Think about your favourite client and why you love them. Chances are it’s because they are loyal, reliable, open to change, spend a lot of money and recommend you to their friends. Wouldn’t life be great if all our clients were loyal? Fact is, this type of client probably only makes up 20% of your client base but will represent a whopping 50 % of your revenue.

So who are the other clients?  Who are the 80% who bring in the other half of your salon income?

Basically there are 5 types of client:  Loyal, the valuable 20% of your client base, then Discount, Impulse, Need-Based and Wandering. If you understand the client types then use your understanding to help turn these four client types into loyal customers it will play a significant part in growing your business

Loyal Customers

Naturally, we need to be communicating with these customers on a regular basis by telephone, mail, email, etc. These people are the customers who can and should take most of your attention, after all they make up 50% of the total salon revenue. Nothing will make a Loyal Customer feel better than you asking for their feedback, positively acting on any given and demonstrating how much you value their custom. In my mind, you can never do enough for this type of customer. This is the fan-base category which all salons should aspire to.

Need-Based Customers

People in this category are driven by a specific need. In our industry this often means an event such as a holiday, wedding or new job but their need will certainly have a purpose attached and when they come into the salon they will quickly tell you what that need is: “Hi, can you help? I’m going to a wedding in two weeks and need my hair put up.” Warning here, unless they feel their need can be met they will leave your salon as quickly as they came in. These customers need information and are looking for signs of planning. Hairdressers may not find them a lot of fun in the beginning to deal with but, in the end, Need-Based customers are the most likely category to become loyal and if treated properly can represent your greatest source of long term growth.

Impulse Customers

An interesting category for our industry. We tend to attract a relatively small proportion of Impulse customers in relation to Need-Based. However, with the right approach an Impulse client can be turned into a Loyal client. What this type of client is looking for is excitement and spontaneity. So to convert your Impulse clients make sure you keep up regular communication with them on new product launches, different service offerings and regular news bulletins on salon activity. This type of communication will go a long way in maintaining the interest of this easily distracted customer type.

Discount Customers

For a successful hair and beauty salon to grow this is the least favourable category to be attracting. We all know Discount customers are the least loyal, the most likely to complain and it’s the Discount customer that can end up actually costing you money. Please don’t try and base your salon on this type of buying client. Long term it has no future.

Wandering Customers

Often the bane of any salon. The type of customer who wanders in looking for advice, has a consultation then seems to wander off again! Many Wanderers shop merely for the interaction and experience it provides them. Wandering around shops is no different to them than it is for another person to go to the gym on a regular basis. So, since they are merely looking for interaction, they are also very likely to communicate to others the experience they receive. More than likely this category is the biggest voice to your community so, as painful as it might may sound, a superb consultation to a wanderer could prove more valuable than you would at first think.

For all of us, the competitive pressure has never been greater so understanding our customers and behavior patterns that influence their decision-making will only help in driving your businesses forward. Using the 5 types of customer understanding to help turn Discount, Impulse, Need-Based, and Wandering Customers into valuable Loyal clients will grow your business. And for those valuable Loyal Customers making sure they have a great experience every time they come into your salon will result in only one thing, an increase in your bottom-line profits.

And that ‘s what we all want, right ?