“Ooh, nice hair!”
Have you ever had a haircut that looks so great that people ask where you got it? Thankfully, I have, and over the years, I have taken the time to respond and give a few women the number of my hair stylist. Unfortunately, when I followed up with my stylist, she wasn’t able to tell me if the person had called to book an appointment. Perhaps they hadn’t remembered who had referred them; then again, I may not have even given them my name. Whatever the case, I found it frustrating. I had made the effort to make a connection and thought that I was going to be helping out both the random woman looking for a new stylist as well as my stylist with a qualified referral.
Turns out that based on what my friend Nicole Giannini, owner of Siren Salon in San Anselmo tells me, there’s more to referrals than just jotting down a name and number. And as you may guess, a salon’s business relies on referrals. That’s why Nicole took a proactive approach to increasing her salon business through referrals. She came up with these clever cards (see photo) that they give out to clients when they leave the salon. When I saw these, I knew I had found a business owner who wanted to drive business into her shop. I interviewed Nicole to gain some insight into how she came up with this idea and to find out how it’s working for her:
APointMktg: Besides being adorable, do people actually take the cards and hand them out?
Nicole: People love the cards! Yes, they think they’re adorable, but I also think that if they’re excited about their hair, they’re excited to share. We usually have them filled out and ready at the front desk when the client checks out, and when we see a new client and send out a thank you card, we place an ‘ooh nice hair’ card inside.
APointMktg: How long have you been using them? And how have they worked?
Nicole: We started using the cards in January 2011. We’ve seen an increase of 40-50% in new clients per stylist than last year.
APointMktg: How many have been redeemed?
Nicole: Well, actually we’ve only received 4! But we figure the cards are behind the significant increase in referrals, and we still reward the referring client and the new one as we would if we got the card back.
Nicole added that of those new clients, it’s a bit soon to tell if they’ll all stick around, but at a 50% retention rate to-date (excellent by industry standards, she noted), they are satisfied with the results.
Siren Salon offers a gift for both the referral giver and the one referred. That way, they are both rewarded with a little piece of the action, so to speak. The gift is usually an extra treatment that such as a conditioning masque or brow grooming. It’s important to note that the gift is not a discount that would reduce the salon’s income for either client. Instead it’s a low-cost item with a higher perceived value. Effective and affordable marketing if you ask me.
Is there something that you could be doing to get your customers to actively refer more clients to you? I’d love to talk to you about making your referral marketing work for you through taking a strategic and systematic approach. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org to set up a time to chat.
Check out these links to see for yourself: