basis, which has its bene ts. But in a walkout situation, it can be disastrous.
Hafezi’s strategy for retaining clients was to focus on the experience they had at Modern Salon and Spa, including technical work, customer service, etc. The salon put a renewed focus on overall experience rather than just a cut or color. “Add-on services like make-up touch-ups and hand massages were complimentary, and we sent thank-you cards and followup cards,” says Hafezi. “We went back to basics, and about 30 percent of clients who left came back because they liked the quality of our work and the customer service after experiencing another salon.”
To attract new clients, the marketing department at Modern Salon and Spa printed cards for a referral program (also for existing clients), and the salon did events with local businesses where they invited people in to receive mini services. Working with local charities and doing fashion shows also went a long way to reaching out to potential new clients. Hafezi also tried Living Social, a discount program similar to Groupon, with mixed results.
“Although it created energy in the salon, we realized the people who were coming just weren’t our clientele,” he says. And with less than 10 percent retained and a big dip in employee revenue for those clients, he hasn’t used it again. The most important thing Hafezi did to revitalize his business was to put the spotlight back on his own employees and their education.“Every quarter they go into an evaluation and are coached on what they have and have not done. If retention is bad, we talk about it. They’re also taught to upsell services and have big incentives to pre-book,” he says. The front desk at each Modern Salon and Spa location has also been trained in upselling, and an inhouse marketing person sends out e-mail blasts for spa services to ll in any gaps in the schedule. “We also text clients for con rmation and follow-up, which has led to a better experience,” says Hafezi.