Client retention = client satisfaction. A healthy spa business should see their first visit client retention numbers ranging from 45%-60%. If your numbers don't fall into this range, something is very wrong, and you need to start figuring it out. Stat.
In all fairness, Client Retention is a big area to work with. There are so many places along the guest experience that can go wrong and affect your client retention. But for this post, I want to talk about how your attention could be impacting your retention numbers.
The Personal Attention We Give (or Don’t Give)
We know that we're supposed to leave our personal life at the door, but even then, sometimes our non-verbal communication reveals we’re upset about something. Or maybe we have a team member who is incredibly shy and won't/can't seem to engage with the guest.
Could your our clients feel like they're not getting the attention they deserve because their esthetician is preoccupied with something going on in their personal life? Could you have a staff member who doesn't know how to communicate comfortably with clients due to lack of personal skills? Touching base with your team on a daily basis to for a personal life ‘temperature check’ and subsequent coaching/counselling by the owner (even a small amount of compassion & understanding goes a long way!) could catch potentially devastating effects on your client retention if one of your service providers is struggling.
Another are where ‘lacking attention’ is causing retention issues is perhaps estheticians are not prepared for the treatment and must leave the treatment room because they don't have an essential product, tool or equipment. Popping in and out of the treatment room are distracting and guests wonder why their esthetician is not prepared, which undermines their trust in your business. Making sure you & and your team have sufficient time between clients to prepare for the next guest is an easy way to rectify this issue.
Attention to Detail
Much of the work we do in the spa industry relies on attention to details within the service. However, if we can be honest (especially if you’ve been doing this a long time), it's easy to become distracted with personal conversations with our guests and perhaps not pay as much attention to detail in the actual treatment that we should be.
For example, in a waxing service, are you are removing all of the wax residue off the skin, so the client isn’t leaving sticky? What about during a manicure or pedicure and there are a few pieces of filed nail sticking under the free edge? When your guest leaves your spa knowing you were a stickler for attention to detail in their treatment, that's a big bonus for client retention. They come back because they trust you offer great work, consistently.
The Spa Facility
When we've been working in our space for many years, it's easy to walk past things and not see them anymore.
Do the baseboards or walls need touching up? Is there equipment that needs to be taken out of circulation because it's beat up or not even working properly? Is there dust on the light fixtures? I've been to a couple of really nice spas for massage, looked down at the legs of the massage table and they were grungy looking! I suspect it had been a while since a manager had been through the treatment rooms from the perspective of a guest, or they surely would have noticed.
Do a monthly facility walk-through, regardless of how big or small your space is.
If you are unfamiliar with Client Retention metrics, I highly suggest you investigate if your booking system measures this for you. I know that some systems, like Vagaro, don't have this report at all (they report request rates, which are useless for tracking retention). If it does, pull your 1st visit retention reports from the past year to see where your numbers are at. These reports have extremely revealing information about your spa's client satisfaction status!