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The law of referrals

Posted on 26th May 2013 by Eric Perera

The law of referrals

It’s no secret that referrals are the main source of new business for salons and spas, but do you know what influences them? If you think your clients are happy but your referral stream doesn’t tell the story, perhaps it’s time to take a closer look at your client experiences.

Best practice research shows us that there are four main parts, or ‘triggers’, that influence how likely your clients are to refer you to others: cleanliness, friendliness, value for money and quality of service. So, even if your client tells you they are thrilled with the results and ‘quality of your service’, it may be your pricing, or the attitude of other staff members that is getting in the way of your ‘referrability’.

It certainly isn’t rocket-science, but it could explain why all those ‘happy’ clients aren’t taking that extra step of actively bringing you new business.

Since these four key areas will hold different value based on each client’s personality and past experiences, holding each to equal importance is key in making sure each client has something to be excited about. Here are some tips to fine tuning each:

  1. Cleanliness: The most straightforward, but most often overlooked. Divide workloads among the team, maintain checklists, and once the standard is set, hold everyone (including yourself) accountable.
  2. Friendliness: Implement processes and commit to proper recruitment and training of staff members. Whether they are in training, or have 30 years of experience in a salon, don’t assume they know how to speak to guests. Your brand is unique, and it’s up to you to protect it.
  3. Value for money: You know what a $100 haircut looks like, even if you only charge $50. Over-deliver on the client’s expectation and you will always leave a great impression.
  4. Quality of Service: Thanks to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and every other avenue that keeps us connected to the most beautiful people in the world, clients are more knowledgeable about fashion and hair trends than ever before. Respect their level of expertise, and that haircut as if it was going to be on the cover of the next US Weekly.

Will every happy client refer you more business? Maybe not. However there is no telling how much new business an angry, or less than happy, client is detracting. Hold true to delivering and measuring client satisfaction on these four key areas and start reaping the rewards of a ‘referable’ business. There’s no reason why your salon shouldn’t be a topic of conversation at the next happy hour (for all the right reasons).

about the author

about the author

Eric Perera is a business development expert. Throughout his career, Eric has helped thousands of businesses increase their profits with smart software solutions. At the forefront of evolving technology, Eric shares his unique insights about the latest exciting tools set to revolutionize the market.


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