Leadership Team at the DiJulius Group Seminar – Customer Revolution Summit in Cleveland, OH (Sept 2022)

Leadership Team at the DiJulius Group Seminar – Customer Revolution Summit in Cleveland, OH (Sept 2022)

Centre Salons owner Jim Pacifico (right) with Van Council, owner of Van Michael Salon, during Centre's Industry Leader Reception (March 2022),

Centre Salons owner Jim Pacifico (right) with Van Council, owner of Van Michael Salon, during Centre's Industry Leader Reception (March 2022),

Promila Kashyap, Centre Salon Arvada’s Master Esthetician, visits with Shiv Nath Tandon from Aveda at the Centre Salons' reception for Industry Leaders.

Promila Kashyap, Centre Salon Arvada’s Master Esthetician, visits with Shiv Nath Tandon from Aveda at the Centre Salons' reception for Industry Leaders.

Education with Susan Ford for Centre stylists from all locations.

Education with Susan Ford for Centre stylists from all locations.

Keli Kenyon (center) and Sherry Macias (far right) with industry leaders (left to right) makeup artist Rudy Miles, salon owner Van Council, and Aveda's Shiv Nath Tandon, who came to Center to...

Keli Kenyon (center) and Sherry Macias (far right) with industry leaders (left to right) makeup artist Rudy Miles, salon owner Van Council, and Aveda's Shiv Nath Tandon, who came to Center to meet and recruit students from the Aveda Institute Denver (March 2022).

 

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Leadership Team at the DiJulius Group Seminar – Customer Revolution Summit in Cleveland, OH (Sept 2022)
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Leadership Team at the DiJulius Group Seminar – Customer Revolution Summit in Cleveland, OH (Sept 2022)

Centre Salons owner Jim Pacifico (right) with Van Council, owner of Van Michael Salon, during Centre's Industry Leader Reception (March 2022),
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Centre Salons owner Jim Pacifico (right) with Van Council, owner of Van Michael Salon, during Centre's Industry Leader Reception (March 2022),

Promila Kashyap, Centre Salon Arvada’s Master Esthetician, visits with Shiv Nath Tandon from Aveda at the Centre Salons' reception for Industry Leaders.
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Promila Kashyap, Centre Salon Arvada’s Master Esthetician, visits with Shiv Nath Tandon from Aveda at the Centre Salons' reception for Industry Leaders.

Education with Susan Ford for Centre stylists from all locations.
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Education with Susan Ford for Centre stylists from all locations.

Keli Kenyon (center) and Sherry Macias (far right) with industry leaders (left to right) makeup artist Rudy Miles, salon owner Van Council, and Aveda's Shiv Nath Tandon, who came to Center to...
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Keli Kenyon (center) and Sherry Macias (far right) with industry leaders (left to right) makeup artist Rudy Miles, salon owner Van Council, and Aveda's Shiv Nath Tandon, who came to Center to meet and recruit students from the Aveda Institute Denver (March 2022).

 

“Our competition is great,” says Keli Kenyon, co-owner with Jim Pacifico of Centre Salons and Spas in Arvada, Colorado. While being surrounded by outstanding salons might be a buzzkill for some salon owners, Keli appreciates the high bar because it motivates her team to work on retaining every single guest. In the greater Denver area, clients can always go elsewhere.

Consistency Across the Brand 

There’s a Centre Salon for everyone. With its high ceiling and industrial look, the urban location has a vibe that’s different from the feeling a little north at the large Centre Salon with a spa, and neither is like the funky Denver location with hand-painted wall murals. But no matter which Centre Salon guests choose, their file awaits them. Salon Manager Sherry Macias says that helps to keep the guest experience consistent, and it strengthens the power of the brand.

“Guests appreciate knowing that their history can be accessed from any location,” she explains. “And they can use their punch card for the spa or apply any discount—all of this follows them if they want to go see new surroundings or feel a different vibe.”

“Gift,” Not “Discount”

It never hurts to reward people for their continuing business—and the business they drum up for you. Centre Salons’ referral program offers existing guests $25 off a product purchase when they send in a new client. Every January through February, the salon’s “Double the Love” campaign increases that finder’s fee to $50. It’s effective.

“We have guests who use the gift every time they come in, because they keep sending in more people,” Macias reports. “If you call it a ‘gift,’ I think they’re more inclined to appreciate it than if you offer it as a ‘discount.’”

The Reliable Prebook

Prebooking is one of the most widely used tools to drive retention. As it’s applied at Centre Salons, again language comes into play—it’s framed as loving your stylist enough to make sure you get to book her. Kenyon notes, “Our busier stylists book six months or a year out!” 

Stylists take the lead in getting the client into the prebooking habit.

“It’s important that stylists understand how committed guests are to maintaining their new color or look,” Kenyon says, adding that the prebooking conversation can begin organically during the consultation. “During a color transformation, the artist will let the guest know how long to wait before the next maintenance appointment. We help by posting mirror clings showing the dates of four, six and eight weeks out.” 

Fixed on Feedback

Why do guests leave and never come back? When you figure out the answer to that question, you’ll raise your retention rates, so it pays to investigate. Sometimes just a simple gesture can make a difference. For example, Centre Salons offer a “Service Recovery Card” to improve the outcome for a dissatisfied guest.

Sometimes a guest is handed a Service Recovery Card without complaining at all. Maybe the wait was a little long or, for whatever reason, the guest didn’t seem to have a “wow” experience.

But the real discovery comes with Centre Salons’ proactive phone calls, which began during the pandemic. A guest services team member, Julie, asked to work from home when Covid hit. With her excellent phone etiquette, Julie has been perfect in the role of calling guests to check how their service went or identify why retention is dipping.

“Let’s say we’re looking at a particular stylist, and the numbers aren’t where we want them,” Macias explains. “We’ll call a few of her guests, and maybe we can catch what’s going on. When a guest receives a phone call about how their service went, it makes them want to come back.” 

If the guest is hesitant to share, it may reflect concern about getting a stylist in trouble. 

“Julie lets the guest know that it’s about coaching the artist to reach their potential,” Kenyon says. “The guest doesn’t have to worry that we’ll fire the stylist!” For taking the time to provide feedback, the guest receives a gift such as a full-size hand- or foot-relief product. Sometimes, Kenyon herself will call the guest after the followup appointment.

To receive even more feedback, Kenyon plans to establish “VIP panels” of some of the salon’s most loyal guests. 

“We’ll invite them to have dinner with us and share what they love along with what they think we could do better,” Kenyon says. “It will be amazing to collect information from them directly.”

Anticipating Pain Points

In winter, the stylist may hand the guest a warm stone to hold, and someone at the salon will be happy to go out and scrape the guest’s car windows—Kenyon notes, “What a bummer to have perfect hair and then have to clear off your car for 20 minutes!” In summertime, they’ll offer to start the car to get the air-conditioning running. 

“We try to think of every pain point and have each one of them covered,” Kenyon says. “If the appointment occurs at lunchtime, why not offer to get them a sandwich? We keep track of the guest’s favorite upgrade service. Our managers ask stylists to observe what guests are drinking when they walk in so we can always offer something they like.”

Centre Salons use the acronym “FORD” for this level of attention—family, occupation, recreation, dreams. 

“We want Centre to be the luxury salons in our area, so we set that bar high,” Macias says. “If we hear that someone is having a bad day or didn’t get their Starbucks, we’ll run out and grab a cup for them or go get a bouquet of flowers to give them. This helps set us apart.”

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