Did you know that consumer surveys point to perceived employee indifference (not incompetence of product or service issues) as the number one reason why customers take their business elsewhere?

Recent stats reveal that 91% of dissatisfied customers will leave a business FOREVER without making a formal complaint!

But while consumers report that perceived employee indifference is what causes them to stop using a salon, most salon owners say they feel they are far from indifferent to their clients and when a client leaves without explaining and without an obvious cause it can cause incredible frustration to both the salon owner and the team involved.

So here to help when you are faced with this particular situation is a check list for you to follow:

Scrutinise their past interactions with your business
What service(s) did they last receive? What products did they last purchase? How much did they spend at their last appointment? Look for clues as to whether they experienced some type of disappointment at their last visit, or even whether their service history changed over time.

Talk to everyone else who was there
A good detective follows up with all witnesses! Even if it was you who interacted with the ‘disappeared’ client for most of the time, other staff members who were at the salon during the client’s appointment may have observed and interacted with the customer, sometimes without you really realising. Ask relevant team members whether they noted anything that seemed amiss during the client’s appointment or after the time of service.

• Don’t underestimate the value of social networks
For some social media users, nearly every waking thought bears a status update. If your former customer is active on social networks see if you can gather any information as to where they took their business. This might give you clues as to why they left, especially if they left for a competitor who convinced them that they were better than you!

If you have mutual friends or acquaintances and feel comfortable doing so, you could ask them whether they know why your customer stopped coming to your business.

Do a competitive analysis
Periodically surveying other local salons to see how your business menu of services, products, pricing and customer service stack up should be part of your business planning process. Saying that please don’t get obsessed about what your competitors are up to! Stay in perspective but stay aware of other salons activities, it can be useful in revealing potential competitive business that represent a potential threat in attracting clients away from your Salon into the hands of another!

• Conduct an Ideal Client Profile
Compose an ideal salon client profile. From the profile look for potential problems in your own salon customer experience delivery that could become a reason why a customer might want to choose another salon. Ideally you should undertake an ideal client profile on a six-monthly basis. I would also recommend doing this as a team exercise to ensure everyone is singing from the same song sheet when it comes to delivering the same great customer service.

Finally, don’t beat yourself up!

Annually any business can expect to lose on average 10% of their client base, many for reasons out of their control – if the client moves to a different area, for example. And some, very few I expect, fall out of love with you so this is why your client retention on new clients is imperative to track.