How to get more clients to prebook appointments


Whats your client retention rate? 30%? 50%? 70%? What is a client retention rate? It’s the percentage of first-time clients that return for a second visit within a specified period of time (usually 90 - 180 days) Don’t know your numbers? You need to. If you’re only retaining at 30% it means that 70% of first time clients are not returning for a second visit. I won’t do the math right now, but I’ll venture to say that means you’re missing out on a lot of money each year. Not to mention the time wasted on having to attract new customers when you could just be focusing on your current ones, had they returned.

So, how do we get that percentage up?

  • Make it easy for the client to rebook

    We need to make rebooking a simple, fast, and integral part of their appointment. One way to make it quick is to have suggested times posted on your mirror that are changed out weekly. You can have dates posted for when an appointment would fall 4, 6, 8 or 12 weeks out so that they don’t have to think about it or open up their own calendar.

  • Offer to prebook every. single. client.

    I never let a client leave my chair without an offer to rebook which has upped my retention rate to 90%. It’s become second nature for myself and my clients to set up their next 1-2 appointments before they check out. Nail your dialogue with 1-2 sentences and repeat it to every client before telling them a total or running a card.

  • Recommend a timeline

    Not every client knows their own maintenance schedule. You should have your own idea for when you want them back in the salon for a gloss refresh, full service, trim, etc. Use this in your dialogue by saying something like “I would like to see you again in 6 weeks to touch up your roots and refresh your ends. That will take us to _______ (month and day), does that work for you?” Even if they don’t follow your recommended time line, they will most likely book within a week or two of it.

  • Use reminder calls/texts/or emails.

    Because we use vagaro for booking in our salon, this is done for us. Once we make an appointment the client receives a text with the date and time, and they are reminded two days before the appointment with an option to confirm. If you don’t have a system to do this for you, you can easily do it yourself. Clients love the reminders and it cuts back on last minute cancelations or no shows so that all of your prebooking work doesn’t go to waste.

If you’re not currently tracking your retention rate, and you don’t have a system to do it - you can figure it out by doing the following math:

A. Take the number of new clients within one month

B. Figure out the number of those new clients who returned for a 2nd visit within the following 12 weeks.

Calculate: # of new clients divided by the # of clients who returned. Then multiply by 100.

For example, you had 15 new clients in January, and 9 returned within 12 weeks.

9 divided by 15 = 0.6 . 0.6 x 100= 60%

Spend the next few months working on your prebooking and retention stats, and watch your business and your wallet grow.

P.s. Clients who return more than once are more likely to purchase products from you and refer their friends - so getting this number up is a huge win/win when it comes to building your business.

Esther ChapmanComment