Are your guests excited to spread the great news about your salon to everyone they know? When they do, are they being thanked?
If your goal is to begin a program that is easy to manage, you’re in luck!
Salon Owner and Industry Expert, Kati Whitledge, shares how her staff at Be Inspired Salon works to capture guest referrals and how they thank them for their advocacy when those referrals come through.
In addition to hosting the beloved Beyond The Technique podcast, Kati is the owner of the award-winning Be Inspired Salon located in Madison, Wisconsin, and the creative brain behind Meet Your Stylist, an innovative salon software system that matches potential clients with salon professionals based on services, lifestyle preferences, and personality metrics.
Kati is incredibly passionate about helping others in the industry develop their own success stories, and today she’s sharing her secrets for building an easy-to-manage referral program in order to help you capture those leads.
Capture Data with Client Intake Forms
An easy way to catch wind of a word-of-mouth referral is to ask every new guest how they heard about your salon. You can do this with your client intake form.
At Be Inspired Salon, the client intake forms are digital. They made a non-public webpage that they have saved as an app on their iPads in the salon. When a guest visits for the first time, they give them the iPad and have them fill out their information. They include the question, “How did you hear about us?” Which prompts each guest to check all that apply.
The reasons they add the disclaimer, “please check all that apply”, is so that they can track their return on investment for all advertising platforms. This could include Google, Facebook, Instagram, Meet Your Stylist, a local magazine, radio, a partnering business, a friend, or other. When a guest selects “friend”, there is a drop down box which prompts them to fill in their friend’s name.
Even if you’re not ready to go digital with your client intake forms, you can effectively apply these same principles in print.
Give the Gift of Added-Value
After you have an easy way to capture the names of guests who have referred you new guests, it’s so important to show your appreciation.
That being said, Kati also stresses how important it is to make sure that how you choose to show your appreciation in turn adds value to their experiences at your salon. What she means by that is, you always want to give more, not offer them a lesser price.
Many salons will promote offers such as, “Refer a friend and you’ll both receive 20% off your next visit”. But did you know that this devalues your services and products and in the mind of the buyer? It tells them that your services and products are actually worth less.
Instead, Kati suggests that you use value-based propositions such as, “Every time you refer us a new guest, we will gift you with a $10 shopping pass to use at our salon!” In the verbiage alone, there is a huge difference in the value you’re offering.
Show Your Appreciation with a Hand-Written Thank You
Regardless of what value-added gift you give, consider a thank-you note as a touch point in your relationship.
For example, at Be Inspired Salon Kati and her team sit down once per week with their list of guests who have given referrals. They write each guest a handwritten thank-you note and mail them out later that day.
“Thank you” letters are a lost art and people love the special feeling of receiving a personal card in the mail. In the note, Kati and her team leave a simple message, such as, “Mary, thank you so much for referring Connie to us! We appreciate your advocacy and we appreciate you. Please enjoy this $10 shopping pass at your next visit!”
The lesson for today is if you employ a referral program, make sure it’s easy to manage so you never have to worry about dropping the ball. Add valuable gifts to show your appreciation, and think of a personalized way to thank each guest who is going out of their way to spread their love for your brand.
To listen to the podcast that inspired this blog, check out episode 189, and if you’d like to learn a little bit more about our host, Kati, check out her website and don’t forget to subscribe to the Beyond The Technique podcast for more incredible industry insight.